Your swimming pool is a beautiful backyard oasis that you work hard to keep clean and safe for your family to enjoy. Unfortunately, your pool looks like an oasis to the local frog population as well.
If you’ve been overrun by hopping or are starting to hear “ribbit, ribbit” in your sleep, it might be time to take action. The good news is that keeping your home swimming pool frog-free is as easy as implementing a few safe, humane, and simple frog-prevention measures.
Why Do I Have Frogs In My Pool?
Frogs are part of the landscape in many areas of the country and are always on the lookout for a nice watery place to call home. These little amphibious dudes are not aware that your chlorinated, sanitized backyard pool isn’t a frog-friendly swimming hole.
You may actually be unknowingly encouraging these unwanted froggy functions by having a pool in the first place. Any kind of standing water, even chemically-treated standing water, can be like a giant neon “Welcome” sign for all kinds of bugs and insects.
Where the food goes, frogs will follow. Since your swimming pool is basically a free buffet for all of the frogs in town, it’s no wonder they’re gathering in your backyard and probably telling their friends about it too.
Pool lights can also be an insect attraction and your pool, the main event. Sure, your multicolored pool lights are super fun and great for evening pool parties but did you know that if you run them regularly at night, the refraction of light on the water can be an irresistible allure for nighttime bugs? When they gather around the water, the frogs won’t be far behind.
Why Pool Frogs Are A Problem
Frogs, on their own, are nice, helpful, and ecologically-stimulating creatures. They’re great for a garden and come with a lot of benefits like eating bugs and keeping down the pest population wherever they are. A single frog can eat over 100 insects in one night! That’s free pest control you can get behind.
There are, however, some good health and safety reasons for keeping frogs out of your family swimming pool.
They Carry Bacteria and Diseases
Frogs are wild animals that carry around harmful contaminants that may not hurt them but could make you and your family very sick. The foremost among these is Salmonella, which has been the cause of nationwide outbreaks of illness in 2015 and 2016.
Although your sanitizer does a good job of killing bacteria that frogs might be transporting, it’s preferable to keep these kinds of germs out of your pool in the first place. If frogs happen to show up when your pool chemicals aren’t perfectly balanced, you might end up with a contaminated and unusable pool on your hands.
They Lay Eggs in the Water
Like most short-lived creatures, frogs are frequently breeding and laying eggs to further their species as much as possible. So if they’re hanging out in your backyard pool, there’s a good chance that they’re laying those eggs right in your pool water.
Frogs lay their clutch of eggs between one and three times per year… sometimes more. And when they do, it’s a lot of eggs. Depending on the species of frog, these slippery critters can lay up to 50,000 eggs in one sitting. Good news for them, bad news for your swimming pool.
Frog eggs have to be laid in the water in order to be biologically viable, so unless you have a nice frog pond in your backyard that you can encourage the frogs to move to, chances are they’re going to end up in your pool.
If you do happen to find a gooey cloud of frog’s eggs floating in your pool, the best thing to do is to fish it out with your skimmer net and put them into a body of freshwater. If you have a local pond or lake nearby, that would be ideal, otherwise, you can just place them in another container, away from your pool.
Frogs are peaceful creatures that are actually really beneficial for any garden. We don’t want to wipe them out, we just want to keep them out of the pool.
Their Presence Encourages Algae Growth
Not only are frog eggs a pretty gross thing to find floating in your pool, but they also have a pretty nasty side effect (other than an army of frogs being hatched). It turns out that when the tadpoles emerge from their eggs, they actually agitate in the water, causing a residue to form on the top of the water.
This residue has the unfortunate consequence of blocking out sunlight from your pool and encouraging the growth of algae, despite the perfectly balanced chemicals you maintain in your pool. While this is a great boost to their natural ecosystems (i.e. a pond) it is probably the last thing you want to have to deal in your swimming pool.
They Eventually Die
One of the major downsides of having any permanently-settled wildlife in your yard is the inevitable consequence of mortality: death. If your pool is infested with frogs and their young, one day you’re bound to come outside to find some dead frogs lying around.
It’s not a fun thing to have to plan, execute, or clean up after a froggy funeral, so it’s a good idea to try to keep frogs out as much as possible in the first place. But how do you do that? So glad you asked.
How to Keep Frogs Out Of Your Pool
There are a number of simple tricks for keeping frogs out of your pool that won’t cost you an arm and a leg and won’t take up too much of your time. The idea is to humanely encourage the frogs to go elsewhere, not to destroy a froggy ecosystem while trying to protect your pool.
Use a pool cover
Pool covers are a great way to keep your pool clean and well-maintained. They keep leaves, grass, dirt, and other debris out of your pool and block the chlorine-destroying UV rays from obliterating your chlorine. They also have the added bonus of preventing a froggy incursion.
Using a pool cover at night will also keep insects out of your pool water, further encouraging frogs to look elsewhere for a meal. Either a solar cover or safety cover will do the trick, however, safety covers can give you a bit of extra peace of mind knowing that no frogs might accidentally get stuck underneath the cover.
Keep your pool lights off at night
In addition to saving on electricity when you’re not outside enjoying the lights, keeping your pool lights off and a nice dark backyard will serve as a deterrent for all sorts of bugs that are attracted to lights in the evening.
Without their swarmy meal around a nice cozy pool, there won’t be the incentive for frogs to come hopping on into your backyard or pool.
Use a Frog Log
A frog log is a cute little device that you can attach to the side of your pool to aid a poor, stuck froggy in hopping on out of your pool if they’ve accidentally fallen in. It’s actually a floating pad attached to a ramp, much like an inorganic lily pad with a bridge.
If a frog, mouse, or other animal happens to fall into your pool, it’s a clever little aid to allow them to escape again, unharmed. Not only are frog logs a very inexpensive option to keep critters out of your pool but they also have the added bonus of saving you from having to fish out dead frogs from your pool in the morning.
Keep the water moving
Circulating water is, by definition, not stagnant. Keeping your pool pump running will help to avoid the issue of standing water that attracts mosquitos, gnats, and other insects to your pool as an appetizer platter for the froggies.
Better yet, installing a water feature such as a fountain, waterfall, or aerator and running it during the night will make the bugs find another waterside hangout to frequent. When you take the frogs’ meal away, the frogs will likely move on too.
Build or install a pool fence
Installing a pool fence is a great idea anyway if you have children or pets at home. These are a great extra layer of protection for pool safety, allowing your kids and pets to stay safe, even if they happen to venture out back unsupervised.
A pool fence is also a great way to keep out frogs and other unwanted wildlife from your pool area. The fence will need to be solid to keep out smaller animals since frogs will hop right through iron bars or chainlink. Your best bets are solid wood or vinyl fencing in this case. Just make sure there are no gaps and that the fence goes around the entire pool perimeter.
Try a gentle deterrent
There are a slew of home remedies out there that may help to gently encourage frogs to hop away from your pool. These won’t cost much and actually may have some side benefits for your yard or garden.
- Coffee grounds: Sprinkling used coffee grounds around the edges of your pool is a great way to signal to frogs to go find another place to chill. Coffee is extremely irritating to a frog’s skin so they’re sure to avoid the pool if there’s a forcefield of coffee protecting the perimeter. The nitrates in coffee are also great for the soil if you’re working on a garden.
- Vinegar: Vinegar is also super uncomfortable for a frog’s skin and will irritate them in the same way as coffee. If you’ve seen areas with a lot of frog activity, use a spray bottle to spray the areas nightly, warning the frogs to keep away.
- Citric Acid: Or lemon juice and water will do the trick. Do not actually spray frogs with this concoction, as it can kill them. Spraying around your pool periodically or in areas near your pool that frogs are known to congregate can be a great (and natural) preventative to a hostile frog takeover.
Keep your lawn trimmed
Maintaining a well-manicured lawn is a very helpful way to discourage frogs from coming into your yard. Without weeds, tall grass, or other leafy debris to hide in, frogs will not find your yard an agreeable habitat for their needs.
Don’t Worry, Be Hoppy
If you live in a humid or swampy environment, you might have a bigger challenge ahead of you in ridding your pool of its froggy inhabitants. This is why using a combination of several methods is your best bet for keeping the frog situation under control.
Now you’re well on your way to keeping frogs out of your pool and at arm’s length. With a little mixing and matching of these easy tricks, you’re sure to find a solution to your froggy dilemma.