How to Keep Ducks Out of Your Pool Once and for All!

An article that provides useful information on how to keep ducks out of your pool.
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Last updated: August 20, 2023
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You’ve got a pool. You love swimming in it, and you look forward to opening it up every summer. But the bad news is that there are other creatures who also love swimming in your pool. No, we’re not talking about the neighborhood kids who love sneaking into your pool while you’re on vacation. We’re talking about the winged creatures known as ducks and how to keep ducks out of pool.

You may think that ducks are harmless, and you may not be too concerned about a couple of ducks making their home and sharing your swimming pool. But the truth is that the situation isn’t going to be ideal either for you or for the ducks. That’s why we are going to look at all of the information about ducks and pools and how to keep them out of your pool.

So let’s get started and show you what you need to know about how to keep wild ducks out of swimming pool.

Why Do I Need to Keep Ducks out of My Pool?

It’s Dangerous for You

This is one of the best reasons to know how to keep ducks out of an outdoor pool. You may not know this, but the germs that bird droppings carry can make you sick. According to the CDC, droppings from ducks can contain a variety of germs, including Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, or Salmonella. The good news is that most of the germs that bird droppings contain will be killed quickly by the chlorine in your pool as long as it’s well maintained.

However, the germ known as Cryptosporidium has an outer shell that is a lot tougher meaning that it can last a lot longer in chlorine.  Even when your pool is well maintained, this can last for days in your pool.

So what do you do if you discover bird droppings inside your pool? Below are some steps that you should take to protect yourself and your family.

  • Get everyone out of the pool and close it to swimmers
  • Put disposable gloves on
  • Remove the droppings with a bucket or net. Don’t vacuum from your pool.
  • Clean any dirt or debris from what was used for removing bird droppings.
  • Disinfect any item that you use for removing bird droppings by putting it in your pool during the half hour of disinfection that we describe below.
  • Remove the globes and dispose of them.
  • Use water and soap to thoroughly clean your hands immediately.
  • Raise your free chlorine concentration or keep it at 2 PPM. Maintain a pH level of 7.5 or under. Keep the pool’s temperature at a minimum of 77°F, or 25°C. You should keep your pool’s pH and free chlorine levels for half an hour.
  • Make sure your pool’s filtration system is properly operating.

It’s Dangerous for Them

So, now that we know that it’s not exactly good for us to swim in a pool due to the germs that duck feces can hold, is it dangerous for them to swim in a pool? Although the chlorine amount that is put in your pool water isn’t thought to be harmful to the ducks when they are swimming in it, it can make them sick when they drink a lot of the chlorinated water. It can hurt their digestive tract.

It also won’t damage their eggs. After going swimming, generally, a duck will fluff up their feathers so that they remove the excess water. Since the feathers are made for helping to waterproof the duck’s body, a lot of the chlorine and water don’t stay on the duck’s body.

Although chemicals such as chlorine that are used for treating pool water can damage duck eggs when there is a lot of it, usually the amount that is on a duck when they’re sitting on their eggs won’t permeate the eggshells. Therefore, it isn’t likely to cause damage.

Why Would They Even Want to Swim in My Pool?

How to Keep Ducks Out of Your Pool Once and for All!

So why do ducks swim in pools? Simply put, ducks love water. So whether they are traveling and your pool is a convenient place to take a swim or they have a nest nearby and they see your pool as a safe place to swim, they are going to choose your pool.

They also see your pool as a place without predators, unless you have a dog. They are able to relax and enjoy a quiet swim without worrying about dying.

Preventing Ducks from Venturing into Your Yard

So, you know that you should keep the ducks out of your pool. You don’t want to get rid of your pool, right? So, the first thing that you want to do is to figure out how to make your yard whole less appealing to those ducks.

Don’t Feed Them

If you are like a lot of people, chances are that you have some bird feeders around your property. The good news is that this brings a lot of beautiful birds to your yard. The bad news is that the songbirds aren’t the only creatures who are going to take advantage of your bird buffet. The seed that the other birds and squirrels knock onto the ground is going to be a magnet to the ducks.

Remove Other Water Sources

Look around your property. What other sources of water are there? Do you have a pond or a birdbath? These are also things that are going to appeal to the ducks and encourage them to come around. So even if you don’t want to get rid of your pool, maybe you should look into whether you really need those other water sources.

Plant Grass Barriers

How to Keep Ducks Out of Your Pool Once and for All!

One of the things that ducks prefer is being able to walk on the grass after they get out of the pool. So planting grass barriers around your pool such as shrubs or bushes is a good idea.

You also can use scents that ducks don’t like such as garlic, essential oils, and cayenne pepper.

Decrease the Amount of Food in Your Yard

Along with taking away the food that you put out for other birds, you also want to reduce the amount of food that is in your yard. If you’re seeing a lot of ducks that are swimming in the pool, it’s possible that they’re coming there because of the free food that they are finding there.

The scraps of food from your garbage and particularly the scraps of fresh food from trees and your garden will attract ducks. So you want to tidy your garden up each day, making sure that you are throwing your garbage in bags made of plastic and then putting them in your trash can. You also want to make sure that you are cleaning fallen vegetables and fruits from your garden. Maintaining an outdoor space that is very clean can help with keeping ducks out of your yard.

Get Replica Owls or Eagles

How to Keep Ducks Out of Your Pool Once and for All!
Getting a replica of an owl might be a good idea, as they are the predators that the ducks are scared of naturally

When you want to know how to keep ducks out of an above ground pool, using replicas of common predators is a good idea. Because eagles and owls are natural duck predators, putting a few decoys of plastic that look like eagles or owls around your pool can make ducks think twice about using your pool as their own personal health spa. To really make this worth it, however, it’s a good idea to buy ones that will turn their heads and make noise.

Install an Ultrasonic Animal Repellent

How to Keep Ducks Out of Your Pool Once and for All!
Getting yourself a pool alarm will help in dealing not only with ducks, but with other unwanted visitors

If you have noticed other animals along with ducks, it’s not a bad idea to invest in an animal repellent. Not only will this help with keeping the ducks out of your yard but it also will keep other animals out. This type of machine will emit high-frequency sounds which won’t bother you but will irritate birds. It’s harmless to other wildlife and will just work to shock the animals so that they don’t get very comfortable. There’s also an option to get yourself the best pool alarm, but it might not be that accessible as getting an ultrasonic repellent.

Get Yourself a Dog

How to Keep Ducks Out of Your Pool Once and for All!
A dog specifically trained to chase ducks around would be another great solution to your problem

Have your kids been bugging you about getting a dog? If so, this is the perfect excuse to make their dreams come true. This can work better than the fake predators or it can also work with them. When you have a dog in the yard, it’s going to solve the problems you’re having with the ducks.

Ducks get scared easily, and there’s a reason why a lot of hunters take dogs with them when they go hunting. Dogs are one of their natural predators. When the duck hears or sees a dog is going to make the ducks flee from your pool. Although it’s more reactive, it may be a good way to deter the ducks.

You also should remember, however, that not all of the dogs out there are going to bark at and chase ducks. Not only that but some ducks aren’t scared easily by dogs. Therefore, you’ll want to train the dog to chase the ducks away each time.

Pool Defenses

Now that we know how to keep ducks out of your yard, what if ducks keep coming to your pool and getting into it? Well, now we are going to look at some of the things that you can use to keep the ducks out of your pool when the ducks come to your pool even when you use the tips above.

Use a Solar Cover

How to Keep Ducks Out of Your Pool Once and for All!
A solar cover is, probably, the best choice out there: besides keeping ducks out of your pool, it heats the water through the sun and helps keeping out debris and leaves

One of the things that you can do is to buy the best solar pool cover. Solar covers not only keep the ducks out of your pool, but it helps to keep your pool water comfortable by heating it through the sun. These great covers come in a lot of sizes and shapes, so it’s easy to find one that will fit your pool the best. You want to make sure that the one you choose completely covers the pool. The last thing that you want to do is to come out and find that some poor duckling has gotten stuck under it and drowned.

Ducks aren’t the only thing that solar covers keep out of your pool. It also is going to help with keeping out debris and leaves which can make your pool dirty. So even if you don’t have a problem with ducks, solar covers are a wise investment for any pool owner.

Use an Automatic Pool Cleaner

How to Keep Ducks Out of Your Pool Once and for All!
An automatic pool cleaner is basically a dog that works inside the pool: it ripples the water and scares the ducks off from water

Maybe you have a job that makes owning a dog impossible. Or maybe someone in the family has allergies. Another good option is to look into the best automatic pool cleaners. These do the same type of thing as a dog, but it does it in the pool. It ripples the water and can scare the ducks off from landing in the water. Sometimes even its sound can stop them from landing on the pool water.

Want to know another great reason a lot of people choose automatic pool cleaners? It keeps your pool clean without a lot of work on your part! That’s a win-win in our book!

Put a Few Inflatable Toy Predators in the Pool

How to Keep Ducks Out of Your Pool Once and for All!
An inflatable predator toy works similar to the bird replicas – it deters ducks away from landing

One of the reasons why ducks land in your pool is because they believe that it’s safe. So why not give your family some fun new inflatable toys to play with and keep the ducks out of your pool at the same time? There are a lot of fun floating toys that you can use in your pool, either for laying on or for playing with, that will deter ducks from landing.

Some of the ones that you can choose from are:

  • Alligator or Crocodile
  • Bobbing Dolphin
  • Killer Whale (orca)
  • Snake

What You Definitely Shouldn’t Do

Now that we have talked about what you can do when you are researching how to keep mallard ducks out of swimming pool, we are going to look at some things that you shouldn’t do.

Fishing Line and Bird Netting

It’s possible that you’ve heard that using a fishing line and stringing it across your pool’s surface is a good way to keep them out. The fact is that this can be dangerous for birds including ducks.

Since it’s transparent, this line is going to be invisible to the birds and they won’t see it lying on your pool’s surface. When a duck comes to land on this fishing line, it often will get tangled in it and it won’t be able to fly. As a result, they might get injured. Even worse they end up might up drowning.

This can also happen to other small critters who come to the pool to get a drink. You don’t want to trap them and kill them. You simply want to stop them from doing it.

You should avoid bird netting for the same reasons as you don’t want to use fishing lines.

Killing Them

Yes, you don’t want to have ducks in the pool. But keep in mind that you are out in their environment. It’s like going into the ocean and expecting that there won’t be any jellyfish or sharks. The pool is outside. The ducks are outside. They are not doing this to bug you. The pool is in their realm so they are going to check it out. There’s no reason for you to kill them.

If the fact that you are putting it in their environment isn’t going to stop you from killing ducks because they are in the pool, you should know that it’s illegal to kill many bird series, which includes 15 duck species. So you want to do everything that you can and that we have mentioned for stopping the ducks from swimming in your pool.

Using Additional Pool Chemicals

There is a reason why there are specific levels of chemicals in your pool. That is what makes it safe for humans. And this goes along with not killing the ducks. If you put a lot of chemicals in your pool so that they are unhealthy levels, you may not shoot them with a gun but it could end up making the ducks sick so that they die. Not only that, but it could make it dangerous for you and your family to swim. So keep the levels of chemicals at a safe level and use the other tips here for deterring the ducks from landing in your pool.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you found this to be useful and that you will use some of the tips for how to keep small ducks out of pool, think about what is possible and helpful for your own situation, whether it’s buying inflatable pool toys, getting a dog, or one of the other methods mentioned above.

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