Ducks, Ducklings (and other wildlife) In The Pool

Ducks In The Pool

Imagine how happy those ducks are; you were nice enough to provide them with a wonderful pool oasis, surrounded by great landscaping and safely enclosed from predators. It just didn't occur to them that you didn't do it for them. They've learned from repeated visits that it is a safe place to be. Then, after you chased them away a few times, they continue to return but they learned to wait until you aren't in sight. You'll have to condition them to understand that it just isn't safe anymore, whether you are there or not.
According to USA Swimming and the National Swimming Pool Foundation there are 10 million Swimming Pools in the United States.  That's a lot of pools, and a lot of opportunities for wildlife to get into trouble.  Here are a few tips to convince wildlife to leave if they've decided to vacation in your pool, as well as ways to help those that become trapped in the pool.

How To Get Them To Leave

  • There are several things you can try. Float beach balls, animal floats or mylar balloons in the pool. The wind should keep them moving and their unpredictable movements will be unnerving to the ducks.

  • Make note of their preferred visiting hours and borrow a neighbor's dog during that time for a few days in a row. The presence of a potential predator is an effective deterent.

  • Owl or hawk statues will work, but it is best to use motion-activated ones or move stationary ones to different locations around the pool.

  • One trick that works is to use a remote control boat. Anytime they arrive, it can be used to chase them from the pool from a distance. Tying balloons and long mylar tape to the tail of the boat increases its effectiveness.

 

If Ducklings Or Other Wildlife Are Trapped In The Pool

  • If ducklings get trapped in a pool, the quickest method to get them all safely out and back with mom is to build them a small ramp to help them over the edge. It is imperative that this be done as quickly as possibly because the ducklings can not go without food too long and will soon get weak and cold. All filtration systems should be turned off until the ducklings are safely out of the pool.
    • The easiest ramp to build is made from a piece of styrofoam and a towel. Use a very large bath towel and the lid of a styrofoam cooler (available at most convenience stores). Wet the towel (to increase its weight) then float the styrofoam lid at the edge of the pool and drape half of the wet towel over the styrofoam lid. The other half of the towel should be draped over the edge of the pool. It can be weighted down with a brick if needed.   The styrofoam will serve as a floating dock that the ducklings can jump onto. The towel will allow them to make their way over the edge of the pool. 

Here are a few photos of some ingenious last minute things people have posted online to save ducklings.

Ducklings In Pool  Ducklings In Pool Ducklings In Pool Ducklings In Pool

Make your pool wildlife-safe

Of course you don't want wildlife lounging around your pool.  And it's always sad to find unfortunate frogs and other small critters in the pool skimmer every morning.  Accidents will happen so the best thing to do is be prepared.  Fortunately, there are many new products out there that will help wildlife if they should end up in your pool and can't get out.

The Frog Log

 

Frog LogThe Swimline FrogLog Critter Saving Escape Ramp is easy to set up and provides a method of escape for frogs, squirrels, turtles, lizards, and other small creatures that inadvertently make their way into your swimming pool.   Click here to get it Amazon

 

Skamper Ramp

Skamper RampBecause all living beings see white, animals can see it day or night and they "skamper" out of the water on the ramp by themselves! This gives pet owners and animal lovers alike unprecedented peace of mind in terms of water safety.  Click here to get it at Amazon
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Critter Skimmer

Critter Skimmer
  • This pool skimmer allows small animals to climb a spiral rescue ramp and through the opening in the skimmer cover to safety.  Frogs and other small animals can save themselves without human intervention while not interfering with normal skimmer action.  Click here to get it at Amazon
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