Get the Duck out of my Pool!
Ducks in a Swimming Pool Can Make You Sick
Ducks and geese are naturally attracted to water, especially if they consider that water to be a safe place and a clear swimming pool suggests just that. Migrating water fowl often need a place to take a break and rest their weary wings, then there are those that opt for what seems to be a permanent residence. There are lots of remedies out there that you hear time and time again: Get a solar cover; Don’t feed them (duh); Plant tall plants; and, a personal favorite, Floating Eyeball Balloons. We wanted to add 5 lesser known options to the list.
Get a Gator Decoy
A floating alligator decoy will do the trick, but find one that is designed to keep unwanted guests away from koi ponds. They tend to be a bit more realistic. The floating gator heads that are designed for swimming pools do not have the same success. I’ve actually used the Aquascape model (pictured) in my personal pool and found that the movement in the “hinged” sections adds quite a bit to the decoys value as a deterrent: Aquascape Koi Fish Pond Floating Crocodile Alligator Predator Decoy (2 Pack)
Motion Activated Sprinkler
Motion activated water sprinklers do a great job startling ducks and geese. When ever the sensor detects movement it shoots out two to three bursts of water in the direction that you had aimed it. This unit, the Critter Ridder Motion-Activated Animal Repellent & Sprinkler (shown), can both detect motion and send bursts of water up to 100 ft from the sprinkler. Bursts are quick and short using only 3 to 4 cups of water. Gives your pool 24/7 duck monitoring prevention: Havahart 5277 Motion-Activated Animal Repellent & Sprinkler, 1 Pack, Green
Folks have reported some success in running fishing line above the pool in a crisscross or lattice-style pattern to provide a barrier overhead. Bird Netting will provide the same barrier, but the pre-woven design will be a heck of a lot easier to install overhead. Made of UV resistant nylon multifilament, these aviary nets provide a reusable barrier to all water fowl up overhead. Large pool? No problem. The netting is available in both 1″ & 2″ mesh and in sizes from 25′ x 50′ feet through 100′ x 100′: boknight 25′ X 50′ Net Netting for Bird Poultry Aviary Game Pens New 1″ Square Mesh Size (25’×50′-1”)
Automatic Pool Cleaner
An automatic pool cleaner may do the trick. Any type, suction or pressure side, will help to startle unwanted feathered guests, but these solar-powered skimming models add a whole new level of fowl frightening technology as they travel about the surface. Birds, including geese, are fairly skittish to start with, add something to the pool that will actually sneak up on them and you are likely to see them flying. We had actually conducted a product review on these Solar Breeze units about a year ago to access their benefit as a cleaner and did have quite a few positive things to say about the units themselves, but in the process we found that startling wildlife was an unexpected surprise. Scares Ducks and Skims the pool To see our review on the Solar Breeze NX2: Solar Breeze NX2 Product Review
Solar Breeze – Automatic Solar Powered Pool Cleaner NX Cleaning Robot
Add a Surfactant
Adding a surfactant to water will actually make water “wetter”. Water molecules are fairly sticky with one another and this allows them to have quite a bit of strength, or surface tension. When a surfactant, such as Jack’s Magic Surface Magic, is added it reduces that tension by pushing those water molecules further apart. The main purpose in the product is to rid the water of surface debris, such as leaves, dust and pollen by forcing them closer to the side of the pool for easy removal. The side benefit of reducing surface tension is that it makes it more difficult for things to float. Birds will have to put in a little more effort to swim in your pool and when made slightly uncomfortable will likely leave. On top of that, water bugs and water spiders will face similar difficulties and will not frequent the swimming pool either: Jack’s Magic Surface Magic, 2 oz
Why Keep Ducks out of The Pool?
Ducks and geese carry different diseases that people can get. They can be introduced to your pool when they defecate in the water. Chlorine, at the recommended ranges, can easily destroy many of these waterborne zoonoses, but others can be quite resistant. According to the CDC, duck and goose droppings may might contain germs such as E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, or Cryptosporidium (“Crypto” for short). Cryptosporidium is the same protozoa associated with a human diarrhea incident and is one of the most chlorine resistant zoonosis we see in recreational water illness treatment/prevention. The CDC recommends treating your pool the same for bird poop in the water as you would a human solid stool: CDC Fecal Incident Response Procedures
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