16 Tips To Keep Ducks Away From Your Pool

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Keeping ducks out of your swimming pool can be a hassle. Ducks love water, and your swimming pool has a lot of it. Not only is it annoying to constantly need to scare the ducks away, the duck poop itself can be hazardous to your health and can negatively affect the swimming pools chemistry.

Is it safe to swim in a pool with duck problems?

No, it is not safe to swim in a pool with ducks. Duck droppings often contain harmful bacteria such as E. Coli, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, and Campylobacter. Each of these can be transmitted to humans and may cause severe health problems if ingested.

How to Keep Ducks Out of the Pool

Large inflatable duck in the pool

1. Motion Activated Lights or Sprinklers

These are the best deterrents that I have come across. Both options can startle ducks and other birds into their flight response. They don’t work 100% of the time. However, unless you want to invest in a pool dome, enclosure, or cover, a near 100% success rating is difficult to find. The majority of pool owners will also find this solution to be very economical and

2. Pool Domes and Enclosures

For most people, these aren’t going to be the right options. Floridians have to be extra cautious because we have a lot of alligators and crocodiles. Also, the occasional hurricane can make quite a mess. Over here, most homes have pools and most of those pools have tent enclosures. However, that is a crazy spendy option if you just want to keep a few ducks out of the pool. It is the ultimate solution if you are willing to pay for it.

  • Pool Enclosures
    • Average cost is between $4,000 to $10,000. (Parts and Labor)
    • Keeps out all wildlife, and it greatly reduces the ability of insects to access the pool area.
    • The need for maintenance goes way down. Leaves and dirt can’t blow into the area.
  • Vinyl and Inflatable Pool Domes
    • Cost $3,000 to $5,000.
    • Same basic benefits as a pool enclosure
    • Not attached to house
    • Covers a smaller area than a pool enclosure.

3. Pool Covers

blue solar pool cover

There are many types of pool covers, and their prices and quality can vary significantly. The good news is that all of them can keep the ducks out, so you don’t need to be picky. Here’s a super brief rundown of what covers are available to you:

  • Tarp
    • Cost: $50 to $200
    • Requires a pool cover pump to keep it from being overloaded by rainfall
    • Looks Ugly
  • Solar Cover
    • Solar Cover Costs: $50 to $300
    • Solar Cover Reel Costs $200 to $500
    • Traps heat already in the pool, and it collects more heat from the sun
    • Solar cover reel will cost between 
  • Mesh Cover
    • Cost $1,200 to $3,000
    • Doesn’t need a pool cover pump because the water can flow freely through the cover
  • Vinyl Cover
    • Costs $1,200 to $3,000
    • Requires a pool pump
    • Solid material
  • Automatic Cover
    • Costs $5,000 to $15,000
    • Traps heat inside the pool which can help to keep those monthly costs down

4. Bird Netting

If you want to cheaply cover the pool, you can use some bird netting. It is inexpensive, and won’t require a pool cover pump. I might recommend this purely for its ability to keep the ducks from swimming in the pool. However, it can look really messy after it starts collecting debris. If you aren’t on a tight budget, I would personally go with something else.

5. Block the view

If they can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, birds and wild ducks are great at scouting for places to live and land. They don’t have x-ray vision though, so one option is to block your pool from the birds-eye view.

If the ducks can’t see or access the pool, they won’t have any reason to land there. While their birds-eye views can easily spot most bodies of water, you can use trees, bushes, and pool awnings to limit their perspectives. Obviously, this can be effective, but it is an effective way to prevent waterfowl from landing in your backyard.

6. Get a dog and train it to chase ducks

Dogs can be a great option for keeping ducks away from your swimming pool. Although depending on your dog you may need to teach your pup to chase away ducks and other animals whenever they enter your swimming pool area.

7. Fishing line

Birds have a strong natural aversion to being trapped or cornered. They don’t have any strong natural defenses except the ability to fly. If chased, they fly. If startled, they fly. In this case, if they keep getting caught on the fishing line, they also tend to fly.

There are two methods, and both of them are as cheap as they are inconvenient. The first one is to string the fishing line around the outside of the pool, and the second is to string the inside. Keep the lines low to the ground, so that they won’t be too annoying; about an inch off the ground will work.

Use separate pieces of fishing lines around the pool entrances. That way, if you trip on a piece of the line, you will limit the damage of the clumsy moment.

Quick Warning – This solution can be decently effective, but there is a chance that the ducks can be injured. If they get stuck on the fishing line, they might hurt themselves. Many people that use this method also string up the pool too. However, that can cause the ducks to drown themselves, so please don’t do that. 

8. Purchase an Automatic Pool Cleaner

yellow automatic pool cleaner

You can purchase a moderately priced automatic pool cleaner for around $600.00. The sound and movement of the pool cleaner will help deter ducks and other birds from entering your swimming pool. You will also get the added benefit of a cleaner swimming pool.

9. Avian Migrate Goose & Bird Repellent

This one almost made it onto the moderately effective list. This product primarily targets geese that feast on areas with a lot of grass. We expect that there will be a decreased effectiveness when targeting ducks and the pool area. It claims to be effective against most “nuisance birds,” and it is considered non-toxic to birds, humans, and plants.

It works by irritating the mucous membranes of the birds. For added effect, the company adds a colorant that humans can’t see, but birds can. As the birds repeatedly encounter the substance, they are trained to avoid it. This means that you might not notice the effect the first time. However, over time, it should become increasingly effective.

We aren’t saying to pour this into the pool. Just spray it around the place. If you can add the proper dosage to the motion-activated sprinkler system, it will definitely keep those ducks out of your pool.

10. Decoys

Several predator decoys exist on the market, but the results are usually less than impressive. On average, they work about half the time. Some a little more, and some a little less:

  • Inflatable Predators – 50% effective

Although it is easy to implement, this only works almost half the time. For that reason, it isn’t my go-to solution.

  • Rubber Snakes – 50% effective

Rubber Snakes are inexpensive, but they hardly ever work. If you are planning on using a fake predator decoy, consider buying one of the inflatable crocodiles. I wouldn’t recommend either one, but the inflatable crocodiles provide more consistent results.

  • Fake Owls – Ineffective

Nope, you should pass on this one. Real owls are predators and ducks are the prey. These decoys are just irrelevant. Ducks are rarely intimidated by these almost useless pieces of plastic. 

11. Reflective Strips and Pinwheels

The reviews are mixed. About half of the reviews say that they haven’t seen ducks in months. Others say that the ducks are completely undeterred by the reflective material. According to the reviews, the pinwheels are slightly more effective when the wind is blowing. If you live in a windy location, they might be worth a bit more of your money.

12. Remote Control Water Toys

Okay, I don’t recommend this one because it requires human supervision. However, it is a fun way to do the job, and it can have a decent effect. Ducks return to the same nesting grounds each year. There is a decent chance that you are dealing with the same ducks whenever they migrate back to your area.

If you keep a remote-controlled water toy in your pool, you can use the controller to pester them, from the comfort of your home. Teach them a lesson that will remember for the coming years.

13. Eliminate Anything That Attracts Birds

Sometimes what makes your yard look attractive and pleasant can also be the largest cause of the problem. Bird feeders and even the flowers around your swimming pool can be whats attracting the wrong types of bird and animals into your swimming pool.

Removing these items may help reduce the attraction to your pool water.

14. Invest in Regular Pool Maintenance

The more that your swimming pool resembles a nearby pond the more difficult it will be to keep ducks away from it. Maintain proper chlorine levels and keep your pool clean. When the chemistry of your pool is properly balance the smell is much less attractive to ducks.

You will also want to remove any floating pool toys. Pool toys can sometimes resemble ducks and other wild animals which might actually attract them into your pool.

15. Ultrasonic Pet Repellent

If ducks are not the only pesky critter you’re dealing with you might want to consider purchasing an Ultrasonic Pet Repellent device. These machines produce a high frequency sound that deters ducks and other creatures from entering your pool area.

16. Use Some Scary Eye Balloons

This might sound like the silliest solution to keep ducks away from your pool. However they can actually be effective. The large eyes on the balloons can scare the ducks and prevent them from landing in your pool.

Scale Of Effectiveness

Product / SolutionCostEffectiveness
Pool Dome, Pool Enclosure$4,000 - $10,000A+
Vinyl Dome, Inflatable Dome$3,000 - $5,000A+
Pool Covers$50 - $15,000A-
Bird Netting$10 - $30B
Duck-chasing dog$0B
Fishing Line$3 - $20B-
Block ViewVariableB-
Bird B Gone$80C+
Decoys$7 - $40C-
Remote Control Toy$20 - $120D

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