How do I get ducks out of my pool?

michelle_phxazMay 13, 2011

I have a pair of Mallard ducks that have made my pool a home. This is not only gross but it is not healthy for us when we swim, and there are always duck feces to clean out of the pool.

How can we harmlessly but permanently remove them from our pool? We live on a golf course and no more than 100 feet from our backyard is a beautiful lake and waterfall filled with fish and is everything a duck could want, except these ducks.

I hate to resort to other options people have given me (yes, think the worst) but they have to go, bottom line.

What can I do?

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Try stringing some fishing line on some kind of supports, crisscrossing about 8 to 10 feet high all across the pool. The birds will hit it once and not again. This is what they do to control marauding seagulls in outdoor areas that serve food here in Florida, such as at the beaches and over amusement park concession areas. This method also works over fish ponds to protect from predatory birds. Maybe after a temporary amount of time they will stop or go elsewhere and you can remove it.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 6:34AM
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Float some pool toys - water noodles, balls, floats - that will move with the water and scare them.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 7:35AM
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Rita, what are the "some kind of supports" you are referring to? Our pool is a large, irregular shape, and isn't near anything to even tie one string to.

Elly, they love pool toys, especially the spring floats. They even play with them.

Rita, let me know what the supports you are talking about are, and thanks to both of you!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 5:49PM
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I'm not sure the overhead lines will work with ducks since they can land in the yard and then walk over to the pool.

I'd first try bird netting, found at most hardware and garden centers. It's not that expensive and you can just drape it over the pool's surface and use bricks, etc. to hold down the edges. It comes in fairly large sizes (I've seen 28'x28') but if you can only find smaller sizes consider connecting them using zip ties. It may not be necessary to cover the whole pool to deter them.
Plastic sheeting or tarp would also work.

If you try the bird netting, keep an eye on the pool to make sure they don't get tangled in it!

1 Like    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 8:39PM
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By "supports" I mean like bamboo stakes or other types of stakes that you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot. The toy idea sounds good, try that first. Do the ducks fly into the pool or waddle in from the side? All I know is birds won't fly into an area where they know their wings will contact the fishing line, but if they waddle in from the side you might have to use the netting on the sides. Hopefully if you do have to rig up something it will be temporary. Maybe one of those fake owls will scare them off or a giant rubber snake floating in the pool??

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 6:47AM
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Get rid of them???? I named mine! With the amount of chemical chlorine required for pool maintenance, I am doubtful you are in danger of any health hazard whatsoever - even if you have a salt system (which generates chlorine). If you are determined to get rid of them so-be-it, but the health hazard is minimal. And as far as pool cleanup, we've noticed minimal more than what we already have to do if you have a good cleaning system.

The ducks will show up around 6 am every morning. They WILL fly directly into the pool with a large splash (I've observed this).

"Bill and Hilary" started showing up every spring before the last presidential election (thus their names) about 5 years ago. She was lame at the time due to some sort of leg injury. "Bill" never left her side during her recovery. I've since learned that Mallards sweetly mate for life. I suspect they picked our back yard as the quietest because we have no children - only dogs who don't go in the pool. She was recovering with her injury and it was "safe" for them.

They just showed up a few weeks ago this year, and our pool has never suffered any ill effects from their visits - nor required any extra maintenance at all.

We do find the occasional egg each year under a rose bush or plant (and once in the middle of the pool), but I look at their arrival each spring as a blessing.

Oddly enough, my 4 dogs (of varying and questionable breeds) have come to accept them as a part of the "pack". They don't bother them at all.

Bill and Hillary show up each spring around April over the past years, and settle in. Each day they take a morning swim, then hang out under a nearby tree throughout the morning. They take off for the lake for the rest of the day (we're only 3 blocks from the very large and popular Old Hickory Lake), and then return once again in the afternoon in hopes of a few breadcrumbs or cracked corn fallen from the bird feeder. With a few "quack quack"s from my father-in-law, they approach the deck to be fed by hand.

During mid-summer they disappear for a little while with sporadic visits back to us. Our assumption is that she has had chicks and they are staying at the lake for that.

Around October they disappear once more for warmer climates during the winter. I always look forward to their return as a harbinger of spring. Bill and Hilary have their pick of pools in our neighborhood to hang out in, but they always pick us. I kinda like that.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:53AM
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We always enjoyed the duck couple that visited our pool every year. They were always done using it by the beginning of June, which is right about when we were ready to start using the pool for the year, so we were happy to share with them.

We named them the Duckersons; they've been coming by for the past year, but this year, only Mr. Duckerson came by. He stopped by a few times, and loitered around for a bit, but she never showed. :(

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 1:59PM
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Cindy and rivkadr, that is definitely the best option! Cute pics Cindy!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 6:14PM
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Cover the area with bird netting, and be prepared to rescue the ducks if they get entangles.

Now that firecrackers are legal, toss a few at them.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 8:21PM
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You might want to try a motion-activated sprinkler on a stake - a friend of mine has one of these to keep her little dog away from her garden beds, it works really well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Scarecrow Sprinkler

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 9:49PM
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hmmm interesting soilutions. Unless you purcahse a pool cover you are going to have ducks in your pool. If they end up nesting in nearby lanscaping you are going to not only have that to deal with but the babies will imprint on your pool and come back every year and they will call in more of their buddies and you will have whole flocks to deal with.
You can try blow up alligators, snakes and the mylar ballon tied to a tennis ball and float them in the pool, you could even try placing string or netting across the pool, if you dont have anything to tie the string or netting to you can get some bricks and just secure the rope by tying it to the bricks around the pool, but these are all just temporary and you are going to have to deal with taking all the string or netting off and putting it back every time you want to use the pool yourself. Dont even think about the sprinkler - these are ducks not dogs, they wont care if they get wet.So save your pennies and get a removeable pool cover. It is easy to deal with, will help keep everything out of your pool including leaves and bears and ducks. The cheapest way of course is to go get yourself a dog. If you dont want one permanently go rent one. ***Yes you can rent out dogs. Good luck

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 10:06PM
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I am having the same issue and thought about making some kind of water friendly scarecrow, maybe make it out of those foam noodles for the body and glue a ball for the head. I'll have my own Wilson floating around the pool
(forrest gumps side kick) LOL ..

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 5:27AM
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I would try the floating alligator idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: Repelling ducks

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 11:53AM
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Ducks and many other birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Act as well as other laws. I haven't read every word of the laws but I do know some residents have run "afowl" of the law for harming the ducks in their yards.

As I understand it you can turn a water jet on them but you can't shoot them. You can have a dog bark at them but not chase them. It's a duck's life. The local Audubon Society or similar group can often give you help in dealing with the ducks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Migratory Bird program

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 4:46PM
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to followup, I do think maybe the inflatable alligator may be your best bet. I've never tried it. My 3 large dogs simply ignore the ducks now (which I find strange). I think they are so use to them that they just figure they are a regular member of the pack.

If the dogs do approach, they simply hop back in the pool. For some reason, my dogs refuse to go into the pool.

They also don't seem to mind floats left in the pool.

Btw, I haven't noticed any other visitors. I have seen another male try to land in the pool when only Hillary was in there. She quacked loudly a few times, and Bill flew in to the rescue! Immediately he went on a flapping screeching rampage and ran him off. I guess he got a case of "protective jealousy" around Hillary. I watched him chase that duck from neighboring pool to neighboring pool, quacking all the while, until eventually 30 minutes later, only Bill returned to be with Hil. I had to laugh.

I noticed they have been absent some this week, and though it seems early, I wonder if she didn't lay some eggs out by the lake that she's nesting on.

In our area, with the lake so close, it is notorious for ducks (hundreds if not more). If driving into town, its not uncommon to have to pause traffic and wait for ducks to cross the road. We even have a restaurant on that road named "Mallards". That section of the lake is considered protected for them.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 4:50AM
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I put a leaf net across my pool. It works great and i use a few plastic welding type clamps to hold in to the pool. A bit of a pain everytime you want to swim.. But better than cleaning the duck poop each time, and reshocking the pool.

Here is a link that might be useful: Like This Net. Above or inground you can buy

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 11:54AM
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Here's what we did. Hit a basketball against any kind of hard object near the pool - pool filter door, fencing, etc. They flew away instantly.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 1:41PM
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Lots of good ideas here, and I hope something works for you. While I really don't know if the water continues to be safe when ducks defecate in it, I would not want to chance it. You are wise to "encourage" them to go elsewhere.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 5:48PM
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I think the best idea is to borrow a dog. Not one big enough to kill them just one to run and bark.

Don't they foul the water with their poop. Yuck!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 8:57PM
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We bought a house with a pool that hadn't been opened for at least 4 or 5 years. It was more solid than liquid, an awful smelling opaque green when we got the cover off. That first year the ducks left as soon as the water got to be more pool than pond.

The next summer, they were back, swimming on the little puddles on the cover like they were feet, and not inches deep. We uncovered the pool and opened it, but they didn't leave. We tried inflatables, but they didn't help at all. A plastic owl, filled with sand, and moved around every few days did the trick.

The next summer, I'd go outside and find the ducks, cuddled up to Spike, the owl,so we needed a new plan. We bought fiercer animal inflatables, we got more owls, that had spinny heads and looked more lifelike, I bought inflatable snakes and threw them in the pool. Then we read about putting rope or twine over the surface of the pool. We bought colored rope and looped it around the lounge chairs and solar lights to keep it afloat over the pool and they left.

This year, nothing works. My new schnauzer puppy took on the job of running off the ducks. (She loves to watch things that fly). She would see the ducks and go and run circles around the pool to get them to take off. We got rid of the ducks and she got to watch them fly. That worked until a couple of weeks ago. Now, they land with us standing there, waving them away. Greta stands in front of them barking her highest pitched yelp at them and they pay no attention. We throw tennis balls to make a splash near them (I don't want to hurt them, but I'm very cool with annoying them to get them to leave) and startle them away, but they don't even care. I'm at my wit's end. There is duck poop everywhere. In the pool, on the apron, on the deck near the pool. I've tried everything and nothing works... for long. Help!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 1:42PM
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Maybe really loud noises? Throw a fire cracker??

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 4:38PM
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