Keep Animals Away from Your Pool

A small dog looks over the edge of a swimming pool.

Pools are a great way to enjoy leisure time, get exercise, and appreciate your yard more, but they come with their share of issues. One of those is that critters of all kinds are drawn to pools. Unfortunately, pool water is bad for most of those creatures, and their presence in your pool is bad for you.

Since animals can cause pool issues, you’ll want to minimize their access. Luckily, there are many measures you can take.

Animals That Frequent Pools

To keep animals away, you have to know what types of creatures frequently end up in pools. Water was the birthplace of life on Earth, so all different sorts of life forms are drawn to it by nature.

Aquatic Animals

Animals that live happily in water are a prime concern. This category includes friendly frogs, spooky snakes, and in some places, aggressive alligators. These animals aren't equipped to detect the sanitizing chemicals that can be harmful to them, and sometimes meet their untimely demise in backyard pools.

A snake crawls on a pool cleaner.


Birds like ducks and geese commonly land in swimming pools, not realizing they don’t belong in these bodies of water. It’s not uncommon for birds to make a mess in and around pools, an unsightly problem that can spread unwanted germs.

Small Mammals

Squirrels, rabbits, and mice are prone to falling into pools by accident. Small animals like these can sometimes end up stuck in filters, too.

Don’t Leave Food Out

Leaving food out - even if it’s just fallen pieces of food or crumbs - encourages animals to come into your yard, increasing their chances of accidentally falling into your pool. Clean up well after using your pool, especially after hosting a social gathering.

Build a Barrier

Fencing is a useful way to keep animals away from your pool, and many states require fences around pools for safety reasons anyway. If smaller animals are a problem, fortify your barriers with finer mesh netting.

A fence blocks access to a pool area

Use Decoys

Decoys can be used as a scare tactic to keep animals away from your pool. This is particularly effective for birds. There are many options out there that are incredibly lifelike (owls are a popular choice). Place these strategically around your yard to discourage animals from staging a landing in your private pond.

Trim Plants and Trees

When plants near your pool become overgrown, they make a more attractive habitat for animals. Trim them regularly to keep wildlife from taking up permanent residence, which will only encourage them to jump or fall into your pool.

Install Sprinklers

Many pool owners find it useful to install sprinklers to deter animals. This approach has the added bonus of being good for your patio plants and/or lawn.

Concoct a Spray

It’s possible to prepare a natural repellent to discourage animal traffic. One good recipe is a combination of cayenne pepper, water, onion, and jalapeno. Spray the mixture generously around the perimeter of your pool and its landscaping on a regular basis. This will discourage pesky wild visitors from making an appearance.

Repelling wildlife from your pool may seem like a daunting task, but it's worth it to avoid potentially bad outcomes. These measures make it easier to keep rodents, birds, and reptiles from entering your pool, allowing you to enjoy your backyard feature in peace.