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How can I deter ducks and other birds from my swimming pool?

Article ID: 512
Last updated: 19 Aug, 2012
Revision: 1
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The following information provides some tips about how to deter ducks and other birds from pools:

  • Change the landscape to make it less attractive to the birds

Geese and ducks are attracted to areas with open water and large expanses of grass, such as golf courses, parks, and large lawns. Eliminate or break-up some of the large expanses of lawn by planting shrubs and other visual barriers.

Water birds generally don't like tall grass, because they can't see predators well. Letting vegetation grow taller and keeping native vegetation along pool edges can assist. Consider alternatives to short turf grasses and try planting trees and shrubs in the flight path between the pond, pool and lawns.

  • Keep swimming pools covered (when not in use) to discourage geese and ducks from landing in them.
  • Install barriers. Waterfowl prefer to land on water and walk onto adjacent grassy areas to feed and rest. The most effective tools for controlling waterfowl movement are fences, hedgerows, and other physical barriers.
  • Consider fencing the pool/yard.
  • Avoid feeding geese and ducks and try to remove any food scraps that may attract the birds. Many types of ducks and geese are grazers and eat short grass (allow grass to grow longer so it is unpalatable to the birds) and reducing the area of grass lawns around the swimming pool or putting up barriers that prohibit movement between swimming pools and grass lawns, such as fences and hedges, might also help.
  • Remove plants that produce edible nuts, fruits, and berries. Remove any bird feeders that may be in the area.
  • Trim or remove trees and shrubs to limit branches hanging around or over the pool that can be used by roosting birds.
  • Scarecrows with movable parts, fake plastic snakes and even plastic or ceramic dogs will often keep waterfowl away. These work best if moved around the yard every few days so that they are not always in the same place.
  • Waterfowl prefer nesting on islands, peninsulas, and undisturbed grounds. When landscaping, avoid creating small islands or peninsulas; where these features already exist, consider changes to make them unavailable to waterfowl.
  • Having a real and socialised dog present may also discourage ducks and geese from using the area.
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