How to Keep Rodents Out of the Pool Area in the Off-Season
It’s never a happy project to close up the pool for the winter, but it’s even worse opening it back up in the spring to find that it’s since been damaged by rodents, especially once you begin to survey the damage. Rodents are attracted to pool equipment for a few compelling reasons, each of which you can take control over.
Pools Prove Popular with Rodents
Although pools are popular with rodents during the winter, the good news is you can take steps to minimize the likelihood that rats, mice, squirrels and chipmunks will convert your winterized pool into a shelter, both when you first close the pool and periodically throughout the season.
But first, let’s take a look at why rodents are attracted to your pool in the first place.
Just like us humans, rodents spend the winter seeking out warm, cozy, covered places to help shield them from the often-unforgiving New England winters. Pools enclosed in a tarp – especially heated pools – form a perfect shelter for small animals. Even non-heated pools can provide small areas that are warmer than the surrounding air temperature.
It’s the same reason rats, mice and other rodents so often wind up in our houses during the winter – they’re looking for the most appealing, warmest spots to weather out the season. But if you’ve done a good job guarding your home against rodent invaders, their options will be limited, making the pool equipment easier to access and, therefore, a more attractive target.
Of course, shacking up in your winterized pool does have one distinct advantage – it’s far more private for the rodent family that lives there, without you and your family banging around the house (or employees and customers at your business).
Add to the mix rodents’ apparent lack of any sort of fear of water (in fact, rats can swim for over a mile in open water and can tread in place for up to three days straight) and a covered pool becomes a rodent’s wintertime paradise.
Seasonal Safeguards for Your Swimming Pool
You can make your swimming pool less appealing to rats and mice by taking a few simple preventative measures, which will cost far less in the long run than having to replace all your equipment in the spring.
First off, moth balls deter more than just winged insects – rodents hate the way they smell, too. Sprinkling a few around the pool, especially near expensive equipment, will help keep them away. Use a hardwire cloth to cover your equipment, rather than a tarp, which will create a warm spot. That or, if possible, store the equipment inside. Any pool gear you have to leave out, be sure to stuff steel wool in any cracks or holes so rodents can’t chew their way through it.
And if you want to have a little fun, you can scatter rubber snakes around your pool area to scare rodents away.
Finally, especially when rodents are concerned, it’s greatly recommended to get pest control professionals involved to make sure that both your home or business remain proactively protected.
Click here to learn more about how to keep rodents off your property.