Closing your swimming pool for winter is not always an easy task. It’s not only the pool maintenance you have to think about but also the rodents that would happily paddle in your pool given a chance. Pools attract all sorts of rodents big and small like mice, rats, chipmunks, moles, squirrels, and their kinds. To keep them away from your swimming pool during the off-season, you need a solid plan and swift action.
If you ignore the chances of rodents infesting your pool during the off-season, you are inviting trouble and loads of extra work when you want to open the pool in spring. They can make the pool dirty, and unhygienic, and also damage your pool equipment. That means spending more on cleaning and repairs.
Take control of the situation while you can and follow certain things to keep your pool safe from rodents in the off-season.
Why are rodents attracted to pools?
Who likes to shiver in the cold? Not the rodents for sure. That’s one of the main reasons why they take shelter in cosy, warm, spots during winter months. Your pool is among the comfortable places where they can nest when you are not using it. Winterized pools, especially the heated pools with a tarp cover, provide rodents with the perfect shelter they are searching for. The cover also keeps them away from human gaze and interference. Even the non-heated pools with comfortable surroundings can provide ample living space for furry small animals. You may not realise it, but many small hiding spots around your pool are warmer compared to the cold, exposed areas. That makes your pool an attractive target for rodents and you need to keep your guard up to prevent an infestation!
When it starts to get cold and you are busy planning to keep the rodents out of your house, don’t neglect your pool. The rodent invaders are observing with keen eyes and targeting all the warm spots around your pool and the equipment.
Tips for keeping rodents out of the pool
There are several simple things you can do to discourage rodent invaders from nesting in and around your fibreglass pool perth.
Cleanliness is the key
Clean surroundings are the most important thing when it comes to deterring rodents. The more hiding places, the easier it is for rodents to hide and nest next to your pool. Before closing your swimming pool, tidy up the surroundings. Put the furniture and equipment away and store them safely. Tall grass, bamboo, fruit trees, and untidy thick bushes are rodent havens. Trim long grasses and weeds, bushes, and trees close to the pool and outdoor equipment. Anything inviting rodents should be attended to and taken care of.
It’s not only the vegetation you should be worrying about. Trash bins with broken lids, furniture with spilled drinks, dumped pool toys, all these things can attract rodents. Straighten up anything that looks messy and provides hiding spots that are not easily visible. Let your imagination run wild to identify any place where the rats and their kind might seek shelter.
If you stack wood for the barbecue or the fireplace in winter, keep them stacked away from the pool equipment. These logs can be the favourite hiding places for rodents. If you plan to build a shed for storing your stuff, it’s best to build such structures away from the perimeter of the pool.
Mothballs work wonders
To stop those rodents from making your pool their wintertime paradise, sprinkle a few mothballs near your pool equipment and around the pool.
Rodents hate the smell of mothballs and do not like to stay in places with that particular scent. Place a few of them inside the control panel of the heater to stop rodents from chewing up wires and nesting inside the device. Remember to remove them while switching on the heater. If you have pets and children at home, be mindful about where you place the mothballs.
Rodents, mostly mice, hate the smell of peppermint oil, cloves, cayenne pepper, and pepper. Spraying or lightly soaking cotton balls in clove or peppermint oil and placing them in pool equipment storage areas can be a natural DIY rodent-repellent strategy. Placing a few peppers wrapped in a thin cloth can also work as a natural aversion for mice.
A routine check is important
Tarp covers are popular with pool owners in winter. It helps the pool to stay clean and also offers a layer of insulation. But, what’s happening beneath the tarp often goes unnoticed, and there lies the danger! It is not a difficult task for rodents to find a way and nest beneath the tarp. So, even if you drain half the water, winterize, and cover your pool with a tarp cover, the job is not over. From time to time, remove the tarp and inspect the pool to ensure rodents have not nested under it. Keeping a check is vital as it will save you time, cleaning effort, and money, when you reopen the pool.
Don’t cover the equipment
If you are storing your pool equipment, furniture, and toys in a shed or a store room, don’t cover them. Rodents can easily chew through covers or enter through gaps and hide inside without your knowledge. Additionally, they can chew the toys, and electrical wire, and cause damage to equipment, giving you costly surprises when you plan to reuse them in spring.
Seal cracks and holes
Cracks and holes are perfect hiding places for rodents. Identify and stuff steel wool inside small openings or close them with cement if possible. Steel wool is tough and beyond the chewing capability of rodents.
Toy snakes can be of help
Rodents are particularly scared of snakes and you can use this to your advantage. Throw some toy rubber snakes around the pool and pool equipment as an extra protective measure. These fake toy snakes can be a good rodent deterrent.
Keep the lights on at night
Bright light and sound also drive away mice and other rodents. Keeping the pool lights on at night may be a good idea to discourage rodents from coming near your pool. The darker the area, the more are chances of rodents sneaking into your pool area and hiding wherever they can find a comfortable spot.
However, keeping the lights on may invite flying insects and other pests that are attracted to light.
Ask for professional help
If you are too busy to take all the necessary precautionary measures, take help from professionals. Pest control professionals have the right kind of knowledge about handling such situations. Experts can do a better job in helping you keep your pool and home rodent free during the winter months.
Safeguard your pool from rodents using these simple tricks. The idea of a few small animals near your pool may not sound to be a big deal, but it is! These simple preventative measures are not too much of a hassle but will help you greatly in the long run. Rodents in your pool mean they are also closer to your home. Once a rodent infestation happens, it can create havoc. Along with causing severe damage, these animals can spread diseases too. Keep your pool safe in winter from these sneaky pests, remember a little effort goes a long way.