How to Make Sure You Don't Share Your Pool with the Local Wildlife (and Their Mess)

There's nothing like jumping into your backyard pool on a hot day. Of course, there are many others who might wish to share your pool (and it's not just your neighbours). There are a number of different types of wildlife that might end up in your pool or might even just end up making your pool dirty. Some of these creatures and messes are less pleasant than others, so it's important to know what you can do to keep these nasties out of your pool.

Snakes and Lizards

The majority of snakes are not aquatic and so will not actively seek out water for swimming. On a really hot day, a snake might attempt to drink from your pool or even use it to cool off (and this applies to the non-aquatic varieties as well). Keep your lawn near the pool as short as possible. You should also prune back any shrubs and plants that border the pool. By doing this you will remove a lot of the cover that snakes use for protection. This makes your swimming pool seem far less appealing to any curious snake. This is also effective with lizards.  

If you should notice a snake in your pool, call a licensed snake catcher (your local city council will be able to refer you). It may not be safe to remove the snake yourself, but it needs to be removed as soon as possible. The snake might not necessarily be able to exit the pool and so might drown if it isn't promptly removed. Small lizards can be removed using a pool scoop and can then be gently deposited into the garden (select an area that has protective coverage) to allow them to recover.

Birds and Bats

Birds will occasionally drink from your pool, but they will only do this once. Birds cannot differentiate between your pool and a natural source of water, so they might at least taste the water in your pool. The harsh taste of chemicals and/or salt will ensure that it will only happen once. Bird droppings can create a problem for backyard swimming pools, but it's an easy enough problem to solve. You simply need to prune back any branches that overhang your pool, removing the bird's ability to defecate straight into the water. This also works for bats. Do not be tempted to remove any bird's nests while you prune, as the species might be protected.


Sharing your living space with spiders is a fact of life in Australia. Having said that, you should do your best to deter spiders from your swimming pool to avoid the possibility of nasty funnel-web spiders moving in. Funnel-webs have a nasty bite and love to nest near moisture, meaning that they will often construct their webs where the pool's paving slightly overhangs the water. Their nests are comprised of a funnel-like main section with a number of thick stands of web emanating outwards.

Funnel web spiders cannot effectively be removed from a pool area with insecticide, as the majority of the chemicals will drain straight into the pool water. You will need to regularly sweep the edge of your pool with a telescopic spider brush to remove their webs. You should also inspect the bottom of your pool for any spiders. While most spiders will drown, funnel-webs can survive underwater for quite some time, and a seemingly drowned funnel-web can still bite. If you should see any spiders on the bottom of your pool, simply use your pool vacuum cleaner to remove them.

It doesn't take too much effort to keep the local wildlife from trying to enjoy your pool. After all, you don't have to share if you don't want to. For more info on maintenance for swimming pools, contact local pool contractors.