Squirrels drink a lot of water, especially during warm weather. If your pool is the only source of water they can access, they might take a soothing dive into it. Squirrels are good swimmers, but why do they keep dying in your pool?
If squirrels keep dying in your pool, chances are they couldn’t let themselves out of it. The sides of pools are slippery, making it impossible for squirrels to hang on to for rest. Also, too many squirrels drying in your pool indicates that squirrels are infesting your area.
Read on to find out why squirrels keep visiting your pool in the first place and the possible solutions you can take to keep them from drowning.
Why Squirrels Keep Dying in Your Pool
Swimming pools pose as much danger to pets and wildlife as they do to humans. If you keep finding dead squirrels in your swimming pool, you may have a squirrel infestation in your neighborhood. Your neighbors may have poisoned them with Warfarin, causing the squirrels to dehydrate and forcing them to seek out water desperately.
Although squirrels are good swimmers, swimming is often very strenuous and thus, tires them out quickly. They often need to hang on to something and rest. However, swimming pools’ walls are mostly slippery — so squirrels can’t use them for rest, leading to them drowning from exhaustion.
Before discussing the solutions to keep squirrels from dying in your pool, we’ll first discuss why the squirrels were at your swimming pool in the first place.
The Squirrels May Have Fallen In by Accident
Sometimes, squirrels have no intention of getting into your pool, and they fall in by accident. According to the National Geographic Society, squirrels are generally curious animals and may have tried investigating the blue water in your pool and got spooked by a predator.
Squirrels May Have Wanted To Cool Off
During warm weather, squirrels get hot and look for a cold surface to cool off. Water lowers body temperature, and getting wet helps animals to cool off.
Squirrels drink a lot of water, and they often need more of it in warm weather and during pregnancy and lactation. They may get into your pool when they don’t have access to any water.
Your Backyard Is Their Habitat
When squirrels make a home in your yard, your backyard pool becomes a feature of their habitat as well. They may attempt to use your pool for their daily business, looking for and hiding food, chasing themselves around, or hiding from predators.
7 Solutions To Prevent Squirrels From Dying in Your Pool
Pool safety is just as important to wildlife as it is to humans. If you keep finding dead squirrels in your pool, you might be wracked with guilt and wondering if you can do anything to prevent it.
Designing a swimming pool with animal safety in mind is essential if you plan to get one. When you already have one, you can modify it for animals’ protection.
Luckily, you can employ a few solutions to new pools or make modifications to old ones to prevent squirrels from dying in your swimming pool. Here are 7 easy solutions to consider:
- Install a Ramp in Your Pool
A ramp is a floating water exit device you can anchor to the edge of the pool to help a squirrel get out. One of such devices is the Skamper-Ramp, a plastic that attaches to the wall of your pool that squirrels can use to get out. The Skamper-Ramp reflects a white light that the squirrel can see and use to climb out to safety.
This KHTS6310 Critter Pool Escape Net on Amazon.com is an excellent option, too. The product is USA veteran-designed, and it’s very easy to deploy and stow. Waterproof and durable, it features black and white coloration to help critters, such as squirrels, find their way out of the pool.
- Hang Knotted Ropes Along Your Pool Sides
Although squirrels can swim, the activity tires them quickly, and your pool’s slippery edges do not provide a suitable surface for them to hang on to for rest. You can place knotted ropes at the surface of the water, along the edges of your pool, for squirrels to use as an escape route and quickly climb out.
- Use Fencing or Netting To Cover the Pool
A pool fence is just as handy for squirrels as it is for children. You can opt for a removable mesh as the best material for pool fencing, and it doesn’t affect the landscaping of your yard.
The mesh extends to the ground, and there are no spaces under for the squirrel to crawl. The material is not too stiff and makes it difficult for squirrels to climb.
Alternatively, you can opt for putting netting to cover the pool. Nettings are also flexible, and you can attach them to anchors, using hooks to hold them in place. The clips also come in handy when you want to raise the netting or put it down quickly.
- Eliminate Food Sources From Your Pool Area
Squirrels are foraging animals and will go around your backyard looking for food. Although most squirrels are vegetarians, that doesn’t stop them from eating any food, no matter how harmful it may be.
It’s essential to remove any food sources from your pool area that may attract squirrels. Avoid keeping your garbage close to the pool and seal it up tightly in metal containers.
- Trim Trees Around the Pool
Squirrels are agile and have incredible jumping abilities. However, they sometimes miss and fall out of trees. It’s essential to trim any tree branches hanging over the pool.
Additionally, if possible, avoid having any trees close to your swimming pool.
- Install Automatic Sprinklers
A motion-activated sprinkler is an excellent way to deter squirrels from your pool. The sensors will pick up on even the tiniest movement and spritz the squirrel with water to scare it away. After a while, the squirrels will get the message and avoid coming close to the pool.
I recommend using the Havahart Critter Ridder Motion-Activated Animal Repellent and Sprinkler from Amazon.com as it’s an excellent option for this purpose. It doesn’t just detect animal movements from 60 feet (18 meters) away, but it’s also eco-friendly. So, you can be assured that you are not doing any harm to the environment.
- Consider Building an Alternative Pond for Squirrels
If squirrels still frequently visit your pool after employing the preventive methods above, you can consider building them a pond. A pond will come in handy, especially during warm summer afternoons when squirrels need to drink a lot of water. It’ll keep them from trying to drink out of your pool.
Squirrels will get into your pool in search of water or by accident. However, getting out of swimming pools is often difficult because the walls are slippery, providing no support and thus, drowning them.
You can take several precautions to keep squirrels off your pool by eliminating food sources from the pool area, trimming down tree branches hanging over pools, or installing automatic sprinklers. If squirrels still manage to get to the swimming pool, you can install a product like the Skamper-Ramp or hang knotted ropes around the sides of the pool to help them get out.
- National Geographic: Why Does Wildlife End Up in Pools?
- PETA: How to Prevent an Animal from Drowning in Your Pool
- Humane Society: Pool Safety for Wild Animals
- Canadian Wildlife Federation: How Can I Stop Animals from Drowning in My Pool?