How to Keep Frogs Out of Your Pool
Whether you find them cute, or they send shivers down your spine, you've likely dealt with a few frogs in your time as a pool owner. While most frogs are harmless outside your pool, they can be problematic when they move into your swimming pool. In this post, we'll discuss how to keep frogs out of your pool, and why they end up there in the first place.
Why Are Frogs in Your Pool?
If it’s been a while since your last biology class, here is a quick refresh. Frogs are amphibians, which means they live half their life in water, and the other half on land. Tadpoles, or baby frogs, live in the water for about 15 weeks after they hatch from their eggs. Once they’ve fully developed into the little hopping critters we know, and maybe don’t love, they begin their lives on land.
So what does this have to do with your swimming pool? Well, in order to live and reproduce, frogs need to live in wet environments, preferably close to a body of water. And unfortunately, your swimming pool is often their residence of choice. One look at your big, beautiful pool, and they think they’ve hit the froggy jackpot. Not only is your pool — hopefully — free of fish and other predators, but the presence of water bugs and other insects provides frogs with an abundance of food.
However, what frogs don’t realize is that your swimming pool is far from an ideal place for them to live.
Problems with Frogs in Your Pool
Like other wild animals, frogs tend to get into sticky situations when they leave their natural environments and travel into neighborhoods. The unfamiliarity of being around people can force frogs into precarious circumstances, like getting into swimming pools. There are the two main problems that can happen when a frog takes a dip in your pool.
They Get Stuck in Your Pool
The most common problem with frogs getting into your pool is that once they jump into the water, they can’t get back out. Unlike the natural ponds, rivers, and lakes they are accustomed to in the wild, frogs don’t realize that the edge of your pool is basically a one-way door. Once they’re in, they get stuck and can’t get back out on their own. Sadly, this situation can quickly turn into a froggy funeral if they don’t get rescued or find an escape route.
They Lay Eggs in the Water
Another dilemma arises when frogs use your pool as a nursery. Frogs lay multiple eggs at a time, sometimes a few thousand, and the eggs are covered in a gooey, protective jelly to ward off predators. We know, gross! The eggs take 2–3 weeks to hatch, and once they do, your pool will be filled with squirmy little tadpoles. As they wiggle out of their gooey shells, the tadpoles disrupt the shell clusters and force them to rise to the surface. The shell clusters form a barrier on the surface of your pool water that blocks out the sun and encourages algae growth.
How to Keep Frogs Out of Your Pool
There are many proven and effective methods for restricting a frog's access to your pool. Some of which are economical and temporary, while others involve a bit more cost and effort to put into effect. As always, keeping your pool clean and water chemistry balanced are the first steps to stopping pool problems in their tracks.
1. Install a Pool Safety Cover
Use a pool safety cover at night or when your pool is not in use to protect it from unwanted amphibious visitors. Safety covers offer greater coverage and protection than basic pool covers, because of their streamline design and snug fit. This design prevents even the smallest frogs from squeezing into the pool between the cover and pool deck.
2. Keep Bugs Away
Like most wild animals, frogs are attracted to locations that meet their basic needs, like providing food. An insect problem in your pool is basically a big, blinking "all-you-can-eat bug buffet" sign for frogs. Turn off your pool lights at night, and regularly circulate your pool water to deter the flying frog food. Adding an aerator or other water feature is a great way to keep your water moving and kick bugs, and frogs, to the curb.
BONUS TIP: For more bug prevention tips, check out our recent blog post about how to get rid of pesky water bugs in your pool.
3. Offer an Escape Route
Providing an easy way for frogs to get out of your pool won't keep them out, but it will save you from hosting a froggy funeral. Purchase a FrogLog or build your own exit ramp to provide a way for frogs and other animals to safely climb out of the water.
4. Install a Pool Fence
If you're suffering from a major frog invasion, investing in a pool fence might be the best way to keep them out. A standard chain link or bar fence won't be of much help, as the frogs can simply squeeze through the openings. A solid wood or vinyl-paneled fence is the way to go to keep not only frogs out of your pool, but other animals, too.
5. Keep Your Pool Water Warm
Frogs absorb oxygen through their skin, and as you may know, warm water contains less oxygen than cooler water. Warm water will make the frogs uncomfortable and more willing to leave your pool for a cooler, more oxygen-rich location. Use a solar heater or pool cover to keep your pool toasty and frog-free.
Keep in mind that while warmer pool water may deter frogs, it also causes your pool to burn through chlorine at a much faster rate. An inadequate amount of chlorine will lead to algae growth and other pool water concerns, so test your water chemistry often if you heat your pool.
6. Natural Deterrents
If installing a pool fence or buying a pool heater is out of the question, try a simpler approach to ridding your pool of frogs. There are many natural home remedies that are arguably just as effective as anything else.
- Coffee grounds: The high acidity content in coffee is irritating to the frog's skin. Sprinkle the grounds around the perimeter of your pool or yard to create a barrier.
- Lemon juice or vinegar: Like coffee grounds, lemon juice and vinegar are irritants that will send the frogs on their merry way. Dilute the lemon juice and vinegar with water, and spray around your pool. Don't spray the frogs directly with lemon juice or vinegar, as it can easily kill them.
7. Keep Landscaping Trimmed
Lush grass and dense bushes are ideal places for frogs to hide in before jumping into your pool. Eliminate their frog fortress by staying on top of landscape maintenance and trimming.
Being a pool owner and taking excellent care of your pool often requires you to wear many different hats. From chemistry expert to equipment mechanic to animal wrangler, properly taking care of a pool is no easy task. But now you can check "frog remover" off your list! Knowing how to keep frogs out of your pool will give you one less pool problem to worry about. If you need more frog wrangling assistance, stop in to your local Leslie's to speak with our pool experts.