There’s nothing like having a pool in your backyard, especially during the dog days of summer. On a hot day, it’s so nice to get into your swimsuit and take a refreshing dip. But wait – there’s a snake in the pool. How did that get there? How do you get rid of it? How can you keep snakes out of your pool?
How to Keep Snakes Out of Your Pool
When it comes to snakes, there are only two camps – you either tolerate them or you hate them and want them to just go away. But unfortunately for members of the latter camp, snakes are a fact of life in the Southwest. There are actually 76 species of snakes in Texas alone. Most are not poisonous, but you definitely don’t want to find one floating in your pool or jumping out at you or your family from around the edge of the pool when you’re least expecting it.
What attracts snakes to pools?
Because snakes are cold-blooded, they love sunbathing on concrete, but that’s only one reason snakes are attracted to pool areas and yards in general. You might be attracting snakes, unknowingly, if you:
- Don’t regularly mow your lawn or trim your bushes. Snakes love to hide where there is a thick cover, so, while you may mow the main area of your lawn, if you have sections where the grass is longer, you might find snakes. Longer grass also attracts the things snakes like to eat, like mice and other small creatures, making it an ideal feeding ground for these slithering pests.
- Feed your pets outside. Even if you keep your lawn and bushes neatly trimmed, you could be attracting snakes if you leave uncovered pet food outside. Why? Because open food attracts rodents. Rodents are the main food supply for snakes. If you feed your pets outside, make sure to pick up the food after a reasonable amount of time, so there’s no time for mice to make a dinner reservation.
- Have standing water in your backyard. Even snakes need to keep hydrated. Anything that holds standing water close to the ground, like tire swings, toys, and other areas where rain collects, will attract snakes.
Snakes do not want to go into a chlorinated pool; the chlorine is poisonous to them. They end up in a pool, most times when they chase a mouse or other food and fall into the pool by accident.
How to keep snakes out of your pool
The first step to keeping snakes out of your pool is to keep them out of your yard. Mow your lawn on a regular basis – weekly during the spring and early summer, then back to every other week as the hot season comes in. Trim your hedges heavily during the spring and clean out underneath.
In terms of keeping snakes away from the pool itself, start by looking at your landscape design. Keep bushes and shrubbery away from your pool area; it reduces the number of hiding places. Snakes try to avoid humans as much as we try to avoid snakes, so the fewer hiding places, the fewer snakes you’ll see.
Do-It-Yourself Snake Repellents
Still bothered by snakes, even after cleaning up your yard? Here are some simple, do-it-yourself ways of keeping snakes away from your pool area:
- Remind snakes humans live there. Dirty socks, hair from a comb or brush or anything that has your scent on it will keep snakes from moving closer to your pool, especially at night, when the main food source of snakes – mice – are active.
- Sprinkle white vinegar or ammonia around the pool area. At night, just before going to bed, sprinkle white vinegar or ammonia around the area of the pool. Snakes absorb liquids through their skin and won’t cross a line of either liquid.
Call a Professional to Help Get The Job Done
Finding a snake in your pool is not fun. Remember, when dealing with a snake, assume it’s poisonous unless (or until) it’s confirmed to be safe. Do your best to keep snakes away from your pool area and, if you’d rather not deal with them yourself, contact the pros at ABC Home & Commercial Services; our pool and pest experts are ready to help.