5 Ways to Keep Snakes Out of Your Pool, According to Experts
Don't invite them in for a dip.
Just like humans, thanks to the sunshine and warmer weather, more snakes are out and about. And if your idea of a perfect summer day is hanging in your backyard and taking a dip in your pool, a snake may end up joining you—whether they mean to or not. According to Critter Control, snakes use bodies of water to find food or soften their skin when it's time to molt. It's not uncommon to find them floating around, but a lot of the time they end up in the pool by mistake and can't get back out. Luckily, preventing them from getting into your swimming pool is easy. Keep reading to hear from experts on the best ways to snake proof your pool.
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Use snake repellent.
Snake repellent can keep these slithery creatures from getting in your pool, but it isn't foolproof. A.H. David, a snake expert and founder of Pest Control Weekly, recommends using "natural remedies like sprinkling crushed garlic, cinnamon, or clove oil around the perimeter of the pool and yard to help deter snakes."
Some commercial options (found at retailers like Lowe's or Amazon) can keep snakes away, but their effectiveness varies based on your yard and the ingredients, David tells Best Life. You also have to make sure that those products aren't harmful to your children or pets.
If you don't choose the au natural route, Jamie Nichols, senior service center manager at Arrow Exterminators, says it's important to check the active ingredient list, and if there's something you're unsure about, it's best to contact a professional.
Any repellent will typically have to be reapplied, so as long as you stay on top of it, you'll be one step closer to a snake-free pool.
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Eliminate potential food sources.
Snakes are almost always on the hunt for food. "If you notice insects, frogs, or lizards in or around your pool, make an effort to have them removed," Nichols says.
They're looking for areas that have a lot of prey, especially those with rodents and bugs. "Make sure to keep your yard free of food scraps, trash, and standing water that can attract these creatures," David says.
Sealing up these gaps or open areas can help ensure rodents don't make an appearance—which means snakes hopefully won't either.
Keep your yard neat.
In addition to getting rid of food scraps or trash, keeping your yard tidy will minimize snake sightings. "Removing any piles of wood, debris, or rocks that snakes might use as shelter is a good place to start," says Ben McInerney, founder of Home Garden Guides.
Any clutter or dense vegetation should also be cut down. Snakes will hide anywhere they fit, so keeping your pool area clear is key.
"Look out for any potential hiding spots, like pool toys or equipment, and address them immediately," David says
Utilize a pool cover.
This may seem obvious, but using a pool cover will help keep the snakes away. Put the cover on the pool when it's not actively being used.
"Snakes are less likely to try to enter the water if there's no way for them to climb out easily," McInerney says. Don't leave any gaps and make sure it fits snugly to the pool so they really can't squeeze through.
Install a fence.
And lastly, if none of these things work, it might be time to create a more serious barrier around your pool area. Installing a fence is an easy way to keep them out.
"Since snakes are excellent climbers, it's best to choose a fence that's at least 4 feet high and made of smooth, vertical slats," says McInerney. This makes it more difficult for them to climb over.
The fence should also be flush to the ground with a fine mesh or solid material that snakes cannot squeeze through, David tells Best Life. To deter them even further, the fence should be at a slightly outward angle at the top.
Not only is installing a fence one of the most effective ways to keep snakes off your property, you'll likely keep other animals from intruding as well.