A refreshing dip in a cool pool feels perfect on a hot summer day! However, no one wants to share their swim with a bunch of winged ants! What are these ants? Why are they in the pool? Most importantly, how do you keep them out of the water?
- Why Are There Ants in the Pool?
- Do Flying Ants Bite?
- Removing Ants From the Pool
- Keeping Ants Out of the Pool
Why Are There Ants in the Pool?
Ants are attracted to reflective surfaces, like the shiny water of the pool. Sometimes, if there is no water to be found, they are also drawn to the pool due to thirst.
Do Flying Ants Bite?
Some varieties of flying fire ant do bite! Their bites may sting, but they are not dangerous unless you have an allergy to ant bites.
Removing Ants From the Pool
The Tennis Ball Method
Ants are not natural-born swimmers. If they’re in the water, they are struggling. Float 4-6 tennis balls in your pool. The ants will cling to the surface of the tennis balls. Once they’re hanging on for dear life, use a pool skimmer to fish out the balls and the ants!
Once you’ve caught the ants, you need to get rid of them. Add one quart of vinegar, a few drops of soap, and 2 gallons of water to a 5-gallon bucket.
After you’ve collected the ant-covered tennis balls, drop them into the vinegar and dish soap solution. This concoction will kill them instantly.
Use a Pool Skimmer
A basic pool skimmer will pick up some of the ants. However, since they are small and can swim, it can be really tricky to skim out every single ant!
Keeping Ants Out of the Pool
Use a Pool Cover
Since ants are attracted to shiny things, like water, use a special non-reflective pool cover. Remember to cover the pool every time it is not in use, so the ants will be less likely to try to land in the water!
Repel Ants with Peppermint Oil
Some ants may dislike the scent of peppermint oil. You can place oil diffusers near the pool area to try to repel the ants.
You can also make a DIY in-pool ant repeller with a plastic bottle, and a few drops of peppermint oil.
- Place a few drops of peppermint oil inside the bottle.
- Replace the lid.
- Lay the bottle on its side and poke a few holes in the plastic.
- Float the bottle with the holes facing up in the pool.
- Don’t forget to remove the bottle before swimming!
Place a Bug Zapper Near the Pool
This bug zapper is waterproof and perfect for poolside use! It should zap any ants that fly by. This does run an electrocution hazard, so use caution!
Treat the Surrounding Area
Your lawn may be home to a colony or nest of ants. If this is the case, you need to treat the entire area in order to reduce the number of ants in your pool.
Boric acid is a well-known, inexpensive pesticide. Borax will also work to kill ants and other pests. Create your own ant trap by mixing sugar water with boric acid. Spray this mixture on the pool deck.
The sugar will attract the ants, then they will consume the pesticide. Do not do this if you have pets that have access to your pool deck! Boric acid is poisonous and may harm your pet.
Boric acid may also be applied to your yard. Look for areas where there seem to be a lot of ants. Ants tend to like shady, hidden areas, so you may have to do a bit of searching. Once you have found an ant hot spot, sprinkle the boric acid or borax in the area.
You will need to reapply your pesticide if it rains or becomes wet. Always use caution when handling boric acid or borax. Wear gloves and a protective mask. Avoid inhaling the pesticide. If accidental ingestion occurs, contact a medical professional.
These ant traps are useful indoors and outdoors! Place traps around your pool deck, and in areas of your yard where you’ve observed ant activity. Keep out of reach of pets and children.
Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic powder made of crushed sea animals or diatoms. It feels soft to the touch, but actually has microscopic jagged edges that damage the exoskeleton of an insect. Once an insect’s shell is damaged, it can’t retain moisture and will die.
Apply a layer of diatomaceous earth around the ant’s nest, along ant trails, and anywhere else you may have seen ants. Create a border of diatomaceous earth around the pool area.
Call a Professional
If you are still losing the battle for your pool to the ants, it may be time to call in a trusted exterminator!
Don’t give up your pool time just because of ants! Fight back with a combination of these methods, and take back summer!