How to Keep Birds Away From Your Swimming Pool: Real Solutions

Michael Keenan


Pool Troubleshooting

When it comes to owning a pool in your backyard, there is nothing quite like it. The joy of swimming and relaxing by the pool on those hot summer days can’t be beat. But if birds start making their way into your pool area, then this can become a serious issue.

Not only are they messy, but their droppings can also contain bacteria that could be hazardous to humans. So how do you keep these unwelcome guests away? Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to keep birds away from your swimming pool.

In this article, I’ll discuss how to make it difficult for birds to nest around the area; avoiding leaving food out near the pool; erecting a fence or hedge; using a pool cover; using a toy or scarecrow; and calling for professional help if needed.

Read on for more information!

how to keep birds away from swimming pool

Quick Answer:

Keeping birds away from your swimming pool can be tricky, but with the right tips it’s doable. Make sure to eliminate areas for them to nest, avoid keeping food out and maybe erect a fence or hedge around the pool area. Try using a pool cover when not in use, and place inflatable toys in the pool to scare them away.

Maybe let pets roam around in the yard as they will chase birds away and if all else fails call for professional help. As always keep reading for all the details and extra tips.

Make It Difficult for Birds to Nest

One of the first and most important steps to keep birds away from the swimming pool is to make the area inhospitable for them. This doesn’t mean you need to set death traps around your pool that might hurt them.

It simply means you should eliminate possible spots for them to roost, such as low-hanging branches.

If there are dense shrubs and hedges around the pool, you may want to keep them trimmed as well. In short, any potential spots for them to build a nest must be eliminated.

I have a range of guides covering ways to get rid of pests and problems around your pool – have a read:

Don’t Keep Food Out

While it might be an enjoyable thing to eat by the pool or snack after you took a long lap, food is one of the primary things that will attract birds to your pool. You should also avoid keeping bird feeders and watering bowls near the pool.

By all means, place feeders elsewhere on your property as long as they are away from the pool. You need to give birds as little reason as possible to come near the pool.

Erect a Fence

If your problem is ducks or geese entering the pool, you can also separate your pool and the grassy part of your yard using fencing of some kind.

This can also be a thorny bush or a hedge, or you can use a regular picket fence to prevent the birds from crossing over.

If you are using a hedge to do the fencing, ensure that it is trimmed properly, so it does not become a host for rodents and birds to build nests. That would be the very definition of counterproductive.

Use a Pool Cover

Whenever your pool is not in use, bring the pool cover out. Removing and putting the pool cover back can be time consuming. However, it is the only foolproof way to keep not only birds out but also keep the pool clear of dried leaves, insects, dirt, etc.

Birds are also unlikely to sit on top of the pool cover as it is likely to be difficult for them to move around on it.

pool cover

Use a Pool Toy – Something to Scare Birds Away

One of the easiest ways to keep birds out of your swimming pool is to scare them away. The good thing is birds scare easily. While in the fields people use scarecrows made of straw, that might be too much work and there is no guarantee it will work either.

Besides, the straws may fall out and contaminate the pool even more. Instead, you can invest in inflatable pool toys that will trick the birds into thinking the pool is occupied by a larger predator.

Preferably, get a large inflatable toy like an alligator or a whale. You can also buy cutouts of predatory birds like owls, hawks, etc, and prop them up around the pool. Be sure to move the prop around so the birds do not catch on to what you are doing.

Let Your House Pets Out

If you have a pet dog or a cat, then you could leave them out in the yard every now and then so if there are any resident birds around the area they know not to go into your compound.

A pet can do wonders for keeping birds away from your swimming pool. Both a dog and a cat are likely to chase birds out and even keep rodents away.

However, you cannot be certain that your pet, dogs more than cats, will not bring contaminants into the pool.

cat to scare birds away

Call for Backup

If all else fails, call for professional help. Bird poop and feathers in the swimming pool can also introduce diseases into the water, in addition to making a mess of your pool. You want to nip the situation in the bud if you notice birds are attracted to your pool.

Professionals may be able to help you out with motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices. If birds fly into the range of these devices, they will get activated and will surely teach the birds to never come near your pool again.

However, only call for professional help if you cannot handle it by yourself as you may need to shell out a fair bit of money.


Are there any plants or shrubs that can be used to keep birds away from swimming pools?

Yes, there are certain plants or shrubs that can be used to help keep birds away from swimming pools such as cactus plants, ivy-covered trellises or prickly shrubs like holly bushes around the perimeter of the pool area.

What type of bird repellent is most effective for this purpose?

Visual bird repellents such as pool toys, reflective tape, balloons filled with helium or air are most effective for deterring birds from a pool area.

Final Thoughts

Pool maintenance is a big part of being a pool owner. There are many things you need to care for, including managing the chlorine and pH levels of the pool. But if you do everything right and there are birds happily swimming in your pool, it will undo all the good work.

It’s important to make the area inhospitable for the problem birds. Avoid keeping food out near the pool, erect a fence or hedge to separate the pool from grassy areas, use a pool cover when not in use and use inflatable toys to scare birds away. All outlined above. And you know what these can really work!

Professional help may be needed if birds become persistent visitors but it is better to try and tackle the issue yourself first by eliminating potential nesting sites and using motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices.

It is not worth putting in all the effort required to maintain your swimming pool if you can’t keep birds away. Remember, their droppings can be dangerous for humans. Therefore, take steps now to prevent them from visiting your backyard oasis!

Keep those birds away from your pool!

michael keenan author

Author - Michael Keenan

I'm Michael Keenan the owner and creator of the Outdoor Care Guide. I'm a trained horticulturist with over 30 years of experience in pool care, plant care, and landscape care! Seemed like a good idea to share - I think I can make your life easier and save you some time and money!