After living in Central Florida for many years, my wife and I have come up with, after some trial and error, a two-pronged approach to keep critters from remaining in our pool, and worse, from drowning in the pool.
Yes, I did say “remaining in our pool” and not “out of the pool” because as much as you try to keep animals out of your swimming pool—a lanai is probably the most effective—it will still happen.
They will find a way in. They are creative; they are persistent; they will give in to the siren song of pool water.
The best tact we’ve found is to assume they’ll get into the pool and to provide a way out so that the frogs, lizards, snakes, and assorted small mammals can safely continue on their way.
We wanted to pass on to our readers our learnings, and the best products we’ve found for the task.
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Provide an Animal Exit: The Escape Ramp for Pool
Our two-pronged approach that begins by providing a way out. Just as we should always have good exits in our home in case of emergency, so pool owners in Florida must provide a ‘door’ for critters. The best product we’ve found is an escape ramp for a pool called FrogLog.
In addition to the clever name you love to say, the FrogLog just plain works. We’ve seen all sorts of wildlife climb to safety. In fact, when we see a frog in the pool, we now leave it be, knowing it will climb out on its own. No need to fish it out with a net, or try to capture the frog by hand.
The FrogLog also holds up over time, even in our harsh Florida sun. It’s a sturdy product that lasts. We’ve been using our same frog log for the last four years, 24x7x365, and it’s still providing a path to safety for our beloved Florida wildlife.
As good as the FrogLog is for providing animal pool exits, there’s one more step necessary for critter safety. After giving a safe egress for the critters, we next need to prevent them from drowning.
Provide An Animal Life Preserver: Floating Plastic Rings.
Step two, then, of our two-pronged strategy is to provide a safe haven so that animals don’t drown, primarily through the pool skimmer.
The skimmer is the basket apparatus on the side of the pool used to collect leaves and twigs. It’s also where the pool water flows through, creating a current of water, a vortex if you will, in which animals get sucked in, and often drown.
The remedy is surprisingly simple. Buy some inexpensive floating plastic rings and throw one into the skimmer, floating above the basket. Here’s a great set of rings that comes with a bonus unicorn!
This way, the ring doesn’t obstruct water flow but does provide a ‘life preserver’ for critters that find themselves stuck in that unhappy place. You’ll find that frogs and other animals will park themselves on the ring, from which you can move them out of the pool to terra firma.
Even if you don’t live in Florida, but do have a pool, we think you’ll find these tips helpful in preserving your fantastic local fauna.