How Do I Keep Ants Away From My Pool?

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Ants generally do not love water. But why does this still concern us? People ask, “How do I keep ants away from my pool?”. It might be a little weird for an average person to believe that ants can concern us if we have a swimming pool. People generally tend to omit the concept of ants and water. It is pragmatically true.

Ants might hate water, but some ants might love the equipment around the pool. For example, fire ants love the electrical environment and might be drawn towards your pool motor. Some ants might even love the pool water or the environment around the pool.

This world is full of mysteries. Some might be good, but others will pose trouble. That is why it is always better to equip ourselves against all sorts of troubles.

Can Ants Swim?

Yes, ants can swim. Not all of them, though. Ants have a tremendous survival capacity. They are not great swimmers or very fond of it. But they can surely survive the ordeal. Ants have their own paddle technique, which they use for getting to the shore. They can even hold their breath for a long time in the water.

So if you think that at least your pool water is safe because ants will not infest it, you are wrong.

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Why Do Ants Infest the Swimming Pool?

There are various reasons why ants swarm around a swimming pool. Not just ants, but even other bugs might want to leverage these conditions.

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Ideal Temperature and Moist Conditions

Swimming pools are at their peak when it is hot outside. During the summer, it is one of the biggest attractions for people. During the summer, the swimming pool’s water evaporates at a faster rate.

This phenomenon increases the moisture around the pool. This phenomenon is pretty ideal for ants, as they love the warm temperature and the moisture. Thus, the settled moisture and the hot temperature will attract swarms of ants around the pool boundaries.

Presence of Plants Around the Pool

Swimming pool

Potted plants attract a lot of ants. It is not an unknown fact that ants love to target potted plants and make their colonies in the soil. A lot of ants will leverage this opportunity.

The soil with ideal temperature and moisture conditions proves to be an excellent breeding ground for the queens.

Field ants build up multiple colonies in the soil of potted plants. They even infest the plant and might render it useless.

Water Pump Around the Pool Deck Attracts Ants (ex. Fire Ants)

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There is a little weird fact about ants. They love electricity. Ants like fire ants love to be a part of the electrical field of any appliance. Appliances such as the pool motor are a hot spot for ants.

The windings from the motor or the exposed wire endings are a source of magnetic field production.

The ants feel an irresistible pull to their antennas when they encounter such a magnetic field. That is why it is very common among pool owners to complain about ants attacking their pool motor.

Ants have a tendency to chew on things. They will chew on the outer coating of the wiring and can even expose the inner wire if given enough time to move freely.

The horrific part about this phenomenon is that ants are good conductors of electricity and thus can even cause a short circuit in your pool motor. That is why it is a huge concern for pool owners.

Food Around the Pool

Food is a major cause of ant infestation in any given situation. It can even infest our homes if we leave food unattended or spill it. In the same way, pools are also infested.

Sugary drinks and food can attract ants if they are spilled or if particles of such food are scattered around the pool area.

Parties or gatherings around the pools will leave the remaining food particles around the area. The worker ants, always looking for food, will gather around such places, multiplying their numbers.

Ants can even attack dead bugs if they are found around a pool. They will eat the dead bugs by forming a cluster around them. As long as there is a steady food supply, the ants will never disappear.

How Do I Keep Ants Away from My Pool?

As mentioned earlier, ants are an ugly source of problems in a pool. The concept that water is safe from ants is not true. It would be best if you took care of your pool in a very professional way to get rid of all the ants.

Ants can bite, depending on the species. These bites can be an eyesore for the people using the pool. The ants around pool or on the pavement might dig grotesque holes all around the pool, which gives the entire infrastructure an unsightly look.

Ants might go into pool motors and eat up the wires. Due to their conductive properties, they might even cause a short circuit, which might be fatal for people using the pool.

Usage of insecticides or pesticides is not recommended to tackle these problems. The harmful chemicals present in insecticides or pesticides can seep into the water. Once in the water, these chemicals might cause itching and irritation to the skin.

Ants do not necessarily mean poor hygiene or cleanliness, as it is pretty common for ants to infest anywhere they find suitable. But the cleanliness should be improved and should be more frequent. Ants travel and communicate by following pheromones.

Pheromones are a big weakness, as you can easily dismantle the real rhythm of the ants just by masking the scent of the pheromones.

Proper hygiene, cleaning, and maintenance

As mentioned earlier, ants travel along the trails of pheromones. Proper and effective cleaning will make the pheromones disappear. This practice will push the ants into a state of frenzy, resulting in their disappearance or elimination.

It is best to avoid foods, drinks, and other sugary substances around the swimming pool as much as possible. Frequent cleaning of the area is in the best interest of the owner. The main purpose of ants is survival, for which they need food.

The worker ants relentlessly look for food. So, if you cut out any food sources from the vicinity of the swimming pool, you have a great chance of repelling ants.

Increasing the amount of soap or detergent used to clean the pool is another good trick for effective cleanliness. Again, you should condemn the use of harmful chemicals such as insecticides or pesticides.

Using Essential Oils (ex. Peppermint Oil, Cedarwood Oil, etc.)

The usage of essential oils around the pool helps get rid of ants and acts as an aromatic agent. Ants, as well as some other bugs, hate the smell of essential oils. Ants travel by the smell of their pheromones.

Some essential oils act by masking that smell with their characteristic smell, while others kill the ants directly.

Essential oils are of various types, and you can use them as per your preference. It is advised to use them in the form of a spray. It is made by mixing your preferred essential oil with small quantities of alcohol and water.

Spray this mixture all-around your pool periodically, and the result will be the total annihilation or the disappearance of the ants.

Using Borax and Sugar (Natural Mixture)

If mixed with warm water, borax and sugar can form a devastating mixture for ants. Mix a half cup of sugar and one and a half tablespoons of borax with one and a half cups of warm water.

The resulting mixture will be great for repelling, and it is also a natural way. Sprinkle this mixture all around the swimming pool, and the ants will no longer be a part of that colony.

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Why Ants Form Clusters In Pool?

Ants form clusters in a pool as a survival mechanism. Water is not the ideal habitat for ants. They have formed their paddling technique to swim to the shore.

But forming a cluster acts as a prerequisite to this technique. Forming a cluster helps them travel to the shore faster and safer, in the form of a “lifeboat.”

What are Flying Ants?

Flying ants are just normal ants, but they are sexually mature ants. They leave their colonies and nests to find new mates for mating. These ants are attracted to the pool by the reflection of the pool.

Due to their mature state, they even come to quench their thirst. They can even be attracted to the magnetic field around the pool motors.

How to Get Rid of Flying Ants in Pool?

The convenient and easy way to eliminate these ants is to roll a tennis ball along the water surface. Ants are slow, inept swimmers. They cannot dodge the incoming tennis ball, and the downy surface of the ball will make the ants stick to it. You can collect the ball once all the ants stick to it.

The best way to prevent future flying ant infestations is to seek help from an ant extermination company. The process is costly, but the results are surely long-term.

Natural ways to get rid of flying ants include the usage of vinegar and boric acid, also a borax mixture. Cinnamon leaf sprays are also effective in such cases.


To conclude, ants have always been a source of trouble for any individual. Be it a pool owner or a normal household member. Ants will always be troublesome.

Thus, it is of the utmost priority that your belongings are safe from any ant infestation. The points mentioned earlier and ways to get rid of them will surely prove beneficial if you put them to use correctly.

It is very important to take all the precautions while applying these methods. It is equally important to keep your surroundings clean as the safety and feedback of the people using the pool is the most important asset for a pool owner.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.