If you live in a warm and humid climate, chances are good that every once in a while, you’ll encounter some “unwelcome swimmers” – ants – floating around your pool.
The first step is to identify the type of ant that has infested your water, and then investigate the reason why they have been attracted to your pool.
There are several ways you can do this and get rid of the flying ants, before putting in place some methods of flying ant prevention.
Why Do Ants Keep Getting in Your Pool?
Flying ants are attracted to pools for the same reason that most other lifeforms are – water. They can use it as a food source, or they simply may mistake the pool for a large body of water.
In most cases, flying ants choose to invade your pool because there is another food source nearby – one that is very attractive to ants.
There are also some other reasons that may be the cause of ants invading your pool. They can include;
Salty Pool Water
If you don’t keep your pool in good shape, the water will become salty. A saline pool water is a clear indication of a pool problem. According to research, saltwater attracts ants more than sugar does, so your pool could become a huge attraction for ants.
The Ant Mating Season
Ants live in colonies. From time to time, the queen ant will become ready for mating and she’ll release pheromones that attract male ants from the entire colony. This is a very sensitive period for ant colonies and they can travel long distances in order to find suitable mates.
This means that your swimming pool could be one of the stops on the way to find suitable mates.
In heavy rains, ants’ nests in your yard or garden are washed away, allowing the rushing water to carry these ants into the pool.
The most frequent ants that inadvertently enter a swimming pool are the fire ants who nest predominantly outdoors, which makes their nests most vulnerable to being washed away because of heavy rains.
Flying ants are also known to be attracted by electrical equipment, like lights and transformers. If you have any of these near your pool, it’s likely that the flying ants will be more drawn to that area.
Why Ants Form Clusters In Pool?
When ants are in a hurry to find food or water, they’ll often group together in large clusters. The greater the need for food and water, the bigger the cluster.
They will also form large clusters when they get lost. They’ll try to figure out the best way to get back to their colony, following each other. So if ants fall into a body of water, they will cluster together to stay safe and attempt to find a way out.
This can make it very easy for you to catch them with your net.
How to Get Ants Our Of Your Pool
The best solution for this is to put on your swimming gear and grab a net! You’ll need to collect as many of the ants as you can, so that they don’t start reproducing in your pool.
If there are just one or two flying ants in your pool, you should be able to do this by yourself, but if it’s more than that, you might need someone to help you.
You should take your net and start by scooping up the ants that are floating on top of the water. As you do this, try to get as much of the ant cluster as possible.
After that, take your net to all sides of the pool and make sure to get all of the ants.
If you don’t have a net to hand or don’t fancy sharing a pool with the ants, try the tennis ball method. Tennis balls could assist you in eradicating flying ants in your swimming pool! Place a few tennis balls in the water.
Fortunately, flying ants are not excellent swimmers; as a result, they will seek something to cling to. They’ll cling to the surface of the tennis ball as a result.
5 balls are usually sufficient, but if the infestation is severe, you might require more. Then use remove the tennis balls from the pool and get rid of the ants in one go.
Now that you’ve gotten rid of the flying ants, it’s time to put in place some methods of flying ant prevention.
How to Get Rid of Ants Around Your Pool
There are many different ways in which you can prevent ants around your pool. And quite a few of them are actually easy to implement:
1. Clean Your Pool Area Well
One of the best ways to prevent ants from getting into your pool is to make sure that your pool area is clean and free of debris. This means keeping the surrounding areas clear of any food or water sources that might attract them.
If you have a deck around your pool, make sure to sweep it regularly and remove any food or drink spills.
If you have a grill near your pool, make sure to clean it regularly and keep all food storage areas clean and sealed.
2. Clear Away Discarded Food
Then there’s the matter of basic hygiene. If you like to have a light snack or a drink when you are in the pool, that is fine. But it makes it difficult to keep ants away when there are leftovers floating around the pool.
You might want to make sure that there is no food at all, if you can help it. But otherwise, try to keep the pool area as clean as possible. This is not just inside the pool but the general area surrounding it.
3. Keep the Pool Area Free of Standing Water
Another way to prevent ants from getting into your pool is to make sure that there is no standing water around your pool area. This means keeping the area clear of any rainwater that might accumulate, and ensuring that your drainage systems are working properly.
You can also try to create a barrier around your pool by using poured concrete, paving stones or landscape timbers. This will help to keep ants from getting into the area.
4. Use Boiling Water
If you’re looking for a quick fix, then boiling water might be the solution you’re looking for. You can pour this into any areas that are frequented by flying ants to help get rid of them quickly.
However, it’s important to thoroughly check the area afterwards to make sure that all of the dead ants have been removed.
You might also have to clean the area afterwards so that it doesn’t become a source of attraction for other flying ants.
5. Use Ant Traps
Another way to get rid of flying ants around your pool is to use ant traps. You can buy these at any garden store or online.
Ant traps are effective because they contain bait that attracts the ants, which then leads them back to the trap where they will eventually die.
These products usually come in different forms, including granules, sprays and liquids.
6. Use Flying Ant Sprays & Pesticides
Flying ant sprays are another way to get rid of flying ants around your pool. You can find these in any garden store or home improvement center, as well as online.
By spraying the ants directly onto them, you can kill them quickly and easily.
However, it’s important to take caution when using these products, as they can be harmful if not used properly.
It’s also important to keep in mind that sprays and pesticides will only kill the ants that are currently present and won’t prevent new ants from coming in the future.
7. Use Ant-Repelling Plants
There are certain plants that have been found to be effective in repelling ants. You can plant these around your pool area to help keep the ants away.
Some of these plants include lavender, lemon balm, peppermint, rosemary and thyme.
8. No Plants At All
Don’t have too many (or any) plants right near the pool. It’s a good look but really it makes it very difficult to keep ants and other insects away if you have vegetation about two meters around the pool.
Plants not only attract them but also keep them warm, give them food and most importantly, access to the pool. Ants have this annoying ability to climb all over even feather-light leaves to get to their destination. So, if you have to have plants around, keep them at least a couple of meters away from the pool area.
9. Place Ant-Repelling Mats Around Your Pool
You can also place ant-repelling mats around your pool to help keep flying ants away. You can buy these online or from some garden stores.
They’re usually made with natural substances that are designed to repel ants, rather than kill them.
This can help ensure that they won’t be attracted to your pool area in the future.
10. Diatomaceous Earth
This is a common fix when dealing with pests. Luckily, diatomaceous earth it is not a poisonous substance but it will suffocate the ants. This is basically just fossilized remains of diatoms which are underwater algae.
It is available in powder form and is a good solution because it is a natural substance, easy to procure, affordable and efficient when it comes to driving away flying ants. It dries them out by absorbing all the oils in their body and eventually kills them.
But you want to be careful while using it because any contact with your skin can cause mild irritation. You can also try to get food-grade diatomaceous earth if you are worried about it.
11. Coffee Grounds
One of the easiest things is to take brewed coffee grounds and create a perimeter around the pool. This will not kill the ants but it will certainly keep them away. The smell of coffee isn’t something that goes over well with flying ants.
All you need to do is brew some coffee grounds and sprinkle them around the pool. This will keep them away for a while. Now, it doesn’t tackle the root of the problem so think of this more like a stop-gap solution till you find a permanent fix.
The only disadvantage to this method is that you will have to deal with the smell of coffee when you are in the pool.
Sometimes, going simple is the best way to handle some of these household problems. Go to your kitchen and get a little bit of white vinegar. You should be able to smell victory, among other things, because that is another smell that absolutely tortures ants. For some reason, if they are very close to the smell of vinegar, they instantly start running because it causes them to suffocate.
That is probably why vinegar is a popular solution as a repellent. You can also mix it with a little water and turn it into a spray to make sure the problem can be taken care of if the ants return.
The best way to implement this idea is to figure out the location of the anthill on your property. Pouring a little bit of white vinegar on it directly will get rid of the entire colony. Before you do this, you want to check if you are dealing with red ants because they are very likely to bite when you go nearby.
13. Essential Oils
This is a more modern way of repelling ants. Essential oils can be very strong and overpowering but when used in the right way, they are a very effective way to get rid of flying ants.
There are different types of essential oils that you can use but the most popular ones for this purpose are peppermint, cinnamon and lemongrass oils.
You can add a few drops to any of the above things you are already doing or just use them alone. All it takes is a few drops and you have a natural repellent that will work much better than using harmful chemicals around your home.
If you’re looking for a more natural way to repel flying ants without harming your family or pets, you might want to try this method.
Types of Flying Ants in Pools
There are a variety of flying ants that like to get near the pool. Here’s a small list of them to help you identify the kind of insects you are dealing with.
Flying Carpenter Ants
These ants usually live in wooded areas and nesting sites. They are attracted to the moisture of your pool and will also look for rotten tree trunks and logs.
This is one of the common types of ants near the pool. They are called flying ants and they have a narrow waist and a dark bodies.
What makes them visually interesting is that they have antennae on their heads and small back wings that are proportionally smaller than the wings in the front.
Flying Ants That Sting
There are times when flying ants can be dangerous and they have the ability to sting. This just means that their pinchers or mouthparts have a venomous gland at the bottom of it which is used for defense.
These ants also have large heads, jaws and long legs. They may look very intimidating but most species don’t have the ability to sting humans.
If you are unsure about an ant, try to get a closer look before you start taking any action. If it is a flying ant that can sting, make sure to be careful and use some of the methods mentioned earlier like vinegar or diatomaceous earth.
Mating season is a time when they are likely to attach themselves to your skin and they are slightly more aggressive than they are during the rest of the year.
They might attack you even when you are swimming, which means you can’t assume that you are immune just because you are in the water. The only upside to this, if any, is that the bite isn’t toxic or even all that painful.
Black Flying Ants
Black flying ants are also referred to as the common black ant or the black garden ant. The name tells you clearly about their favorite hangout and your pool area is the epicenter of that liking.
These ants are found very often near swimming pools which makes it a bigger problem for you. And they like to fly around when the weather is good during the summer months of July and August which is also possibly your favorite time to go for a swim. So, beware!
Do Ants Bite and Is It Dangerous?
If you are wondering if any of these ants in your pool are dangerous, well you can rest assured that none of them are toxic. But you must know that some of them sting pretty hard and that can be painful.
The bite of some of these flying ants might also give you an allergic reaction depending on how sensitive your skin is. In any case, it’s not a good idea to ignore a growing ant infestation near the pool or anywhere else. This can get tricky when you are dealing with flying ants because the water won’t keep you safe.
As with most pest problems, the best option is prevention before an issue arises. Using some of the simple methods mentioned in this article should give you a safe pool area that is not prone to ant infestations whether that be intentional or by accident.