Rodents, frogs, ants and bees; tell me how to get rid of them, please! Yes, those pesky pests! The last thing you want is to find a nest of mice in your hot tub’s housing or a bloated toad floating on top of the water! Sadly, even domestic animals, such as pet cats, have been known to jump into pools and hot tubs with no way of escaping. Whether it’s the water area itself or any cabinetry around your hot tub, animals will come a-knockin, either out of curiosity or for warmth and refuge.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep unwanted guests from entering your hot tub’s domain. Here are some common-sense tips as well as unusual remedies:
The inside of hot tub housing can serve as an irresistible enticement for rats and mice due to the coveted insulation. It provides an absolutely perfect environment for these rodents who can detect soft material a mile away; and when these opportunistic critters use it for bedding and nesting of their litters, things can become problematic. Check for mouse or rat activity such as droppings or chewed wires. Though it may sound like a no-brainer, making sure your housing area is 100% sealed is crucial. Regularly inspecting the outside shell needs to be done to proactively keep invasions at bay; and keep in mind, mice can squeeze through openings the size of a quarter and rats can maneuver through an opening smaller than the size of a silver dollar.
It’s not solely the mere presence of unwanted rodents that is the problem. Mice and rats’ insatiable desire to chew WILL create havoc on your hot tub’s electrical system as well as the water lines! These voracious trouble-makers can get into the motor/pump compartments and chew away, at your expense!
As a hot tub or Softub owner, you need to be proactive and preventative long before you find yourself becoming frustratingly defensive. If you are putting in a new hot tub, make sure a trap door is fashioned so one can gain access to the undersides of the tub. If you don’t already have a trap door, you may want to create one.
Canned, expanding insulation foam can be applied wherever openings exist. Once it is dried, it can be painted to provide a more aesthetic appearance. Interestingly, though rodents are able to chew through this type of insulation, they prefer not to. Also, placing rodenticides inside the motor compartment is another method of control, though not a savory one if one considers the outcome. However, dead rodents are not nearly as burdensome as live rodents that refuse to go away. If rodenticides are used, making certain they are inaccessible to pets and children, they should be placed in plastic baggies to prevent them from becoming moldy. This will not compromise any rodents’ ability to sniff the bait out.
If rats or mice find hiding places in the small recesses of your hot tub’s housing that are impossible for people to reach, you may have no other recourse than to call a professional exterminator. So keep everything sealed as tightly as possible! Rats and mice refuse to eat through steel wool, which can be another effective means to plug up any gaps or openings.
Frogs and Toads:
If you don’t keep a topper on your hot-tub, you’re inviting these amphibious leapers into your world. Being cold-blooded, frogs and toads love warmth probably more than we do. You might say, “What’s the big deal? If I find a toad or frog in my water, I’ll just scoop it up and remove it.” The big deal is the fact that frogs and toads can actually contaminate your hot tub due to disgusting bodily fluids that are emitted through the skin of some species. Additionally, these little varmints will simply use your hot tub to relieve themselves; whether they are able to get out of your hot tub or not.
Hot tub expert, Kaisa Williams, offers a simple solution: “If your hot tub water is properly balanced and treated, frogs will pick up the scent of the chemicals and find the water unenticing.”
Wasps and Bees:
Yes, even wasps, hornets and bees will feverishly scout for hydration, especially during those hot, dry spells; and believe it or not, insects of all types love hot water! One behavior of bees and wasps is their relentless determination to remain in a location where they have discovered a continuously available water source, especially if the water’s warm. Bees and wasps are extremely resourceful; and like most animals, can smell or sense when water is available. Any cracks or openings, even while the hot tub cover is in place, can serve as very small, yet perfect, entry points for these determined insects. This would also include any entrances within the cabinetry or hot tub housing, itself, where they can easily build their nests. If bees or wasps die in the water, they too can contaminate it.
Again, something as simple as steel wool can work very effectively with smaller and larger openings. Another consideration is citronella candles which are known to effectively keep insects, as well as other pests, from desiring to get too close. Even cats despise anything with a lemony scent. Candles scented with eucalyptus can be added to the list of useful, natural deterrents, also.
Carpenter ants absolutely relish hot tub insulation and would have little reason to leave it once they might find it! Carpenter ants love moisture as well, and will delightfully hydrate themselves from the condensation around the pipes. If the hot tub is placed on a deck, ants can infest some of the deck beams, especially if there is any wood-rot present. Ants, quite typically, will nest in the ground under hot tubs that are not raised, encouraging them to migrate up, into and around the hot tub.
Getting rid of carpenter ants can be extremely challenging but using an over-the-counter bait containing hydramethylnon, sulfuramid, abamectin or boric acid may work; though if ineffective, a professional may need to be called. Again, using steel wool to block passage areas for ants is one more proactive measure to keep these irritating pests away from your source of rest and relaxation.
Additional Natural Remedies:
Here are a few more natural methods to counteract critter invasions of the 4-legged or 6-legged variety:
*** MOTH BALLS – Rodents hate the smell that moth balls emit, and putting them in place before one ever has a problem is a simple, yet effective shield between you and those varmints! Place several in a shallow dish or dishes inside the housing of your hot tub and let them do their job!
*** IRISH SPRING SOAP – Though it smells delightful and refreshing to humans, rodents loathe the smell! Place cut-up pieces of the soap in dishes in various locations in the hot tub’s housing or sprinkle on the flooring inside the housing. The cut-up or shredded soap can, also, be placed in mason jars in close proximity to the hot tub. If the soap were to melt, it wouldn’t affect the soap’s ability to act as a repellant.
*** SONIC PLUG-INS – Some people swear by these nifty gadgets while others snub their noses at their effectiveness. It’s certainly worth a few bucks to try one or more of these plug-ins that emit a high-frequency sound that is inaudible to common pets and humans but very bothersome to rodents’ sense of hearing.
*** PEPPERMINT-SOAKED COTTON BALLS – Soak cotton balls in liquid peppermint and wrap these pungent, aromatic gems in a plastic baggie and use a safety pin to prick some holes to allow the scent to escape. Place in the housing of your hot tub and see if they don’t work against keeping rodents away!
*** DRYER SHEETS – Again, what might smell good to us can be considered revolting to critters. Toss some scented dryer sheets inside the hot tub’s housing, in a location where you know they will stay dry. Check every couple weeks and, if scent is gone, simply replace with new sheets. Rodents detest the fragrance!
*** NATURAL PLANTS – If at all possible, remaining natural is the best choice for deterring undesirables from invading your hot tub space. Planting the following, in pots or in the ground close to your hot tub, can work wonders with providing an invisible barrier between you, your hot tubbers and mosquitos: Rosemary, Catnip, Marigolds and Thyme.
*** VINEGAR – Place several cotton balls on a plate that have been soaked with vinegar. Mice and rats have a natural aversion to this salad-dressing ingredient. Placing a plate or two of these saturated cotton balls inside your hot tub’s housing can work surprisingly well!
Now, here’s one final tip that many people swear by, that will cause rodents to think twice before invading your hot tub world. Are you ready? If you have a cat, scoop some of his or her feces, mixed with kitty litter, into a plastic bag and cinch it shut. With a knife, perforate the bag in various places to allow the ‘aroma’ to escape. Place the bag in the cabinetry or housing of the hot tub when not in use. Rodents, being the sniffing creatures they are, will believe a cat to be near and look elsewhere for a warm spot to call home! May you succeed in counteracting your intruders!
As the full time manager for a search engine marketing corporation, D.H. benefits the business sector based in the Mother Land. He lives in The State of California, and is soaking up these days together with his godly bride and three tykes. D-to-the-H welcomes people to scan through his Google vignette at some point.