Ah, the Arizona summer! Living in the desert presents a unique set of challenges when owning a pool or spa. As the weather gets hotter and temperatures increase, so can your pool maintenance concerns. Just as we focus on the need to stay cool and hydrated during hot summer months, so do the many types of critters found around the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas.
Birds, bees, lizards, snakes, and small animals are always on the hunt for a refreshing pitstop to access water. This often means your pool can turn into a community watering hole for nearby critters of all kinds. Particularly when temperatures get over 100°, bees need to keep their hive cool so the beeswax inside the hive does not melt. To do this, bees harvest water and use it to fan the air and keep the hive cooler. By collecting water and fanning their wings, they collectively act as a big evaporative cooler, helping maintain temperature levels within the hive. To accomplish this feat, bees will collect water from any source they can. Locations closest to the hive – like your pool, birdbath, and dripping hoses or faucets will become prime targets.
What can you do to prevent bees from visiting your pool in hot weather?
Many websites offer a variety of ideas such as providing alternate water sources or placing dryer sheets around your pool. However, many sites advise more dangerous suggestions like: moving the hive, making a decoy nest, using raw meat (which is gross on many levels, plus who can afford that?), or even worse adding soap or chemicals to your pool to make the water taste bad to them or kill them.
With worldwide bee populations in serious decline, the last thing you should consider doing is anything that would harm the bees, the hive OR doing anything that could put yourself in harm’s way. Both bees and birds are beneficial pollinators providing essential services to our local food production. While they may be unwelcome guests to your pool and spa in summer, their presence is more helpful than harmful.
Similarly, other creatures like quail, mice, reptiles, and depending on where you live… larger animals like rabbit, coyote, and bobcats – can be drawn to your pool as a local water source when the temperatures begin to soar.
To keep desert wildlife out of your pool this summer, the simplest and most effective solution is a pool cover.
Pool covers will block any birds, bees, and other animals from gaining access to the water. A pool cover will also further reduce pool maintenance by eliminating the need for cleaning out dead bees, birds, (or worse) from your pool skimmer. Plus, the cover will keep evaporation minimized since the bees will no longer be removing gallons of water from your pool. Without a water source, any bees or other desert creatures will safely go elsewhere to locate water. Investing in a pool cover is an ecologically sound decision, that will not only ensure safety around your pool, but also maintain a happy balance with the environment! Less pool maintenance and water evaporation, reduced usage of pool chemicals, and minimized pump/filtration run times (using less electricity) are all benefits a pool cover will give you; helping further save the many precious natural resources we enjoy in Arizona.