How to Keep Out Hot Tub Pests
Hot tubs are incredibly relaxing and attract people to them frequently. Owning a hot tub means that people will always want to come over and enjoy the soothing and healing powers of the heated water. Just like hot tubs attract people, they may be a magnet for unwanted bugs and critters. Let’s go over some of the most common hot tub pests and give you some tips on preventing them from becoming a drain on time, money, and resources.
Household Pets (dogs, cats)
One good piece of advice is to keep pets or neighbor’s pets away from your hot tub. This means NOT leaving food or drinks behind that may attract any neighborhood animals that may wander nearby (and other pests). As an extra security measure, you can always install a gate all the way around your hot tub to keep away larger animals.
PREVENT cover damage by keeping animals OFF of the hot tub cover. If it doesn’t seal properly, it’s not going to keep everything it needs to OUT.
Especially during the hottest months of the year, bees and wasps will be on the hunt for water source. Once bees find one, they will continue to return to it (and commit that location to memory). It becomes even more convenient if they built a nest or hive inside of the cabinet, making their way inside of exposed cracks and crevices. If they get under the cover, they may die in the water and contaminate your water.
PREVENT this by inspecting your cabinet for cracks or holes that can become easy access for bees and wasps. If you find any, patch them with foam insulation or wood putty.
Ants are a nuisance at most picnics and can be one of the most obnoxious hot tub pests. Carpenter ants in particular are known for damaging wooden hot tub cabinets and can make elaborate tunnels in the process. Carpenter ants also love spa insulation which they use as a nest while using the water in the spa for sustenance and eating the wood. It’s a one-stop shop.
PREVENT ants from taking up residence by maintaining wooden hot tub cabinets properly by keeping the wood dry and sealed. Ants are more attracted to wood that is wet and rotting.
Your hot tub cabinet is an appealing place for mice and other rodents to build their nests, particularly in the cold months when they’re seeking shelter. These critters are often destructive in the process, damaging the cabinet, wiring, and tubing with their chewing. The problem usually compounds the longer it lasts as they’re likely to multiply with all the convenient insulation used as bedding and a constantly warm environment to make them comfortable.
PREVENT vermin from entering your hot tub cabinet by sealing it along the bottom and checking the outside shell regularly for holes and cracks, making repairs as necessary. When you drain your hot tub for routine maintenance, have someone help lift your hot tub and check for possible nests if you suspect rodent activity.
This may not be an issue for everyone, but for some of the more humid/tropical environments, frogs may be a constant problem. Frogs are always on the hunt for a warm place to rest and a hot tub is a perfect spot for them to convene. If your cover isn’t air tight, frogs have a knack for slipping into tight spaces and making their way into the water. Most of the time, frogs don’t make it out of the water alive, but if they do, they’ve usually used your soaking water as a restroom first—yuck! So either way, you’re going to have a mess to clean up.
PREVENT frogs’ entry into your hot tub by making sure your cover is cared for and sealed. In addition, frogs are less likely to be attracted to water that is properly balanced and has correct sanitizer levels. Maintain your water chemistry and you’re less likely to have a frog problem.
Other Preventative Measures
Spa covers are your first line of defense. Getting a good, tight-fitting cover that seals all the way around and has cover clips to keep it from moving during heavy winds. A sturdy hot tub cover that is taken care of well will keep all matter of creatures at bay and OUT of the water. As a part of cover care, don’t ever pile things on top of the cover or let people sit on top of it—this will cause premature wear and tear and it will become less successful at protecting your spa.
Keep Food Away
The more food you leave around the hot tubs, the more you’re inviting pests to take up residency inside or near your spa. If you do take food to enjoy by your hot tub, clean up afterward.
Inspect the Cabinet
Keep your hot tub up to date on repairs and do consistent checks along the cabinet to make sure you don’t get a hot tub pest problem. Seal any gaps and crack that can give critters entry.