Keeping Common Summer Pests Out of Clients’ Ponds

Published on August 3, 2016

For common pest birds and mammals, predator decoys are often the best deterrent solutions. They are easy to install and maintenance is very minimal. (Photo Credit: Bird-X)

Summer serves as a great opportunity for pond maintenance. Your clients’ ponds will likely have more problems that require attention, such as algae growth, changing oxygen or pH levels, as well as summer pests and predators. Certain pests will be more of a problem in the warmer months, so it’s important to provide solutions that will best suit your clients and their environments.

Common Summer Pests

Landscaping and water gardens are always subject to pests, especially in the summer. Your clients may complain of water lily beetles, spider mites, and other insects that are typically active in the summer months.

In addition to ponds, clients may have birdbaths or shrubs and plants that can be attractive to pest birds. Bird infestations can be costly, requiring extra maintenance. Ducks are considered pest birds, but pigeons, starlings, house sparrows, and crows may be frequent visitors. Herons are also frequent pond predators, as they pose a threat to koi.

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Young raccoons are typically present in the summer. If customers complain of fish disappearing at night, raccoons are likely the source since they are nocturnal. Foxes are another land mammals that enjoy standing waters, such as ponds.

Ponds will often have fish; koi ponds are very popular. Reducing predators in ponds, koi farms, water gardens, and other areas is challenging, as is finding the right solution. While there are many options, chemical solutions are not prudent considerations, as they can be deadly to fish and pests. In addition, they lead to an unnecessary chemical exposure to you and your customers.

Instead, consider using humane pest control solutions in ponds. There are humane pest control options available that won’t harm fish or other living creatures. Modern pest control technology typically utilizes principles of animals’ behaviors and survival instincts, encouraging pests to seek safer areas rather than returning to areas where a threat is perceived. In addition, they can minimize harmful effects on the environment and humans.

Using humane pest solutions is ideal for you and your clients. They reduce costs and labor expenses and prevent recurring cleanup. Of the humane solutions available, visual deterrents and sonic and ultrasonic solutions are most effective for ponds and similar bodies of water. Researching and implementing strategies using these types of products enables you to spend more time on other summer pond maintenance issues.

Visual Deterrents

For common pest birds and mammals, predator decoys are often the best deterrent solutions. They are easy to install and maintenance is very minimal.

(Photo Credit: Bird-X)

A gator decoy, top, is great for ponds, lakes, and water gardens since they look realistic and natural in this setting. They float and accommodate to wind and water movement. Even in areas where alligators do not exist, they are still effective for scaring off pest birds since this fear is instinctive and not learned. Again, humane bird and pest deterrents aim to modify animal behavior, especially in large animals. A gator decoy is an effective way to scare off geese, herons, and other pest water birds, and even raccoons. To improve efficacy, move gator decoys every so often and clean them to prevent algae growth.

Gator decoys are effective for residential or commercial ponds. Ponds on golf courses, where herons and geese are frequent pests, are one type of commercial pond that can benefit from gators.

If you’re interested in scaring away smaller birds and pests from ponds, aerial predator decoys are great solutions. A predator owl is great for locations where ponds are surrounded by shrubbery and foliage, where the owl will appear most natural. A pond right outside of a commercial building may be attractive to small birds, which leave droppings on buildings. Owl decoys may exist in immobile and mobile options, but make sure to choose a mobile decoy (moves wings), or they won’t scare away birds. They need to appear to be in a hunting position in order to scare them and prevent acclimation.

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Visual deterrents like predator decoys are inexpensive yet effective in reducing fish loss and other damage as a result of pests. Additionally, decoys increase property aesthetics without requiring regular maintenance. Most visual scare products are relatively low in cost, which makes them great budget-friendly options.

Sonic and Ultrasonic Solutions

Another alternative to chemicals and traps are electronic repellents that emit sounds. Sonic and ultrasonic units are another category of pest control that can be effective in and surrounding ponds, especially in large, industrial areas. In fact, when combined with visual deterrents, they can be even more effective for deterring pests.

Sonic bird control can reduce bird infestations in ponds by broadcasting threatening recordings telling birds to steer clear. In fact, sonic devices even exist specifically for problematic geese. Systems mimic goose calls and vocals, making areas inhabitable for geese since they understand the sounds to be hostile signals. Install in homes with large yards, golf courses, and industrial parks and ponds, since they are effective in larger properties.

Of the humane solutions available, visual deterrents and sonic and ultrasonic solutions are most effective for ponds and similar bodies of water. (Photo Credit: Bird-X)

Ultrasonic pest control uses high-frequency sound waves that are silent to most humans, but annoying to small yard pests like raccoons and skunks. Certain electronic repellents utilize ultrasonic sound waves to target animals that frequently carry ticks, such as deer. Ultrasonic solutions for blue-green algae are also available.

Devices exist for a range of spaces and sizes, from small koi ponds and front yards to community gardens. Program them to run constantly or activate upon motion-detection. Customizable options make it easy to change sounds, so animals avoid getting used to the sounds.

Trial and error is likely required for reducing common summer pests around gardens. To help reduce problems as quickly as possible, choose a solution that is best suited for the environment and pest the client wants to eliminate. For example, a large area may require multiple types of visual deterrents. As previously mentioned, the best solution might involve a multi-pronged approach. In addition to visual deterrents and sonic and ultrasonic devices, netting and fencing may be required to make the environment less welcoming. Any of these products will provide a safe alternative to traditional pest control technology.

Kloubec Koi Farm

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