Common Hot Tub Pests & Solutions

Unwelcome guests in your spa can be a nuisance and a hassle. Finding rodents, frogs, bees, or ants can all lead to a terrible time in the tub. To help you avoid these potentially costly pests, I’ve thrown together some treatment and prevention pointers.

Rodents mice

You enjoy your hot tub, but the last thing you want to do is share it with unexpected guests. The cabinet of a hot tub can provide a safe and warm place for mice to take up residence and start a family. The insulation provides a perfect source for bedding and nesting. When mice move in, your hot tub wiring, flexible tubing, and the cabinet itself can become a midnight snack. To prevent a vermin invasion, make sure your cabinet is sealed around the bottom and inspect the outside shell regularly to ensure there are no breaches.

Frogs

frogSimilarly to rodents, frogs may be looking for a warm place to rest. Frogs enjoy the heat from your hot tub as much as you do. If you do not have an air tight cover on your spa while it is not in use, you may find a surprise waiting for you the next time you go to take a dip. Frogs have been known to contaminate hot tubs by jumping into the water or simply using your hot tub as a restroom. Not only is this an annoyance for the person who has to drain and clean the tub, it is also terrible for the frogs and many do not live after taking a plunge into your hot tub. Our hot tub expert Kaisa Williams says:

“If your hot tub water is properly balanced and treated, frogs will find the water less attractive, and therefore be less likely to inhabit it.”

 Wasps and Bees bee1

During the warmer months of the year many bees will try to find a source of water. Unfortunately once bees establish a source of water (such as your hot tub) they will continue to return. Bees will look for cracks and crevices to get to the water in your tub. If they get under the cover they can die and contaminate your water. Be sure to inspect your cabinet for any cracks or holes as bees or wasps can consider this a prime spot to build a new home.

Ants

anttunnels Carpenter ants can become a detrimental pest to your hot tub cabinet. Ants choose to take over hot tubs for a number of the reasons listed above. Carpenter ants nest in spa insulation, use the moisture for sustenance, and can also destroy the wood of your hot tub cabinet or deck as they create tunnels. If your hot tub cabinet is well maintained, ants will be less likely to occupy it as they tend to be more attracted to wet or rotting wood.

Prevention

To avoid potential nightmares, these simple preventative steps can be taken: citronella3

  • Make sure there is nothing around your hot tub area that that could provide sustenance for pests.
  • Inspect your hot tub regularly. Make sure any gaps are sealed and that there are no openings allowing for easy entry into the cabinet of your tub.
  • If you have an air tight hot tub cover, critters like frogs or bees are less likely to be able to squeeze through and get into your tub.
  • If your hot tub water is properly maintained, these pests may be less likely to call your hot tub home.
  • Citronella candles can also be a good source for keeping bugs and other pests away.

If you’ve discovered any of these pests around your tub, first see what you can do yourself to solve the problem. If things get out of hand, be sure to call an expert in the area of pest removal.
 
Sources:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/ipm/msg0223494410589.html http://www.riversapart.co.uk/hottub.html http://www1.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/carpenter-ants/ http://www.drbug.ca/insects/critters_hot_tub.php