How to Get Rid of Wild Ducks

Updated February 21, 2017

Wild ducks in the environment are sometimes ideal; however, if they are dirtying up your pool or yard, you likely want them gone. In the spring and summer months, many homeowners will find the feathered friends taking up residence in their pools, floating about and making a mess. The ducks will also create nests in which they have and raise their ducklings in bushes or similar habitats. If ducks aren't welcome in your area, prevention is the best medicine, as they are federally protected and you cannot harm or move them. However, you can make your environment less than comfortable for the ducks which will hopefully encourage them to move elsewhere.

Place a cover on your pool when it is not in use. The cover will prevent ducks from visiting your pool in the first place. If they have already spent time in your pool, implement the cover when they fly away to search for food. The pool cover will confuse the ducks and make it impossible to enter the watery oasis, which will likely cause them to set up shop in someone else's pool.

Cut back any shrubbery or hedging in which ducks can build nests inside. Cutting the vegetation short will prevent them from being able to establish a home inside. If you see a nest in the shrubs already, destroy it if it is empty. Do not touch the nest if it ducklings inside; doing so is illegal.

Place fake, plastic swan decoys around your environment. Swans are natural enemies of ducks and their presence will often keep ducks away. Place floating swans in your pool and plastic decoys around your yard. Move them often to prevent the ducks from getting accustomed to their presence.

Scare the ducks away by squirting them with water from the hose and making loud noises each time you see them. The more persistent you are, the more likely the ducks will stay away in an effort to avoid the unpleasant treatment.

Clean your environment often to prevent any items that could be used as food for the ducks from presenting themselves. If ducks find a food source, such as an opened dustbin in your yard, they will continue to return to your location to eat.


If ducklings have jumped in your pool, their removal is important as they will likely drown due to their inability to get out. Place a ramp on the side of the pool that will help the ducklings and their mother leave the pool. Once they are gone, place the cover over the pool to prevent their return.

Things You'll Need

  • Pool cover
  • Swan decoys
  • Hose
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About the Author

A former master gardener with a Bachelor of Arts in writing from Houghton College, Audrey Stallsmith has had three gardening-related mysteries published by WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House. Her articles or photos have also appeared in such publications as Birds & Blooms, Horticulture and Backwoods Home.