Simple Ways to Get Rid of Tadpoles in Your Pool (And 10 Tips to Keep Frogs Out)

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Spring is an exciting time for many pool owners! It means that the winter pool cover can come off, and that pool fun is just around the corner.

However, finding tadpoles in the pool after the cover is removed can be a surprising sight.

Most types of frogs and toads hatch in a fish-like form called tadpoles or polliwogs. It’s a part of their amphibian life cycle.

If frogs and toads find your pool during breeding season, you might end up with tens or even hundreds of tadpoles in your pool.

That simply happens because a frog found a way into your pool while it had been shut down for the season, which makes a good environment to lay its thousands of eggs. Of those eggs, a small fraction will hatch into tadpoles in the pool, which could still result in hundreds of tadpoles.  

The tadpoles’ invasion might look scary, but you can easily get rid of the tadpoles or move them elsewhere.

So, how to get rid of tadpoles in your pool? And how to keep frogs from laying eggs in your pool?

In today’s article, we’ll explore the various ways to get rid of tadpoles in your pool. Let’s dive into the details!

How to Get Rid of Tadpoles in Your Pool

The problem with tadpoles is that if they hatched in your pool, they may be able to thrive in those same conditions. In other words, these tadpoles could eventually mature into frogs.

So, you’ll need to find a way to remove them or relocate them before they mature. The most straightforward way to get rid of tadpoles is by using chlorine. 

Chances are your pool didn’t have enough chlorine to begin with. That’s why frogs found the water suitable enough to lay their eggs.  

So, the simple solution would be adding chlorine to your pool. However, this method isn’t the most humane as it will likely kill them.

Using Chlorine

Just like chlorine can work against bacteria in your pool, it can be useful against tadpoles. Chlorine will make the water unsuitable for the tadpoles to survive.

Therefore, you can add chlorine or shock solution to your pool while keeping the pump and filter running. Chlorine will be the end of the tadpoles in your pool, and you can easily remove them from the pool with a leaf-skimming net afterward.

You may need to repeat the process several times before you get rid of all the tadpoles. The larger tadpoles may take a bit longer to die than the smaller ones.

However, you’ll need to ensure the chlorine levels have subsided to safe levels before swimming in it later.  

How to Get Rid of Tadpoles Without Killing Them

If you spot a gelatinous film settling at the bottom of your pool, this film probably contains thousands of tadpoles waiting to hatch. Thankfully, it’s easy to get rid of tadpoles from your pool without killing them.

The hardest step is probably finding another suitable habitat for the tadpoles. After all, you don’t want to move the tadpoles from your pool only for them to die elsewhere.

Tadpoles thrive in stagnant bodies of water. So, ponds or creeks would be great options to relocate the tadpoles, as long as they don’t dry up until the tadpoles hatch.

To get rid of tadpoles, you’ll need to grab a large bucket that can fit all the tadpoles from the pool. They don’t need any extra space, as this bucket is just to transport them to their new home.

However, they need to be submerged in water at all times. Tadpoles should be treated as fish until they mature into their next form.

Now, all that’s left is to get rid of the tadpoles in the pool. Simply follow these steps:

1 – Fill the bucket with water about halfway. If you fill it up, you’ll risk the tadpoles falling or sloshing around.

2 – Next, remove the tadpoles from your pool with a regular pool skimmer net, and add them to the bucket.

3 – Lastly, release the tadpoles into their new, safe home.

Introducing the Tadpoles to Their New Home

Like fish, big changes in the water conditions can be harmful to tadpoles. So, it’s best if you add some water from their new home to the bucket to allow them to slowly acclimate.

This will help them adjust easier to the new water conditions. Additionally, you shouldn’t leave them in the bucket for too long, as the water may run out of oxygen.

When relocating tadpoles from your pool, it’s important to choose a habitat that provides suitable conditions for their survival. Here are a few options:

  • Pond or wetland: Tadpoles naturally live in freshwater habitats such as ponds and wetlands, which provide plenty of food and shelter.
  • Stream or river: Tadpoles can also be released in a slow-moving stream or river with plenty of vegetation and clean water.  Avoid fast-moving water streams.
  • Natural reserve: If you are not able to release the tadpoles in a natural habitat yourself, you can contact a local nature reserve or wildlife conservation organization to see if they can assist with the relocation.

It’s important to note that when releasing tadpoles, you should not introduce them to a new habitat where they may become an invasive species and disrupt the natural ecosystem. Always do your research and ensure that the habitat is suitable for the species you are releasing.

Will Vinegar Kill Tadpoles?

Vinegar is acidic, so it can irritate frogs’ feet when you spray it around the pool. However, it won’t kill adult frogs, yet it can likely harm tadpoles in a large enough concentration. 

That makes vinegar act as an excellent frog repellent. It makes for a humane way to send frogs away from your home without harming them.

However, in normal concentration, it’s not fatal to frogs. On the other hand, it can be fatal to some tadpoles.

Moreover, you’ll need to add a large amount of vinegar to your pool, which probably won’t be enough to eliminate all tadpoles. 

Will Bleach Kill Tadpoles?

Bleach, in any form, is a powerful cleaning agent. It can be effective against tadpoles in your pool, as it contains hypochlorite similar to traditional chlorine shock.

However, just like chlorine, it’s not the most humane way to get rid of them as it will kill them. 

Depending on the concentration of bleach and size of your pool, you can estimate how much will be needed to increase your chlorine level.  

After bleach addition, you’ll want to check to ensure chlorine levels have returned to safe levels before swimming again.  High levels of bleach in water can irritate the eyes and skin.

Tiny Tadpoles or Mosquito Larvae?

It can be hard to tell if the water insects in your pool are tiny tadpoles or mosquito larvae. However, if you’ve spotted frogs around your yard recently, this might indicate the presence of tadpoles in your pool.

The most obvious way you can tell tadpoles apart from mosquito larvae is by their appearance. Though both tadpoles and larvae are tiny, they each have a distinct appearance.

The larva tends to be hairy, long, and slender. Tadpoles, on the other hand, are smooth, thicker, and surrounded by a gelatinous film.

What’s more, tadpoles are generally found stuck together in large groups, while mosquito larvae can easily disperse all over your pool. 

Furthermore, if the fish-like creature has been in your pool for a while, it’s more likely to be a tadpole. The reason is that mosquito larvae typically hatch within 48 hours, while tadpoles stay in water for weeks.

How to Avoid Having Tadpoles in Pool

Keeping your pool tadpole-free is fairly simple. All you have to do is prevent frogs from being around your pool so that they can’t lay eggs in it!

Frogs often confuse pools with a pond. Additionally, once frogs jump in a pool, they may not be able to get out as the edge could be too high for them.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can keep frogs away, thus avoiding having tadpoles in your pool.

Circulate the Water

The surest way to keep frogs from laying eggs in your pool is to keep the water moving. That’s because frogs need stagnant water to lay their eggs.

You can install a pool fountain or a waterfall to keep your pool agitated, thus preventing tadpoles.

Turn the Lights Off

Light attracts flies, which in turn attract frogs. This means if you keep the light on at night, you’re basically preparing dinner for the frogs!

Alternatively, by turning the light off, your pool wouldn’t be an attractive spot for frogs anymore.

Get Rid of Insects

Frogs love bugs and insects! They’re the main source of food for most frogs.

So, if there are no insects in your backyard, frogs wouldn’t find it appealing. Therefore, they won’t lay their eggs in your pool.

There are various types of insect repellents you can use. Pick one suitable for the condition of your backyard and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use it. 

Cover the Pool

If you’re not using the pool for long periods, for instance, during winter, covering it would be an ideal option. Naturally, frogs won’t be able to jump into the pool if it’s covered.

If you use a solid tarp-like cover, it’s possible that you may accumulate a small pond of water on top of it from rain and snow-melt.  To avoid frogs from laying eggs on the cover, try to periodically pump water off of it in the spring.  

Heat the Pool

Tadpoles and other amphibians are cold-blooded, which means they’d prefer cooler water over warm water.  That’s partly because they rely on the oxygen in the water to breathe, and heated water contains less oxygen.

So, by increasing the water temperature to around 85°F, your pool won’t be suitable for them to grow. You can use a simple pool heater in combination with a solar pool cover to keep the water in your pool warm. 

Keep the Pool Clean

Green algae and dirt in your pool will make it look like a pond. As a result, frogs and toads will think it’s a regular pond and lay their eggs in it.

Keeping your pool squeaky is essential to avoid having tadpoles in it. 

Install a Pool Fence

If you’re not a fan of pool covers, another alternative option is installing a pool fence. Luckily, you only require a fence that’s a couple of feet high; this way, it won’t be an eyesore in your yard.

While frogs may be able to squeeze through gaps in fence panels, the fence can still help deter them from trying to enter.


The most effective way to keep frogs from entering your pool is to spray frog repellent all over your yard. You can choose from many frog repellents, and you can make your frog repellent as well!

Some DIY frog repellents include vinegar or citric acid, which can irritate frogs’ feet, or even coffee grounds. Additionally, you can use salt water or bleach.

Get a Frog Pond

All the above options will work wonders at keeping your yard frog free. However, frogs can be greatly beneficial to your yard.

Frogs keep pests and insects away from your plants. So, you might want them around your garden, just not in your pool.

In this case, ponds are a great solution. They’re a beautiful addition to your yard and great attractors of frogs. The frogs will surely prefer hanging out in the pond instead of the chlorinated pool.

Mow Your Grass and Remove Weeds

Weeds and tall grass make perfect hiding spots for most amphibians. They make your backyard an inviting place for them to relax and lay their eggs.

It’s best if you keep your grass short and remove any weeds around your pool. 

Should You Let the Tadpoles Stay in the Pool?

If you’re a lover of wildlife, you may consider letting the tadpoles stick around until they morph into frogs –especially if you don’t have a safe natural habitat they can be relocated to.

Doing so, however, means that you’ll likely lose access to the pool for two or three months.  It generally takes six to twelve weeks for tadpoles to grow into frogs.

A cascading effect that you may experience is an increase in snake population around your yard.  Many species of snakes find tadpoles and frogs to be easy prey.

Additionally, you should consider that only a small fraction of tadpoles will actually turn into frogs.  Depending on the species and environment, less than 1% of tadpoles will morph into froglets, and only 0.1% of the froglets will become mature frogs.  

Depending on how many tadpoles you started with in the pool, the general survival rates means that you may not end up with any that actually turn into a frog.  This could factor into your decision as to whether it’s worth giving up the pool for the better part of spring or summer.


So, how to get rid of tadpoles in your pool?

You can simply add chlorine to get rid of them, but it isn’t a humane way to do it. The best way to do this is by finding another suitable habitat for the tadpoles.

More importantly, you can avoid having tadpoles in your pool by repelling frogs from your pool and backyard. You can do this by using some simple DIY frog repellent or getting rid of the insects, such as gnats, that frogs eat. 

If you find that frogs are over-taking your backyard, you can consider contacting a pest control service in your area. This can ensure that you won’t have tadpoles in your pool.

Happy Swimming!

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