What to Do When There’s A Dead Rat In The Pool


Rodents are the most common invasive species that will occasionally be found dead in a pool. A dead rat may seem disgusting and disturbing to swimmers as it fouls the pool waters. Some swimmers will be on their toes once they spot the dead rat in the pool due to nervousness. Even though it cannot cause them any life-threatening health conditions, fishing it out and disinfecting the pool to ensure the water is clean and free of contaminants is essential.

Do Rats Love Pools?

Usually, rats find pools attractive. They love water, and some enjoy playing with it. Just like humans who would easily prefer swimming in calm waters on those sunny days to stay hydrated, rats will also get inside the pool for the same reason. Pools can also source fresh water for the rats to quench their thirst.

Can Rats Swim? – How good are they at swimming?

According to Kidadl, rats can make magnificent swimmers and can go as far as half a mile or 0.8km in open pools. Wait, did you know that rats can swim underwater and hold their breath for up to three minutes? That’s what makes them excellent swimmers. And to surprise you further, they can stay in the water for three subsequent days. Although they are intrigued by water, severe stress can cause them to drown; first, they’ll struggle to float and eventually sink. According to Humane Society International, one experiment showed that the average time taken for a rat to drown is 2.6 minutes. After this time, they sink and stay underwater.

Locating a Dead Rat in the Pool

Locating a dead rat in the pool is an easy step to take on. To get you started:

1. Prohibit the Swimmers from Coming to the pool during that time

It is always judicious to respond to the situation by taking appropriate action. Ensure all swimmers retreat from the pool while you plan to remove the rat.

2. Wear Disposable Gloves

When interacting with a contaminated pool, it is necessary to wear a glove. In our case, a plumber’s disposable gloves are acceptable and highly recommended.

3. Use a bucket or a Net to Remove the Dead Rat

This equipment is preferred instead of using your hands since touching a bloated rat can be so flagrant. When using a bucket, gently and carefully pick the dead rat to avoid leaving the rat’s fur inside the pool or any other tender parts of the rat that may be cut when picking it up.

4. Double Bag the Animal in Plastic Garbage bags

Plastic garbage bags are a proper and suitable method you can use to prevent environmental pollution. The bag’s primary purpose is to ensure that no stench from the rat will diffuse and fill the pool premises.

5. Dispose of the Dead Rats and the Gloves Too

After completing the operation, close the garbage bags containing the dead rat and put them in a sealed trash can to help keep animals from eating the rat. You can remove your gloves and carefully dispose of them in the trash can.

6. Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands is the final step. You should use warm water and soap. It doesn’t matter if you used gloves. Washing your hands is as necessary as your wellness at hand.

Disinfecting the Pool

Another vital action is to sanitize the pool and maintain water quality by disinfecting it. Usually, when rats die inside a pool, the water gets contaminated. All you need to do to disinfect the pool is:

  • Raise the free chlorine concentration in a range of two to four parts per million (ppm) and maintain the range to effectively inactivate any bacteria in the water by breaking the chemical bonds in their molecules. Any value above four ppm will cause harmful effects.
  • Maintain pH levels at 7.5 or less because a high pH value increases the concentration of hypochlorite ions, lowering the effectiveness of Chlorine disinfectant and making the pool susceptible to bacteria.
  • Keep the temperature at 25°C (77°F) or above 25 degrees Celsius because Chlorine is highly effective in temperatures between 77°F up to 99°F. Unlike the cold ones, warmer waters can be treated efficiently because chemical reactions occur faster. Also, for quicker evaporation of Chlorine, the temperature should be maintained at room temperature.

The ideal Chlorine and pH should retain those constant levels for thirty minutes. Disinfect the equipment used to remove the dead rat by submerging it in the pool during the thirty minutes of disinfection. Also, confirm that the filtration system is operating well during that period. Remember, even though a dead rat in a pool will not cause any perilous health effects, disinfecting the pool is a mandatory precaution that ensures a sanitary environment for swimmers.

Keeping the Rats Out Of the Pool

While you can easily get worried about the abrupt influx of rats in the pool area, keeping them away can be equally effortless. Firstly, you can send them away by making your pool area less attractive; this is done by spattering moth balls around the pool. Rats loathe how they smell; they’ll eventually disappear. Secondly, you can disperse rubber snakes around the pool premises to scare away the rats. Thirdly, remove anything that can act as a shelter near the pool. It can either be firewood or garbage cans. For the cans, you can seal them tightly. And finally, you can consider seeking pest control professionals to do their trick in keeping the rats out of the pool.

Bottom Line

Having a dead rat inside a pool can make swimmers uneasy. The above simple steps will help you locate the rat and remove it from the pool. Also, it is equally essential to disinfect the pool once the rat is removed because the water would have been contaminated. If doing this by yourself may seem stressful, consider contacting a professional person to help you out.

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