Keep the critters away from your hot tub!

When the seasons change and the temperatures drop, there are critters in our world that seek out places that are dry and/or warm to camp out to endure fall and wintertime. The one place you DON’T want these lovely creatures to inhabit is your hot tub! Here are some notes that could keep your hot tub from becoming the neighborhood shelter.

The #1 issue most customers call and complain about (or an unfortunate service tech discovers) has to do with rodents taking up residence in a hot tub equipment bay. Those pumps and heater create a lovely environment for mice to curl up and enjoy. Once they make it their home, they can do A LOT of damage—to equipment, wires, plumbing, insulation…not to mention the feces they leave behind that can create health hazards! If you have a Hot Spring Spa, count yourself lucky. Most Hot Spring models were long ago designed to keep these critters out of your equipment bay. If you have a different brand of hot tub, you might want to consider getting some type of wire mesh to close up any open gaps that allow easy entry into the innards of your tub. Don’t seal it off entirely, as the equipment still needs a way for excess heat to escape if necessary. And—if you’re too late and a critter or two is already inside, call an exterminator to handle the situation! It’s not safe for you—and we can’t have service techs working on infested equipment bays until all remnants are cleaned out.

Another pesky situation we hear about occasionally is a prince of a problem—frogs and toads. While there aren’t a lot of precautions you can take regarding amphibians (and, let’s face it, they’re good for the environment!), we can recommend the following:

  • Be sure your cover isn’t waterlogged and soggy. It needs to create a tight seal against the hot tub shell so there aren’t nooks and crannies where frogs can squeeze into your hot tub. And—when your hot tub isn’t in use, be sure the cover is secured with the hot tub straps to keep it snug.
  • Keep your water balanced. Water that smells good and is balanced correctly doesn’t give off excess odor that you may not be able to pick up, but a frog or two can certainly detect. The smellier the water, the more likely they’ll find their way to your hot tub.

Another serious issue for many hot tub users is the appearance of carpenter ants. Not only are these not good for your hot tub, they’re clearly not good for your deck or house either! If your hot tub has a wood cabinet, keep it clean and treated regularly to prevent any rotting. And, if your garden or any area near the hot tub has any dead or rotten trees or logs nearby, get rid of them. They make an excellent base of operations for ants to set up camp—then head to your hot tub for sustenance, either from the wood or the insulation. (Yikes!) Again, if you’ve already got ants present, get thee to an exterminator to eradicate the problem and recommend safeguards against future infestation.

And finally—USE your hot tub in the fall and winter months! Not only is it good for you to warm up and keep yourself healthy and sleeping well during the chilly seasons, it also keeps the area active. A lot of critters tend to stay away from areas that get regular human activity.

Hopefully these recommendations will help guard your hot tub against the wrong kinds of guests this fall and winter!