11 Easy Tips To Keep Chipmunks Out Of Your Swimming Pool

Eastern chipmunk on wooden deck

Chipmunks are arguably one of the cutest little creatures that scurry around our outdoor spaces. Unfortunately, though, sometimes chipmunks end up going into your swimming pool. If you keep finding chipmunks in your pool, there are some easy tips to keep them out – and today we’re going to share how!

Chipmunks may end up in your pool because they are attracted to water. As the little critters try to get a drink, they fall into the pool. Without a ladder or other way to get out, they may be stuck. Today, we’re going to give you some easy tips to keep chipmunks out of your swimming pool, so keep on reading to find more!

Key Takeaways:

  • Chipmunks are attracted to pools because they are an easy source of water and may contain insects that chipmunks try to eat.
  • There are various ways to repel chipmunks from the pool, including barriers and scent deterrents.
  • Yard attractants may inadvertently attract chipmunks near your pool – Eliminating attractants can help deter them.

* This post contains affiliate links.

Why Do Chipmunks Keep Getting In My Pool?

chipmunk on concrete block near pool

Pools Are A Source Of Water

One reason chipmunks may end up in your pool is because it is a source of drinking water for them. While it isn’t the best quality of drinking water, it still may attract them to your pool. Chipmunks are like most wildlife – trying to survive and attain the three basic necessities of food, water, and shelter.

Once chipmunks have gotten a drink, they may accidentally fall. Chipmunks can swim, but that doesn’t mean they want to be stuck in your pool!

Your Yard Attracts Chipmunks To Your Pool

Another likely reason why chipmunks are getting into your swimming pool is due to the offerings that your outdoor space provides for them.

An article from the American Midland Naturalist found that coarse woody debris (fallen trees, dead logs, and fallen branches on the ground) is utilized by chipmunks the most, especially in areas with open canopies, such as your yard.

If your yard extends to wooded land or if you have overgrown shrubbery and brush, there’s a good chance that you’re attracting chipmunks to your yard and pool. Decks, retaining walls, and fences are also sources of cover for chipmunks.

If you are also noticing a lot of chipmunks on your property, head on over to our article about the best chipmunk repellents.

Yards And Pools Provide Food For Chipmunks

You may not know it, but your garden, bird feeder, and trees may be attracting chipmunks because they provide these little critters with plenty of food.

  • Gardens: Full of tasty veggies and crawling with delectable insects, chipmunks can live well in a yard with a garden!
  • Bird feeders: Birds are pretty messy at bird feeders, and the dropped seeds are an easy food source for chipmunks.
  • Nut-producing trees: Oak, walnut, and hickory trees all attract chipmunks in the fall due to the tasty nuts they drop – acorns, walnuts, and hickory nuts.

If you have any of these sources of food in your yard, chipmunks may meander from the food source over to your pool. You can read our complete list of plants that chipmunks eat here to make sure you aren’t providing food sources for these little critters.

So, how do you keep these adorable critters out of your swimming pool? Read on to find out!

11 Easy Tips To Keep Chipmunks Out Of Your Swimming Pool

Most of the tips listed below will help keep chipmunks out of your swimming pool as well as deter chipmunks from your yard

Although these tips are great to utilize near your pool and in the yard, the most long-term solution we can offer to keep chipmunks out of your swimming pool is to always maintain your landscape and keep up with the cleaning and tidying up of your outdoor spaces.

1. Installing A Barrier Around Your Swimming Pool Will Keep Chipmunks Out

One of the most fool-proof ways to keep chipmunks out of your swimming pool is by adding a barrier or fence around the pool itself when it’s not in use. But not any old fence will keep chipmunks out. These creatures are talented climbers and borrowers.

A hardware cloth fence may not look the best, but it’s an excellent material that can effectively keep chipmunks out of your pool. Garden Tailor Hardware Cloth 1/4 inch 48 x 100 ft Wire Fencing is galvanized, so it can stand up to weather. Another important aspect is the 1/4-inch holes – these are small enough that chipmunks can’t squeeze through them.

Bird netting and plastic mesh are also effective tools, just make sure the holes are 1/4-inch or smaller so that sneaky chipmunks can’t go through. Anything larger and it won’t be effective at deterring chipmunks.

Depending on your pool’s setup, you may need to bury the fencing 6 inches into the ground to prevent these little pests from digging beneath the fence. If you think you’ve spotted a chipmunk hole, cross-reference with our article on the signs of a chipmunk hole to make sure. If you do identify a chipmunk hole, follow our guide on the best ways to fill chipmunk holes for good.

2. Maintaining The Upkeep Of Your Property Will Deter Chipmunks From Your Pool

The most important and long-term solution we can offer you is to maintain the upkeep of your property, as this will surely help keep chipmunks out of your swimming pool!

Here are the main things that will attract chipmunks into your yard and near your swimming pool:

AttractantWays to Eliminate Attraction for Chipmunks
Fallen BranchesRegularly clean up fallen branches and dispose of them properly.
Messy Firewood PilesStack firewood neatly in a dry area and elevate it off the ground.
Dead TreesRemove dead trees from the yard and dispose of them safely.
Overgrown WeedsRegularly mow and maintain the yard to prevent weed overgrowth.
Untrimmed BushesPrune and trim bushes to maintain a tidy and open yard space.

If you have a lot of overgrown shrubs, broken branches that have fallen to the ground, messy log piles from firewood, or a lot of environmental debris such as weeds, fallen leaves, acorns, branches, fruits, and vegetables – you may be attracting chipmunks to your yard without even realizing it.

The more open your yard is, the less attractive it will be to chipmunks. An open yard gives raptors the perfect bird’s eye view of scuttling chipmunks.

3. Adding Flashing Lights Will Scare Chipmunks Away From Your Pool

Another easy way to keep chipmunks out of your swimming pool is by adding flashing lights or strobe lights to the surrounding areas and even to your pool itself! Chipmunks do not like flashing lights, as it seems dangerous and unfamiliar to them.

Using light as a source to deter chipmunks from your swimming pool is overall harmless and effective. The flashing light will disorient chipmunks and other pests and repel them from the area.

If you’re looking to purchase in-pool flashing lights check out these Niser Floating Swimming Pool Lights that will create a strobe effect underwater! These lights are perfect for keeping chipmunks and have the added bonus of keeping other pests away as well.

One downside to using flashing lights in your pool is that it may attract nocturnal bugs that are drawn to lights. It’s important to weight the benefits of repelling chipmunks with the drawback of attracting more bugs to your pool.

4. Removing All Birdfeeders To Keep Chipmunks Out Of Your Pool

Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) - with its cheek pouches full of food sits on a mossy log

Chipmunks love to munch on seeds, so if you have birdfeeders in your outdoor space and also have a chipmunk problem, one of the first steps you should take is to remove all the birdfeeders.

We get it, we love to feed birds too. But more often than not birdfeeders attract unwanted pests and can cause more harm than good to your outdoor space. By simply removing birdfeeders from your trees and outdoor space, you will be removing a major food source.

Alternatively, if you’d like to keep your bird feeder, we recommend two things:

  • Use a catcher tray: Catcher trays install right on your bird feeder and help catch any falling seed. Pranovo Bird Seed Catcher Tray is a great way to eliminate fallen seed.
  • Use Specific Seeds: Sunflower seeds and safflower seeds are the two most attractive seeds to chipmunks. Try using birdseed that doesn’t contain these to dissuade chipmunks from invading your yard and pool area.

5. Clean up Food Scraps Around Your Swimming Pool and Outdoor Spaces

Removing a chipmunk’s food source will help keep chipmunks out of your swimming pools. Whether it’s seeds, acorns, garbage bins, fallen fruit, or ripe veggies, be sure to remove these to reduce the chances of chipmunks invading your yard and pool area.

A chipmunk’s livelihood is finding food, stuffing it in their little mouths, and then bringing it to the burrow to be stored! The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife tells us that chipmunks can gather up to 165 acorns in one day! Chipmunks are busier than beavers!

So, if you start to remove the food sources from your backyard, there’s a good chance that the chipmunks will no longer come around – and in turn, stay clear from your pool.

6. Install A Ramp Or Extra Exit To Your Pool

If you do see chipmunks in your pool, adding an extra exit to your pool is a great way to help them get out on their own.

Adding little rescue ramps like this GERSIK 2 Pack Animal Critter Saving Escape Ramp for Pool can help get chipmunks out of the pool so they can get on with their merry way.

Sometimes things happen, and chipmunks may slip into your pool on accident. So, if that’s the case, giving chipmunks and all critters a way to escape can be a game changer!

7. Covering Your Pool When It Is Not In Use Will Keep Chipmunks Away

Another great way to keep chipmunks out of your pool is to put a cover on your pool when it’s not in use.

Covers are great options to keep chipmunks out of your pool because not only do they work to keep critters out, but they also have a dual purpose, as most covers will keep your pool warm!

For instance, BigXwell Solar Pool Cover comes in a ton of sizes and will help warm your pool up while protecting it from critters at night! We love this cover because it minimizes evaporation, keeps in the heat, and is eco-friendly.

8. Use An Automatic Pool Cleaner To Keep Chipmunks Out Of The Pool

Another way to keep chipmunks out of your swimming pool is to have an automatic pool cleaner clean the pool. An automatic pool cleaner will look like a huge predator underwater, and a chipmunk will definitely not take a dip in your pool if they see a “predator” lurking.

There are various pool cleaners available. This Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner works great to not only clean your pool but keep chipmunks out – plus, it has a timer and scheduler!

Automatic pool cleaners are definitely worth the hype because they contribute to keeping up and maintaining your property. Keeping your pool clean and vacuumed is essential as well because it helps keep the insect population down, which is another attractant to chipmunks.

9. Keep Inflatable Pool Toys In The Pool When It’s Not Being Used

One of the best ways to keep chipmunks out of your swimming pool is to add inflatable pool toys when the pool isn’t being used – because they’ll think that the toys are predators!

Chipmunks are the food source for a large number of animals. Because of this, adding any inflatables to your pool will deter chipmunks from coming near.

I know, we don’t like thinking about the predators to chipmunks either, but, the truth is, chipmunks know how to deal with predators. They know what to look for and what to expect, so if you throw something new into your pool like this Intex Sea Turtle, they’re going to take caution before going for a swim.

You can read more about the natural predators of chipmunks here.

10. Use Scents That Chipmunks Hate To Keep Them Out Of Your Swimming Pool

Chipmunk perched on rock

One of the ways that chipmunks deal with predators is by being able to smell them out.

Chipmunks have an incredible sense of smell, and you can use this to your advantage! If you’re having a chipmunk problem, adding scents that chipmunks hate to your outdoor surroundings and pool is a fantastic deterrent.

There are many scents that chipmunks hate, and there are various ways to use them. Some scents that chipmunks hate include:

  • Vinegar (Check out our vinegar-specific article on why vinegar repels chipmunks here!)
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Mint
  • Citrus
  • Essential Oils
  • Cedar Mulch

If you’d like to learn how to use these scents, check out our article on the scents that chipmunks hate and how to use them.

11. Plant Marigolds, Daffodils, and Hyacinth Around Your Pool To Keep Chipmunks Out Of Your Swimming Pool

Another way to keep chipmunks out of your swimming pool is to plant Marigolds, Daffodils, and Hyacinths around the perimeter of your pool to create a barrier.

Chipmunks hate these plants for a few reasons. Marigolds produce an aroma that chipmunks cannot tolerate. Daffodils are actually poisonous to chipmunks, and chipmunks know it, so they will stay away all because of their instincts. Hyacinth also has a very strong aroma that overwhelms a chipmunk’s olfactory glands.

Planting Marigolds, Daffodils, or Hyacinths in a garden bed around your swimming pool or in pots (and definitely adding cedar mulch to top it off) will not only give you a pretty landscape but will prevent chipmunks from getting too close to your pool.

When To Contact A Professional

Even with all of these amazing tips and suggestions for keeping chipmunks out of your pool, these persistent little buggers may still find their way into your yard and pool area. If this is the case, consider using our nationwide pest control finder to connect with a local pest professional.

Pest specialists have years of experience and can identify how chipmunks are sneaking into your pool and what might be attracting them. They can also use tactics that aren’t available through normal channels, such as specialized repellents and methods to keep chipmunks out.

All in All!

If you have a chipmunk problem, I hope that we were able to alleviate some of the stress and help you create a plan to keep chipmunks out of your swimming pool.

Just remember, never tackle any pest problems on your own, and it’s always best to contact a professional before doing so. After speaking with a professional, the most important solution we can offer you is to maintain your property as much and as often as you can.

A yard clear of debris, cover, and food sources is unlikely to attract chipmunks.

With this, adding scents to your yard, adding a pool cover, flashing lights or pool toys, and more can really help set the rules for your swimming pool area. That one important rule is that chipmunks are not welcome!


Bowers, M. A. (1995). Use of space and habitats by the eastern chipmunk, Tamias striatus. Journal of Mammalogy76(1), 12-21.

Hart, E. B. (1971). Food preferences of the cliff chipmunk, Eutamias dorsalis, in northern Utah. The Great Basin Naturalist, 182-188.

PATRICK A. ZOLLNER and KEVIN J. CRANE “Influence of Canopy Closure and Shrub Coverage on Travel along Coarse Woody Debris by Eastern Chipmunks (Tamias striatus),” The American Midland Naturalist 150(1), 151-157, (1 July 2003).

Pyare, S., Kent, J. A., Noxon, D. L., & Murphy, M. T. (1993). Acorn preference and habitat use in eastern chipmunks. American Midland Naturalist, 173-183.

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