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Thread: ants in the pool

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    ants in the pool

    I have an inground chlorine pool/spa in tampa, fl.
    While we do not use the pool in the winter, we still operate the pump and maintain the chemicals. Seasonly around this time of the year, we get bazillions of tiny sugar ants that come up through the pavers and they end up floating in the pool. Skimming for about 1.5 hrs yesterday I was able to get maybe 25% of them. Is there anything that is better than skimming..maybe some kind of clarifier that captures solids and carries them to the bottom for vacumming??
    13,500 gal IG 3'-5', BBB (less Borates), Hayward DE filter, 400k BTU Hayward heater, 2HP A.O. Smith pump, 2 skimmers, Sunstone Pearl "Aqua Blue" surface, Colorsplash 3G light, Blue Diamond cleaner, A.O. Smith 6' slide, K-2006 test kit

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    Join Date
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    Re: ants in the pool

    Welcome to TFP!!

    I don't know if there's some sort of flocculant that will help, but - if you don't have to worry about house pets getting into it, DE (diatomacious earth) will kill ants and other bugs trying to get into the pool on the ground.

    Then again, you could try to persuade the 'uncles' to call them back home

    (again, welcome here, we try to keep a sense of humor )
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: ants in the pool

    Hi mandoman! Welcome to TFP!
    I have seen ads before for products that claim break the surface tension of the water so the bugs will sink, but I have never tried it so I don't know how well they work. To expand on Ted's idea, you could get some pesticide grade DE and sprinkle it on the pavers and then sweep it into the cracks and see if that keeps them out of the pool.
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    Puffin's Avatar
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    Re: ants in the pool

    If you use DE for insect control, you want to use the garden kind not the pool kind. Pool DE has been heat treated which changes some of its characteristics. As I understand it, that treatment is what improves its filtering abilities, but diminishes its effectiveness as a pesticide. Additionally, the heat treatment (again as I understand it) is what increases its inhalation risk from irritant to carcinogen.

    -Edit
    Wow, people are really quick at posting here.
    For surface tension, I believe both adding borates (and salt I think?) will do that.
    19,600 gal, Vinyl, Grecian L, StaRite Dura-Glas 1 HP pump, 3/4hp booster, Pentair Clean and Clear 420 Cartridge filter
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    Prav's Avatar
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    Re: ants in the pool

    When I had that problem a few months ago, I added a skimmer sock to catch it there instead of letting them get to the filter. Last few weeks has not been that bad, but they do love to go out for a swim!
    14'x30' (est. 14K gal) w/spillover spa (est. 500 gal) - 1995 // Diamond Brite Blue Quartz - 2006
    Hayward SwimPure Plus T-15 - 2013 // Zodiac MX-8 - 2013
    Plain ol' Intermatic mechanical timer // Pump: 1 HP Pentair SuperFlo - 2012
    Filter: Hayward C17502(S) Cartridge Filter - 2011 // Heat Pump: Sunrunner/Aquapro 1300 (127K BTU) - 2011

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    Re: ants in the pool

    Where's my brain

    If you want to sink the little buggers try some linear quat (~dimethel-ethel-amonium-chloride or something like that). Just a splash will sink even the largest bugs or clusters of ants .

    If you have a salt pool, this probably isn't the best option, at ~> 1500 ppm salinity, the stuff will make a crusty foam on the water surface which takes a few days to dissipate.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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