snow monkeys in Japan

Want to keep varmints out of your hot tub? Read on.

September 8, 2017

Before long, our endless summer will end, fall will become real, and temperatures will drop. When that happens, certain critters tend to scurry for cover, seeking dry and warm places to hang out until spring. Hey, every little creature deserves a home, right? Well yes…as long as it isn’t your hot tub.  Since the best time to fix a problem is before it becomes a problem, we thought you would appreciate a few ways to turn off the “welcome sign” to your hot tub.

The number one service issue we hear from our customers is a rodent infestation in their hot tub equipment bay. The warmth generated by pumps and heaters make this a comfy-cozy environment for mice. Once they call your hot tub “home”, they can wreak havoc on equipment, insulation, wiring, and plumbing. And this new home doubles as their bathroom, which can become a health risk to humans. Hot Spring Spa owners are in better shape than most. Many years ago Hot Spring recognized the potential hazard, so they designed an equipment bay on most models that was a barrier to rodents.  If you don’t own a Hot Spring, and there are gaps in the exterior of your hot tub that allow critters inside, you should consider using wire mesh to seal the openings. Be careful that you don’t seal up your hot tub with a material that isn’t porous. Excess heat from the equipment needs a way to escape.  If your tub is already a happy rodent habitat …call an exterminator. Your safety is at risk…and so is that of our service techs. We won’t allow them to work on equipment bays until they’re cleaned and all evidence of infestation is removed.

Another couple of slimy characters we run into on occasion are frogs and toads. We love having them in our world, but not in our hot tubs. It’s tough to thwart a determined toad, but there is some maintenance you can do to keep them in their own creek.

  • Stay on top of your cover maintenance. Make sure it isn’t soggy or waterlogged. A tight seal between the cover and the hot tub shell is a must to keep frogs from slithering into your tub. When you’re not using you tub, keep the cover straps fastened and make sure it’s a snug fit.
  • An excellent way to amphibian-proof your hot tub is to keep the water balanced. Well maintained and balanced water should smell good. If your water isn’t fresh smelling, frogs can pick up the scent and head your way for a dip.

Carpenter ants are another “critter” issue. They can have serious consequences beyond your hot tub. They’re certainly not good for a tub, or any other nearby wooden structure including your deck or home. If your hot tub cabinet is made out of wood, inspect it often, keep it clean, and treat it to prevent rotting. If your hot tub is near a garden area, and there are any rotting trees, limbs, or logs, remove them. They can provide shelter for ants while they make daily visits to your hot tub to forage for food… And your tub surround or insulation can be their next meal. If ants have already found your hot tub, call an exterminator now!

One last bit of advice: Use your hot tub! Especially during fall and winter. There is so much to enjoy and benefit from, plus the extra human activity will send a message to critters that they are not welcome.

Hot tub guests are wonderful, as long as they’re the right kind of guests. Hopefully our tips will help you discourage those unwanted visitors this coming fall and winter.