Ants, too, should be part of your pool maintenance

Just a quick news bulletin about spring time maintenance as it pertains to ants. In early spring, ants start coming out of wherever they hibernate for the winter. Along with doing all the other “beneficial” things they do, they can cause you problems with your electrical equipment.

The way this happens, is simple. The windings from your electric motor for your pump or mechanical time clock and even the exposed ends of wires put off a magnetic field. This magnetic field is irresistible to the ant’s antennae, who are then drawn to it. Sometimes this field makes them start chewing on things.
This is where the problems begin. When they get to chewing on the windings, they will eventually get through the protective outer coating or insulation. Once there are two or more exposed wires in close proximity, you now have a electrical short moments away from happening. All that is needed now is for something to bridge the two exposed windings. Yes, the ants can conduct electricity. As the ants move around, they can and will at some point touch the two windings at the same time. Ants have just shorted your motor.

Ants also find that the enclosures and boxes make good shelter and are a good foundation onto which they can build their home and start the next colony. So they set up shop and get to work. Before you know it, you have an ant colony inside your equipment. The likeliness of the type of damage, described above, is now possible. The likeliness of getting bitten is also a reality.

In addition to that, the other type of damage I run across with some frequency is the building of a mound directly underneath the motor housing for any type of pump. The problem with this scenerio is that at some point these ants will attack the windings, but a lot slower type of damage is also occuring. These mounds are typically made up of dirt and organic debris. The problem is that this material holds moisture. This moisture over time will corrode completely through the housing and oxidize the motors insides. If enough oxide forms, metal conductors have a hard time moving electricity around. This will eventually lead to the need to replace the motors as well.

Along with proper pool maintenance, the entire backyard should be looked at to determine what could potentially harm or make pool maintenance more difficult or costly. Especially with the ants, make sure at first sighting that you do something to prevent these little guys from causing you a headache or ding your wallet. The little ant bait disks work good for this type of problem. Getting rid of the ants before they harm your equipment is the moral of this news update. Be proactive.

If you do get ant intrusion and need help with the problem, please contact us @

This entry was posted in Spring. Bookmark the permalink.