Cute as they are, duck­lings are a poor pool ac­ces­sory

The Arizona Republic - - News -

Clay Thomp­son Ari­zona Repub­lic USA TO­DAY NET­WORK Reach Clay at 602-444-8612 or clay.thomp­son@ari­zonare­pub­

Clay is off to­day. Here’s a col­umn first pub­lished April 20, 2011:

To­day’s ques­tion:

A hand­some pair of ducks have taken a lik­ing to our pool and mostly rocky back­yard. If they plan to raise duck­lings, how do I get them out of the pool, and what do I feed the lit­tle ones? Do I herd them to Tempe Town Lake, which is

about 300 yards away?

I’ve had three or four sim­i­lar ques­tions lately. I guess it’s the ducks-inthe-pool sea­son.

So, do you herd them to Town Lake 300 yards away? Good luck with that, buddy. And I’m sure they could find Town Lake by them­selves, what with them be­ing ducks and all.

Now, hand­some though they may be, and duck­lings or not, the birds have to go un­less you want to clean duck poop off your deck ev­ery day.

I am told there are a few non-toxic duck re­pel­lents on the mar­ket. I guess you scat­ter the stuff around your deck. You might ask at your pool-sup­ply store about that.

I won­der if duck re­pel­lent would work on my mas­ters. That might be worth ex­plor­ing.

The most com­mon anti-duck-in-the­p­ool strat­egy I came across was to fill the pool as much as pos­si­ble with beach balls or in­flat­able plas­tic al­li­ga­tors or stuff like that.

Or you could get some wa­ter­proofny­lon rope and make sort of a grid over the pool, but I think the in­flat­able-toy plan would be eas­ier.

One other plan: Look in the Yel­low Pages for a wildlife-re­moval ser­vice. Let them herd them to Town Lake.

Does cat poop make good fer­til­izer?

Not re­ally, es­pe­cially not for veg­etable gar­dens.

As a rule, the fe­ces of car­ni­vores are not very good fer­til­iz­ers. Too many par­a­sites and stuff.

Cat poop of­ten has a par­a­site called tox­o­plas­mo­sis, which is very nasty. And home com­post heaps don’t get hot enough to kill it.

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