Ducks are fun to watch and may seem like a novelty to have as a visitor to your pond. Although one or two visits from a duck should not be an issue for your pond, you should stay on the lookout for signs that they are making themselves at home. Ducks can cause issues for your pond that neither you or your koi will enjoy. Keep in mind that ducks don’t see your pond as a place to relax, more than likely they are looking for a place to nest and raise their young.
The main issue with ducks is the amount of droppings they leave. Duck excrement is very high in ammonia which contributes to poor water quality and can directly harm your koi, not to mention that it can quickly clog your filters and accumulate on the pond floor. When ducks lay eggs and have ducklings, adult ducks start increasing the food they consume, which leads to increased waste.
A duck’s diet is another major issue for your pond. Although they will only occasionally eat small fish, ducks tend to really enjoy munching on aquatic plants. Even after a short visit you may quickly notice your lilies and other leafy plants being shredded and uprooted.
Impacts to Landscape
Ducks tend to spend a lot of time out of the water as well, quickly impacting your surrounding landscape. Trampling plants and becoming territorial around your pond are a few additional problems encountered when a duck decides to nest. Ducks often become territorial when nesting and may exhibit aggression when they feel threatened by people.
Duck Deterrent Strategies
A few ways to keep ducks away from your garden pond include the following:
- Pond netting – Pond netting ensures ducks can’t enter the water.
- Automatic sprayers – An automatic sprayer will detect movement in its range and send a jet of water at any unwanted guests.
- Predator decoys – A decoy can be used to deter ducks from nesting near your pond. A decoy works well with an automatic sprayer system.
- Most importantly – don’t feed them!
Keep in mind that none of these steps are necessary until you notice ducks visiting consistently.