Frogs in the Swimming Pool

Common Eastern Froglet – Crinia signifera

Frog Cave

I seem to forever be rescuing these little fellows from the side walls of the family swimming pool. They call madly from the garden surrounds at night, particularly if rain is around. In the morning they can be found clinging to the sides of the pool with their top half pulled out of the water. The pebblecrete surface seems to give them enough of a hold on and they can stay pressed to the sides for many hours. We had a chunk of the pebblecrete break away from under the pool coping edge making a small cave just above the water level. This has become a frog favourite and one morning 6 little froglets were found squeezed in there hiding from the morning sun.

Crinia signifera

It is amazing to see the variations in colours and patterns on the backs of these frogs. However they all have a black and white blotched belly.

Crinia signifera belly

The photos below show some of the variations in colour and markings on the frogs I have rescued from the swimming pool.

Information about the Common Eastern Froglet ( link to Frogs Australia Network Database)

Frog Call (mp3)


Crinia signifera

Crinia signifera

Crinia signifera

Crinia signifera

67 Responses to “Frogs in the Swimming Pool”

  1. Hi Simone,

    Thanks for your comments and excellent suggestions. Easy, cheap and I’m sure quite effective.
    Regarding your notes…
    I guess we would have to ask the experts why the frogs prefer your neck of the woods. I have read that frogs are known to travel widely when looking for food and no doubt will settle somewhere where food is plentiful, there are places to hide and water for breeding. I’m glad this is the case as otherwise I would have no frogs visiting my backyard.
    I have also read that some frogs are territorial and competition for a prime calling spot can result in some species of frogs being driven away.
    There may be other reasons – aspect, water temperature, water movement, pollution.
    I think your neighbours have got the right idea. A barrier would stop ground frogs. ๐Ÿ™‚

    We are in the middle of winter here but have had some very mild sunny days and a bit of rain. My little Eastern Froglets are going berserk, calling night and day. We found one of the little fellows in the pool yesterday. I’m beginning to think he ended up there because of the high numbers calling from around the pond!

    Good luck with your frog problem. I just love the sound of that natural lake- “beautiful water lillies and duckweed adorned lake with itโ€™s west side overhung with towering trees”


  2. Pleased to hear from you Sue. Yes, your idea is the best I’ve been able to come up with also….that that beautiful natural pond was just so over run numbers wise that many headed out looking for more per-frog-space. Still I’m well less than 100% sure that this is all that’s involved so I will keep my antenna out for any future opportunity to learn more accurately. I’m sure I will run into a ‘frog expert’ one way or another eventually. I’m so pleased that today was the first day I’ve not found a single frog in the pool so maybe my carting them back to the natural pond is paying off. By the way it also occurs to me (still learning about my environment hear in Northern Michigan – I’m a transplant from North San Francisco Bay) that since the pond is right next to a large cherry orchard which subjected us all to the deafening noise of the spraying-tractors (at night for hours at a time) that maybe the deafening noise so near the little lake plus possibly the agents themselves (pesticides and/or anti-fungals I think) blowing over onto the surface of the water – each year at the same time – causes an exodus of frogs. In early spring one could hear what sounded like choruses of thousands down there, then quiet. Perhaps after all the riot and mating, it’s natural for large numbers to ‘go seek a new pond’. I can’t really believe the spraying situation has much to do with it as when I Googled ‘frogs in my pool’ I found literally hundreds of people on a variety of sites asking for help re ‘this problem’ and I doubt that a majority had spraying done in a nearby orchard. Anyway, I ‘feel in my bones’ that there is a fairly solid reason for this all and when I find out (sooner or later I’ll run into a amphibian expert) and when I find out, I’ll let your know! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi Simone,

    Just a comment on your observation: “In early spring one could hear what sounded like choruses of thousands down there, then quiet.”
    My little Eastern Froglets behave like that. They love the mild Spring weather but after a few weeks and particularly once the temperature goes up a bit, they cease all calling and seem to disappear altogether!

    You know something… I think you will be that frog expert in your neighbourhood. You are actively taking an interest in the frogs and very in tune with their behaviour already. I’ve been to the Bay area a couple of times but never Michigan. I was very taken with all the little squirrels we met everyday ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Hello!
    I live in Portland, Oregon USA. My neighbor’s above ground swimming pool turned into the most fantastic Pacific Tree Frog (sometimes called Pacific Chorus Frog) breeding ground.

    Sadly….the house was sold and completely demolished this summer. We have been finding the little sweeties in our yard. I want to recreate a water source for them and we are considering just buying a rectangular above ground pool (we need rectangular to accommodate space issues) and letting good old Portland rain and mother nature run their courses so to speak. I am wondering if the new plastic of the pool would “off gas” and be unappealing to the frogs?

    From reading all the posts above, clearly frogs are happy to lay eggs in some unlikely places but I was wondering if you had any suggestions for what to or not to do. We have raccoons, possums and feral cats in the neighborhood so we feel “above ground” is best.
    This is an awesome blog by the way! Thanks!

  5. Hi Nancy,
    Sorry about the delay in replying.

    Sounds like those frogs were very happy in the neighbour’s pool. It is wonderful you are considering setting up a pool in you own yard to replace their lost home. Plastic should be fine but I always wash any new plastic boxes I use with hot, mild soapy water – the mildest hand dish washing detergent I can find. Then rinse very, very, very well. Plastic/vinyl from a new pool probably settles down quickly. I guess you could fill the pool, let the water sit for a few days, then drain and refill… Maybe add some water plants to make the pool more inviting and let good old nature get to work. I must look up the Pacific Chorus Frog as I’d love to know what his call is like. Also curious… would raccoons try to eat tadpoles?

    Thanks for your kind words about my blog. A little neglected lately but with warm Spring weather here in Australia the frogs are becoming active AND vocal so I may have some photo opportunities soon. We rescued our first frog from the swimming pool last weekend. It’s on again! ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Thank you! Happy Spring. Its Fall here now (obviously) but I am still hearing some “croaking” from some individual frogs. The “chorus” in the spring time here is magnificent!

    The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends fencing an intended tadpole habitat to keep out predators. Some other Portland friends have told me that they have tried to have ponds in their yards but “the raccoons ate the tadpoles”. I have not researched that in particular though.

    Thank you again!

  7. Hi Nancy,
    I’ve been looking for your Pacific Tree Frog… This looks like the right one. A very attractive frog

    I found a recording of his call here:

  8. We go into our daughters pool many times in summer. there was a little frog in pool. our concern turned to a little friendship with Freaky ( we named it) he is almost playing hide and seek with us every we go into pool. im checking with daughter to see what they put in water when they close. at first she was a little disconcerted with Frisky, but now she calls us in Florida to keep us posted. The kids love it ! Are WE the freaky ones?

  9. My son caught a frog and put it in his fish bowl with one side water and the other side rocks. What do they feed on he really wants to keep it

  10. Hi Whitney,
    Your son can only keep the frog if your state laws allow it. Here in Australia, NSW, you are not allowed to keep frogs as pets unless you have a keeperโ€™s license and then, never a wild frog, only frogs purchased from licensed frog breeders.

    Frogs eat live food. I usually buy crickets from my local pet store. Frogs are messy creatures and often the crickets drown in the water so it is important to keep your frog’s home very clean.


  11. I think my eggs in my in ground pool are crickets.. Does anyone else have this problem?

  12. We had/have frogs in out saltwater pool almost every day. I love frogs–anything that eats bugs is precious in this neck of the Bayou. we have a floating ramp called a frog log
    And a critter skimmer pool skimmer. I have never seen a frog come out of the critter skimmer but I go out every morning and pull it out and often there are frogs on the ramp so at least they don’t drown.mFor the frog haters ask yourselves if you prefer swimming with dead bodies in your water or going to the “trouble” of saving their lives. It wAsn’t sure the frog lob was helping but I took it out overnight and the next morning there was a dead frog and one swimming around where the frog log had been so I’m sure it does work.

  13. Hello,
    I always find these little guys clinging to the side of the wall and remove them from the pool deck so they don’t drown in the pool, but are they safe outside? There are no natural bodies of water out there; should i bring them to the bird bath out back? I remove them so they can live, I hope it’s not catalyzing their demise!

  14. Hi Courtney,
    It won’t stop visits to the pool but an accessible pond/container of water may help with their choice of breeding spot. I remove them from the pool too and relocate them to the pond area but I’m convinced the same frogs keep returning!

  15. Hi. I found two dead frogs in my skimmer yesterday. ๐Ÿ™ I haven’t heard frogs in the pool but can’t seem to get the water clarity right to be able to see the bottom 100%. So I don’t know if there are more. I don’t want dead frogs but I don’t want them in my pool either… We have an above ground para pool with a deck around it. So they may have got in off the deck. If there were more in there, would they be on the top of the water or can they live on the bottom until the chlorine eventually kills them (whoch I have read happens)? The kids have been swimming and I don’t want kids or frogs to freak each other out!


  17. I happen to have one here in my backyard that enjoys jumping into our pool all times of the day and night. I was concerned at first, but he seems to have no trouble getting out. I live in the Bryan/College Station area and I have never had this experience in the 16 years we have lived here. I enjoy watching him swim throughout the pool. I enjoy it! โ˜บ๏ธ