Animals That Can Ruin a Backyard Pond

6 May 2021 Ponds

If you have recently installed a beautiful ecosystem pond or swim pond in your backyard, the last thing you want is to have it ruined by pests or predators. These animals can disrupt the balance of your pond by destroying plants, eating fish, or swimming in it. Knowing the animals that can ruin a backyard pond is crucial for deterring them and keeping them away. To help ensure consistent enjoyment of your pond, the experts at Fontana Ponds & Water Features have complied a list of the most common pond pests and how to deal with them.

Learn about other common pond maintenance problems.

Potential Pond Predators and Pests

Pond predators and pests can include:


A few frogs in a pond are fine, but their population can quickly spiral out of control if left unchecked. Though frogs can help limit the mosquito population in your pond, too many of them can disrupt the ecosystem. Ensure that you are limiting the number of emergent plants in your pond (cattails, etc.) to reduce their places to hide and live. If frogs have nowhere to go, they will often disperse to another area.

Large Birds

Herons and other large birds can cause many issues for your pond by eating any fish or damaging plants. They can also introduce invasive species of insects and fish into your pond by tracking eggs in with their feet. As most large birds are territorial, they can often be deterred by a strategically placed decoy bird. Fish caves are another great method of deterring birds from feeding on fish.

Racoons and Cats

Much like birds, racoons and cats love to feed on fish in your pond. Though they are typically limited to the shallow portions of a pond, they can still cause significant damage to plants and other vital parts of your pond’s ecosystem. Limiting shallow potions of your pond, adding a decoy animal, or adding a fish cave are effective methods of keeping these pests away.


Muskrats enjoy burrowing under banks and can collapse damns. Their digging abilities make them a major threat to your pond liner. Any damage or holes in the liner can cause leaks that will instantly cause your pond’s water level to drop. Muskrats enjoy eating cattails, water lilies, and other pond weeds. Removing these weeds and limiting their future growth can force muskrats to move to another location in search of food.


Ponds can provide ideal breeding grounds for mosquitos, allowing their numbers to rapidly increase. Though they pose no major threat to your pond, they can quickly become a nuisance and make it difficult to enjoy your pond. Controlling algae growth and ensuring that your water is moving in your pond are two effective methods of preventing mosquitos from laying eggs in the area.

For more information on pond predators and how to deal with them, contact the team at Fontana Ponds & Water Features. Their experts can be reached at 778-990-9773 and will be happy to assist you.