Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Egrets and Raccoons

From a new pond owner:

I have just gotten my brand new pond and already egrets and raccoons are eating my fish and plants. Help, what can I do?

Pondlady sez:

 We build beautiful backyard resorts for critters like fish and raccoons and then we don't want them as guests. We want our ponds to be gated communities.

I don't know of any way to keep the fish eating critters away from the pond. 
I advocate never feeding the fish at all and giving them a balanced ecosystem 
in which to live. That way when predators arrive, the fish know that they are
 predators so, they hide in the natural plants and rocks that are in the pond and 
they don't get eaten. Or at least the smart ones don't get eaten. The smart ones have smart babies, the dumb ones get eaten.

For a raccoon deterrent, try planting prickly stuff around your pond. Asparagus fern is good or a holly of some kind. Remember, that prickly stuff can bite you as well as the raccoons.


How to build a pond said...

I agree with Jan. A natural ecosystem pond will be the most healthy.

Be prepared, you may also get snakes. If your property is in the southern states, and you are anywhere near another natural body of water, you may even get Water Moccasins (very poisonous). Water Moccasins will also eat fish and frogs.

Having said that, here's what I suggest for racoons and egrets (and Herons)...Add a large rock pile or two in the bottom of the pond. Make sure to stack the rocks so there's lots of space between the rocks where the fish can hide from predators. And also make sure the pile is STABLE. You don't want it to collapse.

Oh...regarding the Water Mocassin...If you DO get Water Mocassins, you can consider purchasing a King Snake at a pet shop. King snakes are harmless...unless you are a Water Mocassin.


Jan Goldfield said...

Great ideas. Thank you. I just advised a woman to put a roof tile in the bottom of her pond so fish can hide. Even a clay flower pot turned on its side can work.