Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Guess Who Came to Dinner?

One of the scourges of pondkeepers is raccoons.  We have paved and poured concrete over their natural habitat, so they arrive in our yards, spot our ponds and eat what they can find. They start with plants and finish with fish for dessert.  And then they alert their friends and families.  And soon we have nightly unwanted visitors. 

Some folks trap and relocate them.  That rarely works. If they are dropped off far away, they are so disoriented they lose their way and die.  

Other folks trap them and call the SPCA only to learn that taxes no longer offer support to that service, so what they can do is severely curtailed and they no longer pick up raccoons.  I had one pond owner who bought a wonderful house backed up to a wooded area. I build a pond and landscaped the back yard.  The raccoons arrived.  He toughed it out for about 3 years before the raccoons won. He sold the house and moved.  

So, what do we do? I have found the best thing is to plant prickly plants around the pond. Hollies, asparagus fern, anything you would not want to tangle with because it hurts will generally repel the raccoons as well. It's not a perfect solution, by any means, but I have found no better one. If you know a better way to keep them at bay, let me know.

It's a little warm to dig a hole, but you can prepare by buying my book , "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond" and be ready to start digging when the heat abates. Download it

And join us for pond talk all the time, including what to do for your fish when the heat strikes.

Find us at pondlady.com

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