Showing posts with label getting rid of raccoons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label getting rid of raccoons. Show all posts

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

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010


What height should I build a fence to keep out Raccoons?

I put a pond in a few months ago and ever since I've lost tons of money in fish and plants, not to mention how hard the upkeep has been on my pond because of raccoons. Just last night I lost one 8" beautiful koi and one 6" butterfly! I've had it. I've tried all the home remedies.. cayenne pepper, ammonia and now I've decided to fence off the area where I think they are coming in from. Since I rent I want to spend as little as possible since I'm about $800 in with this pond as it is.

I had put up a 3 foot fence near some stairs because of my 2 year old but now would like to fence off a 20' section to try and keep them out. Any ideas on how high I should make it? I know the best would be maybe 5' or so but I would like to keep costs down. Does anyone know if they can climb over a 3 or 4' fence? I will be planting rose bushes along the back of it (I am moving them from another area of my yard) because I've read they hate thorny plants.

Any other ideas would be great. I cant use a scarecrow because of the size of my yard and location of my patio furniture.
Please help!

You could try planting prickly plant material around your pond. Burford Holly works well. So does asparagus fern. But if they want your fish, they WILL get it.
And you have to sink the fence as well because those critters will dig under it. Dig down under the fence and put chicken wire in so they can't dig through.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Visiting Wildlife

If you trap visiting wildlife like raccoons, and want to relocate them, check with the Wildlife Commission to see if
1) You have rights to move them to a more suited environment,
2) If they are prone to mark their territory and return,
3) Have the local humane society trap & move them to a more fitting area. 

If they are taken to a brand new neighborhood, they are likely to be unable to find food and die.

Learn more about ponds and get your questions answered at
Backyard ponds with the pondlady

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.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


It has always seemed strange to me that we build beautiful wildlife resorts in our yards and then we want to restrict the population. Most of us don't like raccoons to visit and it's true they can be destructive to plants and can kill fish.
Because we are taking the raccoon's habitats away every time we build a new house or a parking lot or a shopping center, they are doing what they know to do and finding a place to live and eat where they used to live, but can't anymore. And their only natural predator is us. So here we are wanting a 'gated community' in our yards and we took away the raccoons community. Whatever are we to do? There are have-a-heart traps that might work, but then you have a raccoon in a trap and must call the SPCA to come get it or you must release it somewhere far away where the raccoon will most probably die.

The best thing I have found is to make the pond occupants less desirable to the marauding raccoon. Plant asparagus fern, dwarf holly or other prickly things aouund the pond where the raccoon interstate highway leads to your pond. That has worked for me and for my clients throughout the years.