Showing posts with label raccoons eating fish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label raccoons eating fish. 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

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

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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.