Raccoons and Pond gardening

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by Sunshine Coast Gardener, Sep 16, 2004.

  1. Gardenlover

    Gardenlover Active Member

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    Location:
    Southern Ontario, Canada Zone 6a

    If he is roaming in day light could have rabies. Raccoons are nocturnal animals. Keep your pet safe and have him vaccinated for rabies....if it gets bitten by a sick raccoon, not good.
     
  2. Creeping Jenny

    Creeping Jenny Active Member

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    Location:
    Mission, BC, Canada
    Its funny because there is a family of 3 raccoons that live in our area and they are always around during the day. They always have been. They are fine, I think they are just spotted more often because they stay in the big pine trees at the side of our house.

    Otis is vaccinated though.... that would not be good!!
     
  3. Gardenlover

    Gardenlover Active Member

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    Location:
    Southern Ontario, Canada Zone 6a

    glad to hear
     
  4. dwh

    dwh Member

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    Location:
    Langley, BC, Canada
    There are 4 raccoons that frequent my backyard and pond. When I first built the pond and it was not yet complete, the little buggers managed to drain the pond to a few inches of water 3 times. How they managed to undo the measures I had taken I will never know. Apparently the owners of the house before us enjoyed leaving food out for them.

    In the interior of the province, raccoons will attack and kill housecats and down here in Langley, I've seen the mother raccoon routinely attack the neighbours dog (some medium sized ranch/herding-type) even when when her 'little' ones were nowhere around. She is a vicious old bugger and her 'kids' are almost the same size as her.

    I finally purchased a Havahart live trap and was told to use hard-boiled eggs as bait. It was recommended over fish because fish will attract the opposums and housecats (which I wouldn't be too opposed to relocating either - kidding about the housecats). I have to report that I have successfullly removed 3 of them so far and relocated them 35 km away in a beautiful park complete with numerous ponds.

    There are a couple things that can make a difference in terms of trapping success, in my opinion of course:
    1. The longer the hard-boiled eggs stay in the trap - the stinkier and more irresistable they get. (I've never be able to smell them myself but 6 days is the longest I 've had the trap set before getting one).
    2. Makes sure to clean the trap really good with beach and water and rinse the bleach off afterwards (I fill up an unused garbage bin, add the bleach and then soak half the trap for hours at a time in the bin alternating the ends of the trap to get complete coverage). This accomplishes 2 important things, (1) it disinfects the trap from the feces and urination from trapped raccoons, and (2) it gets rid of the 'fear' scent that trapped raccoons (and other animals) give off when they are trapped.
    3. Leave the trap out but not set when you aren't going to be home for awhile (say while you are at work). This habituates the raccoons and reduces their wariness. I only set the trap when I have had evidence that my pond has been visited over the course of the night.
    4. Change up the location of the trap as the 'fear' smell can linger for days/weeks in areas that you wouldn't want to douse in bleach.
    5. Have patience.

    One other thing about the release... to keep the trapped raccoons from going crazy when you tranport them, cover the cage with an old towel or blanket of some sort. just cut a hole into the top so you can reach through and lift the cage. Upon release they usually just take off and are not interested in putting up any type of a fight - can't blame them after a 30 minute ride in the back of a truck in the semi-darkness.
     
  5. Gardenlover

    Gardenlover Active Member

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    Location:
    Southern Ontario, Canada Zone 6a

    You hit the nail on the head....but I take them deeper out like 70 kilometres away from my house into a beautiful forest or near corn fields...plently of food for them to survive there.

    I know one farmer who just hates raccoons and will shoot them down...no second thought. They attack and kill his bunnies by ripping out their eye balls and not eating their bodies. What's up with that?

    I had my bunney killed by a raccoon. Yes and always cover the cage because they go nuts when you come near them...very viciuos.
     
  6. Janet Lee

    Janet Lee Member

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    Location:
    sonoma county, Ca. US
    When trapping raccoons in a have-a-heart trap, I always put a piece of plywood underneath the trap. The plywood should be at least a couple of inches wider than the trap, and at least a foot or so LONGER (at both ends) than the length of the trap. Sometimes I have had to tie the trap down to the plywood because the raccoons can really thrash around in the trap. After catching the animal, the trap is easily picked up, by two people, lifting from the ends of the plywood. No gloves are necessary as your hands are kept a safe distance from the critter. This works great for skunks too. Once caught, if you walk up very carefully and place a dark towel, blanket, or tarp VERY SLOWLY and CAREFULLY over the skunk, you can then pick up the cage using the plywood. It's sort of like carrying a stiff stretcher. The skunk may spray if frightened so whatever you use to cover the trap will probably need to be discarded. Usually once the trap is covered, they calm down. This works for the raccoons as well.
     
  7. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member

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    Location:
    Burnaby North on a slope facing south & a view :-)
    I have the kit and the rocks all 100% snowwhite crystaline rocks 1.5 tones READY for an
    Artic oriented pond ..in BURNABY also.
    Till now I haven't seen one Racoon in our garden. We have 8feet wooden walls
    and quite a drop from there still ..but my neigbours lawn was devastated by them.

    Where do I get these motion water sensors etc and how much $ am i looking at???

    I was planning on a pond that is sunken with sort of ICEBERG snow white islands
    and all the bottom of the liner covered in white rocks also. Not planned on fish
    only some plants. I could also RAISE the pond but I don't think Racoon will see a difference. What about a thinn mesh like pattern if thin wires . In South Africa I had
    3 different level koi ponds 1 the deepest with fish the two other only as BIO filters with loads of water plants. But streching some fishing cable (nylon) across criss cross the BIRDS do sense it and stay away generally especially the fishing type.
    But I don't know will it deterr a Racoon ?
    I thought maybe a glass sheet :-) now that would be sure Racoon proof ...mmmh maybe I should sell life size pond pictures one can sink into the ground or maybe LCD ponds :-) the way the world goes why not.
     
  8. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member

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    Location:
    Burnaby North on a slope facing south & a view :-)
     
  9. goosegirl

    goosegirl Member

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    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    Hi everyone. Get ready for this! According to a garden store staff person in Penticton, the best cure for raccoons in your pond is marshmallows and unpasturized, brown apple juice. Soak a few marshmallows in the apple juice, and put them around the pond. The smell will attract the raccoons, and they will pick up the marshmallows and try to wash them in the pond. This will create a sticky mess on their paws which they cannot get off, and this in turn will keep their paws dirty and the raccoons will associate that with your pond and stay away.

    I kid you not!! I tried it once last year, and there were no raccoon troubles for a couple of weeks. Apparently you have to do it fairly often because other families of raccoons may come visit your pond, and you want to treat them all.

    I did not put the treatment out again, and my pond got trashed. I have just put it back together and will be getting marshmallows and apple juice tomorrow. It seems crazy, but its cheap. I would love to hear results from anyone else who tries it.
     
  10. Jewell13

    Jewell13 Member

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    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    Well I woke up this morning and four of my seven, large beautiful koi are half eaten around our pond. Not happy. Haven't had issue with racoons for 3 years. First time I grabbed what fish were left and kept them in the house for a year. So for the last year and a half and installing a new fence around our house the Koi have been safe. Issue is the neighbor planted a tree at our fence and the racoons used that to get in to the yard. Husband says, " cut the tree down and shoot the racoons". lol.|Anyways have known about the marshmellow trick for a long time, but have never needed to try. This will happen today. I will advise on the outcome.
     
  11. WilliamB1026

    WilliamB1026 Member

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    Location:
    Medford, Massachusetts, USA
    We have a small 120 gallon fiberglass pond with a plant shelf. For years we had a nice water garden with a small water fall to circulate and filter the water. Until the raccoons discovered it. We tried all sorts of things to deter them from feasting on our trap-door snails and lily buds: coyote urine, cayenne pepper, small fencing. I even battled them at 4 a.m. one morning, yelling at them and swatting them with a broom. Several times I would go out in the morning to find the pond almost empty of water (they had somehow disturbed the re-circulation tubing. I swear, they know how to do this!). The lily buds were shredded to bits, the water hyacinths were nibbled into a mess, and cracked open snail shells were at the side of the pond. The goldfish were alive, but in two inches of water. I finally built a 24" fence made of green garden wire fencing. First, I pounded 2 foot copper pipe at intervals around the pond, then constructed the barrier using wider 2 foot copper pipe that was wrapped securely with the green fencing. The larger pipe couples with the smaller copper pipe. This barrier even has a top using the same fencing. It is removable. The contraption is not very attractive, but it has kept the raccoons out. They only thing they can do is reach in through the fencing and grab what they can -- usually water hyacinths.
     

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