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Home > Resources> Garden Solutions > Raccoons

Raccoons in the garden   It seems inevitable that if you have a pond with water plants and fish, not only will you and your friends enjoy it, a raccoon or two (or three or five) will find it enjoyable also. Being the inquisitive omnivorous creatures they are, they will explore any nook and cranny they can comfortably reach. Not really liking to put their faces under water while searching for succulent edibles, these fellows avoid deep areas and steep walled ponds, but supply them with a shallow area and they will wreak havoc on many plants and muddy the water in their search for pond snails, tadpoles, fish and insect larvae.

Short of camping out at the pond with a broom or other deterrent instrument, not much has been available to the pond owner to dissuade these critters without detracting from the pool’s aesthetics. Pond covers, impenetrable fencing, and electric fences rarely blend in harmoniously with any water garden. At San Marcos Growers we are experimenting with a method of deterring the raccoons and other pesky nocturnal wildlife without detracting from the pond’s beauty. It is based on startling the animal, and making it uncomfortable for the animal to be near the pond. You might want to try it - the idea is open to many variations and ingenuity.

The system is based on three components: a motion detector, a voltage transformer or electronic sprinkler controller, and a sprinkler. Standard electrical power and typical household water are required for sources of energy. The motion detector is connected to the automatic sprinkler controller so that when motion is detected near the pond, floodlights come on and sprinklers are activated near the pond’s edge for a short period of time. Any animal detected near the pond’s boundary will thus be startled and showered by a flood of light and pressurized water. We’ve been experimenting with this technique on a very vulnerable part of the water garden, and so far it seems to be working.

There is now a commercially available product that does this very task for you without the need for electrical hookups. See our links to other sites for more information about this product.