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How to Protect Your Garden From Raccoons

Raccoons can be an adorable sight to see in the wild, but when they make their way into your garden, the sentiment quickly turns from admiration to frustration. Known for their mischievous and highly intelligent nature, raccoons can be extremely destructive to your garden, plundering your bird feeders, tearing up your lawn, and devouring your fruits and vegetables before they even get a chance to be harvested. Therefore, it is crucial to learn how to protect your garden from these pests, and thankfully, there are a variety of methods to do so effectively.

Understanding a raccoon’s behaviors and patterns is the first step in deterring them. Raccoons are nocturnal animals, meaning they are most active during the night. They are omnivores and are attracted to gardens that offer a variety of food sources including fruits, grains, insects, and even small animals. They are also skilled climbers and diggers, making both tall fences and buried barriers a futile choice of protection. Now that we understand their behavior, we can move on to tactics and strategies that can help us protect our gardens.

The most effective way to deter raccoons from your garden is by making it as unappealing as possible to these clever creatures. Removing potential food sources is an essential first step. Make sure to harvest fruits and vegetables as soon as they are ripe, dispose of fallen fruits or nuts quickly and maintain good composting practices. A compost bin with a secure lid will prevent raccoons from scavenging your compost for a snack. Also, if you have outdoor pet food, bird feeders, or garbage cans, ensure they are safely stored or tightly sealed. Raccoons have a strong sense of smell and can be lured into your garden by simply smelling a potential meal.

In addition to removing food sources, using repellents can be a useful tool in your arsenal. There are commercial raccoon repellents available that use taste or smell to deter raccoons. Capsaicin based repellents are popular as they have an unpleasant taste. Furthermore, the smell of predators can ward off raccoons. Predator urine such as that from dogs or coyotes can be obtained through some garden supply stores and can be strategically placed around your garden. Don’t forget to replace the urine regularly as its effect tends to diminish with rain or over time.

Creating physical barriers may also prove beneficial, though a trickier strategy due to raccoons’ notorious climbing and digging abilities. Electric fences can be a viable option, considering raccoons’ sensitivity to electric shocks. However, use this option only if you feel it is absolutely necessary and always make sure they are installed and operated safely according to local regulations and guidelines. A less drastic measure might be installing motion activated sprinklers. Raccoons dislike being sprayed with water, making sprinklers an effective, albeit temporary, solution.

If the raccoon problem persists despite implementing these methods, professional pest control may be your best option. Raccoons are smart and adaptable, and sometimes it takes an expert’s touch to deter them from your garden. Engage in humane animal control services that can trap and relocate these creatures safely without harm.

In conclusion, protecting your garden from raccoons requires a consistent and multifaceted approach. Understanding their behaviors, removing their food sources, utilizing repellents, creating physical deterrents, and seeking professional help when necessary can effectively minimize the havoc these mischievous critters can wreak on your garden. With careful planning and action, you can enjoy a raccoon-free garden teeming with healthy fruits and vegetables.

IMG_3213 Bird City – Avery Island Egret colony
By Jon. D. Anderson on 2017-03-02 12:38:15