Yes, we have raccoons in Phoenix, AZ! Arizona's backyard ponds serve as tranquil havens, providing homeowners with a slice of nature within their property. However, maintaining these water features comes with its challenges, especially when raccoons decide to make your pond their nightly playground. Raccoons can wreak havoc on ponds, causing damage to aquatic plant life and disrupting the aesthetics of your backyard paradise. In this blog, we'll explore effective strategies to defend your Arizona backyard pond from raccoon intruders, while preserving the harmonious coexistence between your water feature and local wildlife.
Understanding the Threat
Raccoons are intelligent and resourceful creatures, known for their curiosity and dexterity (some people call them cats with hands). When they discover a pond, they view it as a potential food source and an opportunity for play. The potential damage caused by raccoons includes uprooting plants, disturbing the pond substrate, and even predation on fish and other aquatic life. They can be quite destructive, especially if your pond is hosting an entire gaze of raccoons (yes, you read that right: a group of raccoons is referred to as a “gaze”). Now you know.
Implementing RACCOON Defense Strategies
The most effective direct barrier for raccoons is an electric barrier fence. Ranch supply stores, like Tractor Supply, sell very affordable electric barrier fencing options. The obvious drawback is that this type of fencing will also limit your pet’s ability to access the pond. Since raccoons are nocturnal predators, the answer to that issue is to put a timer on the fencing transformer so that it is only active between bedtime and dawn. And then remember the times when you can let your dog out without mishap.
You could install motion-activated sprinklers or lights (sometimes called “Scarecrows”). Raccoons are nocturnal, and sudden bursts of water, light, or sound can startle and deter them. These devices are an effective way to discourage raccoons from approaching your pond. If you opt for water, be sure to deactivate it before you go out, or you’re gonna get an unexpected shower. The funniest noise option story I’ve heard is using a motion-activated power source to activate an electric drill with a bent bit inside of an old metal mailbox. The racket will scare the hair off the raccoon and if it happens to wake you that makes for a good chuckle before you fall back to sleep and dream about your koi greeting you from their safe haven in the morning!
Place floating objects like large plastic balls or inflated pool toys in your pond. Raccoons are less likely to enter water where these objects are present, as they can be unpredictable and uncomfortable for the animals.
Use predator decoys or scents. Strategically place decoys of natural predators, like owls or hawks, around the pond. Additionally, you can use predator urine or scents to create the illusion of danger, making raccoons think twice before approaching.
An actual patrol dog is another obvious choice.
Secure Feeding Practices
Refrain from feeding other local wildlife near the pond, as this may attract raccoons looking for an easy meal. Remove any potential food sources, such as fallen fruit or pet food, that might entice them onto your property.
Strategic Landscaping and Regular Maintenance
Keep surrounding vegetation trimmed to eliminate potential hiding spots for raccoons. This also ensures clear lines of sight, making your pond less appealing as a shelter.
Professional Pest Management
If you have an ongoing raccoon issue, you can contact a pest control company properly licensed to capture and relocate these critters. One good choice would be Arizona Wildlife Control.
Defending your Arizona backyard pond against raccoons requires a combination of preventive measures and thoughtful landscaping. By implementing physical barriers, motion-activated devices, floating deterrents, and/or natural deterrents, and maintaining secure feeding practices, you can coexist peacefully with local wildlife while preserving the beauty of your pond. With these strategies in place, you can enjoy the serenity of your backyard oasis without the fear of raccoon disturbances.
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