Raccoons can be one of the most devastating pests to invade the water garden (right up there with Herons). There are however a few things you can do to deter this nocturnal pest.

Build your pond deeper.

This animal doesn't swim for their fish food and unless your fish come right up to the edge to be scooped out, a raccoon will not swim in to “harvest” lunch.

Build fish refuges in the bottom of the pond.

This is as simple as laying a two foot long section of six or eight inch drain pipe on the bottom of the pond for this fish to hide in. Cover this section over with gravel or larger stones so it will not shift and will seem part of the natural bottom of the pond. The fish will learn to hide there quite quickly. Make two - they are cheap to construct.

Get a dog and leave it out at night.

This one needs no explanation. :-)


Use an electronic scarecrow or pest ultrasonic sound blaster (or both combined). These gizmos are controlled by a motion detector and when it detects motion (you have to remember to turn it off when you go out to the pond) it activates the device. Similar to the driveway light controllers for your house, these motion detectors run either a water sprinkler (excellent for cats) and/or a pest ultrasound device.

The ultrasound devices are common on some overwintered boats where the animal breaks into the boat and lives aboard for the cold months - leaving the interior of the boat a shambles. Be aware that this device will bother dogs and cats as well.   It is also recommended that you put it on a timer of some kind as the animal may become used to it if it runs constantly.

If the animal is not bothering your fish but digging up your plants, you’ll find the electronic devices to be your best remedy.

There is no fence they can not climb and literally no other deterrent (short of a totally electrified fencing system) that will keep them out of your garden.

Click here to ask about raccoons in the water garden


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