raccoons

calik8(sunset18)October 7, 2010

I have 3 raised beds. I used the free mulch from the city to supplement the soil. Well- you get what you pay for: free mulch comes infested with free grubs. And, apparently, raccoons find them to be a yummy treat. I chased 4 juveniles out at 3am. I got some beneficial nematodes and am now starting to dig up dead or dying grubs, but the raccoons are still tearing up the beds. any suggestions?

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caroliniannjer(ColumbiaSC)

Can you put a fence around the beds?

Those raccoons are going to be a real problem once you have veggies to tempt them

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 11:44AM
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denninmi(8a)

Live trap and remove or destroy per your state's laws and your own feelings. They're really easy to trap this way -- they'll go into any space to get at a can of cat food. I've caught two at once in my live traps.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 12:02PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Down in those parts I suspect live trapping/killing will clear space for exploitation by other individuals, as they long ago became well-established and adapted there. Plenty of strategies and even more discussion for effective fencing using the 'search' function on this site, but it is an aesthetic tradeoff and some injuneerin to access beds, so some planning and thought involved. Dogs are a (loud, sleep-interrupting) option as well.

Dan

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 12:10PM
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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

I used an electric fence to solve my raccoon problem. A side benfit is that it also solved my problems with rabbits, squirrels, and oppossums. If interested, you can probably search this forum for "electric fence" and find a bit more info.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 2:01PM
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gardningscomplicated(southeast michigan - 5b or 6?)

I remember reading somewhere that a good strategy for dealing with raccoons, is to train them, instead of removing them. Like Dan said, when you remove one, another will eventually move in to takes its place. But if you train them to stay out of your garden, with something like an electric fence, you only have to do it once. They're territorial, and should keep out any newcomers. I haven't tried it myself, since I can't use an electric fence where I'm at. But I put up a chicken wire fence with a floppy top, and so far I haven't had any raccoon problems. And I know there's at least one that likes spending time in a tree in my front yard.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 3:59AM
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calik8(sunset18)

I don't want to grow $1,000 veggies. Is it possible to get electrical fencing cheaply?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 5:44PM
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gardendawgie(5)

allow the racoons to eat all the grubs. once the grubs are gone the racoons will leave and not come back.

if you spend money to get rid of the racoons then you will have to spend money to get rid of the grubs.

Best to think clearly.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 1:18AM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

When you add compost or mulch to planting beds, it is best to do so, AFTER the grubs are gone.

I make compost regularly, and while it is great for making veggies grow, it also contains a lot of bugs - grubs and pill bugs that are best eliminated before the compost is added to your planting areas.

The best way I've found is to screen the compost through a sieve made of hardware cloth (Home Depot). I made a sieve from a 2 x 4 frame and nailed the cloth screen onto it. After the compost is screened, I let it rest awhile, usually in a wheelbarrow - or on the ground - to allow the critters to remove the bugs for me. Mockingbirds, skunks and/or raccoons will clean out those rascals. After a day or 2, the compost is ready to be added in and around your veggies.

When placing mulch on established planting beds - once grubs are removed - it is best to put a cage or screen over it, to discourage skunks or raccoons from digging in it.
Let nature work for you - I say. Although I've seriously given trapping raccoons a lot of thought - sometimes.

Especially when they eat all my apricots - but that' another story. We used computer CD's on those this year - and mylar balloons - had a nice crop - and it worked - at least this time.

Just my 2 c's.

Bejay

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 7:06AM
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calik8(sunset18)

I already added nematodes to kill the grubs. They do seem sick and dying. I guess the coon's will figure that out eventually, and then I can plant. Next time I get mulch I will use your ideas FIRST!
Thanks

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 1:12PM
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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

calik8, on the electric fence cost... Just bought a new FiShock charger at Lowes for about $25. (My other unit died after 8 years of use.) I think the wire and inusulators were about $25 - $30. I already had the poles. So about $50-$60 is probably the least you would pay. You can spend a bit more for the step poles and ore expensive chargers. I also use extension cord spools to roll up the wire and put it back down. This allows for garden tiller access. The cord spools were about $6.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 12:01PM
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happyday(WI4a)

Solar electric fence chargers run from $26 for light duty to $50 to $100 for best models. Read second comment for raccoon reaction. This from a quick google search.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 11:30PM
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caroliniannjer(ColumbiaSC)

Will a regular wire fence with a floppy top work for raccoons?

I know it works great for ground hogs.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 9:46AM
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gardningscomplicated(southeast michigan - 5b or 6?)

caroliniannjer - According to what I've read, regular wire fencing with a floppy top should work for raccoons. I have to fence in a new garden next year, and that's what I'm planning to use, since I already have the fencing.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 2:40AM
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caroliniannjer(ColumbiaSC)

Thanks, Complicated!

For ground hogs you also want to bury a bit of the bottom
(to discourage them from just digging under it)

It's probably the same for raccoons--they're resourceful little devils

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 11:24AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

You want to bury more than just a bit to discourage groundhogs. Most folks line the bottom of their raised beds with it and secure sides.

Dan

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 11:55AM
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caroliniannjer(ColumbiaSC)

Thanks, Dan
To me that would be overkill,
but then again, groundhogs are astoundingly destructive once they get in

I've had some 20-odd years experience battling them back in NJ and I never saw them dig down more than 6 inches at the base of a fence before giving up

However,
after a disastrous first year, I also carefully located any cabbage-family plants well away from the fences (those guys are none to bright, but they do get a lot more persistent once they've located Brussels sprouts)

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 2:56PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

The reason most places recommend what I described is frost heave.

Dan

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 4:48PM
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borderbarb

If you think the coons may be nesting near or in your house, get rid of them at ASAP. [think giant rat]

Re: getting rid of grubs ... sounds like you are doing the right thing, re: menatodes. Of course, if beds aren't too large, you may go through soil and remove grubs.

Re: preventing varmits from digging up plants,looking for grubs. Place chick wire flat on surface ... they can't dig through the wire. Or place lathes criss cross over the planting area

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 8:15PM
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momzapolarbear

When you use a capture trap and release an animal you are introducing an intruder into an established teritory. that animal will be attacked immediately upon discovery. it will probably die miserably. you are doing them no favor. better to eliminate them out right .I do not advocate killing an animal using any means just for trying to earn a living. I just feel the "humaine" traps are among the crulest because people are being misled.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 6:49PM
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