Anyone Use 'Nite Guard' Animal Repeller?

bsquared18(Minneapolis)January 21, 2010

Hello,

We live in Minneapolis, which has one of the largest urban raccoon populations in the U.S. The only way I've found to keep them from ravaging our pond is to cover it with a net on a frame every evening. What a pain in the behind!

Recently, I came across a product called "Nite Guard," which is supposed to scare away critters like raccoons with a flashing light that the animals mistake for the eye of someone watching them.

I was excited by the possibility of finally solving my raccoon problem, until I read an online review where the author said that the product seems to work for migratory animals but not resident animals (like the city-wise raccoons that visit my pond).

Has anyone used this product and, if so, what kinds of animals were you defending against and what were your results?

Thanks,

Bill

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bubbalove(7 Central AL)

You can relocate raccoons. The best bet is to contact a county extension office, they may have live-traps that they will lend you. They may offer even more help and assistance.
I'm not sure where you live but other options might be the SPCA or local animal rescue groups. It's not a good idea to attempt this on your own. Raccoons can be vicious when caged. Also, you wouldn't want to relocate where it would be someone else' problem.
They sure can tear-up a pond...

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 1:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sheepco(MN z4)

I'm thinkin' Hennipen Co doesn't have many live-traps to lend out. I remember how bad the city raccoons were when I lived in So. Minneapolis - now that I live in the country (west central MN) they aren't a problem!

I've never heard of "Nite Guard" so can't help you there. But if it's not too expensive it might be worth a try. Some people have use motion activated water scarecrows, but raccoons are pretty smart. My parents finally resorted to a "hot" 3' fence of chicken wire to keep them out of their sweet corn patch.

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 8:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bsquared18(Minneapolis)

Thanks for the replies. I'd like to hear from anyone who has used the device or knows of someone who has.

I've included a link to the manufacturer's website, in case anyone is interested.

Bubbalove wrote: "You can relocate raccoons."

I can think of at least three problems with that solution. First, the raccoon population here in Minneapolis is huge, so I'd never be sure that I'd gotten rid of all of them. Secondly, there's no guarantee that the trap would catch one before it did damage to the pond. Thirdly, I'd just as soon not break up a raccoon family.

Sheepco Wrote: "But if it's not too expensive...."

They cost about $25 each, and for my setup I probably would need four of them so that the raccoons would see the light no matter which direction they approach the pond from.

Unless I hear on this forum or elsewhere that someone has found that these devices don't work for raccoons in a pond situation, I'll probably give them a try. The money would be worth saving the hassle of covering the pond each night.

Bill

Here is a link that might be useful: Nite Guard Site

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 12:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sheepco(MN z4)

Looks like they have a guarantee, so if it's a total failure you'll only be out shipping and your time.

Please let us know how they work for you.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 11:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I can be pretty sure it won't work any better than any other light which is to say, not at all.
If you want some entertaining reading about the critters do a search on this forum. There are some fascinating stories. By the way, relocating is discouraged if not actually prohibited now in most places. All you are doing is dumping an animal into an area already claimed by another and it just results in the death of one or both animals. If you do remove one its territory will be occupied by another in a week or less.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 11:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bsquared18(Minneapolis)

Sleeplessinftwayne wrote: "I can be pretty sure it won't work any better than any other light which is to say, not at all."

Could be, but "pretty sure" leaves some room for doubt. According to the manufacturer, the blinking red light is supposed to simulate the eye of a predator, as opposed to the steady, white lights that are often used without success.

So, as we all learned in Science class, empirically test the hypothesis instead of guessing at the outcome. Below is the setup I'm envisioning:

In the spring, after I've got the pond running, I'll set up the lights on a float or stand in the middle of the pond and see what happens. It's important that the raccoons see one of the lights, no matter which direction they come from. That's why I'm thinking that this "hub" approach might work best.

One question to answer will be whether the raccoons will become used to the lights and ignore them after a while. So, I won't put any fish or expensive plants in the pond until after I've tried a test setup for a while.

Years ago, I tried using powdered coyote urine. It worked for a while but then the raccoons decided it was a bluff, and went back to their mischievous ways.

I'll report back on the results of the experiment. If it fails, I can return the lights under the guarantee.

Bill

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 1:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Years ago, there was an editor for the Organic Gardening Magazine who had a sense of humor that riled up all sorts of angst among more conservative readers and at least once received complaints from PETA and other animal lovers. His crime? A full cover showing a really nice veggie garden protected from the depredations of a group of raccoons by a radio at full volume tuned to Rush Limbaugh. The raccoons were shown reacting to Rush with pure panic. The garden was saved!
Truthfully I can't imagine why they would be scared of something that looks like the reflections of eyes. They are certainly aware of other critters that share space with them. I have had raccoons sharing food with cats(large cats)and opossums and on one occasion with a half grown skunk. I have seen them scatter when a large dog interupped their dinner and I have seen them stand up to a coyote. If your lights incorporated some sort of threat it might work but alone, they simply wouldn't mean anything to them. You might find their curiosity had them dismantle the lights with parts strewn everywhere.
Of all the different methods shown on this forum. I think the most successful is the Fido Shock set up. They are not particularly visible, the price is not outrageous, they can be put on a timer and they can be run on batteries. They can be incorporated into the design of the garden with a little imagination. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 3:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bsquared18(Minneapolis)

You make a strong case and could very well be right. It wouldn't be the first time I tried something because I REALLY wanted it to work.

I did a little more googling and came up with the following user comments:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=95309:

I've heard different opinions on them, some people say theyre just a gimmick. They are supposed to make the predator think they are being watched and spook them, thus they leave, or do not enter the area. It's worth a try, so I got one. I'll let you know, I guess.

I know a gentleman whose property is part river frontage, and he swears by the thing. Says he used to have huge losses to predators at that edge of his property by every kind of predator imagineable, and it has stopped. There's nothing in it for him to be giving me a line of garbage, so I believed him, thats why I'm gonna try it! (He has goats, pigs, all manner of poultry, exotics, dogs, cats, even emus)

http://www.alpacanation.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8382:

We have been pleased with both the product and with customer service when we had a problem with one of the units.

(second message at same link)

I have them on fence-posts facing into the woods, roughly at about 3 feet up on the post....about eye-level to a very large dog. We have a lot of coyotes around here, but have not seen or heard one nearby the last two years...about as long as I have had the Nite-Guard boxes up. I will get some more when we expand the pastures this spring as I believe they work.

http://www.amazon.com/Nite-Guard-Solar-Powered-Predator-NG-001/product-reviews/B0014FGT8C/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1:

Three of four amazon.com users said they worked for them. The fourth said they donÂt work on beavers.

(end of reviews)

But then again, before trying coyote urine I saw some hopeful reviews, and that strategy didn't work for me.

Will let you all know in a few months, when the snow melts and the pond is running.

Signed: hopefulinminneapolis

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 5:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rchafin(z6 MI)

bsquared - if "Nite Guard" doesn't work (since raccoons adjust pretty quickly to most of the defense systems like water sprays, lights and sounds), then I would highly recommend the FIDO-SHOCK system. It is the only effective racccoon detterent I have seen or read about. Everything else just seems to be a temporary fix. I had the raccoon problem years back. Netting didn't work, as they found every conceivable way in, plus it visually spoiled the enjoyment of having the pond. So, I hooked up the Fido-Shock to 3/4" copper tubing from the hardware store which is set about a foot off the ground and runs around the perimeter area of the pond. I have it suspended above the ground with rubber-coated garden stakes I also found at the hardware store. My pond went from being attacked every night to zero problems for the past three years. They learned quickly after the first few nights of the setup. Raccoons are smart enough to get past any defense system...but they are also smart enough to remember which to stay away from...haha!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 10:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bsquared18(Minneapolis)

rchafin wrote: "...raccoons adjust pretty quickly to most of the defense systems like water sprays, lights and sounds.... I would highly recommend the FIDO-SHOCK system."

Thanks, rchafin. Truth be told, if I had to place a bet, it would be that the Nite Guard won't work, for the reasons you stated, but I'm really curious to see what will happen, and I can return the lights and get my money back if they don't do the job.

Actually, I looked into electrical shock systems but couldn't figure out a way to do it in a way that wouldn't destroy the pond's natural appearance, which we really want to maintain. A pond that looks like a maximum-security prison isn't exactly what we're aiming for.

With the light system, I envision removing the setup from the pond when we are in the backyard, so they wouldn't affect the appearance when it counts.

If the lights don't work, I can always fall back on using the netting. Installing and removing it each day is a pain, but it works--most of the time. The raccoons try their best to circumvent the barrier. Usually they fail, but not always; I have to keep one step ahead of them because they are so darned clever.

Bill

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 10:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
love_savannah

Years ago, there was an editor for the Organic Gardening Magazine who had a sense of humor that riled up all sorts of angst among more conservative readers and at least once received complaints from PETA and other animal lovers. His crime? A full cover showing a really nice veggie garden protected from the depredations of a group of raccoons by a radio at full volume tuned to Rush Limbaugh. The raccoons were shown reacting to Rush with pure panic. The garden was saved!

Sleeplessinftwayne, that story is HILARIOUS!

We have a raccoon that comes from the woods across the street, goes into the garage and eats the cat food. Last week he found a plastic bag with pecans in the shell. What a mess! They don't scare away easily when they find a good food source. We actually went out into the garage with a camera & took pictures of him with a flash. The little guy posed for us and returned to his easy meal. We have a pond next to the garage with Koi and have never had a problem with the raccon. Thank goodness!

I can't wait for you to report back to find out whether or not the NITE GUARD worked for you. I'll have to agree with most of the posters here and be a "doubting Thomas." Good luck to you!

Bon

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 9:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Raccoons are very quickly adapted to humans in their territory. Too quickly as far as I am concerned. I love the obnoxious little thieves but I know better than to allow them to get too friendly. They can cause more mayhem in a few minutes than you would imagine possible. They love to have fun. I have even had them do dives from the roof into the pond. There was water splashed everywhere and the pond was half empty when I chased them away.
Check out some of the raccoon video on Youtube.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 5:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
curtpland_gmail_com

I have seen adds in mother earth news for nite gaurd. I am planning on trying it for deer at a customers house. I build ponds and have a couple of comments about your design. First of all, if you have a shelf at the edge of the pond about 1 foot wide that is 4 to 8 inches deep followed by another about 16 inches deep and a third 2 feet deep the fish can go into deep water to get away, also having a tunnel in the deep portion allows the fish a hiding place. Secondly the pump should be opposite the waterfall to avoid stagnant areas in the water. Good luck

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 8:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chris_in_ct

Nite Guard did not work for me. YMMV.

However, I have tried the Contech Motion Sprayer and it works great. It's a motion activated sprinkler system, that shoots a 3-second burst of water when the infrared dectector "sees" something. I had racoons coming into the pond and munching on my Japanese trapdoor snails. I'd find the empty shells all over my yard - crunchy on the outside, with a soft chewy center... ;-)

Anyway, the Contech works great. Once setup, no more racoons. I leave it on all day and quite frequently forget to turn it off when I am puttering around and end up getting startled and then soaked when it sees me!

-Chris

Here is a link that might be useful: Contech on Amazon, but search for better pricing

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 1:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Bsquared, are you out there? How did the lights work?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 7:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I have not tried "Nite Guard" but we had motion lights on our pond and also those ultra sonic noise makers that are supposed to work. Neither did. Predator urine didn't work and neither did chasing them yelling. The only thing that has worked for us has been a Fido Shock electric fence. We keep covers on our smaller ponds and have just learned to live with how ugly they are but for the fish pond the electric fence works. DH used copper tubing instead of wire and bamboo instead of plastic posts. Looks nicer.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 9:21PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Waterproof concrete sealers are too expensive
I'm just getting into this whole water feature thing,...
marsrising
Do crows eat frogs?
I've had my pond for 15 years, and never suspected...
robin321
Snake is eating my frog--Help!!
I looked out my second floor window and saw some movement...
sara_in_philly
Pond Heat
What is the best method of heating water to 70 degrees...
wellingtoncdm
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™