Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pesky raccoons

I'm at wits end with raccoons constantly digging up what little remains of my stressed out lawn. Not only are they digging up the lawn, they're also tearing up the mulch I spent tons of money and labour on to lay down neatly. The main problem though is that they constantly dig around the roots of my trees and shrubs, damaging the roots and leading to the decline of the plants.

They are coming through my snowbird neighbour's aluminum fence, there's not much I can do to stop them, its a 80 foot section of fence.

Whenever I plant a new shrub or tree, I have to cover and surround it with chicken wire, otherwise these pests will come in the night and dig them up. Its as if they can smell that I've tilled the soil or planted something new. The problem is, I only have so much wire plus it not aesthetically pleasing. Here's a feijoa that I've grown from seed and planted recently. It's taken 7 months to grow this big, so I don't want to take a chance and let the raccoons dig it up.

I've used those nasty wood strip carpet tacks with some success. Mostly they move them aside and dig where they want. They seem to really like my elderberry shrub that I've grown from a cutting. Every day, I place more of those carpet tacks next to the stem where they dig, only to find it moved the next day, or they simply dug under it !

Another major nuisance is the racoon poop found scattered everywhere every morning.
I am concerned for my children's health as racoon scat can can contain deadly diseases.


  1. I'm really sorry to hear that they are being such pests. I didn't know they dug everything up like that.
    I was a little sick myself yesterday when I walked up to one of my raised beds and the deer had stomped all over everything. Now I'll be missing a few of my favorites I'm pretty sure.

  2. I'm so sorry. This is just horrible. I feel for you. How come they like roots so much? I know nothing about raccoons. Do you have a dog? I might even resort to an electrical fence of some kind that only comes on at night. This is getting very expensive for you.

  3. Oh yes. The dreaded raccoon. They come in cycles to my yard--a bunch of them--a party--at midnight--with kin--from out of state. They party in my pond. They're particularly intrigued by shredding lily pads. And eating fish. I cover one of my ponds with chicken wire at night. The other pond I leave for them. It's frustrating for sure.

  4. RainGardener, I've often wondered what animals were digging up my yard, first I suspected armadillos, with our sandy soil it took a very long time before I saw some legible footprints, even then, I was still convinced they were armadillos. My children left a cloth frisbee outside one day and the next morning the muddy footprints confirmed it was raccoons. Then finally two years later, I saw one of the rascals early in the morning, walking along the back fence.

    Flowergardengirl, I don't have a dog, but that is becoming more and more of an option, only problem is that for at least 6 months of the year its just too hot and humid for a dog to be outside.

    Grace, you've just convinced me not to put in a pond, which I've badly been wanting to do - my neighbour even gave me a plastic pond, its probably too small to be worthwhile putting in, I'm sure the raccoons will have a royal time in it.

    A friend of mine was telling me how they couldn't understand where all their mangos were disappearing to. One day the guy from the electric company came and called her to look outside. There they discovered a raccoon underneath the tree, gingerly peeling the ripe mango and eating it.