Raccoon Hunting In My Koi Pond, Help Needed!
I hope this is the proper place to post.
I have a good sized koi pond in the back yard. A few months ago, after
the koi had laid her eggs, I noticed the koi disappearing. Within 3 days, all
the adults and one junior were gone. :( None of the eggs hatched to survive.
I didn't know what happened until last night. I heard the neighbors dog
barking. I saw a large raccoon. I chased it, it returned about an hour ago.
Went right into the pond and had a swim.
I have 6 junior koi, a frog, and my beloved red slider turtle Honu. What can
I do? I do not wish to trap or harm the raccoon, I would just like it to go
elsewhere. I cannot net the pond, as Honu needs to come out during
the day to bask.
I've heard of things like Shake Away that are supposed to safely deter them.
Any help would be appreciated. I don't want to lose any more of my
You can try putting a few lights around your pond. Or even a portable radio. Raccooons deter from light or sound. I would try the lights first.
I can't remember where I saw it, but someone I knew had a frog statue that was motion activated. It croaked and spat water when the sensor was triggered. :D Something like that might reinforce motion-activated lights, too, to chase them away. :fingerscr
They have the same problem at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Garden in Vancouver, BC. They use a type of "blue" clay dissolved in the water to make it opaque. You don't see the koi very well unless they are close to the surface but it deters both the racoons and eagles. It also makes a lovely reflecting surface.
Thank you all for the suggestions. Money is a bit tight at the moment,
so I needed to find something not too costly.
Since raccoons have such a strong sense of smell, I did read that sprinkling
cayenne pepper about the yard should be helpful. I emptied several bags
around the pond and in a few other places in the yard. Haven't seen it
back yet. Hopefully, it decided to go somewhere else for good. :fingerscr
what about a small electric fence? Just at a low level that the raccoon wouldnt bother with it after a shock or two?
Electric fencing is a very popular way to keep raccoons and deer out of gardens and plants around here. Wont hurt them but definately gets the point accross
The problem with an electric fence is it would shock Honu when he
comes out to bask. :(
Well, the cayenne kept it away for a few days. It's been back a couple
of times. A friend of mind brought me a trap. I'm not sure what to entice
it with, I have cat food in there at the moment. I'll release it several
miles away but I'm scared that it might bite me!
Anyone trap and release one before? Suggestions?
I would not trap. besides by law you can only relocate within 1 km...so he would be back. Also, you might be taking a mom away from babies and leaving them to possible die. Also relocating it illegally would odds are the coon wouldn't survive. Most wildlife that are relocated never due. No food source, shelter, also fighting over terriortry.
Get a few lights around your pond, that come on when it gets dark. Raccoons won't like the lights.
[QUOTE=NoahGrey;940722]I would not trap. besides by law you can only relocate within 1 km...so he would be back. Also, you might be taking a mom away from babies and leaving them to possible die. Also relocating it illegally would odds are the coon wouldn't survive. Most wildlife that are relocated never due. No food source, shelter, also fighting over terriortry.
Get a few lights around your pond, that come on when it gets dark. Raccoons won't like the lights.[/QUOTE]
The laws might be a bit different in California.
Have you tried calling your local wildlife rescue? Or maybe the DNR? Either one might have either an idea to help you keep the pesky critter out of your pond or how to legally catch and release the bugger.
I found this article about raccoons in California. It may give you some ideas on how to keep him away from your pond. Hopefully something will help.
Many thanks for all the suggestions! That link was quite informative.
Yes, in California the laws are different. There are some businesses who
are licensed to remove and release them.
I live near the mountains, so it's probable to put it in a place where it
wouldn't starve and be near a fresh water supply. I'm fairly certain it
is a male, I have seen no signs of babies nearby.
I've taken the points stated in the article about trapping. I don't want
any of the neighborhood cats to get stuck inside.
No amount of putting up lights or sounds is going to deter him. I do not
wish to hurt the raccoon, and I'm certainly not going to attempt to remove
I too do not like the idea of relocating any wild animal,it could kill him.
Whoever is going to trap him,you have to be sure it's checked regularly or he might die from thirst....
Oh forget it,I just kind of upset talking about trapping
The thing is too,if there is one there are probably more..I think.
We had a member here,with a large Koi-pond and the same problem.
I can understand your concern,your Koi,frog and turtle also have a right to be safe and I hope you find a humane solution:fingerscr
I agree Chico...like I also said relocated wildlife barely never survive. I hope she comes up with another solution besides trapping. I also have to say that I find it frustating that, while yes I understand you need to protect your property, etc...but when wildlife become a inconvience society just want to get rid, while they have every right to be here. It is up to us to come up with humane alternatives when it comes to co exiting with wildife.
trapping while yes at times is humane..for instance, sick and or injured...but to trap because it has become a nusiance in someones eyes is selfish.
Pumpkin, you say that you don't want to harm the raccoon. Well I have to say trapping and relocating will harm him.
As my suggestion for the lights...I used to work as an Animal protection officer. If a coon was in a roof...we would tell them (as request from the wildlife control company we worked with) put a radio and or shine a light into the entry hole. Raccoon would leave it;s den and not come back. Raccoons do not like alot of noise and lights.
And I also have to say..that there are alot of shady wildlife control companys out there. Ones that do not have the best intentions. Trust me I have seen quite a few. Also since a raccoon is a rabie vector animal, some wildilfe control companys will not relocate, but just put down, due to the fear of rabies and spread of disease.
I posted here for advice, I certainly don't want to be branded as
a horrible person because I'm trying to find a humane solution.
My fish being slaughtered is far from being just a nuisance. Sure they aren't
cute and furry, but I don't love my aquatic friends any less than my
feline companions. I lost 14 full grown koi as well as hundreds of babies
,some of which may have survived. Just because they are kept outside
shouldn't mean it's ok for them to be randomly eaten.
I've spoken with some people in the area about the raccoon. The first 2
advised me to poison some bait and kill it. I refused to do so. The other with
whom I discussed the trapping possibility with showed me the trap
and how it doesn't have anything inside that would harm the raccoon. I
certainly wouldn't leave it there for hours on end, that wouldn't be right.
I've tried the bright lights and noise. It still returns. In fact, the second
time I shone a light right at it, the raccoon proceeded to dive into the
pond and swim around.
I know it's the same one by it's size, color and markings. It's fairly large,
upwards of 20 pounds. If it's roaming the neighborhood, it's quite likely
to get run over by a speeding car. I see carcasses in the road all the
time. It wouldn't be more safe in the mountains where wildlife should
Chico, do you know what the member did to remedy the situation?
As I said, I'm trying to do something that will not cause harm, but I will
not stand by and let my beloved little friends be dinner. :cry:
Ok folks, instead of telling her what she shouldn't be doing, how about you tell her what she [B]can[/B] do? Something new that she hasn't already tried and failed at? Is it fair she is losing all these fish? The coon looks at the pond as free meals and sounds like he has been for quite some time. Do you know how expensive koi are to replace? And why do it when they just get eaten. Pretty high maintenance coon eh? She's already stated she can't have an electric fence (good cause I hate them) because of her turtle. The lights and noise do not deter him. They don't around here either. So what is your solution? Around this area when coons become a nuisance they get shot. The live trap would be checked. It would probably be placed pretty near the pond in order to trap the right coon.
I don't think our other member with koi has a turtle who needs to come up for air and sunning. Pretty sure she grated the pond. Not an option in this case.
So again, what's your solution? :confused:
PumpkinPal - gorgeous pond and turtle btw.
PumpkinPal, I was reading that link about the electrified fencing. Is there any way you can rig a short barrier to keep Honshu close to the pond, then sent up a double stranded electric fence a short distance beyond that? It would keep Honshu from getting shocked, and maybe would work to deter the raccoon. Might cost some if you need help to install it, but if raccoons are as sensitive to mild shock as the article implies, it might be very effective. I believe you can turn them off when you don't need them, too--so you could turn it on only at night when the raccoon comes around.
[QUOTE=hazelrunpack;941118]PumpkinPal, I was reading that link about the electrified fencing. Is there any way you can rig a short barrier to keep Honshu close to the pond, then sent up a double stranded electric fence a short distance beyond that? It would keep Honshu from getting shocked, and maybe would work to deter the raccoon. Might cost some if you need help to install it, but if raccoons are as sensitive to mild shock as the article implies, it might be very effective. I believe you can turn them off when you don't need them, too--so you could turn it on only at night when the raccoon comes around.[/QUOTE]
Great idea hazel!!! :thumbs up:highfive::grouphug:
I honestly think the only solution here would be to put up the electric fence.
14+ and Pumpkinpal,please don't get me wrong,were it my fish,turtle and frog and they got eaten I would be very angry and sad:(
I don't know how big your pond is,but a neighbor a few houses away,had a pond with large Gold-Fish,the owner constructed a Dome to cover the pond at night.
But his pond was not large.
Don't get me wrong, I do not want your animals in the pond to be eaten, just don't like the idea of trapping.
You can try Humane Wildlife Control Website for ideas.
[url]http://www.humanewildlifecontrol.com/[/url] This company is assoicated with all of the spcas in Ontario. They are the most humane and have worked with them, quite a few times. You can also email them with your pond inquires and how to keep a coon out. that would probably be the best.
[QUOTE=NoahGrey;941246]Don't get me wrong, I do not want your animals in the pond to be eaten, just don't like the idea of trapping.
You can try Humane Wildlife Control Website for ideas.
[url]http://www.humanewildlifecontrol.com/[/url] This company is assoicated with all of the spcas in Ontario. They are the most humane and have worked with them, quite a few times. You can also email them with your pond inquires and how to keep a coon out. that would probably be the best.[/QUOTE]
I don't know how much good her contacting some place in Ontario is going to do when she is from California NG. :shrug:
The trap that would be used would be the same used at your HS when you trapped cats. If the coon was caught and then released at the very farthest point of the mile or so of it's territory away from PP's pond maybe it would find hunting grounds on the other side. :shrug: :confused:
[QUOTE=14+kitties;941283]I don't know how much good her contacting some place in Ontario is going to do when she is from California NG. :shrug:
The trap that would be used would be the same used at your HS when you trapped cats. If the coon was caught and then released at the very farthest point of the mile or so of it's territory away from PP's pond maybe it would find hunting grounds on the other side. :shrug: :confused:[/QUOTE]
14 Kitties...I gave her the site, so she could get some info. I am sure they use some of the same procedures in getting rid of wildlife. Also...when trapping...you should have a different trap for wildlife and for domestics. At our HS we have wildlife traps and cat traps. Yes, they are the same type of trap..but you do not want to trap a raccoon, then trap a cat with the same trap. For disease factors. Raccoons roundworm, etc. Also here...non injured trapped wildlife have to be released on site.
[B]Edited by Admin - issues with other members should be taken to Pm please[/B]
Here: From California
The Truth About Trapping and Relocating Wildlife
By Maggie SergioPublished: March 4, 2010
By far, the majority of people out there do believe that trapping and relocating wildlife is a humane solution to a problem they are having with a “nuisance animal”.
Young Raccoon Mother Trapped with Her Kit - click on this image to see the full size version. (Photo courtesy of wildlife.pro)
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
When members of the public take matters into their own hands and get a Havaheart trap to capture an animal on their property, they have no idea what they are getting into. Or, the fact that they are going to be contributing to the animal’s suffering and most likely, premature death. And, here in California, it is illegal to trap and relocate wildlife. If an animal is trapped it must be released on site, or killed. That is the law.
Anyone who is considering either trapping themselves or hiring a professional trapper please read through this carefully and call me if you have any questions. WildCare does have licensed trappers on staff. However, we use more humane and less stressful methods that do work. We only resort to trapping if we are trying to capture an injured animal.
The top Reasons why Trapping Wildlife doesn’t work.
1) You have no guarantee that you will trap the offending animal. You may catch something but how will you know it is the animal you are after? The fact is, you don’t.
2) Trapping wildlife creates orphans. There is always the potential you have trapped a mother that has a nest of babies somewhere.
3) It is incredibly stressful for a wild animal to be trapped and often they injure themselves trying to get out. Teeth and claws are often broken in the animal’s frantic effort to escape. Here at WildCare we see many injured raccoons, squirrels and skunks when people taking matters into their own hands, or hire a professional trapper because raccoons are digging up their lawn.
4) Animals dumped in another location have no idea where the food and water sources are. This often leads to starvation and death. Studies done on raccoons that were relocated support this finding. The animal will typically die within 2 weeks of being relocated.
5) Most likely you will be dumping this animal in the territory of another animal and this will lead to territory disputes, and often these fights lead to serious injuries and death.
6) If you capture a sick animal and transfer it to a healthy population, this spreads disease.
7) If you remove an animal out of its territory (by either trapping or killing) you have opened up a territory and another animal will soon show up to take its place.
8) It doesn’t solve the problem. As long as the attractant remains (food, shelter or water) other animals will show up. Removing the source of what is attracting them is the solution.
However, laws regarding this do vary from state to state. Here in California, according to the California Dept of Fish & Game, Section 465, (G) (1), the law states that animals trapped must be released on site or killed. Below I cut and pasted what the law states.
(1) Immediate Dispatch or Release. All furbearing and nongame mammals that are legal to trap must be immediately killed or released. Unless released, trapped animals shall be killed by shooting where local ordinances, landowners, and safety permit. This regulation does not prohibit employees of federal, state, or local government from using chemical euthanasia to dispatch trapped animals.
If you hire a pest control company or wildlife control company and they tell you there are relocating wildlife they are either 1) lying to you or 2) breaking the law.
Trapping wildlife is never the solution when dealing with nuisance wildlife. Please call me if you are considering trapping your wild neighbors. We can talk about solutions that are less stressful on the animals and less stressful on you!
Live Well with Wildlife!
Director, WildCare Solutions
A number of these reasons I have already stated.
[B]Edited by Admin - issues with other members should be taken to Pm please[/B]
Pumpkin Pal - maybe you can find a wildlife sanctuary in your area or somewhere that would be willing to take on this raccoon so you can enjoy your expensive koi and not have to worry about them, your turtle and other animals that enjoy your pond becoming coon food.
I was reading an article the other day regarding keeping one's pond creatures safe mainly from Raccoons...the advice given was to make the pond edges graded at a 70 degree angle since Raccoons do not like water.
I was just told to put ammonia on newspaper and lay them around the pond far enough back not to deter your turtle coming out of course. Supposedly coons don't like the smell of ammonia. Or.......... pee in a cup and spread it around the perimeter. According to a member here that helps keep cats out of gardens. :rolleyes: 'Course you'd have to pee a lot to go all around the pond so start drinking!!! ;)
Let's keep this thread on track please, issues between members should be taken to PM.
Thx - Marko Admin
[QUOTE=Chris21711;941575]I was reading an article the other day regarding keeping one's pond creatures safe mainly from Raccoons...the advice given was to make the pond edges graded at a 70 degree angle since Raccoons do not like water.[/QUOTE]
Raccoons have no problem with water, they get a fair deal of their food from lakes, such as small fish and clams.
Erykah that's true, I watched the coon dive right into the pond and
swim around. I think if the pond was much deeper and had the sides
sloped more, it may deter it. I know that they don't want to go into
water if they feel they can't get out.
An electric fence makes me uneasy. I would be afraid the electric
shock would do more harm than good.
I have checked the attic, garage and everywhere in between. I have found
no droppings or any trace of the den being here or any babies.
I haven't seen the coon for several days.
14+kitties I appreciate your support and putting the thread on track. Just
trying to find a viable solution.
I read that the ammonia works but just if it's where it has set a den. I can
get a large jug fairly cheap, I could try to put rags soaked in that around
the pond and in the yard. Any other thoughts on that?
Again, I appreciate all points of view and suggestions.
Ammonia worked for us to deter a mom and her 7 offspring from our yard...and, um, I stopped feeding them when they began to open the patio screen door by themselves :o.
If you can create some sort of barrier around the pond, that would be ideal. Chicken-type wire comes to mind. It's fairly inexpensive and you can find some that are thicker/sturdier.
Depending on how large your pond is, you can create a barrier of foil containers (deeper ones like you'd use for banana bread) filled with ammonia soaked rags/papertowels. I'd only put them out at night as I'm not sure what effect the sun has on exposed ammonia. Protect your hands with gloves and your eyes with safety glasses.
Is your yard fenced? If so, can you tell where the raccoon is accessing it? Do you have a shed or any such type structures in your yard. They can burrow/den under anything really, they don't need much room.
In my experience with Raccoons and I've had many,since I used to feed them,there is not much that will deter them from getting to food and not many containers they cannot get into somehow.
They are definitely not afraid of water,where I come from they are called Wash-Bears.
As for the dispute,I don't want anything to get hurt,the beautiful Koi,the Frog,Turtle or Raccoon and I hope you can find a humane solution.:fingerscr
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