dealing with raccoonsNothing irks a bird-lover more than having the seed in carefully erected bird feeders raided by raccoons! Mounting baffles on the supporting posts is a good way to thwart these unwanted visitors, and you can make as many as you need for around $10 each.
To create a baffle, buy a length of 7-in.-diameter galvanized heating duct and a 7-in., round end cap. Using self-tapping screws, attach the cap to the tube. Then use a spade bit in your drill to make a 1-in. hole in the center of the cap. Finish the baffle off with a coat of rust-proof paint.
To hold the baffle on the pole, tighten a hose clamp onto it. Then slide the baffle down so it rests on the hose clamp. Check the illustration at left to see how the parts fit together and how it’s mounted on the pole.
To keep the marauders out of your garden, you could surround it with electric wire, but, short of that, there are a number of other approaches you can try.
Raccoons quickly adapt to whatever device you use to scare them. So while a barking dog may keep them at bay for a night or two, they’ll quickly get used to it. Play a radio in the garden every once in a while. Noisy solutions like this are probably only for folks who don’t have neighbors.
Then there’s the barrier approach. Line your garden with prickly rose cuttings. Or lay a length of chicken wire raised on bricks around the garden’s perimeter. Raccoons have trouble walking across the mesh. Some gardeners grow cucumbers near sweet corn or grow pole beans up corn stalks. Raccoons don’t like to tangle with the vines.
And there’s always the trap. But if a whole family of raccoons moves in, you’ll be hard-pressed to catch them all before they eat everything in sight. If you catch and release, let the critters go at least ten miles away. Otherwise, you may be face to face with the same raccoons every night.