Koi owners who have outdoor ponds may already have heard of the terrors of racoons attacking their koi in the night, or worse, they may have been so unlucky as to experience it themselves firsthand. If you live in an area where racoons are common, you should be the first to know about racoon sightings and the dangers it puts your koi in. Don’t wait until your koi start to go missing to start taking action. In order to prevent racoons from harming your koi, there are a few methods that many koi owners have turned to. Here we have listed these methods to help you save time, money, and heartache.
Install Netting Over Your Pond
A simple, cost-effective way to prevent masked intruders from swiping into your pond is to put a net over it, and you can purchase netting online. Many pond owners net their ponds at night as the first step towards keeping predators at bay. The nets must of course have holes small enough to prevent access to a racoon, and these nets can be held down with either rocks that may be lying around your pond, or else you can purchase nets that come with stakes driven into the ground to secure the nets more firmly. Take care to keep the net off the surface of the water, so that your koi do not accidentally get caught in it if it dips into the pond. If you have a large pond, you may need to create a frame to hold the net up, either using broomsticks as a simple solution, or some kind of more sophisticated rig. The downside of netting is that you have to manually set them up every evening and remove them every morning, which can be time and labor intensive.
Use Motion Sensor Activated Deterrents
Take advantage of technology to make life easier. Motion sensor items can help greatly in scaring off racoons, especially when it causes something to happen unexpectedly to shake them, such as a bright light suddenly switching on when it detects the movement of the little predator. From the lights it is also easier for you or someone else to see when a racoon crosses the yard. Aside from lights, scarecrows could also help, as there are motion sensor ones which start moving and shaking when they sense movement nearby. Putting some scarecrows around the perimeter of your pond could help deter these pests. And if all else fails, motion activated sprinklers would certainly do the trick!
Catch And Release Them
If you have tried all ways and means to chase the racoons away, but you still encounter missing fish in your pond, enough is enough. You may have to physically relocate these rodents to a place far away from you and your koi, in order to have peace of mind. This is particularly applicable to pond owners encountering racoons which are found far from their natural habitat, and that keep coming back to their pond almost every night to feed. Contact a professional who can help guide you through the process, from purchasing traps, setting them up with bait and camouflaging them, wrapping the trap and the racoon within in a blanket to calm the animal down, and quickly driving away to a forest so both you and the racoon can have peace of mind.