Thwarting Raccoons in the Garden

Get tips for limiting the damage these marauders can do in your garden.
Hidden Raccoon

Hidden Raccoon

Related To:

Q. Help! Raccoons are driving me crazy this year! The young keep digging up new plants; they uprooted one hosta and an echinacea about 10 times. I finally gave up and put the plants back into pots.

A. It's not enough that a couple of raccoons can take down a big corn patch in one night or knock over bird and hummingbird feeders in order to get the goods. The young often pillage fresh plantings where access to the recently turned-over soil gives them easy access to grubs and other juicy underground morsels.

Here are some tips to control their ravaging:

  • Laying bricks or pavers around your recent plantings won't work: the raccoons easily brush them aside. Instead, surround the plant with wire mesh and secure it into the ground with tent stakes or similar pins.
  • Raccoons are good at climbing over  — or digging under — fences. You may need to consider installing an electric fence. If you decide to go that route, string one wire six inches above the ground and a second wire 12 inches above ground.
  • Add raccoon baffles to your birdfeeders (at least five feet above the ground) or bring the feeders inside for the night. Also, be sure not to leave pet food outside. When they stop thinking of your yard as the best restaurant in town, they'll be less likely to flock there.
  • Trapping raccoons requires a sturdy cage. You can use any combination of tasty fruit, peanut butter, etc. You may want to use the services of a wildlife control company in your area to remove the animal.
  •  

    Keep Reading

    Next Up

    Pest-Controlling Oils

    Today's horticultural oils are effective, low in toxicity and can be applied just about any time of year.

    White-Lined Sphinx Moth

    The White-lined Sphinx Moth starts out as a caterpillar and uses soil to turn into an adult moth.

    Asian Woolly Hackberry Aphid

    You need a magnifying glass to see the insect under all that "snow."

    How to Control Grubs

    Get ahead of leafy chewers by attacking them at the larval stage.

    Leaf-Footed Bug

    The leaf-footed bug is an unwelcome visitor in vegetable and fruit gardens.

    Io Moth Caterpillar

    Don't let this caterpillar get under your skin. The larval stage of the io moth is capable of inflicting very painful stings.

    Slug Control

    Slimy garden pests can be devastating; here are tips for reducing their numbers.

    Landscape Pest: Bagworm

    This common pest of conifers lives most of its life in a cone-like bag.

    Slugs and Snails

    A slug or snail problem in a developing garden may go unnoticed because of their nocturnal feeding habits of eating small leaves whole, or nibbling the edges or underside of larger leaves.

    Controlling Aphids, Slugs and Snails

    Sustainable ways to keep damaging pests away.

    1,000+ Photos

    Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

    On TV

    Follow Us Everywhere

    Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.