How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Fish Pond

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Raccoons look cute with their thick, furry bodies and masked faces…

But don’t let their looks fool you!

These critters will eat your fish and potentially other wildlife in your pond. And pretty much anything around your property, including in your garbage can.

So, let’s learn how to keep raccoons out of your fish pond, and away from your home, for good!

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The Basics Of Raccoons

Raccoon basics

Before you try to chase these little critters off for good, it helps to know a little about them. After all, it’s easier to defeat an enemy that you understand!

Raccoons are intelligent and adaptable creatures that can live for more than ten years and reproduce quickly. They have dexterous hands with extremely sensitive pads and strong claws.

Over the past several decades, raccoons learned to live in more urban and suburban areas where they can find plenty of food and shelter - which you may have noticed since you're reading this article.

What Racoons Eat

Raccoons are not picky creatures when it comes to food. It’s not uncommon to find them in a garbage can or at least see the after-effects of one using your trash as an all-you-can-eat buffet.

A basic raccoon diet includes everything from fruits and nuts to grubs and eggs, but they don’t shy away from small animals. Raccoons appreciate a nice mouse or bird for dinner, but they can’t resist fish and other amphibians.

Why Raccoons Love Your Fish Pond

Fish and other small amphibians represent a delicacy for raccoons, like the ultimate sushi dinner!

They can easily stand along your pond’s edge and have the necessary speed, agility, and dexterity to snatch a fish from the water.

A well-stocked fish pond is something raccoons enjoy as it's an easy meal!

How To Keep Raccoons Out Of Your Fish Pond

How to keep raccoons away from your fish pond

Keeping raccoons out of your fish pond can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible.

Plan Your Pond Wisely

Raccoons are agile and intelligent, and surprisingly good swimmers. They have adapted to a changing environment and can spend several hours in water and can even use their dexterous hands to grab onto branches to get out of the water.

Despite being excellent swimmers, raccoons can get nervous in water because of their awkward bodies. You can use this shortcoming to your advantage by creating a smart design.

  • Digging a deeper pond allows your fish to swim deeper and avoid detection by the masked thieves.
  • Consider using a steep drop-off of two feet or more instead of a gentle slope.
  • You may want to incorporate “fish caves” to give your fish places to hide. A simple plastic bucket works well, and you can easily camouflage it.
  • Install a mesh blockade around the edge of your pond. Raccoons won’t step on it, and as long as it’s more than two feet wide, they won’t be able to reach over it. Plus, it's much safer for you and other wildlife than installing an electric fence.
  • Install a raccoon proof pond cover using pond netting.
Dewitt Deluxe Pond Netting - 1/4in Mesh

Dewitt Deluxe Pond Netting - 1/4in Mesh

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Make Your Home Raccoon-Proof

Keeping raccoons away from your property altogether is the best way to protect your pond. Remember, other things on your property may initially attract the raccoons, so it’s important to consider everything that could draw those furry thieves.

Like any animal, raccoons dislike certain scents and have fears that can be used against them.

  • Don’t leave pet food outside overnight.
  • Store your garbage in a shed or in sealed bins to keep raccoons out. You may also sprinkle cayenne pepper in and around your trash bins as a natural repellent.
  • Deter raccoons from returning by placing ammonia-soaked rags around areas where they like to nest.
  • If you have fruit trees, secure sheet metal around the trunks to discourage them from climbing and dining. Make sure to pick up fallen fruit regularly!
  • Place a decoy or scarecrow near your pond. It will also deter heron and protect your pond fish from other predators.
  • Install raccoon deterrent lights like Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Lights to frighten them away.
Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Lights

Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Lights

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Will Raccoons Eat My Pond Fish?

Absolutely! Pond fish are delicacies to these furry thieves and they have no qualms about snatching a scaly snack from your pond.

If you suspect raccoons are eating your fish, check out our pest control tips above to keep those furry critters away from your pond.

What Kind Of Fish Do Raccoons Eat?

They aren’t particular. Raccoons eat almost anything, including koi, clams, frogs, snails, crayfish, and anything else you stock in your pond.

Do Raccoons Eat Pond Plants?

Yes, along with your pond fish, raccoons will also eat water lilies, water hyacinth, and other pond plants.

Do Raccoons Go In Water?

Yes, raccoons will go in the water. In fact, they choose to live near water and have even been captured swimming in backyard pools!