wsommariva
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Location: Northern New Jersey

Keep racoons out?

I was thinking about placing a cover on my 3'x3'x3' high bin to keep racoons out. But mice, chipmonks and squirrels will always be able to get at my kitchen waste - coffee grinds, egg shells and vegetable peels. Should I bother with a cover for racoons? (Don't know how many racoons are in my area, but I do know I have them; in nine years I saw one at night, one in daytime and one dead)

Thanks everyone

DoubleDogFarm
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Two words,

Jacob and Peppercorn. :wink:
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Jacob%20and%20Pepper/DSC02231.jpg[/img]

Eric

wsommariva
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Location: Northern New Jersey

Ok send them over............

DoubleDogFarm
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Ok, But first you should update your profile. I don't know which direction to send them. :wink:


Eric

wsommariva
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Northern NJ. I'll send a car.

toxcrusadr
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Round these parts we use a 410/22 over-under... :P

Seriously, if the raccoons aren't actually bothering your compost, I wouldn't worry about trying to solve a problem you don't have. OTOH if they are pulling out food waste and scattering it all over the yard, something has to be done.
Tox

ruggr10
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keep em out

DDF, my Chocolate Lab "Fisher" is our best deterrent as well.

It's funny, when we first moved into our house a year and a half ago, there were many critters that came in our yard. After a month, Fisher made it his and the critters stopped coming! Of course he would just want to play or cuddle with any he found.

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Kisal
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Personally, I wouldn't bother covering a compost bin with the intent of keeping out raccoons. I've rehabbed hundreds of the little critters, and I can tell you that their nimble little hands can defeat anything, short of a chain with a keyed or combination lock. I've even had them untie complex knots, open dog-leash swivels, and undo the carabiners that screw together. And they can squeeze through a space that you'd never imagine they'd fit through.

I remember one big guy that I had, who had been confiscated from some people who moved up from California. He weighed 65 lbs, and he didn't like being caged. For one thing, he had been raised as a pet and was afraid of the other raccoons in the cage. (Part of my job was to try to make him wild again, so he wouldn't have to be destroyed. :roll: )

I finally managed to catch him in the act of getting out of the chain link enclosure. The roof, which was also chain link, was attached to the top bars of the sides with ties 6" apart. That raccoon was squeezing out through those 6" spaces! :shock:
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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rainbowgardener
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Well, I basically agree with Kisal, raccoons are ingenious devils. I keep them away from my tomatoes by surrounding the tomato bed with deer netting, including over the top. One year I held the netting together over the top with a smooth plastic twist-tie (instead of the regular wire ones) and the raccoon was able to untie it to get in and romp around on my tomato plants and eat all the tomatoes. GRRR!

Nonetheless, my compost is in a wire grid bin, with about 2" spaces in the grid and I do have a wire grid cover that fits over it and hooks on. As long as I keep it hooked tightly the raccoons have not been able to get in. I know they try, because sometimes the (heavy duty) grid wire has been bent under their weight. If your bin is full, they will reach through and get what they can from the outside, but that is limited. Shrew and vole sized critters do get in; I know because I see kitchen scraps brought to the top that had been buried. But the shrews don't eat EVERYTHING in the pile. I keep my pile covered, because the raccoons would not leave anything to compost!

But I may have more raccoons... except in the dead of winter, we see them every day, often more than one at a time. One spring, the mama came out proudly parading FIVE babies!!
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rot
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Pavers & window screen

..
I don't have raccoons thankfully.

I built my bins out of pallets with window screen nailed down by roofing nails. I set them on pavers and that seems to keep the critter patrol out. The pavers keeps the borrowing types and tree roots out while letting our friends the worms in.

That's about all I've got to add.

to sense
..

wsommariva
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Location: Northern New Jersey

Thanks everyone for the replies. I think I'll skip racoon proofing at this time. I don't actually know what gets into my number one bin; could be just mice and squirrels. They don't make a mess, yet. I add every week kitchen waste - coffee grinds, egg shells and fruit peels. I cover with leaves that I have stockpiled. I started my bins last September so it's still new to me.

If I have serious bear problems, I may have to skip the fruit and eggs and supplement the coffee grings with fertilizer.

Thanks again

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