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sheeshshe
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how do you keep raccoons from eating your corn?

I've been hearing alot about this lately, raccoons stealing all the corn in the night.

So how to you combat against it? Male urine around your garden? something else? If the urine works, does baby urine work (male baby LOL!).

Approx how long after the silks come out before the ear is developed and ready to pick?

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Gary350
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Raccoons are cool to watch and they are pretty hard to deal with and they are smart. A dog will keep them out of the corn. The only other thing I know that works is, stand guard in the corn patch all night.

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I saw in a catalog a motion activated sprinkler. The ad said it was for deer but I imagine it could work for any animal. I also remember seeing it on the tv show "Ask This Old House".
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Two things work. One, a good fence complete with a portion dug into the ground 2 feet deep and a complete top too.

The other, the easiest and most effective: KILL THE RACOON!!!!
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I agree with jal-ut, but if you live in a residential area, or just can't bring yourself to off the little suckers, then get one of the Have a Heart traps, Coons like really rotten food like sardines that have been out in the sun for a while, put that in the trap as bait, they like spoiled Sardines more that corn, if you do this you'll get the offender, but take him a few miles away from your home before you release him, any closer that that, and he'll be back eating your corn. You'll also have to set the trap every night for about a week because there's probably more than one offender at work here.
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rkunsaw
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I use an electric fence.It is a small one made just for gardens and will run off a 6 volt lantern battery.Put one wire about six inches above ground and another six inches higher.It works.
I started with nothing and still have most of it!!!

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I have one of the motion activated sprinklers and it is a god-send when it comes to cats! Not sure about raccoons, I know they are around, but don't think they have ever wandered into my garden.

One thing about the sprinkler and raccoons though, raccoons love to wash their food before they eat it and well a sprinkler is a water source so it might just backfire...

But oh how it keeps the kittys outta the garden.... >^..^<
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Another method is to plant squash throughout the corn. The raccoons don't like the prickly vine and just stay out. I can't guarantee that it will work all of the time, but I do know someone who did it and it worked. Good luck!
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What about a portable radio? I've often thought that there should be a way to hook one up to a motion sensor to blast on. An all night talk radio station would probably be better since music station might just make them think you're inviting them to a party. :>

... though considering the twist-tie removing and zipper opening raccoons that folks have posted about, I wouldn't be surprised if they changed station settings to suit themselves.... :lol:

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In East Texas, we always just ate the coon then planted more corn so we could catch more coon.

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BP
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If you can't watch the garden overnight like most of us can't, do this. Get a live trap. Once you catch one, take it where you can get away with shooting it. We are not low on coon numbers anywhere in this country.

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A good .22 rifle is my favorite method to keep 'coons away.

Of course, I'm living way out in the sticks.
If you have neighbors living close by you may want to find a different method.

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we are residential. my backyard neighbor has a trap he's been using for the friendly skunks that we have but I don't know if it is big enough for coons. I haven't had a problem with them eating the corn in the past, HOWEVER... when I planted the corn seeds they kept digging them up and eating them. so I wonder if they'll remember and come back for more. after planting the corn twice I gave up. now I have a bunch of rows missing stalks :roll: actually, prior to this year I hadn't seen coon evidence for about 2 or years at all. but this year they've been eating chickens and getting into trouble.

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sheeshshe wrote:we are residential. my backyard neighbor has a trap he's been using for the friendly skunks that we have but I don't know if it is big enough for coons. I haven't had a problem with them eating the corn in the past, HOWEVER... when I planted the corn seeds they kept digging them up and eating them. so I wonder if they'll remember and come back for more. after planting the corn twice I gave up. now I have a bunch of rows missing stalks :roll: actually, prior to this year I hadn't seen coon evidence for about 2 or years at all. but this year they've been eating chickens and getting into trouble.
1) The traps come in several different sizes. I'm *almost* an expert on the sizes b/c Cat #2 kept escaping when we first rescued her, but she wouldn't come back into the house, even for food. (She's probably the least intelligent--all right, the dumbest--cat I've ever had, and that's saying something; I've had over 20 of 'em.)

I went to the hardware store to buy a trap. The assistant thought I wanted to trap raccoons when I asked for a "live trap," and handed me down a HUGE box. "Ah, she's a pretty small cat, maybe 8 or 9 pounds," I said. He got the smallest trap down. Maybe an underfed chipmunk could've fit into it...
I was feeling kind of like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: "Too big, too small." Then, with the third trap, we hit pay dirt! I could probably catch small to medium raccoons in it, and any cat at all, even the biggest Maine Coon I've ever seen (28 lb). "Just right."

2) Re. raccoons: Terribly smart. God-awfully smart. Not only will they remember, but they'll tell their friends, relatives, and countrymen all about where you've planted corn this year and how good it is. We had an avocado tree in Berkeley. Every now and then, the tree produced edible avocadoes. I couldn't dissuade the raccoons--and there were hordes of them, sometimes five or six at once--with a broom or a large stick. It took the hose and the power nozzle, cinched down to the "single stream" setting, and some very...ah...tricky and pinpoint aim on tender parts of the raccoons' anatomy to motivate them to leave. (And I'm not talking about their nose or eyes, either. :wink:)

Two gardening friends of mine lost valuable garden helpers to raccoons: one rabbit, whose multiply protected hutch was vandalized by these goons (sorry: 'coons), and a slug/snail-patrolling duck, hunted out of its secure house and made into dinner by these marauders.

I live too close in for weaponry, but if I were in less-populated quarters, I'm truly not sure what tactics I'd use. I despise these animals now for what they did to my friends' rabbit and duck, but people have given raccoons entrée to the cities by leaving food lying around everywhere (dog and cat food in bowls outdoors, for example). :x I'm fortunate enough that gardening is not required for my subsistence. If it were, I would have no qualms about taking out the competition for my food. But as it stands, I have no moral grounds on which to take a stand.

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sheeshshe
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I swaer, if they take my corn I'm going to lose it. will they take them all in one night? is there a way to tell they're done ripening before the coons do? do I go out there and do the squeeze test every day? I know raccoons are brutal. I haven't seen them around in a few weeks so I hope they're gone for good. My one neighbor shot them with a bb gun when they killed her chicken. and we haven't seen them around since then... who knows.

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The raccoon does NOT care if the corn is fully ripe and will definitely eat it before you do.

When I lived where I had land enough to grow corn, I tried it for a couple years. But a lot of our land was woods. We had deer, raccoons, possums, woodchucks, woodrats, squirrels, shrews, 40 kinds of birds, etc and every single one of those critters LOVED corn. I just gave up on being able to eat any myself and quit growing it.

Personally, I think electric fence is the best idea. You can easily find solar powered electric fence. You would need at least two strands all the way around your patch.

Depends on how much corn you have (and how many raccoons!) whether they can trash it all in one night, but they will give it their best shot. You will know they've been there, because they push the corn stalks over to get at the ears better.
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I have a friend in northern Michigan that has electric fence around her garden, but it's only good for bears and deer. The coons and crows still got in and ate corn. They now have a net and livetrap. I promise you that if you get a big enough livetrap, you will get the coons. My method (Grandpa's) is to get a small holed sack and fill it with meat scraps. Suspend it in the trap so the coon HAS to go in to get it. If you don't want to mess with driving it somewhere to shoot (it will be pissed and show it) just use a pellet gun. One or two shots to the head will do the trick and then you just have to dispose of it. From my experience and hearing from others, no fence will keep them out unless it has a roof like a cage. Livetrap and gun is WAY cheaper.

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Well, that's why I said at least two strands. You need one just a couple inches off the ground, too low for them to get under and then you need one maybe 6" higher up. And then you just have to pray they haven't invented ladders in the meantime! :) I swear when we finish messing the planet up and wipe ourselves out, the raccoons will still be here to take over from us!
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BP
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She is out of town this weekend, but I could probably have her send a pic Monday. I'm pretty sure her husband has 2 or 3 strands similar to like you said. She has no idea how they got in. No holes under the fence either. I'm pretty sure raccoons are the smartest animal on earth :lol:

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sheeshshe
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UGH.


I don't have much corn, so yeah... they'd prob take it all in a night then. I hate it becuase I don't work for the animals and I don't pay $ for organic amendments for the animals either. it will bite big time if I lose it all. then there would be the waste of space that I could have used for other things as well.

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Have you actually seen raccoons in your yard or are you just borrowing trouble? :)
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sheeshshe
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no they've been here. they dug up my garden. sometiems the skunks dig it u[p, but this wasn't like the skunks normally do. it was in june that they did it. and my neighbors saw the ones eating their chickens she's across the street. we haven't seen them in a month, but I figured they may remember the corn from the seeds they ate and be back. I've seen their little pawprints in the past.

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I've got lots of raccoons around but they have never bothered my garden. It may be because when I built my garden fence, I built it kinda loose so if something tries to climb it, it shakes and is hard to hold on.

My dog did corner a big possum against my garden fence last night. Don't think possums will hurt my garden, but I don't know. He barked for an hour before I finally went outside to see what he was barking at. Don't let anyone tell you that possums play possum when in danger. Those things are nasty. They pull those lips back and flash those teeth and look like a giant rat about to eat you. They make hissing sounds like a really mad cat. My hundred pound dog was pretty smart to know he shouldn't do anything but bark.

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sheeshshe
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I heard opossums will eat chickens too! they can be real nasty.

Oh I just remembered... I also found raccoon poo in my chicken run when they were around that week. so yeah, I know they were here. they're currently gone, but will they be back is the question!

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I have earned my merit badge in raccoon elimination 101, in fact I may qualify for my doctorate.... I am at 28 coons this year and still counting. With the pollination of the field corn the pressure on the sweet corn has diminished... The coon won't care if it is field or sweet corn, they are attracted to the pollen scent.

Live trap (s) are easiest... I have half a dozen spaced out... Marshmallows are some of the best bait. Raccoon have a sweet tooth (ie sweet corn, berries, etc). You want the middle sized trap. The one that is about 20 inches long and 12 x 12... If you go to TSC (Tractor Supply Co.) they sell a 2 pack. One large with a smaller one inside. The small one is pretty worthless unless you want to trap a squirrel. Cost in Michigan is 32.99 + tax.

Once you catch em you have a couple of options. You can let it go right there and it'll be back to eat again that night.. Well educated about the trap. Or you can end it's life... A 22 is the easiest... Top of the melon is the most humane. If you live in a more populated area a 22 short isn't much louder than a fire cracker. Some people will throw the trap / coon in a barrel of water or a lake or river... I don't care for that. Drowning isn't humane to me. Lastly you could pay an animal control professional to dispose of the animal. In MOST states it is illegal for you to live trap and relocate an animal yourself. This can only be done by a licensed animal control professional or a State animal control officer / DNR representative.

I have found that electric fences are only marginally successful. First one 6 inches off of the ground and you want a large fencer... One that will burn the grass / weeds if they touch so that you don't short it to ground if the grass gets too tall. Place a second wire at 6 to 8 inches above that... This is a lot of work and cost can add up... If there is a way in the coons will find it and exploit it. Deer will step right over it...

There is another popular rural method which is extremely effective... you will have to research that on your own and decide for yourself if you want to go that route. You must have NO other animals around that you wish to end up dead.. (dogs, etc)...

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Pretty much, the three surest ways to keep coons out of the garden are:

1. .22 rifle (not recommended in urban/suburban areas!!!!)

2. Live traps

3. Complete enclosure of the garden (yeah, that incudes over-head, as well)

Good luck with your coon-problem.
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joncro55
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Pests

Raccoons are never gone for good! They always come back and they are an absolutely pain to deal with, mainly because they are so sneaky, and can actually be very dangerous.

They were getting a lot of my crops from the garden recently until I put up a wire mesh fence. I made the fence myself using posts and rolls of wire mesh.

They are a really tough critter to keep away from something that they want, so I ended up putting this stuff over my crops in almost a box like shape and it has worked like a charm. The only was to get inside the box is to lift the entire thing and they haven't realized that....YET

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Also, if you go the live-trap route, you don't have to kill them. You can take them out to a field and let them go. If you're in a suburban setting (finite number of raccoons) you may be able to drastically reduce their numbers after a season or two of trapping.

I know a man who does just this. However, one word of caution: be sure you are clean out of the way when you release the coons as they can be extremely vicious.

Also, their teeth are like razors and will take a finger off before you know it. "Caution" is the key word when working with wildlife.
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garden5 wrote:Also, if you go the live-trap route, you don't have to kill them. You can take them out to a field and let them go. If you're in a suburban setting (finite number of raccoons) you may be able to drastically reduce their numbers after a season or two of trapping.

I know a man who does just this. However, one word of caution: be sure you are clean out of the way when you release the coons as they can be extremely vicious.

Also, their teeth are like razors and will take a finger off before you know it. "Caution" is the key word when working with wildlife.
In many states (MI for example) it is illegal for an individual to live trap and relocate any wild animal.

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raccoons

do you really have to kill the raccoons? i heard you could just spray the area/garden with a certain kind of scent, and the raccoons wouldn't come near it.

old man told me to use fox scent (or was it urine?), but i haven't done that yet.

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rootsy
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Re: raccoons

scrose wrote:do you really have to kill the raccoons? i heard you could just spray the area/garden with a certain kind of scent, and the raccoons wouldn't come near it.

old man told me to use fox scent (or was it urine?), but i haven't done that yet.
Nope... doesn't work...

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I don't believe in killing the wildlife (they were here first! :) ) so I do cage my veggies in. At least the ones the raccoons like... The raccoons for example never bother the bed that has peppers and basil in it. And they seem to be real big on leafy greens. I can leave the swiss chard unprotected, but I have to protect lettuce and spinach cabbage, broccoli etc from the ground hog.

After awhile you learn who likes what.
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[img]https://lh5.ggpht.com/_TLd5mTZkIn8/TGladvQpXnI/AAAAAAAABBY/tTvvzeM7gss/s288/P1000423.JPG[/img]

Don't have corn, but have these critters. This was a couple of summers ago, I trapped out 2 siblings. I use cheap canned kitty food as bait, tie can down! My son put cage in back of truck, brought to industrial park/wooded bottom land area by the river. Actually an island in the Mississippi, connected by causeway. Vamoose!
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Gary350
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When I lived at the other house 20 years ago there was a forest 1/2 block from my house. Something kept eating my garden so I put up an electric fence wire 3" off the ground. That stopped the critters from eating my garden but the electric fence killed all the squirrels and birds. I found sometimes 1 to 3 dead squirrels and 8 to 14 dead birds every day when I got home from work. I don't like killing the wild life so I took the electric fence away. I had plenty of land so I planted a larger garden so I could share with the animals.

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sheeshshe
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well so far so good. I picked 6 corn yesterday and so far no raccoons. WOO!

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Racoon eradication is always a hot topic on hunting forums. In TX we are allowed to put out deer feeders. It is mandatory to put varmint cages around the motor, otherwise the coons will sit there all night pulling corn out of your funnel.

Lots of guys also put out "on demand" protein feeders for the deer. The coons LOVE those because it's like a stinking buffet for them. And you can't enclose them because then the deer can't get to them.

There are many DIY remedies and all are marginally successful. The only truly successful remedy is acute lead poisioning.

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I put a battery operated radio on a talk radio station when I see signs of coon damage so far the last three years it seems to work I turn it on at dusk and off at daylight

harleymitebe
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The people who live trap and move need to understand that usually they will be moved into another coons territory and if are small and weaker it just a slower and more painful death than just putting it out of its miseries. not allowed food getting attacked by other families of coons until they eventually die.

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In some states ... OR and NY, for two I know of offhand ... raccoons are protected by law. They are listed as Furbearers, and can only be taken legally during trapping season. DFW commonly requires that one have a permit in order to trap a raccoon, or any other Furbearer. Also, the law may specify that only certain types of traps be used.

Oregon gets around this by providing free "out of season" permits to people who need to trap nuisance raccoons. All you have to do is go to the nearest DFW office and fill out a short application form. They'll even rent a trap to you, if they have one available, and return the rental fee when you return the undamaged trap. As I recall, the permit allows you to trap only animals that are on your own property.

IMO, it's important to remember that whenever one animal is removed from an area, another animal will soon notice the vacancy and move in.
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rootsy
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Kisal wrote:In some states ... OR and NY, for two I know of offhand ... raccoons are protected by law. They are listed as Furbearers, and can only be taken legally during trapping season. DFW commonly requires that one have a permit in order to trap a raccoon, or any other Furbearer. Also, the law may specify that only certain types of traps be used.

Oregon gets around this by providing free "out of season" permits to people who need to trap nuisance raccoons. All you have to do is go to the nearest DFW office and fill out a short application form. They'll even rent a trap to you, if they have one available, and return the rental fee when you return the undamaged trap. As I recall, the permit allows you to trap only animals that are on your own property.

IMO, it's important to remember that whenever one animal is removed from an area, another animal will soon notice the vacancy and move in.
Each state is different with regard to trap & release or elimination of nuisance animals. One must verse themselves in the law of their location.

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