Anyone have and effective remedy against racoons?
I have a backyard vineyard in town and they are
devouring my fruit. They are getting through the
bird netting like it is not even a problem for
I have a "have a heart" trap and in the last two
weeks have caught 4 of them. I caught two
earlier in the season for a total of 6 so far. I
take them about 6 miles away. Is this far
enough? How large a family do they usually have?
is trap & release legal where you are? it's not in a lot of
places because it's both inhumane & dangerous for the animals.
in any case, no, 6 miles is not far enough to move a racoon to
prevent it's return. minimum of 20. they have rather large
ranges, especially males.
a female racoon will usually have between 2-8 kits. they stay
with mom for a year, until the next litter is born, then
they're kicked out. some teenage racoons stay in gangs for the
next year until they get to be 2 years old, but not all of
them do this.
is your grape arbor small enough to enclose in a chainlink
dog pen (you can get extra panels to extend length & width)?
that would keep the racoons out, as they aren't much for
or you could get electric fencing... either sheep mesh or
standed, with the wires at 6", 1' & 3' should also keep them
actually, yes, it can be. local populations have their own set
of parasite & disease resistances, their own set pattern of
food gathering, their own 'pecking order'. moving an animal to
a strange location is pretty much dooming them to a slow death
due to starvation, disease/parasites, or fighting & subsequent
infection if they aren't killed outright.
nice size! what types of grapes do you have?
hmm. i don't see why not. kids learn real quick not to mess
with electric fences ;)
have you tried one of those sprinklers with a motion sensor?
Question with boldness even the existence of god; because if
I grow Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet
Have not tried that. Do they work?
I have not had a problem with them until this
year. I have been trapping and releasing ground
hogs this year and now that they seem to be gone
the racoons are moving in. I also have
occasional problems with deer but I have only
seen them once this year - in early March.
not a fan of merlot. i do like the cabernets. i had a pinot
noir when i moved here, but it got strangled by the faster
growing concords... so i ripped out all the grapes.
i'd like to replant & a vintner just bought the house across
from us for a summer house, so i'll be picking his brains
first. i think i can supply the translation from CA to NH
i'd have to say i think it depends a lot on the local racoon
population. for the most part, i'd suspect it would work for a
few weeks, especially if you move it around a bit. racoons do
*think* and they will start to ignore something not completely
they work pretty good on deer, but deer are not very smart.
is it dry in your area? or has it been a particularly lush
year? either one might cause racoons to be in areas they would
or you may have a new neighbor that doesn't secure his
garbage & they've moved in because of an easy food source...
There will be a BIG transition from CA to NH.
Cabernet Franc is fairly cold hardy. There are
also new hybrids for cold climate that have been
developed such as Frontenac. I suggest you talk
to the nearest growers to you or your agriculture
extension agent or one in New York State -
perhaps someone at Cornell.
It has been a semi draught year - very good for
i have land in NY, near the Finger Lakes too, but not a large
amount. we want to eventually move the farm from NH to NY, but
i'm being picky about where & what i want on the new property.
since i have a decent working farm already, i am not in a huge
rush to settle on something yet ;)
i'd look into the motion activated sprinkler as at least a
stopgap deterrent. check with your town about the electric
Racoons consumed my entire crop of table grapes, one vine each of
'Perlette' and 'Black Monukka'. They did not touch the grapes until
they were ripe.
I was advised to tie paper lunch bags around each bunch just before they
were complete ripe. This is supposed to protect the fruit from both
racoons and squirrels.
I have a medium Havahart (brand name) trap for squirrels. I release the
squirrels in a state park about 5 miles away, on the other side of an
8-lane freeway. There are pleanty of hungry coyotes and hawks in the
I was told that I need a large Havahart trap for racoons. If I catch
any, I can take the trap to the local animal shelter (which won't accept
squirrels). The shelter will relocate racoons that are a problem.
In any case, I no longer have my grape vines. The entire slope where
they were planted had to be stripped and regraded because of a
slope-failure in a rain storm. Most of the rest of my garden is also
gone, chewed up by the grading equipment. :( The repairs will be done
by Friday (so I was told). In the meantime, I heard a rustling in the
back yard one night about 6 weeks ago. With a large flashlight, I
checked and saw a large racoon and three small ones; they found nothing
Replanting should begin in the next week or two. I have rooted cuttings
of 'Perlette', 'Black Monukka', and 'Flame' to put on the slope. While
the whole slope had to be repaired, it did not really move where the old
grape vines were growing. Grapes have tough, deep roots. Thus, I am
adding a third vine.
It will be about three more years before I again worry about racoons.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
You can catch small raccoons in a Hav-a-hart large enough for groundhogs
but it takes their largest trap for big raccoons.
Last animal bothering my trash cans turned out to be a female skunk with
4 young ones. I described that elsewhere but imagine mother in trap
with kids that will not leave. I was able to get her out without
getting sprayed. Now trap is back in shed and I got garbage cans with
Don't know if anyone has tried to build a barrier at the base of the
grape vine that is difficult for raccoons to climb? I know they can
climb simple structures, so this barrier would have to be designed
very well with no easy places to grasp and climb with their powerful
Perhaps an even more wild idea may be to feed them cat food at a
corner of your lot and build a fence or barrier between the cat food
and your grapes? The logic is that once they're satisfied with cat
food, they won't have much interest in your grapes?
BTW I confess to feeding raccoons on a shelf in my back porch along
with neighborhood cats, opossums, birds and any critter that can climb
up to a shelf about 30 inches above the floor. I can assure you that
the raccoons can climb this height very easily. I built the shelf in
order to keep my neighborhood dogs from eating the cat food. That was
successful. And I don't mind feeding the other critters, as well.
Fortunately, the skunks haven't figured out how to climb the shelf.
So if you want to feed cats and not skunks, the shelf may be your
solution. Of course, if the dogs visit me and beg for food, I feed
them, as well. In case you're wondering, I buy a 16 lb bag of cat
food each week. Most of it goes to the raccoons, of course, since
they're bigger and hungrier than the cats and opossums
It may take a lot of cat food to satisfy your raccoons, depending on
how many and how big they are. Then, again, they may prefer the
grapes over cat food? You may test that question by placing a bunch
of grapes next to some cat food and seeing which they eat first?
At peace with weeds and beasts...
Are you a weeding tool expert? ergonica.com/
I assure you that there are not many things that a raccoon cannot climb,
especially if there is a reward at the other end. I routinely have
raccoons on the roof of my house, mostly a single female that takes her
young up there via an arbor and pergola. What they are doing up there
beyond running back and forth totally escapes me. A "teenage" raccoon
sometimes comes and tries to drink from my watering can on the front
porch. The worst damage I've ever suffered at the paws of my night
visitors is one small ceramic pot of Mammilaria plumosa (?) tipped from
the porch and broken. The visitors carefully avoid the large pots of
seriously thorny cacti on the porch so they certainly aren't stupid.
My neighbors have a large group that comes in the early evening, over
and under a 5-foot chain link fence, to drink from the in-ground pool
and snatch whatever cat food might be about. I snapped a picture with my
cellphone of nine drinking at one time in a reasonably orderly group.
The amazing thing to me is how fearless they are and how little
attention the cats pay to them while their food is being stolen.
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