Racoon (or something) digging up garden

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Flyover

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We've replanted our garden two or three times already this year because something keeps rooting through everything we plant and leaving the whole garden in ruins.

We have a chicken-wire fence around the garden, but whatever-it-is gets over or around it without damaging it. (Not under; there's no sign of holes dug under the fence.)

Suspect #1 is the racoon who (still) lives under our back porch, though he probably weighs 20 pounds and I can't figure how he gets over the fence without obvious damage. Suspect #2 is squirrels. Suspect #3...birds? In any case, what are some recommendations? (And no, I am not allowed to discharge firearms at pests in my neighborhood. Already had that idea.)
 

Flyover

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Update: it definitely is the racoon; he's been crapping in the garden. I forgot about that when I posted.
 

Jeff Handy

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Trapping the raccoon with peanut butter bait in a cage trap.
Release at least five miles away.
Cover the cage with a towel, wear heavy gloves, don’t get scratched or bit to avoid rabies.
Illegal but commonly done, or else hire trappers, but more raccoons will move in.

Pump up high quality air rifle with .22 pellets will kill it, not really that loud.
Be discreet and accurate.
 

Blue Jay

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Never let one walk out of the trap, contact game warden.
 

Jeff Handy

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Contacting the game warden after illegal unlicensed trapping of raccoons equals huge fine in many jurisdictions.
Transporting them and releasing them are two more fines.
Most released animals will die anyway, better to humanely kill them.

Either hire a pro trapper, or kill with air rifle or car exhaust, or trap and release on the down low, IMHO.

But local laws vary, so to each his own.
 

EdInKentucky

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Repelling the raccoons is another possibility.
There are ultrasonic devices available that will make raccoons turn tail and run.
Best to get ones that are motion-detector activated, weatherproof, and put out a strong sound.
Keep in mind these will also repel your dogs and cats .. also deer and many other animals.
I've used one on the barking dogs in the neighborhood .. they do work on the dogs.
best regards
 

Flyover

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@EdInKentucky Can you recommend a particular one? I've seen those advertised in places but I've been skeptical whether they actually work. We don't have dogs or cats so I don't mind. Ideally it'd be nice to get one that's solar powered too so I don't need to run a cable out there.

By the way, another update: it turns out it's not just one raccoon but a whole family of them. I've seen two adults and heard the babies screeching under our back porch all night.
 

oldognewtrick

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Put some mothballs in an old sock and place it wherever you're having a problem with the raccoons. Works well with squirrels too.
 

EdInKentucky

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flyover ... I wish I had some ultrasonic devices to recommend for sure.
The ones I've seen advertised seem like the right idea, but seem a bit low on output power, most use batteries, and don't look robust enough to handle the weather.
I'd like to see an "industrial strength" ultrasonic device, one that can handle the weather, runs on household AC power, puts out several different sounds, and will deliver a strong ultrasonic sound.
I researched them last year, and there were more devices available than a few years ago.
I'd say research them using the internet, see what comes up.
Amazon might be a place to start.
 

EdInKentucky

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olddognewtrick ... I love the mothball idea, that does have the ring of truth to my ears.
 

Blue Jay

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Contacting the game warden after illegal unlicensed trapping of raccoons equals huge fine in many jurisdictions.
Transporting them and releasing them are two more fines.
Most released animals will die anyway, better to humanely kill them.

Either hire a pro trapper, or kill with air rifle or car exhaust, or trap and release on the down low, IMHO.

But local laws vary, so to each his own.
Live trapping a pest animal that is doing damage to your property is never a problem. Around here it is illegal to relocate a Raccoon so if you don't want to or cant kill it call the game warden.
 

EMD47

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Rodents don’t care for the smell of peppermint. Raccoons among others (deer, mice, skunks, rabbits, chipmunks, feral cats, groundhogs, squirrels, fox and coyotes) have been pestering.
For raccoons, in a spray bottle mix 3 parts water and 1 part cheap peppermint flavored mouthwash and spray in known areas, like it’s pathway, crawl through areas or along the areas where they come and go and directly into or around where they live and along fences and barriers around your property. I usually do it at dusk and a few times a week, especially after a rain. Mothballs also work but I found the peppermint spray is cheaper to use and more readily available, but also keeps them away.
Try also a spray mix of 3 parts ammonia and 1 part water around the base and known entry points of your porch. I noticed a raccoon climbing a big tree on hot summer night where it made a bed in the branches using leaves to keep cool. Seeing dead leaves fall way before fall gave me a clue and also saw poop droppings around the base of the tree....so I included spraying the base around this big maple tree and up the bark as far as I could to deter that behavior. You’ll have to be persistent and diligent with your efforts and eventually they will be programmed to avoid your property. Sprayed my yew hedges with the peppermint to keep the deer from rip up eating those. That was a true deterrent as they didn’t like the smell or having minty fresh breath. Test spot the areas first to note any reaction to the spray mixes first to make sure nothing gets damaged by the chemicals in the sprays. Good luck!
 

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