Stopping Raccoons, Herons & Other Creatures from Pillaging Your Pond
Predators can pose a serious risk and/or threat to your garden pond - especially if you have fish. Common types of predators include raccoons, large birds and house cats.
There a few basic ways to keep predators away. The easiest and least hurtful method of predator protection would be to place a net over your garden pond. A predator net is laid across the pool surface and doesn't allow any animal to get close to the water or the vegetation and fish within. As an extra precaution, you can throw in some plastic drainage pipe or make a tunnel out of pond netting, so the fish have a hiding place.
If you are designing a new pond in a predator rich area, there are some planning guidelines to consider. If you have herons, make sure your pond is over 3 feet deep. You can also put a scarecrow-like heron statue on the edge of your pond to deter them from coming close. If you have raccoons, don't put shelves in your construction. Raccoons like to fish from the steps.
Predator netting is also an important safety feature to protect pets and small children from falling into your garden pond. A garden pond enclosed with a fence of predator netting will help to prevent children and pets from endangering themselves and your pond fish. Pond predator netting ranges in price online from $14 to $115.
Wooden predator fencing is also available for approximately $100 online and can be used in conjunction with a pond net for further security. If your backyard contains a garden pond, it's a wise idea to enclose the entire backyard with a secure fence and a gate that locks to protect children and animals.
Other methods of predator protection include motion-sensor sprinklers that will spray the predator when it approaches your pond. More extreme methods of predator protection include battery-powered electric fences that can surround the perimeter of the pond and shock any animal that touches it. This method is only necessary if you have a really bad raccoon problem and should only be used as a last resort to protecting your pond. Electric fencing isn't an ideal solution to protecting pond fish from large birds, because birds can fly over it. If you have a bird problem, a net is the wisest choice for predator protection.
There are mixed reviews on the floating alligator heads as a deterrent. If you like alligators it may be an endearing quality in your pond, even if it does nothing to deter all creatures great and small.