Can an electric fence keep them away?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Victoriakally, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. Victoriakally

    Victoriakally In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2018
    It's really tough to get rid of racoons. I live near a forested area. Racoons had terrorized several houses in my neighbourhood. We had tried several times to get them away. But sadly, each attempt was waste of time. There are several places for them to hide. They'll never go away completely. So we decided to call for animal removal services in Hamilton.
    Last month, I heard a scratching noise under my deck and I discovered a whole family of them, including babies. They were trying to make an opening in the corner of the deck and have completely destroyed the floorboards. I got them out initially by dumping ammonia. Eventually, they all came out and I sealed all of the entry points. However, they kept coming back and tried to rip up the floorboards. Still, they are doing tons of damages. They have fixed the deck as their home. Can an electric fence keep them away? Of course, clearing out racoons completely is not an easy task and need professional help. But I would like to get some tips to avoid their nuisance.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    A properly constructed electric fence will keep them away. Exactly how you construct that fence will depend on the area you are protecting. They can come in through trees if the canopies overlap or maybe climb other parts of your house to get there. @Howard E is the best with electric fences on this forum I can think of. I use electric netting but your application probably needs fencing.

    You are right, you will never get rid of all raccoons, there are too many being born. But you can remove the ones that are currently bothering you and you can reduce the population density in your area, at least temporarily. It sounds like you are in the heart of suburbia so shooting is probably out. That leaves traps.

    The problem with trapping them is how do you get rid of the trapped animal. In suburbia you probably have laws about that which can be frustrating. I don't know what your laws are in Canada but in the USA it's usually illegal to release them anywhere other than on your own property unless you have the landowner's permission. Unless you take them several miles away they will just return, much further than a kilometer. I kill them but the logistics of doing that and disposing of the body can be a challenge in suburbia.

    Calling that animal removal service is a good start. They may be expensive but they should be able to handle the situation, at least with the ones currently bothering you.
    I'd choose the permanent removal option and pump them for information as to what your laws are about relocation and permanent removal. They should know. Once you get the cost estimate you may want to explore other options.

    You can also talk to your government animal control people and see if they can help, either with trapping or disposing of the animal if you trap it. Some will even loan you a trap. A lot of the time you will be disappointed in their response in your situation, not a lot of help. But you may get lucky and may be worth your time and effort.

    Good luck!
    Scooby308 and Trish1974 like this.
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Crowing

    Feb 18, 2016
    Thanks to RR for the kind words.

    No animal, and that includes coons, wants to tangle with an electric fence. They just don't. A zap or two from a really hot fence and they will head for the horizon, with no plans to ever come back.

    If you can post some photographs of the area you want to protect, we can probably come up with some type of solution to help you.
  4. BennieAnTheJets

    BennieAnTheJets Songster

    Mar 4, 2016
    Virginia, USA
    Next Day Accommodations_ Being Checked Out By Guinea Fowl.jpg We are Guinea Guarding (in training).jpg No more racoons around here.jpg E-fence saved our Guineas in the coop for years before we got the LGDs (Livestock Guardian Dogs).

    I had a double line (hot wire and ground) running around the bottom, midlevel, window level, and roof top of our coop with a 50 mile horse fencer attached. It gave blue sparks when I tested it with my pitch fork across the wires.

    We had 2-3 nights where all feeders and waterers where turned upside down and the birds sat in the rafters or in the corner from the fright they had had, but all were well and the predator got a nasty surprise trying to get in.

    After the initial visits / tests we had no more events like that. I do think they learn and avoid this area now. I myself got sparked before and it makes you apprehensive in that area for a while when you go by again - ha ha - it works.

    We still had coons around the property, though. Then, when we got the puppies (they are 130 lbs each now but much the amusement of my family I still call them puppies) things changed: no more racoon tracks in the mud or on the deck.

    If you can afford a good dog (time, space, fence, and bills), they will take care of the territory like nothing else. Our dogs are strictly outside. They are working dogs and live with the livestock.

    They were cute as buttons and now are guarding our Guineas and property.
    In the last pic you can see the e-fence I had around the coop and run (on the bottom of the run only) but it has not been on since the puppies arrived.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
    Scooby308 likes this.
  5. An electric fence is not the do-all to end-all, especially in your situation. Coons can or will range right up to the edge of an electric fence. It sounds to me that you have an overabundance of raccoons and in such a situation nothing will help except thinning the herd, like permanently.
    Scooby308 likes this.
  6. RWise

    RWise Songster

    Dec 25, 2012
    Oakhurst Oklahoma
    I use traps (baited with melon) and a .22 air riffle with hollow points. (air riffles are very quiet yet have good knock down) You will not get rid of all of them, but they will learn to avoid you for some time. Yes the electric wire will help, but may not stop all.
    I also let my dogs run the pastures, and they have killed an adult coon about 100 feet from the coop, where it had made a nest.
    BTW an adult coon will tear the door out of the "have a heart" traps, and never go in another..
    Good luck!
  7. williamsingr12

    williamsingr12 In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2018
    Mac City
    First coon proof your coupe then Get an xtra large garbage can like or something that will hold a coon trapped submerge in water,( test to make sure the trap will submerge entirely in water before you catch a coon.) trap the coons, drown in water then dispose of in trash can on Tuesdays or Wednesday or you get the idea. Its the most human way they dont suffer and you thin the coons out until they dont come back
  8. BennieAnTheJets

    BennieAnTheJets Songster

    Mar 4, 2016
    Virginia, USA
    Uh, sorry, but I don't think I would like to be drowned in a cage, would you?

    Every one's situation is different, but we had families of racoons here, too. I used to see them at dusk with their many eyes reflecting in my flash light, mom with babies. We had tracks on the deck and in the mud all around. We have acreage and wooded areas and it is ideal for them to life and hunt. We even have a ravine and a creek.

    In six years we have not had a racoon kill a bird - we had a cayote take one in the daytime - and I know it can happen any day, but what I am saying is that there are other solutions than killing that have worked for us so far and have worked for many others, too.

    When I looked into it one report suggested that "training" the local population to stay away from your birds (electric fence, dogs) is better than killing because you create a vacuum if you kill resident predators and others will move into the territory and you will lose birds again until you kill the newcomers and so on. A resident racoon who leaves your flock alone will keep other racoons from moving into your area and trying it on with your traps/guns/etc. Sometimes you win, sometimes they win, so there is not a great advantage to being cruel, I think.

    Our electric fence has worked 100% but only for the coop - I have not tried e-fence around open areas. See photo of e-lines around our coop in previous post.

    The LGDs (Maremma Sheep Dogs - Livestock Guardian Dogs) have worked to eliminate the predators from within our fenced area (about 4 acres). They work by 1. territorial exclusion (marking) 2. barking (warning predators off) 3. direct confrontation (only when necessary - mostly 1. and 2. suffice to keep critters away). They are faster and more aware of intruders than any of us can ever be and they are always with the flock. For us, they were the right answer and "our" coons and other wild life still live on our acreage outside the fence line. :bun

    Just another view point.
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I have electric wire around all of my pens and coops as well as a heavy duty netting covering all of the pens and concrete under all of the gates. I have several game cameras around and see a lot of predators on my cameras most nights. Once they touch the wire they don't come back to test it out again. My outer coops wire is 9000 volts. My inner coops which are closer to the house are around 5000 volts but it still give a decent shock. It has made my heart skip a few beats when I have accidentally touched it. I have heard critters test it mostly in the spring when the youngsters test it. It works for me.
    Here are a few pictures.
    2014-11-18 17.08.57.jpg IMG_20170427_200259.jpg IMG_20180503_094047.jpg
    BennieAnTheJets likes this.
  10. Scooby308

    Scooby308 Songster

    Jun 27, 2012
    Just posted this a second ago on another thread where they thought it was a bear. An electric fence can help, but is not perfect. A well trained dog does wonders.

    From another thread:

    Just a caution on the hotwire for bears... There are videos on the internet that show problem bears that learn to dig under the wire. One shows a bear pushing down a tree onto the fence to cross over. These were several years ago and the bears were raiding bee hive lots. As an aside, one guy posted a video of a coyote jumping nearly straight up onto a 5 foot fence post and into the pen...put a hotwire on top of the fence. Oh, and grey foxes can climb like a cat. So don't ever think electric fencingwill do it all.

    Trip wire attached to blank firing devices have worked here for 4 and 2 legged predators alike. Probably not an option in the burbs.

    I have 2 Dobermanns and this is their farm. I recently got chickens and have had a few possums and coons snooping around. The Dobies smell them in their sleep and alert. I open the door and pests disappear. They are excellent protectors. Thor even snatched a turkey vulture out of the air that didn't get off the ground quick enough, plucked him about 5 feet off the ground. A well trained dog is a tremendous force multiplier for you, your livestock, and farm.

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