6 ways to keep Raccoons off your freshly installed Sod

The Raccoon is considered a Canadian animal, mainly found throughout

A native North-American animal

Southern Canada. As cute as it may seem, it is a wild animal, and when adjusting to city life –   it doesn’t always get along well with humans and their needs… In our Sodding service work, we come across Raccoons often times, and we know,that underestimating its abilities can result in extensive damage.

When sod is laid (regardless of the time of the year), the fresh soil underneath coupled with high levels of moisture (new sod needs to be watered 2-3 times a day during the first weeks) attracts worms and grubs (delicacy for Raccoons) to the top of the surface – right under the sod.

Raccoons are very clever, and are very quick to discover when there is food to be had. Blessed with remarkable dexterity, they can actually roll-up large chunks of sod in order to eat the worms and the grubs. What makes things even worse is that once they discover a source of food – they keep coming back, and bring their friends along for the feast.

There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning, and seeing your beautiful new sod all rolled up. Except seeing it rolled up again the next day… Over the last two years, we were trying to find an appropriate solution to the issue – everything from pepper spray to wildlife removal services. We came down to a conclusion that Raccoon problem is complex but not without a solution.

The key for resolving the problem is a close cooperation between us and our client, and the use of several methods, which could be built up gradually as the need grows (more relevant for new communities, with small Raccoon population) or a full-blown defence strategy deployed on the day when the new sod is installed (highly recommended for mature communities with large trees (Raccoons often live on trees) and  with large Raccoon populations.

Dealing with Raccoons – 5 deterrent methods combined

  1. Installing protective neton the sod for the first 3 weeks

    Taking care of Raccoon problem requires a close cooperation

  2. Lighting up the area – 100 Watt bulb for every 250 square feet (motion detectors are great).
  3. Using a Scarecrow Sprinkler.
  4. Distributing Moth Balls along the perimeter
  5. Sprinkling pure soap flakes and watering thoroughly.
  6. Contacting Wildlife removal service (in extreme cases).

Installing Protective Net – The Best and Most Effective Method

Protective net is highly efficient in protecting the new sod from Raccoons. The one we use (and should be available in your nearest do-it yourself store) has a special structure making it difficult for Raccoons to walk on, never mind digging in (we peg the net to the ground with thick plastic and metal

Raccoon Net

pegs, which require a bit more dexterity than the Raccoons are capable of. The net should stay on the grass until the first cut – about three weeks. By that time the roots should take in, and watering schedule greatly reduced. We strongly recommend our clients to do have us install the net on the day the sod is laid.

Lighting Up the Area

 

Racoons prefer to avoid well lit areas

Raccoons are nightly creatures, and as such they prefer to stay away from the light. Installing 100W light bulbs, or garden lights activated with motion-sensors is both economical (as the lights are not on all night long) and helpful.

 

Scarecrow Sprinkler

This is a powerful, portable, motion activated sprinkler. It does a great job scaring Raccoons and other wildlife away. Keep an eye on the edges of your lawn – the jet stream may be too weak if placed too far away, and will not deter Raccoons from munching on the edges of your sod. We are glad to deliver and install the Scare-Crow sprinkler on the sod installation day. It is also usually available in Canadian Tire and other hardware stores.

Distributing Moth-Balls along the perimeter

A strong unpleasant scent goes a long way making your lawn less attractive in the eyes of Raccoons. Moth-Balls are not fail-safe, and are best used in addition to the above methods. We usually carry a little stock of Moth Balls in our truck, as they are inexpensive, and are a great tool we are glad employ in protecting our work.

Sprinkling Pure Soap Flakes and watering thoroughly

Pure soap flakes will help to reduce to worm and grub population and drive them below the soil surface. The further away they are from the surface – the less likely Raccoons are to sense their availability and go after them.

Raccoons are a problem, but it is not impossible to drive them away. The methods described above designed to make your lawn less attractive and much less accessible source of food. Raccoons will strive to find an easier source of food elsewhere, allowing your fresh sod to take root, and grow uninterrupted!

We are glad to inform our clients of Raccoon hazards, and equip them with the tools they need to protect their freshly installed Sod. We are glad to install the protective net, and bring the Scare Crow sprinkler with us, we can even drop a few moth balls where needed. Using other methods, like lighting up the area, or sprinkling soap flakes – is up to the owner of the new lawn to do, and is usually done only when a significant Raccoon attack takes place.

 

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11 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Share your Raccoon experience with us! How are they treating your garden? What did you find to be most effective in chasing them away?

    • 2

      Domm said,

      Recently a raccoon fell into my room through the ceiling. I did what anyone would do in that situation, and I filmed it. Check it out on my blog
      dommferger.tumblr.com
      or search “Coon Room” on youtube.

  2. 3

    Domm said,

    Recently a raccoon fell into my room through the ceiling. I did what anyone would do in that situation, and I filmed it. Check it out on my blog
    dommferger.tumblr.com
    or search “Coon Room” on youtube.

  3. 4

    Many people may not think of raccoons as pets. Those who so live with them find they make fascinating and funny companions, although prone to a little, or maybe lots, of mischief. Be prepared to make a commitment to a raccoon. They need lots of care and attention, as well as supervision. And this video is very funny and interesting. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. 5

    [...] to be protected from various environmental elements, one of them is Raccoons. We wrote several posts on Raccoons before – deprived of their natural habitat across the GTA, Raccoons resort to [...]

  5. 6

    very nice post. do you have a facebook page we can like?

  6. 8

    Joseph said,

    Never add mothballs to sod it will kill the sod completely. You have to get ride of the grubs but they will keep coming back still. The only way to get ride of them is to have them killed or moved. It’s sad but true. Trust me after $3000 worth of damage toy lawn.

  7. 9

    Joe said,

    I just installed the chicken wire over our backyard after multiple mornings of overturned Sod. Before that I was using lights and left a small radio on overnight tuned to talk radio… Even then the Raccoons would sometimes pull up edges around the yard.

    Anyhow, after I installed the wire, I watered the lawn around 5:30pm. I did not turn the lights on or put out the radio… That was a mistake.

    A few hours later I flicked on the light and was welcomed by 2 raccoons who had managed to pull up the wire in multiple places taking the pegs with it.

    We unfortunately have many issues here – one being that we’re pretty sure the previous owner fed these raccoons (long story)… After I flicked on the light, the raccoons didn’t even run away – they saw my wife and I through the sliding door and one came over as if to say hi … Are you gonna feed us like always?

    What type of pegs do you use? I have about 100 of the plastic Easy Gardener pegs throughout the yard…

    I guess I’m leaving the lights and radio on now for good – every night … What a nightmare. It’s been at least 3 weeks since the sod was installed … Maybe 4 – but they have pulled it up in different places so often that I’m not even sure where the sod has anchored – if anywhere.

    Anyhow, any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks for the article…

  8. 11

    Anna Mathews said,

    Good thinking. Raccoons are problems some times in country sides. But again you can use some Best Sods to prevent them.


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