I live in an urban setting in Los Angeles and my backyard is a dream for the local wildlife. Organic veggies, chickens & rabbits, they all thrive in my garden and present attractive opportunities for raccoons, bobcats, squirrels or any other wild creatures eager to wreak havoc.
Every morning I find deep holes in my lawn and raised garden beds. Often times the plants are either eaten or ripped out and tossed aside. I'm pretty sure it's a raccoon digging for grubs and he visits us every other night.
After researching and trying all kinds of deterrents I finally came across a motion-activated sprinkler system and finally gained the upper hand. A raccoon has a relatively small territory of just a few blocks and roams through it repeatedly for new feeding opportunities. Trapping or poisoning are not really options as it is illegal, inhumane and only temporarily fix this problem.
The youtube clip shows the ScareCrow sprinkler by Contech in action. This product has over 2000 reviews on Amazon with a 4.5 star rating and it does the trick. It costs around $55.
Update June, 5 2014: Watch follow-up review below...
It's been a month since I bought the Scarecrow Sprinkler, so here is a follow up video I posted on youtube. The good news is, the sprinkler is doing its job: The raccoons are still in my backyard but they have learned to stay away from my veggie pad. The one thing I am concerned about is having the water on and connect through a hose to the system 24/7. So after a leak with a light duty hose I upgraded to a more robust heavy-duty hose that is doing the job...
A more expensive alternative is the hose-free Havahart Sprinkler, it looks like a solid system and just like the Scarecrow Sprinkler has favorable reviews on Amazon. But it is almost 4x the price (ca. $180).
The follow-up video shows night-vision footage of the ScareCrow sprinkler and I was actually able to film a raccoon. I used a trail camera that is also motion activated and would start recording whenever something would cross its path. I'm still looking for that "money shot" of a raccoon being hit by the scrinkler water, and I'll post it as soon as it happens. :)
Overall, I'm very happy with the system. No battery drain, consistant motion sensor, no leaks once I replaced the hose and most importantly, finally, I've been able to keep my friendly neighborhood raccoon away from my veggies. As a matter of fact it's been weeks since I've found any traces of him actually entering my yard. I'm hoping he is moving on to easier pastures.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to share them with me here.
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