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View Full Version : Coons in the tomato patch - would netting help?



ESG
Jun. 9, 2012, 11:44 PM
So I'm waiting for a prized beefsteak tomato to finish coloring up before harvesting. I waltz out to the garden, anticipating a sweating globe of tomato-y goodness aching to be plucked from the vine, when I realize it's gone!! After a fairly frantic search of the pint-sized garden plot, I spot what's left of prized tomato, lying eviscerated on the ground just inside the fence, sporting teeth marks and missing sizeable chunks of flesh.

A dearth of tracks or other evidence might make murky work of discerning the culprit(s), but I've had many more coons than possums eating the cat food left on the front porch for "our" outside cat, so I'm assuming I've been 'cooned. Will plastic mesh/netting prevent further thefts of my prized tomatoes? Or am I destined to mourn the most prized specimens from my vines unless I beat said coons to the punch and harvest my goods before they're fully ripe?

Any and all advice is appreciated. :cool:

birdsong
Jun. 10, 2012, 12:39 AM
Yes...you've been COONED. I did the same with a beautiful pineapple...was going to pick it tomorrow and went out to find just the top left!

Raccoons will get those tomatoes no matter what, unless you beat them to the punch!

Vine ripened tomatoes are over rated...(at least you can tell yourself that)

I decided I had to simply share all the mangoes with the wildlife...as long as they will leave me HALF!

Alagirl
Jun. 10, 2012, 02:50 AM
plastic netting?

I'd try wire netting. And then put juice on it.

I kid you not, I went to a zoo that had the coons behind electric fence...

FalseImpression
Jun. 10, 2012, 03:08 AM
Well, it's coons. My dog used to pick the tomatoes off the vine just.when.they.were.ripe. Not a day before!!! Sigh... we could spot one turning pink and keep checking it... he would find it!
Another dog ate all the strawberries as they ripened.

cloudyandcallie
Jun. 10, 2012, 08:07 AM
Do you have a pan of water out by the garden? If not, put one there and keep it full of fresh water. Best if it can be in the shade.

Many birds and animals will eat tomatoes and similar vegetables for the water content because they are thirsty & have no other source of water. Usually a large pan of water will prevent their eating your garden.

As for pinapples, years ago, one of my cats bit off part of a growing pineapple on one of our plants. I never figured out why. The cat was a southerner, not an Hawaiian.

Daydream Believer
Jun. 10, 2012, 08:40 AM
I do think the electric netting would work..not sure about non electric. It holds animals away from my chickens well enough.

A farmer who does veggies at the Saturday market I go to told me yesterday that he has had bears that can get inside his electric fence since their coats can protect them from shocis and feast on his melons. He said when that happens there isn't much you can do.

JB
Jun. 10, 2012, 09:52 AM
The ONLY thing that has keep coons (and squirrels, and rabbits) out of my dad's garden is hot wire. He's got some regular netting just on the inside, and then 6" or so outside of that he's got 2 strands of hot wire - top to keep them from thinking they can step/climb over, and bottom to keep them from digging. I think the brand he has is McGregors.

LauraKY
Jun. 10, 2012, 10:32 AM
Yes, hot wire...that's the only thing that will keep them out.

jcotton
Jun. 11, 2012, 10:24 AM
And a .22!!!

BabyGoose
Jun. 11, 2012, 01:02 PM
And raccoon is actually very tasty. You could have them with tomatoes.

Nes
Jun. 11, 2012, 01:39 PM
plastic netting, or chicken wire, won't stop them for a second. I would also suggestion electro-netting, they're pretty good climbers.

E-net is not overly expensive but if you want to go with a wire you're going to want a welded wire.

I've heard the red predator eyes work very well, the coons have been in my garden playing with the onions so we're going to try that.

ReSomething
Jun. 11, 2012, 01:48 PM
Dh claims that the way he has set up the chicken wire they won't try to climb it. It's real loose, not stretched. So far it keeps out the scratching chickens and the feline toidy activities. Jury is still out on coons.

rmh_rider
Jun. 11, 2012, 07:04 PM
No nets will not help ESG with epm makers. (coons)

A tight chain link fence would buried partially into the ground.

Hot wire WOULD. Hot as in lava hot. You need to put the fear of God in them to keep them away.

I have hot wired to keep skunks out of my barn. Worked!

I took 2 pvc posts, drilled holes a few inches apart, ran wire. I used 1" diameter.

Or trap them. They do like CHEESE alot. Velvetta cheese to be exact. The smell will drive them WILD. So will cold cuts. Put trap away from garden to draw them out. Epm makers are nasty creatures up close. Their teeth will drip with saliva. ICK.

My mare came up sunday morning with skunk stink on her nose. I have a trap set. Nothing yet.

SmartAlex
Jun. 12, 2012, 11:55 AM
A farmer who does veggies at the Saturday market I go to told me yesterday that he has had bears that can get inside his electric fence since their coats can protect them from shocis and feast on his melons. He said when that happens there isn't much you can do.

Almost any wildlife has a coat (especially deer) that will insulate them from electric. SoooOooo, you have to train them. The electric fence is a psychological barrier. And to train the wildlife brain, you must shock it ! TeeHeeHee...

Fold a piece of aluminum foil over the wire. Bait it with peanut butter. Watch the psychological barrier training begin. :winkgrin:

Electric is pretty effective with coons because they have to touch every.damned.thing with their little hands.

SmartAlex
Jun. 12, 2012, 11:58 AM
As for trapping coons... good luck. We got a couple of them, but the last one is outsmarting my husband. He even re-engineered the HavaHeart trap with a trip wire and pulleys, and the darn thing broke out. We need a longer trap. The door must have come down on his hiney and he was able to shimmy out. Scared the poop out of him though. Big time.

Alagirl
Jun. 12, 2012, 01:31 PM
As for trapping coons... good luck. We got a couple of them, but the last one is outsmarting my husband. He even re-engineered the HavaHeart trap with a trip wire and pulleys, and the darn thing broke out. We need a longer trap. The door must have come down on his hiney and he was able to shimmy out. Scared the poop out of him though. Big time.


is that where you trap them before you shoot them? :lol:

SmartAlex
Jun. 12, 2012, 01:52 PM
Who was it that had that in their signature?

My husband doesn't shoot the trapped ones... 'fraid of hitting his trap :lol: But I was pretty imprssed with how he re-rigged the trap. Too bad it didn't work.

He has no qualms of shooting them if they dilly dally in the light of the motion sensor light. Nothing like being woken at 3 am by a guy shooting a .22 out your bedroom window.

The Shadow
Jun. 12, 2012, 02:31 PM
I trapped a coon (in a Havahart trap) in the barn last night. Found the empty sprung trap half way down the barn aisle this morning. Twice yesterday it was trapped and escaped. I hate coons.

rmh_rider
Jun. 12, 2012, 05:08 PM
We shoot EVERY epm maker. Trap be damned. Of all we have shot, and that is alot, there is only one hole, and all it did was take out a piece of the wire. Might have been missing when I got the trap, not sure. Hey he damages the trap, then buy new. I have a cheap trap from TSC. I have had some strong critters try to get out of my trap, none have yet.

Try tying a Ky Fried chicken wing or leg - original recipe - to a string and hang.

Also you can put goodies under the trigger plate.

Also try velvetta cheese. They love it. Also strawberries.

Good luck with your epm maker.

Aggie4Bar
Jun. 12, 2012, 05:11 PM
And raccoon is actually very tasty.

No... please say you didn't... :dead:

The Shadow
Jun. 12, 2012, 05:23 PM
Try tying a Ky Fried chicken wing or leg - original recipe - to a string and hang.



They don't like Extra Crispy? :)

I'm not giving up yet!

rmh_rider
Jun. 12, 2012, 05:31 PM
No.

It is the secret herbs and spices ha ha. Must be all that aromatic grease?

You have to put the scent out there to drive them wild! Cheese is also really good. The smell really travels. You can also leave a ky fry chicken leg out in the open to see if they will eat it. THEN, bait the trap and they will be hungry for more of this special food.

mmm.

To keep coons out of my garden I employ electricity!

But, I can trap too. I have 2 notches on my lipstick case for coons this year. They were HUGE too. HUGE.

Don't give up, it is all in the bait and placement of the trap. Also all dogs should be in bed in the house at night. shhh allow the deed to be done.

prudence
Jun. 12, 2012, 05:41 PM
I like this to scare off the critters:

http://www.amazon.com/Contech-CRO101-Scarecrow-Activated-Sprinkler/dp/B000071NUS/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1339533462&sr=1-1

Someone here recommended them and so far nothing has gotten my plants...:D

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Jun. 12, 2012, 05:58 PM
Try stuffing some big cat droppings into a knee-high stocking, knot the top, and tie it to the tomato cages.:yes:

When I was involved in sea turtle conservation, we did something similar to keep the raccoons from digging up the nests and eating the eggs. Our local zoo kept us supplied with mountain lion poo.:)

enjoytheride
Jun. 12, 2012, 06:25 PM
My barn manager uses butterfingers in the traps to catch them. She tried cat food but all she caught was cats :D

SmartAlex
Jun. 12, 2012, 09:41 PM
Also you can put goodies under the trigger plate.

Ours took one look at that, flipped the cage over, ate dinner. And left.

The Shadow
Jun. 13, 2012, 01:04 PM
BIG coon caught! Dry cat food for bait. Felt sorry for it even though I hate them!

BabyGoose
Jun. 13, 2012, 10:22 PM
No... please say you didn't... :dead:

Seriously! Racoon is very good. It tastes like pork actually.

http://forums.bowhunting.com/showthread.php?33294-raccoon-meat

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2009/01/13/59566/the-other-dark-meat-raccoon-is.html

http://trappingtoday.com/index.php/2009/01/19/yup-southerners-sure-do-eat-raccoons/

cowboymom
Jun. 13, 2012, 11:29 PM
I like this to scare off the critters:

http://www.amazon.com/Contech-CRO101-Scarecrow-Activated-Sprinkler/dp/B000071NUS/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1339533462&sr=1-1

Someone here recommended them and so far nothing has gotten my plants...:D

I've recommended that thing over and over! My gardening mother lived on a golf course with tame obnoxious deer and those sprinklers saved her flowers. And provided her with daily entertainment as my dad got sprayed with it every morning on his way to get the paper. :lol:

prudence
Jun. 14, 2012, 12:15 PM
If you click on the link you can see animals and one poor child "shooed away" by the scarecrow.:lol:

trubandloki
Jun. 14, 2012, 12:28 PM
is that where you trap them before you shoot them? :lol:
And what is wrong with that system?

Alagirl
Jun. 14, 2012, 12:45 PM
And what is wrong with that system?

nothing unless you bold Have-a-Heart-trap. :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

birdsong
Jun. 14, 2012, 01:22 PM
I have always tied a piece of raw chicken dangling from the top of the trap at the end. Caught 36 raccoons this way!! they have to work at getting the bait.

they love chicken...killed all of mine!!