Out here in California the raccoon has become one of the dominant suburban species — and boy, do raccoons love water features. They brazenly turn over pots, trash delicate plants, eat thousand-dollar koi, and generally raise hell. I wish I had a perfect solution for their nightly predations, but I don't. However, here are a few tips for mitigation:
Birds of prey, such as great blue herons, may visit your pond on fishing expeditions. You'll enjoy these visits until you see a huge bird fly off with your prized koi. Hawks and owls may also see your pond as a resource — but that's not all bad, especially given the loss of wetlands and other habitats that drives these creatures into our backyards.
Birds of prey are protected by law, so don't even think of taking a potshot at them. Instead, use netting, motion-sensing sprinkler heads, and the family dog as bird deterrents. Herons can sometimes be fooled by decoys. Or try an alligator. (Ha-ha. Just kidding. A grown alligator won't actually fit in a small pond.)
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