Thursday, July 1, 2010


Raccoons are the largest of the procyonid family, nocturnal and omnivorous. Because of their ability to eat almost anything, they have adapted well to urban locations. They are very territorial with males as large as 60lbs and territories of 20 square miles.

Cute little fur bearing critters that are smart, persistent, patient and more agile than most people think. Smart enough to out wit a rain bird's spray pattern and superb climbers-- not even most tall wire fences will keep them out.

Two raccoons, one albino, hanging out on top of a fence, alive and well.

While it is illegal to feed or have raccoons as pets, perhaps given their territoriality the best way to solve the problem is with the problem. Consider a large male raccoon with a collar and an invisible fence. No razor wire, chain link, electrified lines or gates. Just a 50lb territorial male raccoon patrolling the perimeter of your pond. Perhaps a dog may be the better alternative to this idea.
In Washington, it is illegal to relocate wild animals. Trapping and relocating doesn't work any way because animals will either be killed over territory disputes or killed attempting to travel back home.

Killing them requires a permit during open season but is legal if they are damaging persons or property. These rules mostly pertain to farmers and crops. While this is an option, it certainly is not my preference.

The best design I've found on the web suggests a two or three tiered electric fence about 18" tall. The first wire should be withing 2" of the ground helping to prevent smaller animals such as otters from getting under and no more than 6" apart. The one in the sketch is probably 16" tall with wires about 8" apart and not much more than a deterrent.

The designs I really like step back as they step up, meaning that after first wire, second wire is inbound 6" and 6" taller. This requires longer stakes at 45 degree angles prone to falling over or multiple stakes and a lot more work or custom standoffs.

I've come up with a system 100% design and with not a shred of actual evidence that I believe to be the best fence yet.
This sketch shows a simple little fence, good for all small rodents because of the buried loop of chicken wire. By running the wire through nylon insulators, snug in drilled holes, it provides a clean taunt look that is unobtrusive visually.

With the electrified component, the chances are that in trying to climb they will touch one of the lower wires and if not, in crossing, they will certainly touch the top wire.

A non electrified version of a rodent fence.

And finally, like with all my projects, providing for the necessities of life without increasing consumption of energy has led me to solar fence research and at $166 and capable of electrifying 25 miles of fence against hogs and horses, this little 6 volt system capable of functioning with periods of up to 21 days of darkness is a winner.

Parmak solar pak 6

1 comment:

  1. After having witnessed first-hand the heartbreak of fencing accidents, I felt it was my responsibility as a horse owner to provide my horses with the safest fencing possible. After extensive research, there was only one answer - EquiSafe. Being made of HDPE meanswire fence