Problem Wildlife – Prevent Them From Invading Your Pond.
Pond owners will inevitably see wildlife visitors on occasion. Many of these animals like frogs, song birds, and such are welcomed. Other animals are a major concern for pond owners! Here is a list of pond visitors that might pose a problem and possible solutions for avoiding them.
Number one concern of koi/goldfish pond owners would have to be the herons, specifically the Great Blue Heron.
The Great Blue Heron shown above is an amazing predator, highly efficient at catching your prized koi, goldfish, frogs, etc. Many pond owners have grieved over the loss of the entire fish population in a short amount of time due to the heron.
Not only that, but the strike with the beak hypothetically could damage/puncture your pond liner!
Many people have used a multitude of deterrents to some level of success.
Netting – Arguably the ugliest of solutions but highly effective. Covering the pond in netting is effective but sort of defeats the purpose of the pond itself, which is to enjoy the beauty of the fish and water.
- Fishing Line – practically invisible, the heron lands and tends to walk up to the water’s edge or into the shallows of the pond. If they run into the line and can’t see it, it frustrates them and they can’t get within striking distance. Eventually they give up and fly away.
- Statuary of Herons – Herons are solitary and territorial birds, except when mating. If they see what they believe to be another heron already present at the pond, they will simply choose another one. This tends to be a short-lived solution if they return because they eventually realize that it is not real.
- Sensors – You can buy products that have sensors that spray water, make sounds, to scare them off. While it may be expensive or tricky to install, this might be an excellent deterrent. Unless it is you that gets sprayed!
- Dog – Territorial backyard dogs can protect the pond.
My personal experience with heron is that when I physically run at them and scare them off, they tend to circle around and perch nearby waiting for me to leave. They can be very persistent! This includes the smaller herons too.
Egrets (white), night herons, green herons, and bitterns all pose a similar threat, though are typically unable to eat the larger koi like the blue heron.
Raccoons are very smart creatures with similar hands to a human. They are able to undo latches, open jars, etc. They are also diligent climbers and can find their way to a koi pond where they can reach in a pull out your favorite koi to munch on.
Once they are on to your pond buffet, they will return sometimes bringing their friends!
- Sensors – scares off raccoons with a blast of water or loud sound.
- Netting – prevents raccoons from reaching in and pulling out your fish.
- Fishing Line – may agitate a persistent raccoon and prevent them distance-wise from reaching them.
Chipmunks are typically woodland animals that love stacks of wood (and stone) to nest in. They burrow into the soil and when they reach your liner they can chew right through it!
Chipmunks are the cause of leaking for many pond owners, especially those near the woods. They can cause serious damage.
- Use cage/chicken wire underneath the underlayment and liner to prevent digging.
- Create a spray of cayenne pepper and water. Just put some cayenne pepper into a spray bottle and add water. Spray around the perimeter of the pond and it should deter them.
Snapping turtles are voracious predators that will happily take up residence in your pond if your pond is of adequate size. They have the potential to eat your prized koi or ducklings. They can also eat plants and they have large claws that can shred them too.
They are the largest turtle in the United States typically weighing about 20-30 pounds.
My neighbor alerted me to a large snapping turtle heading straight to my pond. Fortunately I grabbed him before he plunged in. You have to be careful that you don’t get bitten because their necks are incredibly flexible.
- Use a trap to catch them.
- Build your pond up off the ground.
Do you have any other animals in mind that you would consider a problem? If so let me know in the comments.