Raccoon, squirrel or opossum damage?


Raccoons think they are smarter than skunks. He wanted to show you he could get in and out of a closed trap before morning. Guess Rickey Raccoons wasn’t as smart as he thought he was. He was only half right. Have a great day. Bill


I hope he left a message for his family that there is lot of free marshmallows here.


Lol wow! Good luck to u on this! I caught 5 groundhogs so far! I have not been able get the mother of all groundhogs so far! She has been sauntering around just to taunt me…kills me!


Holy cow. Same one? What did you do with it? And did you catch it with marshmallows? Also curious what bait you used to catch groundhogs.


Here, marshmallows don’t usually attract skunks unless there is drought and they can’t grub for worms and other ground insects. You can always rig the trap in a way that the animal has to climb to get into- liked by tying it into a fruit tree.

When I have a raccoon they waltz into the trap the very first night I set it- every time, 100’s of times. I stake about 5 marshmallows in a plastic bag in back of the trap and use 3 to lead them in.

If you have a trap with a sliding back door, releasing skunks is easy if you guard yourself with a tarp as you approach the trap- they rarely spray if you move slowly, but with the tarp all you have is some stinky plastic.

Sometimes a larger trap helps.


We have the mother of all groundhog, too. It is big and smart. Never get into a trap (haveaheart). I saw it ate around the trap many times. I caught two juvenile groundhogs, two years apart. Both were by luck. What do you use to bait groundhogs? I use all kinds of veggies and ripe fruit including mango, peaches, watermelon, ccantaloupe. Not really think anything is attractive to them.

@JustAnne4, I think it is the same studpid , elderly skunk. It has kinda grayish fur among the black and white coat. I walked into my trap when I tried to catch a raccoon. I used, ripe peaches, watermelon, marshmellows to bait a raccoon. Got skunked!!! Last night, I did not even know if there was any bait in there except for sunflower seeds. This raccoon must got in ther before that skunk found my trap (again).

I just let it go everytime. Did just like @alan mentioned. I’m a pro on this. Never got sprayed. Many mornings, I looked out the window, saw black and white in the trap, grabbed a tarp and went to release it. Maybe, I should get rid of it since iI have given it so many chances.


The easiest way to trap woodchucks is by placing the trap directly in front of their hole- they seem to take time for their eyes to adjust to light and they often will stagger into even unbaited traps. They love cabbage and I always eventually get them with that when they become a problem in my veg garden and I can’t find their hole- I just have to cover everything in the garden they like with floating row cover. They usually don’t eat enough of my fruit to become a problem but I eliminate them anyway because they eventually find their way into my veg garden and ruin my day.


XI don’t know where their hole is. They run under my shed. Not sure which entrance they use.

I agree with you that regarding damage to fruit, groundhogs/woodchuck ranks quite low for me.

#1 enemy for my fruit is raccoons. They do extensive damage to fruit and branches in one night but they do not stop at one night, unfortunately.

#2 squirrels, they feed from dawn to dusk. @clarkinks, saw them did night shift, too. There are a lot of them. Can never get rid of all of them.

#3 birds. They are fast and eat unripe fruit

#4 chipmunks. They are thieves. Hard to catch. Used to think they were cute. Not anymore.

#5 bunnies. Eat everything if not protected. Liquid Fence spray seem to work.

#6 groundhogs. They don’t bother my fruit as long as they have clovers, cone flowers, nasturtiums, etc. to eat.

Have not seen deer thes past two years.


Chipmunks are easily exterminated with rat traps baited with peanut butter- cover the traps with trays to stop from killing birds.

Of course, all this would be unnecessary if you protected your trees with fencing that included a couple charged wires. Tree fruit can also be protected with roofing coil if you have enough straight trunk before first branches.

If all I had was a few trees close together I’d use a fence with some electric- then I could harvest fruit without a step ladder and never have to worry about these pests- besides the birds.


Preferably leave all the animals alive because the more you trap the more replacement animals will move into their territory and years later you will still be locked in battle with the replacements or their replacements with short times of peace spread throughout the years. You want the animals such as raccoons which are very smart to be alive maintaining their territory but cutting a wide path around your property because they fear it. Get your materials from tractor supply, orschelins, Home Depot, Lowe’s, rural king, menards, Sutherland’s, Amazon etc who has them for the right price. This article describes one good method fairly well http://www.zarebasystems.com/learning-center/animal-selector/small-wildlife.


Small wildlife fencing

Keeping Out Small Critters

Rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, woodchucks and other similar nuisance animals often wreak havoc with gardens, flowers and shrubs. While each animal is unique, you can deal with most by observing the following recommendations.

Fence posts should be spaced 5-12 feet apart, depending on the shape and terrain of your yard or garden. Wires should start close to the ground and spaced 3-4 inches apart to prevent animals from digging under the fence line. Use 3 to 5 wires to prevent small, quick critters from jumping or hopping through the fence.

Because the wires are close to the ground, you should keep them free of vegetation or use a low-impedance fence charger. A low-impedance charger increases its energy output as vegetation drains energy from the fence.

Zareba® Systems’ offer complete lawn and garden fence kits which are affordable and effective fencing options for keeping out small nuisance animals. They include all necessary components — fence charger, wire, plastic posts, and connectors — to get your fence up and running quickly.

If you choose to purchase the components separately for your fence, you’ll need metal, plastic or fiberglass posts, insulators, poly wire or poly tape, connectors, and a fence charger and ground system.

Note: For the critters that like to climb or leap, trim low branches that overhang the fence and remove nearby objects that would allow them to leap into the enclosure.

Feral Hogs

Feral hogs, also known as wild hogs, are becoming an increasingly significant cause of damage to both crops and livestock operations across the country. They have even been known to learn to kill and eat lambs and kid goats, and occasionally also prey on adult sheep and goats. In addition, feral hogs pose a disease risk to livestock and humans through transmission of brucellosis and pseudorabies.

A number of fencing options are suggested for controlling feral hogs from entering crop fields and livestock pastures. “Pig-proof” non-electric fences must be constructed of net wire or diamond mesh with spacing between vertical wires 6 inches or less. If using rectangular net wire for goats, spacing should be 4 to 10 inches between vertical wires to safely contain goats and exclude wild hogs. Varieties of net wire and mesh fencing which can be electrified are also available.

A minimum fence height of 3 feet is advised. To exclude wild feral hogs, you will need to tightly stretch fencing material. In some cases, burying the wire or mesh underground may be necessary to prevent hogs from burrowing under. In areas where the terrain is hilly, it can be difficult to effectively exclude hogs. This can increase cost greatly.

High-tensile fencing is by far the most effective means to exclude feral hogs. A 5 to 6 strand wire fence with wires spaced 8 to 10 inches is adequate. Low impedance chargers with a 25+ mile rating and voltage output of at least 5,000 volts are recommended.

Use peanut butter or molasses on a pie tin or aluminum foil to bait the fence and attract feral hogs to slow down. The bait will prompt hogs to touch the fence with their nose or tongue, receiving a safe but intense shock.

Note: In some circumstances, electric fencing will not be effective in deterring feral hogs. Ingenious animals will sometimes figure out ways to get through. In addition, the wild animal’s drive to get to a food source can sometimes is stronger than their fear of a psychological barrier such as electric fencing.“


I use watermelons, cantaloupe, lettuces, carrots, peanut butter on apple slices, cucumbers, etc…just mostly fruits and veggies…if they are hungry enough, they will go into that cage… of course, one is smarter than another sometimes. It is mentally exhausting trying to trick them into entering the cage.


This fence is what I use to deter all animals including deer, raccoons, possums, coyote etc. I got the welded wire / like woven wire at Home Depot and the insulators and electric fence at TSC. I put this one in about 20 years ago so it’s pretty beat up now. I no longer have a need for it because I have so much produce now I just feed them to but it was not like that at all in the beginning. I actually open my fences and let them come in and eat the windfalls now from that side orchard. The general fence is 5-6’ wire with electric fence conductors at the top and a hot wire. The raccoons climb the fence hit the hot wire at the top and fall 5-6’. I also add a permitter electric fence about 4 inches off the ground that surrounds the main fence. It costs about $100 per 100 feet to surround your garden with a fence like this but it is worth it when you need it. This fence was 100% impenetrable in its day and nothing ever got through it to take my corn or other produce. That shed and two others like it were chicken sheds which I would use to house the egg layers. I would move the chickens to three different garden plots in the fenced in area and the side orchard. I would double crop and grow them wheat or rye in the winter so they had greens in the winter and grains and damaged produce , windfalls , grass and bugs all summer. I would often see coyotes, dogs , bobcats etc starring longingly inside the fence at my plump fat hens. I never chased them away because the coyotes dreamed of eating one of those hens and were stuck eating field mice and rabbits 99% of the time. The fence shows much ware from my many early years of adversaries. It kept back huge herds of escapes cows and horses. The deer were in herds in those days before all the wealthy people moved in around me buying out what was once farms. The ring leader animals are to smart for cages or traps. My one nemesis was pack rats but I killed them all with peanut butter baited traps


I thought that was what they call gardening.:wink:

Seriously, there is a down side to fencing, you end up keeping out animals you might like to see on your land, like bobcats, coyotes, fox, and my less useful but more entertaining favorite, wild turkeys. I believe the wild turkeys benefit from the coon free sanctuary I provide for them. Coons love those eggs and I’m sure they also take down baby turkeys when they get the chance.


That’s a good point Alan and not a perspective I considered. In my area I have plenty of room for the animals you mentioned on the other side of my fences. Never thought of anyone wanting an animal inside with them and like I said I open the gates and invite them in when I do want them here. I don’t like to fight everyday because it takes to much time and I’m short on time already.


Of course, you are a serious farmer of food. My cash crop is my fruit trees. Most folks on this forum can protect a few fruit trees without fencing off all wildlife- that is those with a few acres, anyway.

There is plenty of open forest around me but my land is a particular oasis for birds. My father was a lifetime member of the Audubon Society and bird watching was an absolute obsession with him. I wish he could have been here when the wild turkeys moved in- it would have brought him major joy. He did visit me one day several years ago and I took him on a long drive during which I promised him we were bound to see some wild turkeys. Somehow there were none out that day along our route but when we got home there were about 15 of them on my property. Back then they occasionally visited, but now they live right on my land.

They do annoy me when they fly up into one of my peach trees and start pecking the fruit, but so far they’ve never done a lot of damage- they are too big and clumsy to efficiently harvest tree fruit. I’m grateful they eat my drops, but they get annoyed when there’s fruit in the trees and none on the ground.


The old timers in my area killed everything and ate it and they taught me their ways when I was young. They stayed up all night to kill the raccoons when they got in their chicken pen or corn patch. Since I grew up in that war helping them , working for them I learned from their mistakes. Killing hundreds of raccoons in their lifetime never brought them any peace so I changed my methods and they were impressed. Sometimes when I was a little boy I snuck up on their coon dogs to show them the flaw in their plan of depending on the dog to catch the scent of the raccoon and tree it and they would run out and shoot it. The smart old Wiley raccoons ate chicken or duck dinner nearly every night. Once in awhile some farmer would learn a new trick like running an electric fence around his corn patch and I took notes every time. By the time I was grown they showed me what they could about farming and I put it all together with advice from other outside sources eg. This forum and others and that’s the methods I use now. Peace is hard to come by and most of my life I never had it so I savor it while I can. Love the birds like you also and they are now happily eating autumn berries like the mulberries I fed them over the summer. Mostly I have mockingbirds and a few others that seem to like bugs mostly. Had one pear with a peck mark in it this year.


Well, I guess I have a lot better luck controlling my coons than your teachers. Been a long time since they’ve had any affect on my harvest, but I do have to kill anywhere from 8 to 30 a year. But there population in my area is not natural, it is the result of ample garbage and pet food provided by human beings and the elimination of adequate predation to keep their numbers at a reasonable level. Now it is waves of rabies and distemper that thins their crazy high population. Of course, as a human being, I hardly have a right to complain about coon overpopulation, but at least I can keep their numbers at a more natural level in my neck of the woods. The only thing I can do about the over concentration of humans I’ve already done.

Only had one child.


I had two , just trying to stay even…


See!, What am I getting from last night’s peaches and marshmellow?


I think you have trained it. He/she knows where the goodies are. :blush:
Wondering how a person who caught a skunk would go about permanently dispensing of it…without getting sprayed. :fearful: