You may have read or glanced at an article written for a British audience that you thought was for Americans. That happens to me sometimes on the internet.
The chargers certainly pack more a wallop when there’s dew on the ground. Obviously they have to be strong enough to deter animals with dry feet because coons start foraging early in the eve. I’ve seen squirrels electrocuted by a small charger, presumably because they were pretty wet when they touched it.
If it’s strong enough to deter a coon in dry conditions I wouldn’t want a toddler touching it when there’s dew on the ground.
I used to get hit off my grandfathers electric fence as a child. It will make you do back flips to get away from it. Definitely not very safe with little children around. It will leave burn marks too.
I concur, This is the first year I implemented the early strategy after reading a very thorough pub on pest control for farmers outta WY or MT uni several years back. I’ll see if I can’t track it down as it was stuffed with infos. Of course, a single year is not really a sample set, but the stark contrast compared to the preceding two seasons sure has me convinced.
Ya, once the tasty green stuff abounds, it will be far more difficult to entice with poison bait. Reading your post reminded me of the additional vole and pocket gopher reduction I experienced, also. I was actually entertaining the idea of removing them concussively, but the welcome reduction in their activity has shelved that genius-tier plan.
So, currently it’s just the rabbits meting out their lower-level destruction. Apparently not enough to interest the hawks, foxes or semi-rare bobcat that visit quite often to feast on them when their numbers skyrocket. However, the occasional owl pops in as well as the random feral cat, but without the necessary frequency for, well, rabbits. Darn, I miss my dogs.
.15 joule sounds low but I’m no expert. My S-100 (Gallagher I think) is one joule that gives a good jolt, would definitely stop a raccoon, assuming he is adequately grounded when he hits the hot wire.
I think many people have trouble with Electric fences. Adapting a system that started as “keep cows in the pasture”, to keeping little critters out takes a lot more planning. Most cattle can be kept in with 1 or 2 hot wires at 4 ft off the ground. Weeds just don’t play such a role that height.
Any wire low enough for raccoons is right in the weed zone. Most E-fence systems can take some weed pressure but not much. Also, hot wires can slip off off spools and get grounded. One must walk the fence after seeing low voltage on the tester.
Wire spacing is very important. If a critter gets in past it’s ears, the shock will have them jump forward. best to get them on the nose. some folks put peanut butter on tin foil on a hot wire to train them when first installed.
Keep ground plane above the weeds. We did this by having the bottom 16 inches as welded wire fencing, 2 in by 4 in. (If I were to do this again, I would use 24 inch tall fencing). Then just 3 inches above the fencing start the hot wires. Any critter climbing the fence is grounded
Lastly, make sure there is no place for critters to craw under the fence.
We had killed many raccoons but they just kept coming. With our fence now, I have not seen one or seen any damage. Just mice and for those, I use standard mouse traps sitting on the scaffolds.
Found this interesting. Some decent infos contained within a marketing discussion or some such. Using bird repellent goo to rid places of squirrels is a new one on me.
Here’s the pub mentioned several posts up:
wildlife_damage_control_for_organic_farmers.pdf (703.4 KB)
And one focused on our unlovable, resident-pain-in-the-neck:
pngroundsquirrel.pdf (2.1 MB)
I used to use that as part of my baffle system. Killed all kinds of birds and what a mess to deal with. I’d have some above the flashing should they defeat it. It was before I painted my grease oil mixture on my baffles which rendered it unnecessary.
I am having much more squirrel trouble than normal this year too. I’ve kept my one tube trap working, which in the past has been enough to save most of my apples. This year though the squirrels have destroyed about 80% of the apples long before they were ripe. I expect they will get the rest before they finish ripening. I don’t see all that many of them around but the ones that are here seem smarter about not getting trapped and also more destructive with the apples. Bah!
We actually plan to put a hot wire on the outside of our deer fence. I plan to put the hot wire just where the woven wire fence starts to get bigger. About 20". It is a little low for weeds, but I think we can keep them down good enough with glyphosate and glufosinate. That’s another reason I want a stronger charger. If there are a few weeds which touch the fence, I’d like the charger to burn through them, or at least not be completely grounded out.
When we put up the deer fence, I wish would would have used a tighter weave for the bottom. I think the lower squares are 3" X 6". This is big enough for kit coons and possums to pass through, if they want, although the weave is tight enough to prevent adult coons and possums from passing through. I’m hoping to be able to train them away from the fence, when there is no food. If they continue to visit the orchard after the fence is installed, I’ll either have to install a tighter weave, or install a lower hot wire, if I want to keep them out.
Here’s a pic of a portion of our deer fence we were working on early this summer. In this portion, I had to hire a guy with a track hoe to dig the stumps out. The deer fence has been a multi year endeavor, since we just work on it in our spare time. We have it completed on 3 sides and the 4th side is almost done. Even though it’s not quite finished, it’s keeping 99% of the deer out, because they can no longer pass through the property.
Critterfence makes the only small opening wire fence I could find: one inch x one inch. Not terribly strong gauge but good enough. I went with 1 x 1 for squirrels. I extended the mesh a foot in front of the fence at soil level to stop diggers.
They have a 2" X 2" weave, which they use a thicker gauge. 2x2 should keep out anything pest animal a 1x1 would keep out, except birds, or possibly voles and ground squirrels (if buried underground)?
I was concerned my 2 x 4 inch weave would let Squirrels in. They ignored my peaches. But my plan if I do get Squirrels pressure, is to put chicken wire over my 2 x 4 in fence. Yes, hind site would have good.
Not sure I’m following. Wat was it doing the birds in and how does the system work best for you?
I harvested slightly more in apples today than squirrels. weight wise. 10 apples, two squirrels. Ginger Gold, Kidd’s, Jonathon and Honeycrisp. Jonathon needs a bit more time all others quite excellent. Nothing to bring out the taste of apples like an absence of other fruit. Figs are starting to ripen.
Gotcha. I don’t deal with squirrels at all at the orchard, so I’m sure smaller fence openings would be a huge benefit.
I do have to deal with squirrels here at the house, but fencing them out is pretty much out of the question. I trap and destroy them here at the house.
There’s a deer at our place that started jumping through the gap like that between 4 foot field fence and a higher “wire”. I put some mesh/netting between and that seemed to stop her. But after all my espalier apples and leaves were eaten.
You mean putting the mesh/netting in between the 4’ fence and the higher wire? There are deers coming into my yard last year (don’t see any this year yet) and I am thinking of some type of fencing as preventative control.
The picture above shows that it’s not done. I have one of the top wires done in that picture. Normally, there would be 4 more wires above the field fence. The first barbed wire above the field fence is spaced about 6". The rest of the wires are spaced about 8.5".
At first we had some deer diving through the barbed wire, but after they left fur and a little blood on the barbs, they seemed to have figured out, it’s not worth it. We didn’t see a single hoof print this summer, despite lots of apples ripening, and lots of lush foliage.
Here’s an old pic of some of the fence completed.
Edit: I would add that you want a high tensile barbed wire (14 gauge or lower) with sharp barbs. Gaucho offers a pretty sharp barb. Folks who regularly install barbed fence call Gaucho, OuchO. This may sound excessive to some folks, but the purpose of a fence is to keep animals out/in, so you want it to work. I prefer a 4 barbed prong, vs. a 2 barbed. Class 3 galvanized coating is also preferred for longevity.