At nighttime when you think the yard is asleep, it actually comes to life with the midnight partiers!  They are hungry and looking for a party and snacks.  To them, this is morning, and your yard is their breakfast buffet!

When that sun goes, down out comes all the nocturnal critters, such as skunks and raccoons, and lots of grubs, worms and insects come to life as well.

You are probably thinking, well that is nice and everything, but how do I stop raccoons from digging up my freshly laid sod, or my vegetable garden or steal my fish from my pond, or even root around in my planters on my deck and finish off with my garbage cans for dessert.

keep raccoons out of gardenCredit:

Stopping Raccoons From Digging up Freshly Laid Sod

This can be a nightmare.  Freshly laid sod is a delicacy to a raccoon as it makes it easier to get at the worms and grubs below as you have probably spent a lot of time and effort with the soil below.  Good soil means grubs and worms!

These night time critters are very adept at using their fingers to literally roll that sod back up to clear an area for them to go grub digging.  By morning your lawn looks like a minefield and you wonder what type of party was going on here while you were sleeping!

stop raccoons from diggingCredit:
Easy Gardener 604 BirdBlock - 7-Foot x 20-Foot Netting
Amazon Price: $6.81 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 25, 2016)

Install Protective Netting on your Freshly Laid Sod

A neighbor let me in on a secret that worked for them.  Protective netting.  Simply the type of netting you can get for your veggies and fruit trees and other vegetation you want to protect from birds and wildlife.  You simply lay it out over your freshly laid sod and stake it down.  It still allows the sun and rain through it and since you won’t be walking on it yourself while the roots take hold, it should not cause a problem. 

You need to install this over your sod, and stake it well, then leave it there for 2-3 weeks.  That gives the lawn enough time to take hold and develop a root system.  This makes it difficult for them to roll up the sod rows and they don’t like walking on the netting. 

It won’t hurt them and they can’t chew through it.  As much as they can be annoying, I never want to hurt a wild animal, and by implementing some of these strategies, we should be able to live in some kind of a truce.

Create a Frame to Cover Your Pond

You can create a simple wooden frame and then staple protective netting to it, and then each night place it over your pond as part of your nightly routine.  They are smart and are totally capable of stealing fish from your pond.  We used to find fish skeletons totally cleaned to the bone laying at the side of our fish pond in the morning.

keep raccoons out of gardenCredit:

Waterproof Radio or Speaker

So now you have your new sod figured out, what about the planters on your deck they keep rummaging in?  Do you get up each morning to find all your soil around and maybe they decided to use the corner as their personal bathroom? 

Raccoons don’t like voices.  So one option is to leave a radio outside, on low and maybe have the all night news station so that voices are always being heard.  Don’t have it so loud as to have your neighbours banging at your door at 2am, but just enough for them to think people are sitting on the back deck in the night.

keep raccoons out of gardenCredit:

Motion Lights

You don’t have to have an electrical outlet anymore; you can get all kinds of solar style motion lights.  Aim them at various parts of your deck or patio or even into the vegetable garden to put them off.  They don’t like being in the spot light.  Combine this with the outdoor radio and they may decide your buffet is not that great after all. 

keep raccoons out of gardenCredit:

Bird Feeder Baffles

If your night time critter is more interested in raiding your bird feeder, then getting a baffle will help to stop this.  You place these baffles either underneath the feeder or above it depending on how they get to the feeder.  They are opportunists and will basically eat anything!

keep raccoons out of gardenCredit:

Ultrasonic Pest Repellant

This is another great option as it not only lights up but gives off a sound that we cannot hear but they can.  This might not be a good idea if you keep your dog outside all night, but if that was the case chances are you would not get raccoons visiting anyways!  But they don’t like the sound that comes out of this.  You could place this in your veggie garden or in your deck/patio planters.


They cannot stand the smell of this, and most of us humans can’t either!  But if they have been raiding and dumping your garbage cans, just put a few drops in them to repel them.  

keep raccoons out of gardenCredit:

Cat Litter

This tends to smell like ammonia also, so each night as you clean out your litter box (clumping litter works best) go outside with a small chunk and place it where you think they might be getting into your yard or in your garbage cans or especially the green bin (food waste)

Put Up the White Flag and Have a Decoy Feeder For Them

This may totally take you by surprise and you may feel stunned by this statement, but I have to tell you, on the nights I forgot to put out some kitty litter, the raccoon would faithfully visit one bird feeder I had that is very close to the ground.  I fill it with sunflower seeds that the larger birds like and the squirrels (great way to keep squirrels off your bird feeders) I get them quite cheap at the grocery store, and the raccoon simply gets on his hind legs and puts his little fingers in there and has a good feed, touches nothing else in my yard and then leaves. 

It is an option if you are tired of the war, but you can still at least stop him from rolling up your sod, and raiding your veggies, planters, ponds and more.  

keep raccoons out of gardenCredit:

Night Camera - Catch Them Red Handed!

If you are not sure what is using your yard as a party scene, consider investing in a night vision security camera so you can see just what visits in the night and what they attack first.  This way you can come up with a strategic plan of defense.