Texas Gardening forum: My Garden Is Certified Wildlife Habitat, but

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Aug 18, 2011 8:19 AM CST

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It is not a raccoon frat house!

We had visitors to the pond a couple of nights ago. They came for my last fish, I guess. One of their friends had already eaten it, so they vandalized the garden. On the way down the tree, they knocked the hanging brass lanterns off. Then they figured out there were no more fish or water lilies, so they trashed the pond and knocked over pots. Still hungry and using St. Francis as a launch pad, they tried to eat the tail of the rubber snake that hangs in the bush to keep the cardinal from pecking the mirror. I'm having a difficult time thinking they're cute.


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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Aug 18, 2011 8:31 AM CST

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Guess who had a delicious meal of red grapes before his trip to the country. Tonight, I'm gonna catch his friend. We had declared a truce with the squirrels and the coons until the drought ends. The squirrels are behaving themselves for the time being. I've let the raccoons swim and eat the lilies for a few months now. These last ones are not welcome anymore.

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Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Aug 18, 2011 11:44 AM CST
I have a lot of trouble with raccoons too Sandi, they can really be destructive, sorry you had all that damage.
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Aug 18, 2011 11:58 AM CST
What a mess! But they are sort of funny the way they get mad and trash the place when the food runs out. We had a similar problem in the barn when I "raccoon-proofed" the feed room. They knocked any and all loose objects down and the pooped on the resulting wreckage.
Porkpal
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Aug 18, 2011 1:00 PM CST

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Thanks Josephine. Just the price we pay for living near Barton Creek, I guess.

They are cute when they behave! Yep, I figured the destruction would just escalate. One year we had three that would come right before dawn and tear up the pond. I finally went out right before daylight one morning and shined the flashlight on them. I guess one thought the light was a nice shiny object he'd like to have, so he swam out of the pond and toward me. I didn't know I could run that fast in slippers! I found a can of spray paint and threw it at him. I don't confront them anymore. I'd like to think it was just the light he was curious about, but my neighbor thinks he was being aggressive.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Aug 18, 2011 1:48 PM CST
They have done a lot of damage in my yard, tipping over and digging plants out of flower pots, and eating my coneflowers.
I have never actually seen them eat the coneflowers, but I know it is them, they cut the stem just below the flower and eat them, I guess, and they don't damage the plant, I can't think of what other animal could do that
We have trapped and released a few, and one even managed to open the cage and escaped, they are amazing!! Thumbs down
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Aug 18, 2011 2:14 PM CST

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In my yard, it's the squirrels that do the pot damage. They are now also digging in watered hanging baskets to lay down and cool off.
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
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careyana
Aug 18, 2011 2:25 PM CST
I guess I'll be thankful for the dogs! There's one squirrel that lives in the front yard that visits the critter water bucket that chatters at me when I refill, but so far he's left all of my plants alone. The deer are being fairly good neighbors too. No one has dug up any of my bulbs in front - although the deer must be getting really hungry as they've even been chewing down the ruellia in the front bed. (I'm okay if they eat all of it down to the roots...I'm not sure I'd miss it) Haven't seen much of the raccoons around here lately. I don't think there's enough reasons to visit when one of the houses up the street has a pond.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Aug 18, 2011 3:20 PM CST

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Well.........if you miss the raccoons, I could drop off a few for you! Do you have the pink or purple ruellia? When we first put in the little courtyard fountain, I wanted plants for it. Someone gave me the purple ruellia. It multiplied really quickly. I'd go out and throw it over the courtyard wall to pick up later. Sometimes I'd forget to pick it up. The next year the entire side bed was almost all that stuff. I'm still yanking it out. The pink one isn't as bad at spreading.
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
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careyana
Aug 18, 2011 5:23 PM CST
It is the compact variety white. It hasn't spread much, but then I'm always on seed patrol....and it hasn't flowered at all this year between the drought, my not watering them, and getting munched by the critters.
Name: Sheila F
Fort Worth TX (Zone 8a)
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Sheila_FW
Aug 18, 2011 11:39 PM CST
The white seems even less invasive than the pink, but they do spread some. I love the white flowers so I let them stay at one side of the house.
Sorry to hear about the fish and damage. I managed to kill all but three of my goldfish (again). I just can't stay on task anymore. I stepped into the shop for the a/c and to put up the chemical. Sure didn't need to waste water in this drought either! I wish I could blame a raccoon on getting them. Something is coming to the pond at night driving my dogs nuts. They wake up about 5 or 5:30 wanting out and head straight for the pond. Could be tree rats, we have had them in the past. They would steal the Althea blooms.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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frostweed
Aug 19, 2011 6:16 AM CST
Yes, rats can do a lot of damage too, as you know I had to bring the lighted cart that I had in the garage into the kitchen because they were eating all my seedlings and cuttings.
We put those electronic sound devices in the garage and it seems to have helped, although I don't know for sure since the cart is still in the house. Oh well!! it is handier this way! Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Aug 19, 2011 10:42 AM CST

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We set the trap last night with part of a cabbage. The raccoon must have been insulted, so he opened my cabinet on the patio, climb up and took out the fish food, and ate it by/in the fountain. We had to drain it to clean the pump. This is war.
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Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Aug 19, 2011 11:13 AM CST
Oh my!! those rascals are a lot of trouble, it is amazing what they can do with those hands.
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Patricia
Goldthwaite, TX (Zone 8a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Tip Photographer Region: Texas Cat Lover
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patrob
Aug 19, 2011 11:20 AM CST
We have good luck catching raccoons in a live trap with pieces of apple. We cut the pieces small and drop them through the pressure plate to ensure that the trap trips as the varmint picks the pieces up. We relocated 15 or so from the ranch to the bayou a couple of years ago because they were tearing up the shed where we feed the feral cats. They wrecked a heavy-duty automatic feeder and even opened the snap and took the chain off the door of the old refrigerator where the sack of cat food was stored. Only caught one skunk, and DH tried to show me that he could move slowly enough to let it out without getting sprayed. Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Aug 19, 2011 11:28 AM CST
Oh boy! that must have been something!! : Thumbs down
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Aug 19, 2011 12:38 PM CST

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Did he get sprayed Pat?
Name: Patricia
Goldthwaite, TX (Zone 8a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Tip Photographer Region: Texas Cat Lover
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patrob
Aug 19, 2011 1:21 PM CST
Robert was right by the trap and opening the door when his foot bumped the trap and alarmed the skunk. Most of the spray hit his shoes and jeans, both of which were old and went in the trash. I cleaned his fiberglass prosthetic leg the best I could with lemon scented ammonia, but the leather harness caught a little spray too. He got to explain to his family at a reunion a week later why he smelled a bit like skunk. I did the usual "told you so" thing after he got sprayed, but I did not have any better ideas for getting the critter out of the trap. Thank goodness, we caught just that one skunk!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Aug 19, 2011 1:36 PM CST

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Not funny at the moment, but I bet it's funny now. I always wondered how you'd get a skunk out of the trap without getting sprayed. Someone said you'd just throw a blanket over the top of the trap, transport it, then open it and let the skunk go. The opening of the trap would be the dangerous pat to me. We had a family of them living under the deck at the lake. The neighbors kept telling us they'd seen them, but we hadn't so we thought they were seeing things. Then one night this huge skunk was on the deck right by the door under the flood light. We believed then! I guess they've all moved on, but there were also two small ones with their parents.
Name: Patricia
Goldthwaite, TX (Zone 8a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Tip Photographer Region: Texas Cat Lover
Irises Daylilies Lilies Hummingbirder Birds Raises cows
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patrob
Aug 19, 2011 7:16 PM CST
Throwing a blanket over the trap would excite a skunk a great deal. You'd want to make sure it was a blanket you were ready to discard.

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