Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Unwelcomed Visitor

Hi Everyone,

I think one my favorite posts (because of the comments I received) was the one I had a month or so ago about the backyard birds that visit.  I loved hearing from everyone about how they enjoy watching and feeding them, too.

A few weeks ago, this critter started visiting.
I had put out the corn cobs for the squirrels.  I didn't expect to attract a raccoon!  We took the corn cobs down, now the critter is getting on the feeders.

I caught it up on each pole at least once, so yesterday I did some Googling for a remedy.  Of course, I could go to the bird store and buy a raccoon baffle (we already have squirrel baffles) but they are $45 and I need two.  I would much rather spend $90 on something else--like fabric, so alternate ideas are appealing.

The idea I came across involves the following supplies:
The black tube is foam pipe insulation.  It was $1.20 for a 6 foot length.  Zip ties are used to secure it to the feeder, and then carpet tacks are also used.

Carpet tacks come in different sizes, I got the largest.  They were $1.30 a pack and I got three packs.
In total, I spent just over $5.

The process is to poke the carpet tacks through the inside of the insulation.
Put about three of them around the diameter of the insulation, and then move down an inch or two and insert more.  Completely "stud" the insulation with carpet tacks.  You will want to be careful!  Those tacks can hurt!

Once full of tacks, take it outside and wrap it around the pole of your feeder.  I put mine under the squirrel baffle.  I forgot to mention that the insulation should be for the correct size of your feeder pole.  Using the zip strips (cable ties, whatever you call them) attach it tightly to the pole.  If you don't get it tight enough, the raccoon can pull it down.

I used quite a few zip ties to make sure it was on. 

The result is that the raccoon is not going to want to climb with all those painful tacks poking out all over.

This morning when I checked the feeders, I was disappointed to see that one of them had been pillaged, despite the new deterrent.  I think the problem is that on that pole, the baffle was too low, so we will try again by lifting the baffle and the insulation higher.  Hopefully that will work, otherwise I'm going to have to get the raccoon baffles. 

Do any of you have any good solutions? 



  1. I can't give you any advice on how to deter a raccoon, but I must say that the first photo with him (her?) standing on two legs is hilarious.

    Fabric purchases trump raccoon baffles every time!

  2. My husband and I have been feeding the raccoons and possums (and squirrels and birds and deer and everything else out there), but last night while lying in bed we heard this strange noise. It sounded like a tea kettle going off. When my husband went to investigate, he found two raccoons fighting on our back deck over the bird feeder filled with sunflower seeds. They had already chewed a hole through the back of it, because I guess it was taking them too long to get the seeds out! It was the strangest sound, didn't sound like an animal at all. We feed them every night, but they're getting increasingly demanding. Good luck with deterring them!

  3. You can usually call the Animal Control Officer and they will set out Have-a-Heart traps to catch raccoons, and then relocate them. We did that when I worked at a gift shop that was in an hold Victorian house. The racoons had got into the walls, had their babies!, and then proceeded to make a huge stinky mess and scream these horrible shreiks all the time! It was awful! You don't want to take any chances that one of those could get into your house or garage and set up house! Good luck!

  4. We had a raccoon nest under our deck a few years ago and have a litter. They were so cute, but they were eating all the catfood and the cat was going hungry. He'd sit on top of his tower, watching the coons eat all his food (smart cat). Anyway, the way I solved both my squirrel and coon problems on the birdfeeder was to hang my feeders by the finest guage cable I could get. It's about 50 lb test. It's really sturdy and has been holding the feeders for a couple of years without fail. It's so fine that the animals can't get a grip on it to climb down it. Of course, if you don't have trees, that's not going to help and you have to hang the feeders high or the squirrel will just jump up on it. Good luck. Lane

  5. http://www.trails.com/how_9592_keep-raccoons-out-bird-feeders.html

    There are a few good ideas here. Good luck

    1. Good article... thanks for sharing the link!

  6. My son thought it was fun to feed the raccoon's until they tried to open the sliding door one night to get the food themselves! They have run away with the cups from our oriole feeders and are generally a nuisance--not sure how to get rid of them or deter them. I have a couple friends that bring in all their feeders every night--I'm not up for that!

  7. I can't give you any advice... I don't have raccoons thankfully... the squirrels are back enough!


  8. Pesky little fellers!! My only solution - a Pyrenees guard dog - that's what we have and she takes care of them!