Raccoons are clever, deer are not

Linda Press Wulf via pbs pbs@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net
Sat, 27 Jun 2020 22:17:24 PDT
My ten cents’ worth about raccoons is that we erected a simple electrical line around our pond about ten years ago, a system that came complete with a dramatic warning sign. But before we got the electricity all hooked up, I realized the raccoons had stopped visiting.  They are so clever they recognized the apparatus (or perhaps they “read” the symbol of a lightning-like bolt of electricity). Eventually I took it down.

 I tested this several years later when a (new?) raccoon starting clawing at the water lilies.  I found our old system and erected the poles, the line, and of course the scary sign ... but without plugging in the electricity. Same result. 

Now I’m going to try it on my front garden where I have a deer problem. (I already know that deer can’t read, because they keep eating plants with labels that say specifically “deer resistant.”). This time I will plug it in — it makes sense what one poster wrote about deer being creatures of habit and the mother teaching fawns where to forage. How many generations of teaching are about to be upended by a sudden shock! Then I might be able to garden successfully in that area. 

Linda Press Wulf
Berkeley Hills
Northern California

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