Sisyphus reprieved

For the past several weeks, I’ve had to take down the bird feeders as soon as it gets dark because the raccoons have taken to dining here each night. Not only do they dig out the rocks that were holding the bird feeder pole in place in its hole; one night when I was running late, I caught one climbing up the pole and swatting at the feeders, trying to knock them down.
Every night I took the feeders in. Every night the raccoons would dig out the rocks looking for stray seeds. Every morning I would straighten the pole and hang the feeders. And every night……
Last night I forgot to take down the feeders. This morning, not only was the pole down on the ground, but one feeder was totally destroyed and the other was missing. The darn varmints must have decided that they felt like “take out”.
So, today he cemented the pole into the ground. One problem solved.
But how do we keep the raccoons from climbing up the pole once we replace the feeders? They manage to climb right over the baffle that keeps the squirrels out.
Barbed wire wrapped around the pole, I suggest. He doesn’t want to hurt the ballsy critters. I figure that they’ll get pricked once and they won’t try it again.
I haven’t found anything online that guarantees to keep raccoons out or away from anything.
At least, for now, I’m reprieved from my Sisyphean task.
I still think barbed wire is the answer.

4 thoughts on “Sisyphus reprieved

  1. As a wildlife rehabilitator, I see many raccoons in my care. Humans have encroached on the raccoon habitat to the point that these guys HAVE to live amongst us. Not their choice! Replacing woods with yards also diminishes the food source of mast and rodents. These raccoons are just trying to keep from starving and to feed their babies. It would be a shame if one was wounded seriously by your barbed wire.

  2. I agree with you, Tissi. I only have a 15 ft X 15 ft area nestled between the house’s “ell” that has ground cover and container plants and the bird feeders; a narrow strip behind the house for tomatoes and cone flowers; and a few container plants in front of the house. The rest is 2.5 acres of natural habitat woodland adjacent to other properties that also have lots of woodland. I would think that I’m entitled to enjoy my little half-acre. The critters can have the rest.

    I also would hate to see the critters get hurt. How else do I discourage them from climbing the bird feeder pole? Because now the birds have gone, as have the squirrels and chipmunks, since we now are not putting out food for them.

    It’s a dilemma. Advice?

  3. Raccoons can get into ANYTHING they want. When I had a house in upstate New York, I bought really strong springs to hold down the two garbage can lids. They were so strong, I could barely get them off to put out the trash. But still, the raccoons pulled them off every night.

    As you say, they are really ballsy. One day, I’d been out working in the garden all morning, stepped into the kitchen after several hours to do something about lunch and to my astonishment, the floor was strewn with kitchen garbage – grapefruit rinds, an orange peel, chicken bones, etc.

    And at the garbage pail across from the screen door was a raccoon plowing through the pail flipping stuff he didn’t like over his shoulder.

    I yelled. “Hey, you little b*st*rd, get the hell out of here.” He looked at me over his shoulder like I was interrupting his lunch (which I guess I was) and continued to dig around in the pail totally unafraid of me.

    When he was finished, he sauntered – yes, sauntered as though it was his house – over to the screen door, pushed it open and wandered off to the woods.

  4. That’s a great story, Ronni. “Our” raccoons haven’t gotten in the house yet, but when I go out to get the bird feeders at night and they’re snuffling around the ground looking for fallen seeds and I clap my hands and tell them to buzz off, they look at me as if to say “Sheesh!” and then take their time sauntering off into the woods. Ya’ gotta admire their attitude.

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