Raccoons Eating Turtles

Turtle on the ground with leaves and branches

Have You Experienced the Tragedy of a Raccoon Night Raid on Your Turtles?

When a raccoon comes after your turtles, the aftermath can be heartbreaking. Sometimes this night visitor simply steals turtles and their eggs away, but other times, you have to deal with the aftermath. As you probably know, raccoons are not only bold, they’re also very clever. They can even unlock gates and work in teams to defeat obstacles. You can wind up in a battle of wits with them, each taking moves and counter-moves. You’ve got to find a solid solution to keep them — and their families and friends — away from your property, your turtles, and your other creatures.

The Habits of Predatory Raccoons: Opportunity and Avoidance

The raccoon is on the prowl, looking for one of his favorite meals. He doesn’t know the turtles in the creek from the ones in your backyard. He goes where it’s convenient, and your yard seems to be safer than over by the creek where other animals are getting a drink and thinking about food, too. Bigger animals. That’s how nature works. One of the ways you can scare off raccoons is to keep a bigger predator on your property. But that’s not the only solution.

Keep Raccoons Away With a Removable Cover for Your Turtle Environment, Especially for Night Use

A chicken wire frame that lays firmly over your turtle area and fastens well, perhaps using a heavy metal frame, can provide a fairly effective raccoon deterrent at night. It can be removed during the day to enjoy their company and feed them. The turtles could still be traumatized by the presence of raccoons trying to get at them through the wire mesh, but at least they’ll be protected from the nocturnal bandits. One note of caution, though: herons and egrets, which hunt water creatures, may visit during the day, especially if your pond is large enough for them to suspect good fishing is available.

Raccoons Are Drawn to Turtle Food and Water

Beware of encouraging raccoons and even causing them to bring others or a family by leaving out food in the enclosure and providing water (the pond). One thing people notice is that even if they withdraw the turtles, raccoons come back and make a mess of the pond.

Provide Baited Traps Nearby to Capture Raccoons Stealing Your Turtles

Exploiting the raccoon’s visit to check out the food and water you’ve left for the turtles, a humane trap located nearby with even more interesting food can capture your raccoon. This will help protect against the raccoon reporting back and bringing the whole family in the future, too. But be careful — raccoons aren’t the only predators that may wander by. You could catch a skunk, for instance. If you do, some say a careful approach, eye-to-eye with the skunk, while you drop a heavy blanket over the trap can save a lot of grief.

Surround Your Turtle Environment With an Electric Fence

Since you’re looking to protect against night predators like raccoons, an electric fence that stands guard at night is a powerful solution. Regulated by a timer, it can provide a shocking deterrent for any creature that touches it on the way to investigate your turtles. The timer will protect children, and you if you’re forgetful, from getting a nasty shock during the day. Make sure that you keep a battery-based power supply for the fence restocked with fresh batteries, especially if you don’t have another protection method installed.

The All-Purpose Guard Dog

A dog in your yard can provide general protection against intruders of all kinds, usually by simply warning them off with glowing eyes from nearby yard lights and loud barking. Be careful, though, especially if you have several dogs keeping watch together. Some dogs may find the turtles tempting prey, and dogs are subject to pack instinct behavior, which can lead them to do things they wouldn’t on their own. If you hear your dogs barking, coming out with a flashlight can provide an additional deterrent to the raccoons, but don’t confront them.

Choosing Your Outdoor Turtle Environment for Safety

Being outside is healthy for most turtles and there are some beautiful premade turtle ponds available that are easy to install. When choosing one of them, or creating your own, consider whether the features provide a nice fishing spot for raccoons. One example is a sunning area that serves as a shallow access point to the deeper water. For water turtles, an underwater hiding place can help a bit too.

Other than raccoons, these are some of the creatures that may visit your turtles in the night:

  • Coyotes
  • Wild cats
  • Housecats (attacking baby turtles, mostly)
  • Possums
  • Hedgehogs (outside North America)
  • Mustelids, such as weasels, otters, mink, badgers and martens
  • Rats and mice (smaller and hibernating turtles)
  • Fire ants
  • Humans

Nite Guard Solar’s Unique Strategy

As humans, we tend to be wary of glowing eyes in the bushes — you never know what’s out there. Imagine how much more careful wild animals are about the possibility of a predator lurking near your turtle pond. Nite Guard Solar is a solar-powered device that provides “glowing eyes” all night, every night, and recharges from the sun during the day. It’s a method of keeping raccoons on their guard and also discouraging most other potential turtle predators from visiting your property, even just to use the water.

Keeps Four Legs and Two Legs Away: Why Not Give It a Try?

As an additional benefit, humans often interpret a blinking light as a possible security camera and stay away as well. The folks at Nite Guard are glad to help you understand your local predators with scat identification and habit information. They’ll work with you to develop a strategy for your turtles and other precious creatures under your care and protection. Give us a call or just go ahead to our ordering page, and put this affordable solution to work with a few units near your turtle pond.

Categories: Raccoon