The Vegetable You Need To Add To Your Garden If You Have A Raccoon Problem

Raccoons may look cute because of their little black masks and teddy-bear ears, but if you've ever had them in your yard you know the little buggers are quite a nuisance. Raccoons are not only quite a bit smarter than your average squirrel or rabbit but they also have little fingers that can work to grab and open things other animals can't. This means that your normal garden protection methods may not work against these masked bandits. However, if you have a raccoon thief that gets into your garden despite your best efforts, there is one vegetable you can plant that may help to keep them out — the simple cucumber.

According to Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, raccoons can't stand cucumbers, and having the plants in your garden may be enough to prevent them from entering. Cucumbers grow in climbing vines, so planting them around your wire garden fence can create a very effective barrier that will deter even the most stubborn masked intruders. This method is great because it gives you a way to banish the garden thieves humanely. Because, although they can be annoying, it would be a shame to harm the cute little bandits for taking veggies it probably didn't know were yours.

Why raccoons don't like cucumbers

There are a few theories for why raccoons don't like cucumbers. The first is that they do not like the smell of the veggies and, therefore, prefer to steer clear. However, as there are more than a few examples of pet raccoons munching away on cucumbers online, this may not be entirely accurate. So, if it's not the smell that bothers them, how does planting cucumbers in your garden work to deter the little bandits?

Another theory behind why raccoons dislike cucumber plants is that they are covered in prickly thorns, and raccoons tend to have sensitive hands and feet. In fact, raccoon hands are almost as sensitive as human hands and can detect small changes in pressure and temperature. Therefore, plants that are thorny or prickly like zucchini, squash, pumpkins, and roses will also keep raccoons away if they form a perimeter around your veggie patch. In general, raccoons prefer to avoid stepping on thorns and will instead opt for a more pain-free food source if available.

Other ways to deter raccoons

What if you don't even like cucumbers, or simply don't want to cover the entire perimeter of your garden in thorny plants? Luckily, there are a few other ways to naturally deter raccoons from your garden. One of the most commonly recommended methods is to use a mix of garlic oil and chili powder. Spreading this mixture around the perimeter of your garden should help keep the critters at bay. However, the mixture will need to be applied regularly because as soon as the smell fades, it will stop working.

If the garlic oil and chili powder don't do the trick, try adding peppermint oil or Epsom salts around your garden perimeter. Epsom salt is a well-known fertilizer so has the added benefit of helping your yard while repelling raccoons.

Lastly, if you don't mind strong smells in your yard, you can try ammonia and vinegar. Vinegar works well when sprayed on anything raccoons like to eat because the smell and taste will repel them. Furthermore, despite being well-known dumpster divers, raccoons are quite clean animals and avoid food sources that are near urine. As urine contains ammonia, you can try soaking tennis balls in ammonia and placing them around your garden to keep the critters away.

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