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Tactics to Keep Raccoons Out of Corn Fields

Discover effective strategies and humane deterrents for protecting your cornfields from pesky raccoons, ensuring a bountiful, undisturbed harvest.

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An image showcasing a corn field under the moonlight. Raccoons are curiously peeking from the edge of the field. In the foreground, observe a few deterrent methods carefully placed around the field: a bright flash light, a scarecrow with a large broom, and tight mesh fencing. All items are generic and contain no visible texts or brand logos.

Understanding Raccoon Behavior and Deterrence

If you've noticed your cornfields becoming a feast for raccoons, you're not alone. Raccoons are notorious for their intelligence and dexterity, which can make them challenging pests to manage. But before diving into tactics to keep them at bay, it's important to understand why raccoons are drawn to your corn.

Raccoons are omnivores with a particular fondness for sweet corn, making your cornfield an ideal target. They often wait until the corn is ripe, using their keen sense of smell to find the perfect ears to pluck. Once one raccoon discovers the bounty, it's only a matter of time before more follow, leading to extensive damage.

Effective Fencing Solutions

One of the primary methods for keeping raccoons out of your cornfields is proper fencing. Installing a sturdy fence that stands at least 4 to 5 feet high can be an effective deterrent. A wire mesh with small openings, at most 3 inches wide, can prevent raccoons from squeezing through. Adding an electric wire at the top, and angled outward, will further discourage these agile climbers.

When researching fencing solutions, I came across the Critterfence Steel Grid 4 x 100, which has received high marks for its durability and effectiveness. The steel grid is designed to withstand outdoor elements and the smaller mesh size is ideal for blocking entry. It's said that gardeners appreciate that it's both tough for raccoons to climb and also blends into the surroundings, making it both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

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Scare Tactics: Using Predators to Your Advantage

Another approach to protecting your corn is to use scare tactics. A tried-and-true method is to use predator urine, which can be spread around the perimeter of your fields. The smell of a potential predator can be enough to deter raccoons from entering. Coyote or fox urine can be bought commercially and has been found effective by many farmers.

However, it's crucial to refresh these scents regularly as they can wash away after rain or fade in the sun. Reviews suggest that products like PredatorPee 100% Pure Coyote Urine create a natural barrier without harming the raccoons. Users report success in keeping pest animals away, though consistent application seems key to its effectiveness.


Using noise-making devices is another way to scare raccoons away. Proximity-activated devices that emit a loud noise or even spray water can startle and discourage raccoons from entering your field. For instance, an Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler has good reviews due to its combination of motion-activation and a surprising burst of water, which is generally effective in scaring off nocturnal invaders.

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Cultural Practices to Reduce Raccoon Intrusion

Maintaining certain cultural practices in your cornfields can also help in reducing raccoon intrusion. One method is to ensure your fields are kept clean and free of food debris, which can attract raccoons. Harvesting corn as soon as it is ripe leaves less opportunity for raccoons to target your crops.

Moreover, companion planting might also serve as a deterrent. Some growers have observed that planting squash around their corn can help; the prickly vines of some squashes are disliked by raccoons, possibly deterring them from walking through to reach the corn. Though not scientifically proven, it is a tactic worth trying and can also benefit your soil and crop diversity.

Lighting Strategies to Deterring Nighttime Feeders

Raccoons are nocturnal, so employing lighting strategies can disrupt their nighttime feeding habits. Solar-powered lights that turn on with motion can startle these creatures. Nite Guard Solar NG-001 Predator Control Light has garnered attention for its effectiveness in deterring nocturnal pests. This device mimics the eyes of a predator, which can make raccoons feel threatened and avoid the area.

The pros of the Nite Guard Solar light include its ease of installation and energy efficiency, since it’s solar-powered. However, some reviews remark on the necessity to reposition the lights periodically to maintain their effectiveness, as raccoons may eventually realize they are not a threat if they become too familiar with their surroundings.

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Natural Repellents: Safe and Humane Options

For those looking for non-lethal and environmentally friendly options, natural repellents can be a great choice. Homemade mixes of garlic, cayenne pepper, and onion can create an unpleasant odor that raccoons dislike, potentially keeping them away from your fields.

Commercially available, non-toxic sprays containing these ingredients offer convenience and effectiveness. A popular choice reported by users is the Nature’s Mace Deer and Rabbit Repellent, which is not only made from organic ingredients but also claims to repel raccoons. Reviewers often highlight its eco-friendly composition and easy application, although reapplication after heavy rainfall is necessary for continued protection.

Community Watch: Combining Efforts with Neighbors

Combining your raccoon deterring efforts with neighbors can increase the scale of impact and effectiveness. If raccoons are a common problem in your area, creating a community watch program where all farmers implement similar deterrent tactics can help. This collective effort means there are fewer easy targets for raccoons to exploit, consequently driving them away from the area.

Engaging with local wildlife control professionals may also provide additional tips tailored to your specific area’s wildlife challenges, and local knowledge can be invaluable in formulating a comprehensive raccoon management plan.

Physical Barriers and Guards for Corn Protection

Securing the corn itself can be a simple yet effective way to protect it from raccoons. Using individual corn guards or bags to encase the ears of corn can present a physical barrier that raccoons find difficult to penetrate. These guards are typically made from materials that are tough for raccoons to tear open, such as thick plastic or burlap.

There are also specialized products on the market, like the Raccoon Corn Protectors, which have generally positive feedback from users. Growers like that they are easy to install and provide direct protection to the corn, often resulting in reduced damage from wildlife.


Alteration of Planting Schedules to Avoid Peak Raccoon Activity

Tweaking planting schedules to avoid peak raccoon foraging times might reduce your cornfield’s vulnerability. Raccoons are clever creatures, but they can be predictable. They usually go on the hunt for food at specific times during their active seasons.

If possible, consider planting corn varieties that mature earlier or later in the season than the local raccoon population’s peak foraging period. This strategy requires some local knowledge and observation, but if timed correctly, it can lessen the overlap between the ripest corn and the hungriest raccoons.

Utilization of Trapping Methods

Trapping can be another component of raccoon management, but it must be done humanely and in accordance with your local wildlife laws. Live traps, such as the Havahart Live Animal Cage Trap, which is well-reviewed for its effectiveness and humane design, can be baited with foods that raccoons find irresistible, such as marshmallows or sweet fruits.


  • Safe for the raccoon and user when operated correctly
  • Can be baited with a variety of foods
  • Reusable and durable for prolonged use


  • Requires regular monitoring to ensure trapped animals are dealt with humanely
  • Must be used in accordance with local regulations

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Constructing a Labyrinth: Complex Pathways to Confuse Pests

Getting creative with the layout of your cornfield might throw raccoons off the scent. Constructing a labyrinth of sorts, with twisting pathways and varied plant heights, can make it harder for raccoons to navigate and locate the prime corn for the taking. However, this method should be weighed against its practicality and your ability to maintain and harvest the corn.

While no specific product is associated with this method, it relies on thoughtful design and may provide an additional layer of protection, especially when combined with other methods mentioned throughout this article.

Encouraging Natural Predators

Creating an environment that is friendly to natural raccoon predators can be an effective long-term strategy. Owls and hawks are natural enemies of raccoons and encouraging their presence can create a natural deterrent. Installing owl boxes or providing perches for birds of prey can make your property less inviting to raccoons.

While there are no consumer products to directly facilitate this, researching and implementing best practices for attracting and supporting these predator species can contribute to a balanced ecosystem where raccoons are less likely to thrive and cause trouble in your cornfield.

Innovative Technology: Ultrasonic Pest Repellers

Advances in technology offer new approaches to raccoon deterrence, including ultrasonic pest repellers. These devices emit sounds at frequencies that are unpleasant to raccoons but inaudible to humans.

The Cleanrth CR008 Advanced Ultrasonic Rodent Repelling System is one such device that claims to be effective not only against raccoons but also against other common pests. According to reviews, customers are generally satisfied with the effectiveness of this repeller in deterring small to medium-sized wildlife from their property.


  • Safe and humane for animals
  • Non-toxic and chemical-free
  • Can cover a large area


  • Effectiveness may vary based on the raccoon’s persistence
  • Some animals may become accustomed to the noise over time

Tying It All Together: Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Ultimately, the most effective way to keep raccoons out of your cornfields is likely to be an integrated pest management (IPM) approach. This involves combining several of the methods discussed, such as fencing, scare tactics, cultural practices, and natural repellents, into a coordinated defense strategy.

IPM focuses on long-term prevention and is designed to be environmentally sensitive, minimizing risks to human health, beneficial and non-target organisms, and the environment. By adopting an IPM plan, you can create a robust and adaptive strategy that can evolve with your farm’s needs and the habits of local raccoons.

If you’re dealing with the challenge of raccoons in your cornfield, remember that you’re not alone. Just as you’ve found guidance and suggestions here, there are many resources available to help you fortify your crops. For further reading on related topics, you might find it beneficial to explore how to maximize your harvest or create a pollinator-friendly garden, both of which can complement the strategies discussed here.

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Flowers & Plants Team

Flowers & Plants Team

Flowers & Plants Team

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