You took the time and effort, not to mention, incurred the cost, of putting a wonderful and beautiful landscape feature into your backyard. It’s an eye-catching water feature that is home to fish. You do what you can to keep them healthy, which includes keeping the water feature in its best condition and feed them regularly.
One day, you notice something that’s a bit odd, and, it’s also unnerving. You go out to throw in a bit of food and it occurs to you that there are fewer fish in your pond. At first, you think just perhaps, a few expired, but then you can’t find them anywhere. Slowly, it begins to become quite apparent that you’re dealing with a problem.
Something is poaching your pond fish and you have to deal with it. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot that can be done about pond predators, but that’s certainly to not say that you’re helpless. Pond predators not only eat fish, they also do other harm to your water feature. Needless to say, you’ve first got to identify the source of the problems and then take action. The good news is, that you have a few options to exercise to keep your fish safe and to keep your water feature in its best condition.
Types of Common Pond Predators
It might be disheartening, but your beautiful water feature, home to colorful fish, is a magnet to differ types of predators and other problematic creatures. However, you also have the benefit of attracting creatures that will help to protect your pond. If you see these creatures around your landscape water feature, you have a helping hand in combating some problem predators and other harmful things that have an adverse impact on your pond.
A backyard fish pond provides a tranquil centerpiece, but predators, ranging from birds to raccoons, threaten the fish population if you don’t protect the pond. Shallow ponds are more susceptible to problems because predators have easier access and the fish have fewer place to hide. No matter the depth of your pond, you can limit access or scare away predators before they get your fish. —San Francisco Chronicle
Frogs are one such amiable amphibian. When you see a clump of slimy balls, those are tadpoles, which you ought to welcome in your pond. Tadpoles are helpful because they will hatch and swim about, eating away at the algae, which is a good thing. Snakes aren’t likable or wanted by most people, but these slithering reptiles eat mice and other pests that you certainly don’t want to be on your property. Then, there are dragonflies, who feed on mosquitoes, which are a nuance and can carry disease.
Ways to Keep Pond Predators Away
Even though heron are a protected species and raccoons are quite clever, there are ways to keep pond predators away. If you take a few preventive measures, you’ll be able to amply protect your pond and its inhabitants. Here are a few things you can do to predator proof your pond:
- Install decoys as deterrents. You can keep raccoons away with an alligator decoy and birds from feeding on your fish by putting-in a heron decoy. Raccoons won’t go into the water if they see what they think is a live alligator, while herons will pass by because they see another heron already staking a claim.
- Put-in netting to cover your pond. Netting works very well to deter pond predators and is retractable. It’s best to cover your pond in the early evening to protect your fish overnight because dusk and nighttime are when predators are often most active.
- Set alarms nearby, surrounding your water feature. There are alarms equipped with motion sensors and emit a high-pitched sound, along with flashing lights, to send predators scampering away. The most effective ones can operate during the night.
Two More Ways to Keep Pond Predators Away from Your Landscape Water Feature
Of course, there are other creatures you don’t want on your property and especially not in or near your pond. One is the raccoon, which are very dexterous, despite the fact they don’t have opposable thumbs. Though raccoons aren’t fond of the water, they will get wet, if it means snagging a nice meal. Another creature that poses a problem to the well being of your fish are birds, particularly heron, which are a protected species here in Florida.
- Use repellents to keep predators at bay. There are a number of predator repellents you can spread around and nearby your pond to keep problematic creatures from feeding on your fish. These drive squirrels and raccoons away and can be reapplied after rain.
- Provide your fish with hiding places. Another way to protect fish from predators is to have floating hiding spots. Aquatic vegetation not only enhances the look of your pond, providing a more natural habitat, but also provides places for fish to hide.
Fencing is also something you can install to keep predators away and even domesticated animals.