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Specific Predator Control | Learning Center

Now that we learned the basics of predator control, here are some specifics about each nuisance pest.

Geese have several natural enemies including swans, alligators and coyotes. Using one, a pair or all three of these decoy methods will help to ensure your pond (and the surrounding area) stays geese free all season long.

  • Swans and geese make similar nesting areas (like your pond). Swans are very territorial and aggressive towards geese. Geese will see the swan decoy and fly over to find a less inhabited water body.
  • Using alligator decoys is also an effective method for geese control. An alligator decoy is effective in areas where alligators do not live; the fear of alligators is instinctive, not learned.
  • Geese do not like coyotes. The Coyote Decoy’s 3D build makes it visible from all angles making it superior to silhouette cut outs, not to mention its tail and body will move with the least amount of wind. This movement can be spotted by pesky birds from a great distance away. Nesting birds and other rodents will not want to seek refuge anywhere near your property if they spot this lurking predator in the open!

Blue Heron
Blue Herons compete against their own breed for pond real estate. A blue heron decoy will deter a real heron from landing due to their territorial nature. Just be aware that late April to May (sometimes early June) is mating season. If used too early, your blue heron decoy may attract a heron searching for a mate.

Muskrats can be cute at first as they frolic and play in your water, but beware you likely have a bigger problem than you think. Muskrats wreak havoc on your shoreline by digging tunnels around your pond to the den causing unstable ground. Here are tips to remove them from your pond:

  • Disrupt their diet. Muskrats are mostly vegetarians, eating aquatic vegetation such as cattails, grasses and pond weeds. Although, you may see them munching on snails, crayfish small fish and frogs in some areas. Removing vegetation in and around your pond is a sure way to limit a muskrat’s access to food.
  • Disrupt their environment. Muskrats prefer shallow ponds with still or slow-moving water. Adding an aeration system or fountain will provide circulation and, in most cases, enough wave movement to deter muskrats. You’ll get a cleaner pond out of it too!
  • Remove them from the pond. Muskrats can caught using a live trap baited with apples or other fruits and vegetables. Make sure you do not fully submerge the trap in case other wildlife accidentally becomes trapped. Monitor your traps several times per day. Check with your local DNR to determine rules involving relocating these pests.

Once you’ve trapped and released your muskrats, make sure you cave in their tunnels and den. You may need to backfill these spots with additional dirt or gravel.

Leeches can be quite the nuisance pest in a swimming pond, but, thankfully, they do not do much harm. Leeches can be found in most ponds but a healthy fish population can keep their population in check. Redear Sunfish do a great job eating leeches out of their mucky habitat.

If you do not have fish, there are some prevention and removal techniques we can share with you.

  1. Control the muck. Mucky areas are a breeding ground for leeches. Rake out as much muck as possible and use MuckAway™ to reduce muck by up to 5” per year.
  2. Remove weeds and debris. You have the muck under control but what about weed growth? Another hot spot for leeches is among weeds and debris. Raking out weeds and any decaying dead weeds from shallow waters will also keep your leech population in check.
  3. Add fish. Redear Sunfish and Largemouth Bass will help to reduce the overall leech population.
  4. Set a leech trap. Punch leech-size holes in a coffee or aluminum can, bait it with raw chicken or fish and position it in a shallow area of your pond. When the worms go for the grub, they can get in – but not out. The burrs from the whole punch will prevent them from escaping. Remove the can once it’s full and repeat until the leeches are gone.

8 Responses

  1. We have been fighting mink that are eating out fish. We had to leave the pond empty of fish for one whole year to discourage the mink. I think he is back. Fish are disappearing. Please make a suggesting. We have a large tube the fish can hide in and a lot of plants. Can we apply some type food that would make the mink sick and run away? anything……thank you so much…………Marion

    • Hi Marion – I’m not sure of any food to feed them. Mink are quick and tough to detect and the best thing is either to trap them or provide shelter in the pond that fish can get into but the mink can’t. The tube is helpful in creating a hiding place but maybe place small rocks or something near the opening to make smaller areas for the fish to get in but make it more difficult for the mink to follow. Good Luck!

      • Do you think putting those floating lights in the pond would help. Problem with them the batteries run out. I appreciate any suggestions you can make. God Bless…..Marion

        om Windows Mail

      • Hi Marion – I’m not sure that adding the solar lights would help hide the fish but if you have them it’s worth a shot. Maybe try a small plastic crate that would have openings for the fish but not large enough for the mink.

  2. Not “Snapping turtles”–Starting to try trap them –going slow!!
    do not want to shot them–first “Soft Harted”–next carcuse become
    rotten & smell big time–some times not all dead are found–Trapping &
    remove al is OK but I am not having good results–Just hoping some-one had a better soltion__Later
    Frank Leggott

    • Why are you trying to remove the turtles? Typically turtles move from pond to pond searching for a mate. So, your pond is likely only a stop over until they decide it’s time to move again. Turtles will return each year to ponds they have previously stopped at.

      When trapping turtles, it’s important to keep about 1/3 of the trap out of water. This ensures they are caught alive.

  3. I Need advice on “Turtle Control”

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