Sunday, September 13, 2015

Using an Electric Fence to Deter Opossums aka "This Restaurant is Closed."

This is not okay. 
Somebody has been visiting in the night and digging throughout my garden, no doubt enjoying the plentiful supply of juicy grubs. This critter has left a tell-tail sign...and I do mean tail.  
Across the pathways there are drag marks, perhaps little trails made by tails.
What else could it be? A raccoon with a ball and chain? No, it is an opossum. 
The drag marks are about the size of my finger. Yep. An opossum has been here dining on grubs. Little feet walking here and there. 
Come back again tonight, I dare you!
My electric fence awaits!! One little touch of the wire and you will know to go somewhere else. You are not welcome here.

The design is simple. The unit plugs into an extension cord. From the left side, the ground wire goes to a rebar stake pounded into moist ground. 
From the right side comes the fence wire which will be "hot" when the unit is plugged into the extension cord. In order for the critter to be zapped, it must be in contact with both the surface of the ground and the hot wire. For this reason, I placed the wire close to the ground so that the critter will bump into it while walking along. 

I hung the electric fence unit from my compost bin since the critter has come there the past two nights. The wire goes from the unit down to the plastic pvc pipe and across the front of the compost bin, then around the beds and across the pathways throughout the garden. (My garden is fenced so no dogs or children or unsuspecting people will get zapped. To avoid zapping birds, I only have it plugged in at night. I taped signs at the entrances to warn people too. Once the weather cools down I'll use nematodes to control the grubs, less temptation for the critters.)
The wire passes through holes drilled into the plastic pipe.
Care must be taken so that the wire does not touch anything except the plastic, or it will not work.
I am pretty sure the pest is coming into the garden under this gate. 
Well, a little surprise awaits. 
The dining room will be lit tonight but the restaurant is closed.
We reserve the right to refuse service to opossums.


  1. You are all set for your final opening but someone seems to intrude upon it. Have you been able to locate the intruder? I hope you finish up your work soon.

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