Are your fish disappearing? No, it’s not your imagination. There is a good chance that you have a predator or two paying a regular visit to your pond. Typical pond predators are an aspect of water gardens that owners have the least amount of control of.
When you manage a pond, it is a good idea to be aware of the different residents that consider your pond to be home. Rodents, amphibians, fish, and birds will flock to ponds that are well-kept. There will also be predators that play a part in the balanced ecosystem of your pond. Ensure that these are monitored and make a decision about whether you need to take action should certain species of predator cause too much imbalance in your pond. Here is an overview of typical pond predators to help you be more familiar with them.
These types of turtles are carnivores and will tend to eat anything. You will know a snapping turtle by their jaw, which is beak-like. Snapping turtles have even been known to attack ducklings! They feed using surprise attacks. When out of the water, these amphibians also tend to be belligerent. Thus, it is a bad idea to try and take a snapping turtle with your hands. It is also not a good idea to go near them, for that matter. Their powerful jaws are strong enough to get your fingers amputated, so watch out. When you hold their shells on their sides, their necks are even long enough to try and take a bite of your hands. If you believe your pond happens to have a snapping turtle, it might be a better idea to give a professional animal remover a call, and they will take care of the removal of the snapping turtles from your pond.
It can be quite troublesome to have to deal with raccoons due to their nature, which is quite destructive. These creatures are awake at night and in the shallower pond areas of your property, they will know how to feed on the fish. You can control raccoons by setting out live animal traps. Once they are caught, you can transfer them to a different area.
Though beautiful and majestic, herons are often dreaded when fish pond owners see them. This is due to the ability of this bird to cause fish to disappear. A species that is protected, it is illegal to harm or capture herons in any way. In fact, since these birds tend to attack when you threaten them, it is a bad idea to chase them out of your yard. They use their sharp bills to spear adversaries between their eyes. You will usually see one heron at a time in ponds. Notoriously territorial, these birds won’t feed in the residence of another heron. This is why a heron decoy sometimes works when you put one in your pond, as other herons think it is real. On the other hand, herons tend to be smart birds and may be able to see through the fake heron decoy. Pond dye is another option as this covers up fish, so herons can’t see the fish.
If you find that your pond has become home to muskrats, it can be annoying. Muskrats love tunneling holes throughout your pond. This can cause water levels to become lower. The best way to come against a colony of Muskrat is to cause their diet to become disrupted. For one thing it will benefit you to know that muskrats love eating pond weeds, water lilies, cattails and other aquatic vegetation. When you reduce the number of available weeds for muskrats, then you also reduce their food source.
It is nice to have a few frogs here and there. On the other hand, an out-of-control frog population is a completely different story. When there is an over production of frogs in your pond, this can disrupt the ecosystem of your pond. Where do frogs like to hide? You will find frogs hiding in emerging cattails and other plant life. If you clear away large cattail portions using a kit that is made for this, you will find that the frogs will tend to disperse and move on somewhere else more conducive to their needs. Some bass added into your pond is another way to battle the over population of frogs. Bass eats frogs as an additional food source.
The fish population of your pond can be harmed by leeches if these become too many to control. Not only that, leeches tend to look very unsightly and are the main reason most people do not like to swim in lakes and ponds in the backyard. It is in the pond’s mucky bottom that leeches like to reproduce. For long term control of leeches, it is a good idea to reduce the muck buildup. When you use products to get rid of muck, you can help in reducing the size of where the leeches breed and limit the growth of their population as a result.
For leech infestation, a quick fix can be to use a baited trap that you can make yourself. All you need to do is to take a coffee can and puncture approximately one-fourth-inch holes. Ensure that the sharp edges of the punctured holes are all pointed inside. You can do this by doing the punctures from the outside. For bait, you can use raw meat inside the can to attract them. Submerge the can in water after you replace the lid. Place rocks on the lid to keep the trap secure on the bottom of your pond. Each day, check the trap and get rid or transfer the leeches somewhere else.