Protecting Sweet Corn From Raccoons

Jun 30, 2023

By Maddy Rohr

While they may be a more common pest in garbage, raccoons also target the home garden. It seems as though racoons harvest sweet corn right before it is to be picked, so Kansas State University horticulture expert Ward Upham recommends fencing as a prevention method.

“The only effective control measure I have had success with is fencing; either electric or kennel fencing,” Upham said.

Electric Fencing

To install electric fencing, use two or more wires, the first about five inches above the ground and the second four inches above the first (or nine inches above ground). Raccoons must not be able to crawl under, go between or go over the wires without being shocked.

Fence posts and insulators used for electric fences work well for this application.

“It is much easier to use the woven electric wire with strands of wire embedded than to use a solid metal wire. The woven wire is easier to bend around corners and to roll up when done for the year,” Upham said.

Upham suggests using battery operated fencing rather than plug-ins.

“Start the charger before the corn is close to being ripe. Once raccoons get a taste of the corn, they are more difficult to discourage,” Upham said.

He encourages weed control around the wire to prevent them from intercepting the voltage.

Kennel Fencing

Kennel fencing can also be an alternative protection from raccoons.

“Make sure that the panels are tied together well enough that raccoons can’t squeeze through corners,” Upham said.

A covering over the top may be needed if the raccoons figure out how to climb the panels.

Welded garden fence can work well for this.

Upham and his colleagues in K-State's Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources produce a weekly Horticulture Newsletter with tips for maintaining home landscapes and gardens. The newsletter is available to view online or can be delivered by email each week.

Interested persons can also send their garden and yard-related questions to Upham at, or contact your local K-State Research and Extension office.

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