Protecting Your Pond - Stopping Herons and other Predators
It’s every pond owners’ nightmare – perfecting your pond, getting it all set up with your beautiful fish, and then some pesky bird coming through and attacking them. But how do you stop them? There are lots of products available on the market, but do they really work? The products out there all have their pros and cons, but which is right for you?
The most advanced option, and therefore the highest price point, is the Velda Pond Guard, a high-tech complete unit that is installed around the pond and produces a combination of lights and sounds when triggered by an animal. The noises produced are mimics of birds of prey, so they should easily scare off a heron. This uses a sensor system to detect anything entering the designated area and then lets off the noises and flashes of light as required.
It comes with 3 function options to suit your requirements, and also a day/night indicator. This being effective is completely dependent on being set up in the correct location, so testing and alterations may be required.
The most affordable choice is the Velda Pond Protector Kit Electric Fence, a make it yourself fence that is a discreet protector against cats and herons. The electrical pulse is a low harmless constant to deter animals, across its 80m wire, which can be set up perfectly around your pond. There is even an optional extension kit for larger ponds, making this suitable for everyone. All that’s required is to place your stakes around the pond and connect the wire around them, and this will then produce a low pulse when touched.
As barriers go, this will offer the best deterrent for animals, as not only will it stop them from getting to the pond, but it should put them off attempting again, teaching them to stay away through the negative experience. Cons? It will only work if touched, so placement is crucial. Be sure to get this as close to the edge as possible in order to increase its effectiveness.
A similar but slightly easier option is to have the same wiring around the pond but without the electrical aspect to bother to wire in. The Velda Heron Stop has the same stakes to be placed around with the wire looped between them, but with small bells across the wires instead, so when the wire is disturbed the bells will rattle and scare off the animals. This is much easy to set up, and easier to rearrange as required, however the risk is that the bells are not enough to put off all animals. If your heron is particularly brazen, this may not be fully effective.
The Velda Brilliant Pyramid is a simple to use addition to a pond, which is worthwhile to put on regardless, and can be used with most other products as well. This easy floating device is eco-friendly as you simply place it on the pond, with the fixing cords secured to the sides of the pond. As the sun shines down it reflects the rays and scares the oncoming herons off. On problem is if it’s not so sunny, it’s not so effective.
Another easy to use and install piece of equipment is the Velda Heron Stop Spinner. This is similar to the pyramid as it's designed to reflect and shine back to put off herons, with an effective “eye” design to frighten predators into thinking there is already something bigger than them there, so to stay away. This is simply hung over the pond on a rod, so is super easy to set up.
The most basic version of deterrents tend to be either a net over the top of the pond, to simply prevent anything from getting to the pond at all, or a decoy heron, which just sits by the edge of the pond and is designed to put off other herons from entering the decoys territory.
The simple answer is that not everything will work for everyone, it will be very dependent on the animals in your area, and on your particular pond. Nets may be unsightly, but if anchor correctly really will provide the best defence. The Pond Protector Electric Fence may be the be-all and end-all, but if you don’t have electricity available then it could be an enormous hassle, and the Heron Stop may be a much easier solution. For fewer predators a simple Pyramid or Spinner may be enough to prevent them coming at all, saving you in money and time spent in installing something.