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Cat Repellent Strategy – Contech Scarecrow Motion Detector Sprinkler – Review
If you are considering purchasing a Contech motion Scarecrow sprinkler to use as a cat deterrent and to keep cats and dogs (and other animals) away from your yard or garden, this article is a review of the CRO101 Motion Scarecrow and will explore some of its pros and cons and other things you would want to keep in mind before you decide to buy it.
First, an explanation of how this motion-activated sprinkler works.
The Motion Scarecrow is a pulsating lawn sprinkler that starts suddenly and runs for just a few seconds (rotating back and forth) to spray an arc of water over a thousand square foot area. You can adjust the arc to control the spray area.
Whenever the motion detector sprinkler detects an animal in its “field of view,” its sudden activation of a pulsating jet of water that whips back and forth for several seconds scares (and annoys) the intruder.
The scarecrow is supposed to detect animals in an area of one thousand square feet and can be used to keep not only cats, but also dogs, geese, rabbits and squirrels out of a certain area of your yard. Since the motion detector works both day and night, it can be especially useful as a repellent against nocturnal animals such as deer, skunks and raccoons.
Since animals (and humans) do not like to be unexpectedly sprayed with water, they quickly learn to avoid the area protected by the sprinkler. So if you have people cutting through parts of your yard as a shortcut, or neighbors walking their dogs onto your property to do their “work”, then this sprinkler could be the perfect deterrent. If they complain, you can always claim it’s there to keep stray cats and raccoons off your property.
Construction: The sprayer is made mostly of plastic and has a distinctive cartoon-looking crow’s head for the spray unit. I personally don’t like the crow look, but maybe it helps the animals to quickly recognize the unit in the “conditioning process”.
Even the 17-inch mount is plastic, so don’t try to nail it if your ground is hard. First, soften the soil with water or drive a spike or something into the ground to make a hole where you can easily insert the stake.
Scarecrow sprinklers have a two-year limited manufacturer’s warranty and, according to reviews for this and other Contech products, the company has an excellent customer service department.
This cat sprayer uses a 9 volt battery that you will need to purchase yourself. Each battery should last at least a month or more, but this depends in part on how often the sprinkler is activated. It’s always nice to have extra batteries on hand.
Of course, the unit must be connected to a garden hose that must be turned on at all times. If you only have one outdoor faucet, you may want to purchase a two-way or three-way “splitter” connector that attaches to your connection so you can connect more than one hose at a time. This will allow you to use a second garden hose without having to disconnect your Motion Scarecrow. .
In my case, my faucet leaked slightly whenever I used the garden hose so I had to get a new hose washer before I could use the Scarecrow. In fact, I also ended up having to wrap the end of the hose connection with plumbers teflon tape that you can find at plumbing places, Home Depot or Lowe’s. But this leak was a problem with my hose and faucet, not the sprinkler itself. Please note that before leaving your Scarecrow on for an extended period of time, check that there are no leaks in the hose itself or where the hose connects to the faucet or sprinkler.
Of course, except when activated, the sprinkler should not use water. And when activated, it only uses about a cup of water. So even in water-scarce areas, using a motion-activated sprinkler shouldn’t be a huge waste of your water resources. Either way, you should make sure you set up your Contech Scarecrow so that when it activates, it actually waters your garden at the same time it scares the animals.
If you have a large yard, you may want 2 or even 3 of these units. Determine where you can strategically place them to give you the most protection with the fewest sprinklers – perhaps at natural entrances to your yard or garden. I recommend getting just one unit to start with to make sure it meets your needs. If you buy more, you should know that multiple units can be connected “in series” with hoses running from one unit to the next so that you only have to connect the first hose to your faucet. Just remember to check for bowel leaks regularly. And don’t forget to turn off the water before approaching the units so you don’t get wet yourself.
Disadvantages of the Contech Scarecrow: If you need to protect an area of your yard that is quite far from your outdoor faucet, you will need to run long distances of garden hose to the Motion Scarecrow. It can be expensive and possibly ugly. And if you’re running hoses across your lawn, you’ll have to deal with moving them while mowing. Small annoyance.
Those who live in northern states or colder climates will have to worry about their intestines freezing in the winter. So your yard can be unprotected during the winter months. But maybe using a sprinkler during the warmer months for “animal training” will be enough. Once you disconnect the hose, you may want to leave the Scarecrow in place over the winter in the hopes that the animals are scared off by the distinctive crow’s head style of the spray unit.
If you live in an area with water restrictions or lawn watering restrictions, you may not be able to use the sprinkler (although it only uses a small amount of water each time it activates).
NOTE: In some of these cases where using the Contech Scarecrow sprinkler is impractical, you may want to install a similar cat motion detector called the CatStop Ultrasonic Outdoor Cat Deterrent. Scares away animal intruders by suddenly emitting a high-frequency ultrasonic squeal (above the range of human hearing.)
Because these self-contained, battery-powered CatStop units do not rely on water, they can be used year-round in colder climates and can overcome some of the water shortage issues mentioned above. In addition, ultrasonic motion detector units can be placed in areas of your yard where it is impractical to run a garden hose.
On the pro side: the Scarecrow motion detector sprinkler is environmentally friendly because it humanely deters and repels cats and other nuisance animals without the use of dangerous chemicals, traps or other devices.
And, if you live in a neighborhood, subdivision, or gated community where fences are prohibited, or your yard is simply so large that a fence is prohibitively expensive, unsightly, then this Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler may be one of your better cat deterrent alternatives .
In short: If you’re constantly annoyed by your neighbor’s cats (or other pesky critters) destroying your lawn, garden, or pond, you’ll probably find the Contech Scarecrow Motion Detector Sprinkler a good addition to your cat deterrent arsenal.
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