Predator Guards

Photo of Predator Guard with Gap reads: Must close all gaps to be effectiveA key MWDI Best Practice is to insure that predator guard protection is excellent. PVC sleeves and flashing wrap can work but most programs that use PVC sleeves do not enclose the top or bottom and snakes are able to move inside them easily. Raccoons can climb them as well although one program participant has success with PVC sleeves by adding strips of Nixalite. MWDI has not had time to try this and evaluate it more fully.

The guards are 26 gauge galvanized metal, 36” diameter, cone style w/ four flaps designed to fit around a 4x4 pole or similarly shaped sections.

Snake shown entering Wood Duck Nest BoxWe know from field experience that 4" sleeves do not deter raccoons and a 6" sleeve will not stop the larger ones from climbing up. At a minimum, we ask program managers to seal the top gap of any PVC sleeve and replace all 4" tubes. For those whose sleeve guards are too low or short, raccoons simply use them as step ladders to step on or pull themselves up.

There are several other type of guards but the cone shaped 3 foot diameter guard is considered to be a pragmatic, cost effective solution if the guard is adhered tightly to the pole with no gaps and surrounding vegetation is kept away. ​

Predator Guards for Sale

Suitable for wood duck nest protection.

Phoenix Metals was paying attention when the MD Wood Duck Initiative released key Wood Duck Hatchling conservation Best Practices from its research. 

Members of our Leadership Team got together with Cliff Brown, Director of the MWDI, value engineered, and produced a steel guard to help protect the wood duck eggs from predators. They are considered to be a pragmatic, cost-effective solution, if the guard is adhered tightly to the pole, with no gapping, and cleared of close vegetation to more effectively deter snakes and rodents willing to make the jump.

Since 2012, over 2,000 guards have been produced by Phoenix Metals, and distributed across the United States to Wood Duck breeding areas in cooperation with the MDWI, helping to bring hatchling numbers up to conservationists’ expectations for the species.

The guards are unpainted 26 gauge galvanized steel, 36” diameter, ship flat with four, pre-cut, integrated flaps designed to fit conically around a 4”x 4” post.
$22 for 4" x 4" post
+ 6% Sales Tax for MD Residents = $23.32​​

Listed price does not include shipping.

Photo of Phoenix Metal Predator Guard

To place an order:

Payment for orders that need to be shipped can be made directly to Phoenix Metals via credit card or check.

Predator Guards paid for by check will be shipped upon receipt. Please call to confirm your shipping details.

Checks for local pick-up or delivery in Maryland should be sent to the MWDI, include state tax, and be made out to Phoenix Metals.

The MWDI will coordinate delivery or pickup arrangements for your predator guards.

Payment can be made directly to Phoenix via check or credit card. A check can also be sent to MWDI made out to Phoenix Metals. MWDI will coordinate delivery or pickup from Phoenix can be made.

Phoenix Metals will ship nationwide and thanks to publicity obtained by MWDI, they have shipped over 1,000 guards in 2018 alone!

For MD local pick-up or delivery orders:

Send a check made out to Phoenix Metals, including sales tax to:

ATTN: Aaron Ward
3021 45th St NW
​ Washington, DC 20016

For orders outside of MD, or in-state that require shipping, contact:

Brian Wisniewski
Phoenix Metals
Phone: 410-633-0685 ext 18​​

For direct payments to Phoenix Metals, contact:

Brian Wisniewski
Phoenix Metals
Phone: 410-633-0685 ext 1

Click here for instructions on How to Make your own Predator Guard.