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Contech Electronics CRO101 ScareCrow Sprinkler Review

Updated on April 27, 2011

It’s rare that you come across a gizmo for the yard that is both comedic and practical. The Contech Electronics Scarecrow Sprinkler is such a beast. It deters deer and other critters with hilarious effect as mammals for the most part hate getting soaked. The neighbour’s dog known for leaving big, steaming presents on your lawn will get gunned down with no hesitation.

Probably the biggest advantage of the ScareCrow is that it keeps intruders off your lawn in a humane way. It’s incredibly cruel to harm wildlife with chemicals or traps when the animal is merely acting upon its survival instincts. Using a spray of water to send unwanted company packing is such an elegant solution that it is hard to believe the idea took this long to come into fruition.

The Scarecrow is essentially a jet-stream sprinkler with a built-in motion detector. Once movement is detected the nozzle turns to face the proper direction and lets out an appropriately powerful blast. One unit covers a maximum of 1,000 square feet but keep in mind that it becomes less effective at far distances. If you have a large area to cover, the best option is to employ a few units.

The unit fires short bursts of water that are intended to startle animals. Since every species operates differently it is more effective with some intruders than others. As deer are easily scared by sudden movements and the slightest sign of danger, the ScareCrow is an excellent solution for those with a deer problem. Cats and dogs hate being strayed and probably won’t stick around more than a few seconds. It is also works well on meddlesome birds such as herons, geese and crows. Although it is advertised as a racoon deterrent, some of the more daring racoons will tolerate being sprayed if the rewards are great enough.

As is expected for a modestly priced item, the ScareCrow is made primarily of plastic right down to the spike you drive into the ground. Don’t hammer it in with a Rambo mentality. While its construction isn’t fragile enough to be classified as flimsy, it is wise to keep it out of harm’s way. The ScareCrow has the tendency to leak out of the box as sprinklers tend to do; luckily a little Teflon tape easily takes care of that issue.

Setup couldn’t be much simpler. Like any standard sprinkler you’ll need to attach a garden hose to the base of the unit. The electronics are powered via a 9-volt battery. It can be placed strategically by pushing the 17-inch stake into the soil.

One of the many funny ScareCrow images on Amazon.com.
One of the many funny ScareCrow images on Amazon.com.

The Verdict

For under $50, the Contech Electronics ScareCrow provides a lot of value, especially when you factor in all the laughs. Think of it as a super-soaker gun turret that protects your property. It might not work in every circumstance but when you consider how wide its applications are, it doesn’t seem fair to nitpick. Only those with a serious racoon problem will want to pass and seek a solution better tailored to their needs. Everyone else needs to set one of these up, do a little grilling on the patio, and wait for hilarity to ensue.

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