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11/27/2012

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Raccoons

Raccoon Control

Seeing wildlife from the comfort of your home or back yard is always enjoyable, until they become a nuisance. Most nuisance wildlife can be taken care of in the same way, but raccoons pose a particular problem because of their cleverness, adaptability, and potential to carry diseases. Knowing more about the habits of raccoons can help you make your yard and home an unwelcome habitat for these animals, and help you to get rid of raccoons.

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ScareCrow Sprinkler Motion Activated Animal Deterrent
4.50 out of 5 stars (114)
$45.18
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Motion-activated animal deterrent uses a startling but harmless burst of water to deter pests.

Havahart Cage Trap - Model 1079
4.50 out of 5 stars (14)
$51.50
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32" x 10" x 12" trap suitable for trapping armadillos, racoons and groudhogs (woodchucks)

Repels-All Liquid Concentrate
3 out of 5 stars (9)
$29.95
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Shot-gun REPELS-ALL Animal Repellent Concentrate is made from all natural ingredients but is repulsive to vermin and other undesirable pests.


Deluxe Raccoon/Feral Cat Trap with Easy Release Door - Model TLT608
5 out of 5 stars (4)
$94.50
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Trap for racoon, oposssums, rabbits, armadillos, groundhogs and ferral cat sized animals. Features easy release rear door.

Live Trap for Raccoon/Feral Cat Sized Animals - Model TLT108
4 out of 5 stars (7)
$79.90
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Live catch trap for raccoons, opossums, rabbits, groundhogs, armadillows, feral cats and similar sized animals.

4 FT Deluxe Tomahawk Animal Control Pole - Model DACP4
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$89.50
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The deluxe animal control pole features an aluminum wall that is almost twice as thick as the standard pole for increased durability.

 

Raccoon Habitats and Eating Habits

Raccoons are usually found in wooded areas near lakes, streams, and rivers, but since they are so adaptable, they often make their homes in urban and suburban areas just as easily. Now what do raccoons eat? Well… Raccoons are omnivores; so they like to eat fruits, berries, nuts, acorns, corn, and grains, crayfish, clams, fish frogs, snails, insects, rabbits, muskrats, and eggs. When these are not available, they’ll scavenge in garbage cans and compost piles, eat pet foods, etc. Raccoons are not picky eaters. 

Some other raccoon facts include: raccoons find backyards, alleys, and neighborhoods very enticing because they offer food and shelter with little effort on the raccoons’ part. Suburban raccoon populations can quickly become very large because of the accessibility of food and shelter. 

Raccoon Behavior and Diseases

These animals are clever and strong, and if a mother raccoon is nursing young, she can be very aggressive. Raccoons are known to knock over garbage cans, create dens in chimneys, tear off shingles and fascia to enter homes, can enter and destroy attic and wall space, and also damage gardens and fruit trees. They are not only destructive, but also clever, known to unlatch fences and open bins and containers.  

Raccoons can also carry diseases. Raccoon feces can carry roundworm eggs, and can carry ticks, fleas, lice, and mange, and rabies. Another burning question a homeowner might have; are raccoons dangerous to humans? While raccoons are generally docile and curious, they can be dangerous to humans. If a raccoon is carrying rabies or any diseases, or has recently had babies, you need to stay clear.

For those who are unfortunate enough to have to ask themselves the question; how do I get rid of a raccoon?  There is no easy answer since they are clever, strong, and adaptable. Raccoons can be tricky to manage and it can be hard to know how to keep raccoons away. Habitat modification and exclusion are the best options for raccoon control.

Habitat Modification:

  • Secure garbage can lids and secure cans to a post or structure to ensure that the raccoons cannot tip the cans over.
  • Never keep pet food outdoors over night.
  • Pick up any fallen fruit or nuts in your yard frequently.
  • Thin out foliage to reduce cover.
  • Reduce roof access (raccoons love to nest in attics) by trimming trees at least two feet from your home.
  • Trellises and arbors can provide roof access, so consider removing these if you have a raccoon problem.

Exclusion:

  • Ordinary fences without reinforcement will not be effective against keeping raccoons out, as they are good climbers and diggers and can unlock simple latches. You can install an electric component to your existing fence to keep raccoons out or reinforce the top and bottom with fine wire mesh. Mesh should extend a foot into the ground, extending a foot away from the home. 
  • Install a chimney cap to make sure raccoons cannot create nests inside.
  • Any spaces under decks, steps, and porches should be filled or blocked with fine wire mesh, buried about a foot down and a foot away from the structure.

Frightening Devices, Repellents, and Trapping:

  • Frightening materials and gadgets designed to scare away wild animals have been found to be generally ineffective against raccoons because they get used to the device and learn that the device is harmless and is will only act as a deterrent for a short time.
  • Raccoon repellents, usually containing eggs, garlic, and hot peppers designed to make plants foul tasting and smelling to wildlife, don’t repel raccoons. They quickly become used to the taste and smell.
  • Trapping raccoons can be a viable option, especially if you are comfortable with trapping and the animal is in a structure. Raccoon bait could be nearly anything mentioned earlier. Live raccoon traps, or any properly sized trap, can work well to capture the animal for release. However, it can be dangerous to trap a nursing mother raccoon or a rabid raccoon; she will get very aggressive and defensive and the young will be in jeopardy. Wild life control agents can assist you in raccoon removal if this is the case. 
  • If you choose to trap, always check the laws in your area. Often times, trapping and relocating raccoons is illegal without permits or licenses. 
  • There are no registered poisons for raccoons.

 





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