Raccoon moved in over the weekend. (kinda long)

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Philip_T, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    And a pretty big one at that. I noticed him Friday morning when I let the dog out in the back yard. When our little guy started freaking out, I went to investigate and saw unusual paw prints in the frost.
    Our deck is about 14x30 and was built over the original concrete patio (4x6) with lattice around the bottom to keep critters out. I never noticed, but the dirt underneath the stoop had settled somewhat leaving a little cavern. Peering in from the edge of the deck with a flashlight exposed the gap, but not what was in it.
    Well, at this point, Im still not sure if there is anything under there or not, let alone, what kind of critter it could be. Im not about to crawl under the deck on my stomach to scare a coon out of his den, or take the chance that its a skunk and get sprayed, so I grab the hose and proceed to initiate 'operation soak and awe'. I get down on hands and knees at the edge of the deck, steady the flashlight, aim the hose, and let loose the flood. Nothing,,,,,nothing,,,,then,,,like the ending seen from 'The Ring', something starts crawling out. First, the paws, then the face, then the rest, slowly crawling out. I know its only a raccoon, but it actually scared me a little bit at 1st :b .
    I think he was pretty pissed at me for soaking him, but he didn't make any lunges in my direction. Instead, he exits out the side of the deck where the lattice and deck don't quite join, climbed the fence, gave me one last glare, and exited towards the front yard. I followed through the gate, but he had already disappeared.

    So, I need to come up with a deterrent for return visits and possible permanent occupancy status. So far, I was able to toss a few moth balls down in the cavern and soaked a rag in ammonia and stuffed it down there. I am planning on rebuilding my deck, but not until the spring. Now I'm leaning towards a concrete patio instead. Anyone have any other humane ways of discouraging his return? I don't want to keep spaying water down in the whole next to my foundation and the space it a little to tight to crawl down there to fill the hole until I tear out the deck. I don't think that the DOW will come out with traps either.

    Thanks,
    Phil
     
  2. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Be careful for rabies. Raccoons are prime carriers.

    Also, they like to crawl into the attic and wallspace where they may start chewing on wiring. My parents had a lake house in the country, and arrived one day to find no electricity, an overwhelmingly noxious odor... and a dead, fried raccoon in the attic.

    Now that it's winter, expect them to return. I don't know any good deterrents, but those little guys can get into anything it seems. Little hands with opposable thumbs and crafty little brains... I don't envy you!
     
  3. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    Our neighborhood surrounds a small lake that has a pretty bad problem with raccoons. The raccoons rip open the soffit vents and take up residence in the attic.

    The problem is bad enough for many of us to buy live traps. My neighbor on one side has caught 6 raccoons and the police detective two doors down has caught over 20 raccoons, a few possums and one skunk.

    They bait the raccoons into the live trap & then drive them about 25 miles away into the boondocks to release them.
     
  4. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    If any of you buy a live trap, I recommend the ones that have solid metal sides & back end rather than the wire mesh traps.

    The reason for this will be made clear if you ever catch a skunk or if the critter inside the trap tries to claw your fingers through the wire mesh.
     
  5. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    Rich,
    Indeed, rabbies is a big concern. My other concerns are him trying to get into our crawlspace or fireplace, animal waste accumulating under our deck, and the safety of our dog (just a little Boston Terrier, and the coon is probably more afraid of him than he is of the coon, but still don't need any problems in that area).

    Jay, regarding live traps, how big are they? Can they fit in small space, like under a deck? Do they pose a problem for pets?

    I just found out for sure that the D.O.W. will not help and that its up to me to deal with them by hiring a private animal trapper. Anybody ever hire one of these companies? If so, how much do they usually charge?
     
  6. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    Philip,

    If you Google "Live Trap" you'll find that they make live traps of various sizes from small rodent traps to large bobcat or even bear traps.

    One of the links I found gave instructions for using the traps and discouraged using solid metal traps because they may cause the animal to overheat or freeze and possibly become a death trap. However, frequent checking of the trap & quickly delivering the animal to the wilderness should minimize this problem. I caught a skunk in one of the wire traps once and I will never use that type again. I paid an animal control company to take the skunk away.

    Here's one of the links to various sized traps of various type of design:
    Live Traps
     
  7. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

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    Racoons are evil. When I was eight years old I was bitten by a non-rabid racoon that found its way into my bedroom during the night.
     
  8. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    Philip,

    I forgot to mention that live traps normally don't harm pets however a pet such as a cat may do damage to himself trying to escape.

    Many feed stores have live traps of different sizes in stock to sell.
     
  9. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    Well, so far, so good. No signs of a raccoon return yet. The amonia and moth balls seam to be doing the trick. Gonna try and through some flour down under the deck to check for tracks soon. If he returns, I'll be looking into those traps.
     
  10. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I'll send my suggestion privately [​IMG]
     
  11. Armando Zamora

    Armando Zamora Second Unit

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    Philip,

    Your ordeal sounds like the raccoon version of Elmer Fudd chasing that wascally wabbit. I recently had a raccoon set up house underneath my shed that I was building. I saw it snooping around our yard one day and never really paid much attention since there was new construction housing going on nearby and I thought that it may have been displaced from its current home and was just scoping out a new one. Anyhoo, I saw it around our house more often and decided to watch where it was going. Lo and behold, he scurried underneath my under-construction shed. Long story short, I basically scared him away which included a footchase. It hasn't returned since...knock on wood

    Good luck.
     

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