Dear PoP – “these dudes woke me up this morning”

“Dear PoP,

any advice? these little guys were around last summer – they’re back and they’re bigger. if the windows are open they come right up to the screen and watch us. it’s kind of disconcerting.

is this something that animal control can handle or do i have to rig up my own traps and relocate the buggers?”

I know we recently spoke of racoons but I think this is a special case. If they’re actually coming up to your window and climbing all over the house – perhaps they’ll find a nesting spot in your house. Also, while I’ll go on the record again – I freaking hate racoons (and possoms) but that picture up top is pretty damn cute. Crap, I can’t believe I just said that…

This reader has to call a trapper right? I’ve previously recommended adcock trapping and some others are mentioned here.

29 Comment

  • Probably need a trapper, I think animal control only comes if they’re dead or you think they’re sick (rabies). You do want to get rid of them somehow as eventually they’ll find a spot to build a den in some aspect of a porch roof, outside steps, or something like that. A few cheap and easy tricks to try before paying a trapper:

    1) Drip ammonia around, which they’ll think is pee from a massive predator.
    2) Sprinkle some cayenne pepper around as well, which will just annoy the hell out of them. Note this also works on thugs.
    3) Get a dog or borrow a dog, these guys are looking for a food rich den area right now so just upset them for a bit and you’ll get a breather.
    4) Of course secure all garbage and food outside, even garden stuff, raccoons are simply amazing thieves. Not easy with out local population of chicken bone tossing fools but do the best you can.

    And enjoy how cute they are! They really are cool and social animals if you can get past the scavenging and rabies and such.

  • Give ’em names, get SS#s and claim them as dependents on your taxes.

  • Bowl of antifreeze. It will kill them dead.

  • Why do you want to trap or remove them? Because they’re “disconcerting”? They really won’t bother you, and unless you have holes in your walls or roof, they’re not coming in. Just leave them alone, and enjoy watching them play around at night. They thrive in cities, and you’re never going to eliminate them.

    I’d be a little concerned about trying to use a dog to chase them away. A raccoon (particularly a parent) will defend itself.

    Also, PoP: your statement that you “freaking hate racoons (and possoms [sic])” is kind of sad. There are lots of things to reasonably fear or hate in the world, but raccoons and possums aren’t among them.

    • And they can do a lot of damage to houses and property. And to dogs and people. So they should be captured and rehomed.

      • So can the guys who hang out on my back steps drinking, pissing, etc. But (like the raccoons) this is their home, so rehoming them seems a bit drastic.

        • Worst reasoning ever. On the racoons and the drifters.

        • Calling all drunks and raccoons – please piss on petworthlad.

          • I think you misread my post, or perhaps you didn’t understand the part of the post above it to which I was replying. Let me try again:

            ogden said: And they can do a lot of damage to houses and property.

            I said: So can the guys who hang out on my back steps drinking, pissing, etc.

            But like the raccoons, I just let it go, and don’t worry about it…Everyone here seems to get worried about an awful lot of stuff.

  • Raccoons account for 41 percent of wildlife cases diagnosed with rabies.

    • Actually, CDC reports raccoons accounting for “34.9% of all animal cases during 2008, followed by bats (26.4%), skunks (23.2%), foxes (6.6%)”.

      Not to diminish the severity of a rabies infection (seek a doctor immediately when bitten by a wild or unfamiliar animal), but human deaths from in the U.S. number about 2 or 3 per year.

      In short, as long as you or your pets are not getting bit by these raccoons, rabies really isn’t an issue here.

  • raccoons i like, from afar of course. opossums are too freaky looking.

  • I don’t know if this is an old wives tale, Western PA style, but where I grew up if a raccoon was out during the day, it was assumed to have rabies and shot. Now, I’m not advocating you take up target practice on this cute little guy, but raccoons are serious rabies threats, and aren’t as innocent as this guy looks. And for God’s sake, keep your pets away from them! (better safe than sorry, right?)

    Can anyone confirm the daytime = rabies theory I grew up with?

    • They’re nocturnal but they can certainly be seen in daytime for various reason (ie they get spooked, are hungry, seeking new shelter, etc). Rabies, if its fully blown rabies, is relatively easy to spot as they’ll act “weird” and growl, roll on the ground, not really respond to threats, etc. But keep in mind rabies is really quite rare in this part of the world.

    • Just being out during the daytime is not a symptom of rabies. This time of year, with young to feed, adults will occasionally venture out during the day.

    • The classic symptoms of rabies (foaming at the mouth, hydrophobia, and “acting weird”) are usually late-stage. DO NOT use them as a guide for whether you should seek medical attention after a bite.

  • really, you want to kill that adorable fucker? way too cute for the anti-freeze, kill’em dead option. I suggest handling it like the A-team handled BA Barachus for so many years. Knock him out and put him on a plane to somewhere else.

  • Not that I have any actual experience in this, it is against the law after all. But, hypothetically one could order a raccoon trap from Cabela’s and then hypothetically put some dog food in it. Then one could hypothetically make sure to lock it closed with wire-ties after you catch it, because one might expect that the thing would be mean and pissed off and bark and snarl and hiss, and you just like to sure about those sort of things. Again, just making stuff up here, one could drive it somewhere like, I don’t know, near the capital crescent trail and release it far from your home. I am pretty sure that will work….or did.

  • No one ever read Where the Red Fern Grows?? Get yourself a coffee can, a few nails, and something shiny, and that little bugger is as good as caught.

    • That method is actually now illegal as the raccoon ends up mutilating its paw. Of course, leg traps traps are still legal, and the raccoon often ends up chewing its paw off. Go figure…

  • Thanks for this post PoP.
    The racoon is a cutey.
    And when I clicked on the link to the prior story, I caught that discussion where people ragged on the guy with the “slim fitting” pants. That was Hi-Larious!

    my captcha = walking gorilla

  • Now I want a pet raccoon. That thing is adorable.

  • Just find the “man pick up raccoon” guy.

  • Get yourself a shotgun and shoot them. The will teach their friends not to come to your window as well.

  • You all are savage. So there’s a raccoon running around – big deal. We used to have then holed up in the chimney. We lit a little newspaper and whated them scoot out of there. The dog loved it, and for 7 years would go look up the chimney hopping they were still there. Finally on that 7th year they came back and Teri (the terrier) went apeshit! He knew they would come back some day. He just had to wait 50 dog years for someone to turn the fun back on!

Comments are closed.