Raccoons are easily frightened from our gardens, but can become very aggressive when a femal is protecting her litter. They have been known to inflict wounds on even large dogs that were fatal.
Raccoons are typically 18-28 inches in size and weigh about 5-35 lbs, gestation period is 63 days. They usually have 3-5 in a litter and will wean their litter in about 2-4 months. Diet consist of meats, fish, pet food, seed, insects, fruits, and vegetables.
Raccoons like skunks can be very destructive to lawns and gardens due to their constant grubbing in search of their food source. A raccoon can tear up a large area of sod overnight as a result of grubbing.
Raccoons often gain access to attics, basements, and crawl spaces by forcing something loose. They are very intelligent animals and will surprise most homeowners as to what they are capable of doing. The female raccoon readily invades attic spaces to birth and wean her litters of pups.
Raccoons are infested with fleas and ticks and readily cause a secondary problem for the homeowner and their pets.
Controlling raccoons and skunks can be performed a few different way, habitat modification, mechanical control and trapping. Reducing food source as much as possible will help with raccoons, skunks, and opossums. Pet food dishes and containers should be brought in and or lids secured tightly. Bird feeders can also be an attractant for raccoons. Lids on your garbage can should be secured.
When feasible, troublesome raccoons should be discouraged from taking up residency with exclusion. They are typically easier to exclude by blocking all entry points into the dwelling.
Live animal traps 32”x12”x10” or similar are the perfect size for trapping your raccoon. Animal traps are probably the best method of control of raccoons. Single door animal traps are best. Baiting with canned cat food, or even sardines will work well. Place animal traps so that they are in a location to intercept the raccoon as it approaches it target.
Raccoons, skunks, and oppossums may be the most difficult to lure into a live trap if they have been trapped before. Single door traps are best, but if the trap you own has 2 doors, then set the trap so that only on door is accessible. You should use a piece of masonite or plywood to place under the trap so the trapped animal does not tear up the roof or lawn when trapped.
Traps should be set to intercept the raccoon, skunk or opossum as it approaches the garden, garbage or building.
Live animal traps will allow you to catch and release your raccoon into a more rural area that is not your house. Check with your local restrictions on release of the animal, and remember they are live animals and should be treated with care and caution.
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