Homestead Predators – Raccoons are Clever
Whether you live in the country or in the suburbs, raccoons may be a problem as they are clever homestead predators who can get in your garbage cans or inside your home. Sometimes, you might live in the city and have a raccoon problem if there is a park near or even a sewer or storm drain, as they sometimes go in the drains to travel from one place to the next or hide during the day. Although they look cute, they might bite or jump at you if provoked. These nocturnal animals are best to be left alone if you encounter one. Raccoons also may carry rabies, and behave unlike themselves if they are sick. They might come out during the day or attack without being provoked. If a raccoon gets inside your home, it is best to call the animal control unit to handle its removal. They are usually looking for food and food is there main objective when they go inside a home.
Raccoons are very agile. They can squeeze through tight spaces and they handle things with their front paws shaped like hands, rather than paws. They can manipulate things and that is why it is easier for them to get inside spaces, as they might be able to pull lids off, or open ajar doors. They can also unlock things or open latches that do not require a lot of strength to handle. The best thing to do is to lock things with a key or heavy hardware that they cannot manipulate.
They are good climbers, so keep your windows near trees secured or with the screen down. Replace any screens that have holes that they can easily tear up. Place heavy objects on top of garbage cans so they cannot open the lids. Raccoons can weigh as much as thirty pounds so they can easily make prey of small animals such as ducks, chickens, and any other birds you might have in your farm or as pets.
Wire fencing sometimes does not work as well since they can climb it. Some people select and electric fence with low voltage to deter these critters, however this might work on a farm, and not in more urban areas.
When dealing with raccoons your options will be to kill the animal, trap it and relocate it into a park or remote location, calling the animal control department to remove it from inside your home, hire a private pest control company to catch them and release them into the wild, and take preventive measures so they do not get inside your home or garbage. Preventive measures may include hard to open locks, keeping windows properly locked, eliminating a pet door, keeping heavy items on top of your garbage cans, not leaving food readily accessible to attract them, and using lights and noise to deter them, as they do not like flashing lights or loud noises.
Since raccoons are intelligent and they can retain previous knowledge when they learn something new such as how to open a door or lock, they can prove to be a bit of a challenge when trying to discourage them and outsmart them. If you are an animal lover and environmentalist, killing will be out of the question and your best bet will be to use preventive and discouraging methods or a pest control company that can relocate them to the wild. You can attempt to do it yourself, but raccoons will try to scratch and bite their way out, and you must use much care and protection, as well as know what you are doing not to get hurt, or injure the animal. Sometimes, it is best to leave it to the experts.