Dealing with Unwanted Raccoons
Some of you may already know that raccoons can easily adapt to environmental changes. As a result, these creatures have become efficient at causing many problems such as serious structural damages. They invade chimneys, attics, porches, and other similar locations. Besides this, raccoons have inherited a bad habit of tipping over garbage cans, and damaging gardens all in pursuit of food.
Even your kitchen is not safe! Many houses, especially in the United States have a pet door which is like an invitation for raccoons. Similarly, locations like the storm sewers in cities and suburbs offer these intelligent creatures a perfect underground network to carry out their endeavors. And just when you thought it could not get any worse, they surprise you yet again. These fuzzy mammals will simply annoy you with little sounds that will eventually drive you crazy.
But how do you solve this little conundrum without resorting to extreme measures?
Confirm the culprit is a raccoon
One of the first thing you should do is find out if a raccoon is the one causing the problem. It is easy to understand why a raccoon would be on the top of your list; however, dogs, cats, or other “friendly” animals can cause similar damages.
Observe footprints and sounds
If you are unable to observe these animals directly, the next best thing is trying to identify their tracks. A good method of doing this is using flour, cornstarch, or other nontoxic powders on surfaces to enhance any footprints.
The sounds that raccoons make when they are moving can help you detect them more easily. Are you hearing any animal sounds coming from your chimney or attic at night? If so it is most likely a raccoon using it as a place to give birth and raise their young.
Usually, you will hear these noises when it starts getting darker and the mother comes back to the den. This, however, stops when the sun makes its appearance in the morning. In a like manner, if you hear purring noises that is also an indication that young cubs are present.
You can simply wait the problem out
Many of the problems made by raccoons, for example, building occupation, tend to resolve themselves within a few weeks or even days in some cases. Then again, this time can be a bit longer when cubs are present since they will not leave your attic until they are nine weeks of age. Until then, they are unable to take care of themselves and will not venture into an unknown environment while helpless.
Use some eviction tactics
When it comes down to readily accessible chimneys and attics, raccoons will use it for denning, birth, and raising cubs. If you prefer to hasten their departure, some harassment techniques might be the best way of achieving this. You can leave the attic lights on, use loud noises, or use special raccoon traps.
Avoid using fire or smoke to chase them out of your chimney. This is inhumane and by doing so you can harm the babies who are not able to evade on their own. The first thing you should do once you have gotten rid of all the raccoons is installing an approved chimney cap to prevent reentry.
Secure any food source
When it comes down to yards and gardens, to discourage vandalizing you should place garbage cans at the curb on the day of pick-up. In addition, you can secure the lids using weights or bungee cords. You will also want to keep in mind that raccoons are often attracted by garden fruits, vegetables, and birdseed. Garden vandalizing will frequently occur when these foods are ready to be harvested, therefore you should be more attentive during these periods.
Generally speaking, raccoons can cause a lot of problems so it is better to take safety precautions to avoid any.