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Raccoons in our Midst

Raccoons on the hunt

Raccoons are an amazing animal. Though wild, I am sure that had Native Americans wanted to domesticate it, they could have. Only Raccoons would serve no purpose. Wolves were domesticated to herd livestock. Their protective nature was a great advantage. Even cats that serve no functional purpose are useful for their companionship and affectionate nature. But Raccoons? I mean, they are cute with that little mask but other than stealing food, what do they do? They are survivors and super adapters. They prosper anywhere and are around in abundance. Think you don't have raccoons around? You would be surprised.

Alas, raccoons are in my yard. Apparently my Eastern screech Owl has been the first victim of this masked marauder. On the grass, out by the Screech Owls nest box, I found an egg. Not a chicken egg either! My Screech Owl lifted it's head up from its nest box to see what I was doing as I looked at the broken jewel of an egg. The little Owl dipped its head back down, away from view. To me, the act of eating eggs is the most disgusting thing I can think of. DO I eat eggs? Sure. But remember that eggs in the store are not fertile. This little egg was alive at one time with a small miracle growing inside it. Then along comes this thief and commits infanticide! Or with a bird is is nestlingacide? hmmmm. Whatever the name, it disgusts me. Now my thoughts travel to my Purple Martins and how safe are my birds with those coons around?
 
screech owl egg broken by raccoons

Raccoons can easily climb any purple martin pole. Being expert climbers, many purple martin landlords have wondered why their Purple martins left suddenly, or why babies and eggs disappeared. Many times it is the coons!

All of my housing has predator guards, but now that I now the Raccoons are so close, I do not trust them. Thoughts of midnight raids and unspeakable Purple Martin tragedy sneak into my thoughts. Other than the predator guards; what can I do? Well, this is what I have found out.

1. Let my dog out often. (unfortunately, he is not much of a protector)

2.Keep ammonia soaked rags or moth balls around the perimeter of wherever I don't want raccoons.

3.Think about installing motion activated lights.

4.Don't leave the garbage cans/petfood outside.

5.Trap and call the Animal Control folks.



The best raccoon bait options, according to Havahart® are:

◊ Fish, fresh or canned
◊ Honey or sugar covered vegetables
◊ Smoked fish
◊ Watermelon
◊ Sweet corn
◊ Cooked fatty meat
◊ Crisp bacon
◊ Marshmallows are a favorite!

Place the raccoon bait at the end of the raccoon trap.

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Raccoon Trap (collapsible)
Raccoon Trap (collapsible)
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