Tag Archives: raccoon control

Backyard Bluster

There’s nothing quite like making a fool out of yourself in front of your neighbors. Sure, they live right next to you, you probably see them quite often. So realistically, they’ve more than likely seen you humiliate yourself on more than one occasion. But I can assure you, there is nothing quite as embarrassing as finding out your neighbor saw you battling it out with your mortal enemy in your back yard. In your boxers. With a face mask.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. How on earth did I find myself in such a compromising situation? Well allow me to tell you. It was a Tuesday morning in mid-August. Normally on any other Tuesday, I would be at work. But I had taken the day off for a sort of “Self-Care” day. I had gone to bed early the night before, slept in a little, and made myself a hearty breakfast of strawberry crepes and bacon. After breakfast, I decided to treat my skin as well. So I found a DIY recipe online for an avocado face mask, meant to brighten and enhance the skin. I was relaxing on my day bed in my living room, when all the sudden I heard a crash outside!
I sprinted to the back door, armed with a metal broom. I peeked through the back door cautiously watching for the invader. THERE! I spotted him! A fat raccoon was digging around inside my trash cans looking for a treat. I threw open the door and ran outside baring my broom. I expected the raccoon to run off when he saw me! Much to my surprise, the animal attacked me! I began swinging the broom around, trying my best to keep the animal at bay. He was so fast I almost couldn’t see him. I thought I had lost the battle, when a well-aimed swing sent him flying across the back yard. He quickly scurried away after that. I smiled to myself smugly, proud of my survival skills. I turned to walk into my house and saw for the first time, the neighbors sitting on their deck. They had seen the whole ordeal. Not a single one was able to contain their laughter.

Raccoon Control

I knew I had a raccoon control problem, but it wasn’t until I actually witnessed my cat versus the raccoon that I finally decided to do something about it.

My house has felt pretty empty since my husband passed away three years ago.  My children all live out of state with their families, and although they all visit at least once a year, I miss them terribly.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not one of those old fogies that sits around in her house all day, dusting a dustless house and watching reruns of “Matlock” and “Murder, She Wrote”.  I’m on a bowling team, I volunteer at an elementary school teaching children how to read, I swim laps every day, and I run the neighborhood watch program.  As busy as I am, there are times when the house seems pretty empty.  So, I have become somewhat of a cliché, the old woman with a house full of cats.  Okay, it’s only two cats, but, still.

My cats are both indoor and outdoor cats.  I let them spend a few hours outside each day and then call them in at night.  Their food bowls are outside on my back deck, and I enjoy watching them play and hunt and climb.  A few weeks ago, I started noticing that their food bowls got empty faster than normal.  Instead of refilling their food dishes once every couple of days, I was replenishing their food supply twice a day.  At first, I thought we had feral cats in the neighborhood that were taking advantage of free food.  Then, I realized I had a raccoon control problem.

Raccoons carry all kinds of diseases that can infect my cats, so I was really worried.  Then, one day, in broad daylight, I saw a raccoon on my deck, about three feet from one of my cats and her food dish.  I was sure it was a rabid raccoon, and called a raccoon control service immediately.  But, after watching it interact with my cat, I realized it probably wasn’t rabid, it was just hungry.

My cat would jab and bat its head anytime the raccoon got near its food dish, but the raccoon just dodged the blows and scooped up tiny handfuls.  It would then retreat back down a couple of steps, eat the cat food, and go back for more, dodging even more cat jabs.  If it was rabid, it would have attacked my cat, but instead it avoided the swipes my cat took at its head and helped itself to the cat food.  No wonder I was buying more cat food than normal these days.  I was feeding at least one raccoon in addition to my two pets, and there were probably more raccoons that came under cover of darkness.

So, when the man arrived from the raccoon control company, I told him what was going on and let him trap the raccoon.  He even set out a couple of other traps, in case there were more in the area.  While I was fairly certain my cats weren’t going to get rabies, I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t get roundworm or any of the other nasty diseases raccoons carry.  Now, I could go off to bowling practice reassured that my cats would be much safer now that I’d handled the raccoon control problem.

County Raccoon Removal

I watch these silly videos online or on TV where naïve people are oohing and aaaahing over how adorable raccoons are, and all I can think of is, they need raccoon removal immediately!  We had to have Salt Lake raccoon removal services out at our cabin this spring, and those “adorable” animals cost us a lot of money in property damage and personal property destruction.  I was just glad we could get a service to do Salt Lake raccoon removal for us, instead of trying to trap raccoons or remove raccoons on our own.  Cleaning up the mess they left was bad enough.

We’d packed up for a long weekend out at our small cabin, made the two hour drive and arrived there in enough time to set up the grill and cook up some steaks for our dinner.  We pulled up, and my husband immediately started preparing the outdoor grill, while I unloaded coolers and duffel bags from the back.  It was our normal routine, and we were very much looking forward to a relaxing weekend.  I walked up to the front door, got it open, took one step inside and gasped.  It was trashed.  My husband came running in after me, and we just stood there, stupidly gazing around at the damage.  At first, I thought someone had broken in to our tiny, two-room cabin, but I couldn’t think of any reason why they would.  There were bigger cabins down the road a ways, and we had absolutely nothing of value in there.  But, as I looked closer, I realized I was looking at damage done by a wild animal.  Several wild animals, probably.

Our mattress was shredded.  The cans of food we’d stored in the kitchen area were scattered all over the floor, cabinets wide open.  There was a cat-sized gaping hole where I could look right through the wall out to the trees outside.  Furnishings were gnawed on and scratched up.  We spotted raccoon droppings all over the floor.

I let out my breath.  I hadn’t realized I’d been holding it ever since my initial reaction.  Words could not describe how angry and disappointed I felt, all at the same time.  “There goes the weekend,” my husband muttered angrily, mirroring my thoughts exactly.

As if that weren’t bad enough, a growl came from under the bed.  We high-tailed it out of there and got Salt Lake raccoon removal out to the property as fast as they could come.  They ended up removing a raccoon and three raccoon babies out from under the bed, and they even cleaned up the raccoon droppings and helped us temporarily seal up the gaping hole, with promises of full repair within the week.  We then set to work hauling out everything that was damaged or contaminated beyond repair, and making a list of items we needed to replace.  It was a long and disheartening weekend.

So, no, I don’t think raccoons are cute or adorable little rascals.  I think they’re mean, aggressive and very destructive.  You won’t catch me taking sweet little videos of raccoons and sharing them on the internet!

Raccoon Control

I thought we just needed to get the water leak fixed, but I had no idea that would mean getting raccoon control specialists out to our house first.

I can’t believe we didn’t notice the wild animal living in our attic.  I suppose it went in and out while we were sleeping, or when the television was on, or when our family was just loudly playing games together or talking or fighting.  For whatever reason, we didn’t notice we needed raccoon control until after I noticed the water leak damage.

This spring, when it really started raining, I would sometimes hear the sound of water dripping in the middle of the night.  It drove me crazy, because I’d get up to investigate, but found nothing.  I stumbled around, in the dark house, fumbling from bathroom to bathroom and checking all the faucets and listening to the toilet, but never did find the source of the dripping noise.  Come to think of it, I would sometimes hear a rustling in the middle of the night, but I assumed it was our cat playing somewhere else in the house.  It must have been the raccoon.  I hate to think of that animal living in our home and all the nasty little bugs it brought in with it.

When the obnoxious dripping noise ended up as a slightly sagging ceiling in the upstairs hallway, we finally thought to investigate the attic area.  We grabbed a small ladder, pushed up the small piece of painted drywall separating our upstairs ceiling from the attic space, and my husband climbed on up.  He waited at the top of the ladder, the upper half of his body in the ceiling, to let his eyes adjust to the dim lighting conditions.  I handed him a flashlight, and he brought it up, clicked it on, and turned slightly.  Then, he gasped and told me there was a huge hole through which he could see sky, and that there was a raccoon growling at him from the other end of the attic.

Apparently, the raccoon decided to build a den out of the spring rain by tearing under some shingles, and ripping a wider hole around a pipe.  That left our house completely exposed to the raccoon’s activities, any other wild animal that cared to come in, and the weather.  We thought we’d have to get a raccoon control service as well as a roofer to come out, but it turns out that Allstate Animal Control does both – removes raccoons and repairs the damage they caused.  We had them clean out and sanitize our attic while they were at it.  What a mess.  I hate to admit it, but I was grateful we had a water leak so we could find out we needed raccoon control.

Raccoon Control

Mama Raccoon says I don’t know anything about the world, but in my whole life of two weeks, I’ve learned a lot about raccoon control.

Mama loves to tell us the story of how she hunted high and low for the perfect place to have her perfect little babies.  My two sisters and I are, of course, perfect.  Before Mama had us, she walked through the forest.  She found a big log that was hollow and would protect her babies from the rain, and thought that maybe that would be the perfect place.  But, there was already a little family of skunks living in there, and she almost got sprayed by Mama Skunk, so she got out of there.  Then, she found an abandoned car with soft seats filled with wonderful fluffy stuff that she thought would be perfect to keep her little babies warm.  But, there was a nest of rats living in there already, and she didn’t want her babies to get bitten by nasty little rats, so she moved on.  Then, she found a little area under some stairs right next to a big bowl of cat food, and she thought it would be a good place to have her babies, because it would be so close to food.  But, some people tromped up and down those stairs all the time, and she was scared they would get raccoon control out there and take her away.

Finally, she crawled up and up onto a person house, and looked through a little crack in the roof above a porch.  It was indoors, so it would keep her babies safe from the rain.  It was filled with fluffy insulation, so it would keep her babies warm.  It was close to a woodpile just outside, under which lived delicious little mice.  And, no people went up there all the time, so she thought she would be safe from raccoon control.  It was perfect.

So, Mama made that little crack into a big, big hole so she could get up in the roof over the porch.  She is very strong, so she just pulled back the roof and tore into it until she could safely get inside.  Then, we came along, and Mama was very happy.  Sure, we stained the fluffy insulation, and sometimes we were noisier than we should have been, but mostly it was a perfect little life.

Until, one day, a man heard us moving around up in our perfect little home.  We heard some metal scraping on the concrete below, which turned out to be a ladder.  The man poked his hand up inside.  In his hand was a bright, bright light, and I wanted to get closer.  Mama picked me up in her hands and held me close to her, and she pushed my sister and brother back behind her.  Then, she went up to sniff and growl at the light.  It went away really quickly, and we thought we were safe.  But, a few hours later, raccoon control showed up and we were taken out of our perfect place one by one.  Mama says she’ll find us another perfect place for us where we won’t bother people anymore.

Raccoon Trapping

“Okay, Martha, you ready for an evening full of fun and raccoon trapping?”  Max was sixty-eight, newly retired, and bored out of his mind with all the free time he’d had on his hands.  He admitted to himself he was probably driving Martha crazy, with all the new projects he’d started and then left unfinished.  He just wasn’t ready for retirement, and Martha wasn’t ready for him to be retired, hanging around the house all day long, banging away at something and then leaving it for another project.

“Sure, Max.”  Martha sighed.

They were both curled up on the couch, lights off and video camera running.  A couple of raccoons had been hanging around their house for a few nights, and they’d even noticed their cats’ food was disappearing each night.  Max was sure the raccoons were coming into the house through the cat door, and decided to try his hand at raccoon trapping himself.

Martha had suggested just getting a lock for the cat door, but Max didn’t want the hassle.  He knew if they got a locking cat door, they’d just end up having to get up throughout the night to let a cat in or out, and he was enjoying his long nights of sleep, after years of waking too early to an alarm clock.

Martha propped her feet up on the coffee table.  Max’s excitement hadn’t quite infected her yet.  As far as she was concerned, raccoon trapping was just another of Max’s projects.

But, before too long, the cat door swung open a little, and a human-like hand, a raccoon paw, came reaching through the opening.  “Shh, shhh, it’s happening!” Max exclaimed, even though Martha hadn’t made a sound.

Max had set up a raccoon trap with the cat food inside of it.  Martha wasn’t so sure that was the best way to go about it, but she’d learned years ago that it was easier just to let Max pursue his own things, and let him come to his own conclusions.

The raccoon paw came through the cat door again, groping around.  Max wondered if it was looking for any sign of a cat, but had no idea why the raccoon didn’t just come through the door all the way yet.  He refocused the video camera and waited to see what would happen next.

What happened next is not what either Max or Martha expected.  That raccoon felt around until its paw landed on the small rug in front of the door.  It grabbed up the rug, tugged it back out of the opening in the cat door, and ran off into the night with its prize.

Both Max and Martha were stunned.  Why would the raccoon want the rug, they wondered.  Martha’s eyes drifted over to the cat food, and she sighed.  Was this effort at raccoon trapping just another failed project, soon to be abandoned, or would Max want to try it again tomorrow night.  She wasn’t sure which she wanted more, but she looked at Max reviewing the video on the camera and realized it didn’t matter.  He was happy.

Removing Raccoons

Raccoons in attic
Raccoons in your attic.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

Who would think of removing raccoonsfirst thing in the morning??

The comforting smell of fresh brewed coffee makes it way through the house in the early hours of the morning.  Alarms are softly buzzing in different bedrooms.  Everyone is sluggishly moving about their morning routines, getting ready for the hustle and bustle of a normal day.  Someone turns on the TV while Mom is scrambling eggs.  Talk centers around homework, after school activities and what the general schedule is for the day.

Suddenly, someone says, “Shhhh, shhhhh!  Listen!”  Everyone stops talking and looks awkwardly at each other while trying to figure out what they’re listening for.  “What . . . “ Dad says, but he’s quickly shushed.  There, softly, everyone hears it.  A quiet scrabbling coming from right above their heads.  Then, a small squeak.             Someone volunteers to run outside and see if there’s anything on the roof, but nothing is spotted.  The scrabbling reoccurs.  Dad sighs.  “Must be something in the crawl space.”

Suddenly the day isn’t normal anymore.

Dad gets out the ladder, grabs a flashlight and climbs up into the small hole in the ceiling.  He shines the flashlight around every corner, and almost misses it, but there!  A shiny flash of eyes staring back at him from above the kitchen.  One set of eyes?  No, more.

Dad comes back down the ladder where everyone else is watching expectantly.  “We’re going to have to get help.  I think there’s raccoons up there.”

Everyone bursts into exclamations.  “How did they get up there?”  “Why our house?”  “Come on, Dad, you can get ‘em!”  But, Mom walks over to the computer, gets the number for removing raccoons, and calls.

When the raccoon removalserviceman arrives, he verifies there’s a mother raccoon and her pups up in the attic.  They’re nesting on the opposite end of the house, far away from the crawlspace access, so he suggests the best way to remove the raccoons is to cut a small hole in the ceiling close to their nest.  He’s going to reach in and remove them one by one.

Mom’s worried about the mess.  Dad’s worried about having to patch up the hole afterward.  But, they decide messes can be cleaned up, holes can be patched, but those raccoons must be removed.  The small hole is cut.

The brave serviceman climbs up a ladder, wearing heavy gloves and armed with nothing more than a mirror.  The mirror lets him see where the raccoons are.  He looks, retracts the mirror, and sticks his arm up into the hole.  A short time later, one pup is removed.

“AWWWWW!” says everyone, including Dad.

One by one, the adorable raccoon pups are removed and placed carefully into a bag.  Soon, the bag is wriggling and squeaking.  Although these are pests that have invaded their home, the family can’t get over how cute they are.  Still, they’re happy to have them out of the house.

Removing mamma raccoonisn’t as easy.  It requires a specially devised noose, but she’s removed, spitting and growling and unhurt.  She’s carefully loaded into the truck, along with her pups.

All of a sudden, the house is quiet again and the family goes back to their routine activities.  They still love talking about their little raccoon family!