Raccoons are scavengers that will find food anywhere they can. If you leave loose lids on your garbage cans at night, or go camping near the woods and leave your cooler out in a place where animals have access, you might quickly find that your meals are gone. Don’t despair, however; there are ways to humanely rid yourself of the problems caused by hungry raccoons. In all cases, be cautious. Raccoons have been known to occasionally carry rabies. If you’ve had a lot of experience dealing with animals, this is in your favor.

However, most people don’t know too much when it comes to dealing with raccoons or other animals you may encounter out in the wild. Raccoons can also gain entry to your house through your attic, your chimney, and your basement. The oldest way to get rid of raccoons is simply by trapping them. This would entail building or purchasing a solid metal cage, twelve inches by twelve inches by thirty-two inches at a bare minimum. The problem with this method is that sometimes you may attract a stray cat or other small animal. If you do catch the problem causing raccoon, it must be driven far out into the wild and released away from your home. This is usually done by trained professionals. In many states, it is against the law to relocate wildlife if you are unlicensed. After all this, it can still come back. Another problem is if you have a litter of raccoons infesting your place, and you remove the mother, the babies will die. They cannot survive on their own. Preventing raccoons from gaining access to your food or garbage in the first place is the best of all possible choices when it comes to getting rid of raccoons. Purchase some sturdy, heavy duty plastic garbage cans with closable lids that snap down on either side with handles. Attach a bungee cord to both sides. Raccoons are resourceful, and they will try to get to what they want any way they can.

Aside from removal, there are repellents on the market that are intended to drive away raccoons with the scent of certain chemicals, such as predator urine from foxes and coyotes. These have limited effectiveness, and trapping and removal seems always to be the best course of action. Get a list of wildlife trapping and removal services in your area. You may find them in the yellow pages or online. Orkin Wildlife Removal is a nationwide removal service that will humanely take care of the problem, and they can be found at www.orkin.com. Another good one is www.usanimalcontrol.com.

Other preventative measures include installing a closer over your chimney, cutting limbs and branches from trees overhanging your roof to prevent access by raccoons, keeping pet food in stored containers inside your house, limiting the number of bird feeders in your yard, and getting rid of potential nesting areas for raccoons such as empty boxes, old appliances that are no longer used, even refrigerators, and keeping your grass cut short so there is no place for them to hide. Raccoons are omnivorous, meaning they will eat plants and animals, so keep a tight lid on fruit and vegetable containers as well as meat that you have in storage.

Common sense will keep your home, vehicle, or camp site safe from foraging raccoons. They are not mean creatures, but like most animals, they will follow their survival instincts, which include finding food for themselves and their young. The most that you can do is to follow these preventative measures, and if raccoons become a problem, you can call one of the professional organizations mentioned above, or any licensed wildlife removal company in your area. Because of their cleverness and will to survive, raccoons often inadvertently make themselves pests, but dealing with them humanely is always a priority. To get the best customer service, call your local wildlife removal experts as soon as you see that the raccoons are going to be a continual problem. You should rarely try to remove them yourself. It can cause suffering to the animal, and you run the risk of getting bit. Just follow the steps above and you should not have a problem.


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