Friday, May 30, 2008

Raccoons

No wonder we were going through lots of Cat food! Using our new Game camera this is what goes on when we are NOT AWARE!
What the game camera did not get pictures of, which really was a good thing, was the carnage that we found in the Duck pen.
That raccoon was caught…
We will be using several Have A Heart Traps tonight. I would rather the raccoons eat cat food and leave our ducklings alone…but then the Mom Raccoons are needing to feed their off spring…SIGH The cycle of Life!
The Raccoon (Procyon lotor), also known as the Northern Raccoon, Common Raccoon, Washing Bear or Coon, is a widespread, medium-sized, omnivorous mammal native to North America.
Raccoons are often considered pests because they forage in trash receptacles or eat dog food left on back porches; they are able to open garbage cans with their hands. Raccoons are one of the largest animals to have adapted well to human development. Suburban areas, and many large cities, have significant raccoon populations. Raccoons are skilled foragers who can thrive on garbage and pet food. They have been known to take up residence in attics and garages, and even to enter houses through "pet doors" in search of food. When confronted by humans or household animals, raccoons may be aggressive; urban raccoons tend to lose their fear of humans over time.
Active mostly at night time, raccoons are often present but may go undetected for some time. Control Methods include:
Pet food left outdoors should be removed before nightfall. Pick up fallen fruits and nuts frequently. Never intentionally provide food for raccoons, and discourage your neighbors from this practice as well; it only attracts more raccoons.
If possible, remove woodpiles or other materials raccoons can den in or under. Thinning out overgrown shrubbery will reduce cover. To reduce access to the roof, tree branches that overhang rooftops should be cut back if possible, leaving a gap of at least 5 feet between the roof and the tree. Trellises and arbors attached to homes may facilitate access to the roof and consideration should be given to their removal. While habitat modification is often helpful, it is rarely a total solution.
Raccoons are fairly easy to trap; however, occasionally a clever and cunning animal will be quite elusive. A live cage-type trap is usually the preferred trap for homeowners, although others are available that may be used by professionals to capture the more difficult animals. The single-door trap should be sturdily constructed and its dimensions should be at least 10 x 12 x 32 inches. Larger 15 x 15 x 36 inch traps are even better. Canned tuna or canned fish-flavored cat food make excellent baits but may also attract nontarget cats and dogs. To avoid catching cats, try using marshmallows, grapes, prunes, peanut butter, or sweet rolls. Small pieces of bait should be placed along a path leading up to the trap. The rear of the trap should be covered with 1/2-inch wire mesh to prevent the raccoon from reaching through the trap from the outside to steal the bait. Traps should be well anchored to the ground or weighted to prevent the animal from tipping the trap over to obtain the bait. Traps should be set at night and closed in the morning to avoid trapping nontargets. Remember, raccoons are intelligent and clever animals. They are also powerful and can be vicious when trapped or cornered.

4 comments:

Willard said...

That's good, your game camera caught them in the act!

I have thought about getting one of those but never got around to it.

Thanks for sharing.

That's also a good post on the puppies. I really enjoyed it!

Abraham Lincoln said...

You game camera worked perfectly. I had one mother raccoon whose plaintive look melted my heart and we just allowed her to stay under my shop where she had four babies. And then we left them stay until they were weaned and then we left and went to West Virginia one day and came back three days later and they were gone. We just stopped feeding them when we were gone and they moved on to find better food somewhere else. They had been seen in the tops of other trees in the neighborhood but none ever came back here. Of course, we no longer put food out at night or leave any bird food out at night as that is what got them started in the first place.

Here, where I live, they want people to trap them and then kill them. I could never do that so I just put the food away.

Glad you are doing the right thing and will find a nice wilderness area to release them into. It takes them several weeks to acclimate to the new surroundings so I have heard it is smart to put some food in the same area you release them so they don't get desperate and try to find people again to find food or something to eat.

Good luck.

Stacey Huston said...

Game camera's come in really handy.. glad you caught the culprits... sorry about your ducks.

dot said...

That one looks really big compared to the ones I've seen. I'm sure he is glad to have found the meals at your house!