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The raccoons have invaded! Here’s what you should do

You’re spending a summer night outdoors when suddenly, you hear something ruffling in the bushes. You take a walk and find rather large critters lurking around – raccoons! Now what?! Before you use our directory to find a pest control specialist, here’s what you need to know about raccoons and what you can do to safely and humanely send them on their way.

But first…

What’s so harmless about a raccoon, right? Look how cute these little guys are! Here’s a cute animal video that’ll make you (almost) think twice about calling animal control.

They might look cute, but they’re not always so friendly! Take a look at what happens to these gentlemen when they try to capture the mother raccoon:

And that’s why we have animal control specialists that are dedicated to clearing your backyard, attic or house of raccoons. Now, onto our ultimate guide to raccoons.

All about the raccoon

What do we really know about raccoons, other than the fact that we want to quickly get rid of them as soon as we see them in our yards – or worse, hear them in the attic! They have quite inquisitive personalities. They’re curious and intelligent, but not very polite when it comes to homeowners. That’s because they have the ability to destroy anything that gets in the way of them finding food. They’ll go as far as damaging your perfectly manicured garden, to tipping over garbage cans while looking for food. Not only that, but they’ll look far and wide for food. As soon as one’s on the loose in the neighbourhood, it might not be long before your home gets invaded!

Here are some other interesting facts about raccoons:

  • They’re most often found in suburban and urban areas;
  • They make their home in attics and sewers;
  • They will eat anything they can find, so watch your garden!
  • They are mostly active in the evening, so you’ll have to watch out for signs of a raccoon invasion (more on that below);
  • Their busy season is coming up – they’re active in the summer and fall seasons;
  • They have incredible dexterity, which enables them to open doors and jars. Yikes!

These traits might make it difficult to evict the creatures that have found a home in your home. While there are many solutions to get rid of them (which we talk about at length below), if you’d rather skip over that part and leave the work to a professional, we can help! Take a look at our directory of pest and animal control specialists. They have the experience and expertise to tackle any raccoon invasion!

raccoons_pest_control

Wow, these creatures can get into anything!

What if you can’t see it? How to identify a raccoon problem

Since raccoons typically come out at night, you might not even see the raccoons themselves – that is, until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important to look out for these signs.

  • Garage bins are tipped over;
  • Food in the garden has been eaten;
  • Shingles are torn;
  • The lawn is dug up;
  • Destroyed bird feeder;
  • Tracks in the mud/ground.
Here's an example of what you could see in your yard.

Here’s an example of what you could see in your yard.

Raccoons pose health risks for homeowners

If raccoons have invaded your outdoor space – which you can clearly see based on the fact that your garbage is torn apart and the bird feeder has been demolished – but aren’t bothering you per se, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the problem. Raccoons can transmit bacterial diseases and parasites through a bite, including the following:

  • Salmonella;
  • Roundworm;
  • Rabies.

In January of this year, three men in Charlotte County, Saint John, came across a raccoon. As one of the gentlemen tried to pick it up, the raccoon (who had tested positive for rabies) bit him and transmitted the disease. He was treated after the incident, but since raccoons can put your health at risk, it’s extremely important that the problem is dealt with once identified.

Spotted a raccoon near your property, or think there’s one lurking? Call an  animal control specialist to do an inspection!

How to get rid of themraccoon trap

If a raccoon has invaded your outdoor living space, ruining your vegetable garden and leaving a mess of garbage at the curb, they’ve overstayed their welcome. Thankfully, the right combination of repellents, traps and home maintenance can ward them off.

Remove what they’re attracted to

A raccoon’s main objective is to find food. Make your outdoor spaces less appealing by making sure there is no food or water left outside for them to find. In terms of garbage, make sure there isn’t any left unattended outdoors. Ensure your garbage bins are secured tightly to prevent a raccoon from getting inside of it.

Find out where they’re lurking

In order to trap a raccoon, you’ll have to find out exactly where they’re inhabiting. By doing a thorough check of your outdoor spaces and looking out for signs of a raccoon invasion (listed above), you’ll know exactly where to trap them.

Use a trap

One of the most popular methods of raccoon removal is to trap them. There are a few different traps on the market, including the following:

  • 1-door. This trap makes it easy for larger raccoons to enter and trap.
  • 2-door. Double doors increases the chances of catching a raccoon. This trap offers visibility, offering a sense of calm since the animal can see its surroundings while trapped.
Left: 1-door trap. Right: 2-door trap. Source: Havahart.com

Left: 1-door trap. Right: 2-door trap.
Source: Havahart.com

Use a repellent

A repellent can help keep raccoons away from the areas they’re frequenting on your property. There are two different kind of repellents on the market:

  • Granular. They are literally granules that with proper placement, create a barrier around the areas that raccoons go to.
  • Liquid. This get sprayed onto objects, like that trash can and bird feeder the raccoon has become fond of.
Source: Havahart.com.

Source: Havahart.com.

How to use a trap

Here’s your step-by-step guide to using a 1-door or 2-door raccoon trap:
  1. Once you’ve purchased a trap, place it in an area you’ve identified as a spot where the raccoon frequents.
  2. Put bait in the trap. Something sweet like a marshmallow or piece of fruit will attract them.
  3. Set the trap. Make sure the door (or doors) are open and ready to capture.
  4. Be on the lookout. It could take minutes or days before a raccoon gets trapped, so you’ll want to keep a watchful eye!
  5. When a raccoon is caught, speak to it in a calming voice.
  6. Drape a cloth over the trap to protect yourself and keep the animal from getting scared.
  7. If you’re taking the raccoon off your property, transport it several kilometers away from your property.

raccoon_traps

There you have it!

Future Prevention

Want to know how to prevent raccoon invasions? Take a look at this video for expert advice!

Is the thought of trapping an animal making you squeamish? That’s what the pest and animal control experts are for! It’s their job to do the dirty work so you don’t have to.

More in Pest Control

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