View Full Version : Raccoon!

4th June 2009, 02:53 AM
We have a 1 foot deck right off our back door. When I let the dogs out at lunch time neither one of them wanted to leave the deck - they were madly sniffing all over it. I thought we might have a rabbit family underneath (we've had rabbit problems before). Fast forward to after work. I let the dogs out and then I hear Mindy barking from under the deck. We've lived here for 10 years and she has NEVER crawled under the deck and I'm still not sure how she managed. I thought she was stuck and was about to try and lure her back out from where I thought she entered and a raccoon comes tearing out with Mindy hot on it's tail. Max caught sight and gave chase as well. The two of them chased this thing all around the yard several times. Mindy didn't even give thought to coming when I called her - Max considered it then decided against it. Finally I was able to get Mindy to come and took her inside. Hubby then was able to distract Max with his leader now being held hostage inside the house. Without two dogs on it's tail the raccoon was able to escape. I was petrified that the coon would decide to stand it's ground and take a round out of both of them. I'm not convinced it didn't come back because when I took the dogs out this evening they re-enacted the chase scene.

I want to try and find and board up the place where the raccoon and Mindy went under the deck but I don't want to trap the coon inside. I sure as heck don't want either dog going back under and getting cornered though. I'm hoping the coon will find a more peaceful place to live........

4th June 2009, 05:05 AM
Raccoons are having their babies this time of year in California, and there could be a nest of 3 to 5 of them under that deck. Make sure before you seal up the entry that there aren't babies left behind. If it was a mother , she will be back. I would suggest that you keep your dogs on a lead and don't let them out where they could go back and corner the raccoon. These animals are nocturnal and tend to want to be left alone, but if backed down, they will attack and have been known to severely injure or kill pets.

Assuming it is a mother raccoon, she will move her babies out of there if there is alot of noise or racket around her hiding place, as she wants to keep them safe. You could play music around the deck, and try sprinkling flour on the ground at the base and watch for footprints to see if she has exited before you seal it up.

4th June 2009, 10:52 AM
SHame you didnt video it - sound hilarious!!!

4th June 2009, 11:50 AM
It WAS kind of funny I suppose. I was shocked that Mindy had so much zip at her age (11).

However both dogs are NOT my favourite dogs this morning. Between the two of them they were up pretty much all night barking to go out and raccoon hunt. Hubby thinks the raccoon was smart enough to leave and they are just remembering the fun they had. I'm not quite as hopeful. We did put a baby gate up this morning where I think Mindy might have got under the deck but it's removable so I can move it when the dogs aren't out. I'm not too worried about a confrontation if the raccoon is not under the deck - surely the coon would be smart enough to escape. I'm going to call animal control today and see if they have any live traps we could set out at night. I'm not sure if the raccoons are having babies here yet I sure hope not. I suspect there aren't any under the deck or Mndy might not have come out unscathed.

I can't keep them on a lead all the time as the yard is where they get most of their exercise. Max needs a rousing game of frisbee or fetch a couple of times a day at least. Also every time they see their leashes they think they are going for a walk. That backfired for me at 3 a.m. when I decided to give in and take them out.

4th June 2009, 12:26 PM
They can be very nasty,esp.mum with bubas,i think they could proberly kill a cav...

4th June 2009, 12:47 PM
This one was bigger than Mindy and Max - I have no doubt it could kill them if it set her mind to it. That's one reason why I want it gone ASAP. I didn't check my fish pond this morning but it wouldn't surprise me if it was no longer a fish pond.

4th June 2009, 01:31 PM
I'd definitely get animal control advice. You do not want to trap the adults or babies underneath and have them slowly die or rot. If the dogs were going crazy all night then you probably have them living under the deck and they probably have a den there. They would likely already have had babies by this point I think? Most would have spring/eerly summer babies. You'd need to get this properly checked. They probably do not use the den for long though and then move on.


What do I do if raccoons are living in my attic (or chimney)?
Avoid a direct confrontation - a raccoon is not normally an aggressive animal but if it feels threatened (or is a female with babies) it is quite capable of defending itself and inflicting severe damage on its opponent. Just chasing the animal out somehow and then sealing off the entry point will, almost always, not work because the raccoon will return and force its way back in again. At this point, it will cause more damage than it did before.. You need to convince the raccoon that this is not a place it wants to be. Before doing that however, make sure that it is not a female raccoon with her babies. Depending upon your area, March through June is usually baby time, unless you live in Florida like me, then it can be year round. If there are babies, just wait. Once they are big enough (eight to nine weeks old), mama coon WILL move them on her own.

Once you are positive there are no young present, you can begin eviction proceedings. My pages at Help! Raccoons in my Attic and Help! Raccoons in my Chimney offers humane eviction advice and tips on preventing raccoons from returning without exterminating them.

Link is here with further links for evicting!


4th June 2009, 01:34 PM
Seems this (from one of his links, http://www.geocities.com/rainforest/vines/4892/geoattic.html) applies to porches too (at end):

HELP! I have raccoons in my attic. How can I get rid of them?

Just chasing the animal out somehow and then sealing off the entry point
will, almost always, not work because the raccoon will return and force its way back in again. At this point, it will cause more damage than it did
before.. You need to convince the raccoon that this is not a place it wants to be. And if you can do that without calling in a pest removal service or trapper, not only will you save money, but you will save the raccoon's life.First, are there babies in the attic?
If you hear mouse-like squeals, chances are they're coming from baby raccoons. March through June is usually baby time, unless you live in Florida like me, then it can be year round. If you know that there are young in the attic, wait as long as possible before you attempt eviction. Not only will relocation of the nest be easier on the older cubs but mother coons generally move the babies on their own when they are about 8 weeks of age.
Raccoons dislike bright lights, loud noises and strong odors.
Place bright lights in the attic. Additionally, place motion activated devices or bring flashing lights if you have them.
Place a radio in the attic. Tune it to a loud rock or talk station, with the volume set as high as you can stand it. Leave it playing all day long, to disrupt the raccoon's sleep.
Place rags soaked with dog urine or Ropel (predator urine available at hunting supply stores) in the attic. Bags of naphtha flakes or moth balls may also be placed around the attic but NOT near the nesting area. Ammonia or ammonia-soaked cotton rags should NOT be used. If there are baby raccoons in the chimney, concentrated ammonia vapors or other caustic mixtures can damage the infant raccoons' mucous membranes. They can also cause an adult raccoon to become extremely agitated while attempting to flee from the vapors and it may provoke an attack. It is advisable that ammonia ONLY be used in open spaces, such as in a yard or around garbage pails, where a raccoon can easily flee from the vapors.
To heighten your success (particularly if you live in a very cold area), before evicting the raccoon, you might want to make provisions for an enticing den for the raccoon away from your house (this can be anything from a woodpile to a wooden box with a small opening, perhaps lined with blankets). You may want to make a trail of dry dog kibble leading to the den.
Keep pets inside, especially at night, while eviction proceedings are under way. Mama raccoon might not move her babies if your pets are outside. Make sure your pets are up to date on their shots.
Some say you can scare them out just by making your presence known: going into the attic a few times a day with a flashlight, shining the light on them, and talking to them. I suggest the indirect approach to avoid a confrontation. Do not attempt to capture it yourself. Because of the danger of rabies and other diseases and just plain agitated wildlife, avoid any confrontation with the raccoon itself. A mama raccoon might misinterprete your intentions as a threat and attack in defense of her babies. The threat of rabies, even in a perfectly healthly looking animal, will mandate its death for rabies testing if you are even possibly exposed.
If these methods fail, contact a wildlife rehabber in your area and ask for help in having the raccoon trapped (using hav-a-heart traps). You can find a list of animal rehabbers, grouped by state, at the WRID website, or perhaps in your phone book or through a local vet.
Unless it is one recommended by a rehabber, call animal control or pest removal services as a last resort. Very few relocate raccoons and while some may have a rehabber they bring wildlife to, most have no alternative except to euthanize the raccoon. Relocating raccoons is not really the answer anyway. It is far better and easier to use one of the above methods to encourage the raccoons to relocate themselves.
Raccoon Eviction Fluid ??? This stuff is touted as being designed for use on female raccoon and their young. While the testimonial for this product for sale on this professional nuisance wildlife operators website is fascinating reading, the raccoon eviction fluid sounds almost too good to be true. Who knows. Might be worth a try.
Hit the road Jack, and don't come back no more, no more.
When you think the raccoons have left, you can sprinkle Cayenne pepper around the entrance area, if that is possible or try a repellent, such as Ropel or predator urine, sprayed around the entrance area or use 2 Tbs. of Tabasco sauce to 1 qt. of water, sprayed or painted around the entrance area. Before sealing the entry, tack a sheet of plastic over the entry and check to see if animals have broken through. (If they have, the plastic sheet is cheaper than repairing the damage). Be sure to leave the light and radio on until there is no sign of activity, and then permanently seal the entry. Just sealing the entry does not work if the raccoons still WANT to get back in - make it so they don't!
When you are sure the raccoons have left, securely close up their

entry/exit point so they can't get back in.
Prune back any tree branches that might have helped them gain access to the roof and attic.
If the raccoon was using the attic for a while, it may have been urinating and defecating on the roof or in the attic. For cleaning the feces, contact a reliable professional or wear rubber gloves and a mask and clean up such waste promptly, burying or burning the feces. Raccoon feces can harbor organisms (such as the parasitic raccoon roundworm known as Baylisascaris procyonis) and if left exposed pose a hazard to humans and wildlife. One woman wrote that she had so many raccoons living in her attic over the years, she had to have her insulation replaced because of the amount of feces contamination.
HELP! I have raccoons under my porch. How can I get rid of them?

Read the above, substituting "under the porch" for the word "attic".
When you are sure the raccoons have left, install skirting around your porch.

Daisy's Mom
4th June 2009, 02:19 PM
I know what you mean about your dogs acting crazy now and reenacting the chase scene. Daisy got into a nest of baby bunnies and killed 2 of them, and then for a couple of weeks after that, she would run directly to the nest site every single time I let her out, sniffing frantically and generally acting crazy. It was very frustrating because it was in my flower bed in mulch and she would come back covered every time. She did eventually forget about it, but I remember making a comment to my husband that "this dog is ruined." (I can be very dramatic at times. :rolleyes: ) But she was just so driven and obsessed with the whole thing that it was extremely annoying. And of course, I hated that she killed two sweet bunny babies.

This actually happened twice and the 2nd time I was afraid there were other bunnies left in the nest, so I had to take her out on a leash in our own backyard to try to keep her away from it. Stupid bunny building a nest INSIDE the fence where a dog lives!

Sometimes our Cavaliers show their hunting dog ancestry! Fearless and prey-driven.

4th June 2009, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the advice. I did manage to get in touch with animal control this morning. Unfortunately he can't come out until early next week. He gave me some advice - essentially do what I'm doing. Fence off the area at night so it can't get back in when it leaves to hunt, and make sure it's fenced off anytime the dogs are out which I've been doing. He'll come next week to trap it if it's not encouraged to leave. He said that the babies have probably left the nest by now and this one might be a baby. I don't think so because it was huge but hopefully it's on it's own.

We had a rabbit nest under one of our shrubs and neither Mindy or our Retriever alerted me to the fact. I only realized it when a baby bunny fell in our pond and drowned and the next day I must have "watered one out" when I was fertilizing plants.

5th June 2009, 12:15 PM
I'm pretty sure the raccoon was gone yesterday because the dogs were getting back to normal. We gated the place where we thought Mindy got in after the coon should have left to go hunting last night but I think there are still holes small enough for it because the dogs didn't want to leave the deck this morning. I'm less worried if I know Max and Mindy can't get under the deck and corner it but I still would prefer it move out! I guess we will spend the weekend shoring up the small holes with chicken wire and opening up the gated area for it to leave in the evening and call the animal control officer on Monday if it still seems to be there. I suspect it hasn't been there long because we do spend a fair amount of time outside and on the deck so it's hardly quiet.