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Posted in HH LIFESTYLE, Seasonal Experiences

Raccoon Critters In The Hood

Raccoons are cute, but be cautious! Here are some tips for dealing with them.

 

Hidden Hills resident Lonna Weber was tickled to see a raccoon in her front yard tree. Since it was dark, she took out her iPhone and set the flash. Expecting to see the one raccoon in her shot, imagine her surprise when she saw SIX sets of glowing eyes staring back at her. There was definitely a new family on the block! Even her Golden Retriever, Molly, got in on the act the next morning when she got a whiff of the new residents. Can’t blame her. Those little dickens must smell great to her.

What To Do About Raccoons

Raccoons are common in most of the neighborhoods around here, and they are cute little devils. But it pays to be cautious when you’ve got a brood hanging close to our home. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you realize you are not alone on your property.

  • Don’t feed the raccoon. They get desensitized to humans and become used to coming close to be fed. If you happen to not have food for them, they can get aggressive. Feeding the raccoons can also bring more into an area than would otherwise be there, causing a spread of parasites and disease.
  • If a raccoon appears to be fairly aggressive, too tame, staggering or disoriented, it may be sick or injured. Time for you to call animal control or a wildlife management professional. (See below for the Los Angeles County Animal Control phone number).
  • If a raccoon gets too close to you or your children, one sources says to “make yourself appear larger: stand up, shout, and wave your arms. If he continues to approach, throw or spray water, or even stones if needed.”
  • Keep your dogs away from raccoons. They may be fatally sick with distemper and can get your dogs and pets fatally sick as well if they get into a scuffle.
  • Don’t leave cat or dog food outdoors. That’s a goldmine for a raccoon. Pick-up any leftover food from your pets so that they families don’t come in for a feast. They’ll keep coming and tell all their friends!
  • Try to keep your pets indoors at night. Raccoons will attack dogs or cats if they feel threatened by them, and raccoon bites can cause disease or even a broken leg.
  • If you compost, keep your exposed compost pile free of food. Make sure to keep any food-containing compost in a secure, raccoon-proof container. It will keep them from feeding at your pile and leaving their scat in your compost!
  • Eliminate good harboring spots. According to About.com, “Raccoons will climb into chimneys and enter attics, crawlspaces, and areas beneath houses, porches, and sheds to harbor and nest or den. To close off possible entry areas, cover them with ¼-inch mesh hardware cloth, or with boards or metal flashing. Ensure that the entire area is covered with no gaps at the top, bottom or sides. This will not only keep out raccoons, but also mice, rats and other wildlife.”
  • Do not use rodent bait to try and kill the raccoons. It is best to call animal control if you’ve got a problem. If you try rodent bait, you risk your own dog or pets consuming the bait and poisoning itself. Even worse, if the raccoon eats the rodent bait and then your dog eats a dead raccoon, your dog will be poisoned as well.
  • If you find a dead raccoon in your yard, do not touch it with your bare hands as they can be diseased or have parasites. Call the Los Angeles County Animal Control based in Agoura (818) 991-0071.

Most of the time, they won’t cause problems if you leave them alone and take the precautions to keep your yard and home safe. Kinda like baby-proofing your home when you have little kids. You just need to raccoon-proof your yard. They should go away on their own.

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