Here in South Florida we are blessed to be so close to the Everglades, but with that blessing comes the realization that some creatures of the Everglades will without question come into contact with us sooner or later. One such creature is the raccoon.
Raccoons are found throughout the entire United States. They’re smart, they’re crafty and getting rid of them isn’t always an easy task. Raccoons CAN carry the rabies virus but it is rare. Any raccoon acting peculiar should be avoided as it takes a lab along with testing of the animal to see if it does in fact have rabies.
Raccoons are mainly nocturnal, this doesn’t mean that you’ll never see them in the day time. Due to human interaction, many raccoons have grown accustomed to human hand outs, something that never does humans or the raccoons any good. While raccoons can look docile, they can turn on you in an instant for no reason. Many people like to toss food at them, especially when there are baby raccoons present. There is nothing more protective than a mother raccoon with her babies. It is always best to avoid them. If they’re in your back yard, observe them from inside the house. If you feed your pets outside, bring in their food after your pet has had their fill.
CAN RACCOONS HURT ME?
Yes, just about any wild animal can hurt you if you don’t use common sense. The most common attacks occur when they are startled by you. This happens mostly at night near your garbage cans. Raccoons are scavengers and routinely rummage though garbage looking for food that’s been thrown out. They’ll eat just about anything from jelly donuts to dog food to steak bones. If you secure your garbage lids, preventing raccoons from entering, you will eliminate startling yourself and a raccoon.
"RACCOONS IN MY ATTIC"
This is a call we get all the time. Raccoons will find an entry place usually in the eaves of your house or some rotted wood area on your roof. They’ll literally make their home in your attic. Now this is bad because the raccoons will use your insulation as a toilet but the problem gets worse. Raccoons are notorious for chewing a hole in your a/c ducts and enjoying the cold air that YOU are providing them. If you’ve noticed an increase in your monthly electric bill, this may be your problem. Air conditioning your attic for their benefit gets costly.
Usually if you hear noises up in your attic and it sounds like someone is bowling up there, you probably have a family of raccoons up there. DO NOT go into your attic to investigate; the last thing you want to come face to face with is a momma raccoon protecting her babies.
Getting rid of raccoons in your attic should be a priority as they also have been known to chew on wires causing an electrical fire.
A common saying but if you board up their entrance, you’ve also boarded up their exit. Having a dead raccoon or family of dead raccoons up in your attic will cause a smell that will make your eyes tear up every time you enter the house. YES, it does take a long time for the smell to go away as a raccoon is much larger than a rat. A dead rat you can live with, a dead raccoon…NO WAY.
While this practice is very common in rural area’s, here in S. Florida, it is illegal to discharge a firearm in a residential neighborhood. Do you really want to get the police involved? Not to mention you might end up on the 7 o’clock news.
We wholeheartedly agree. We trap the raccoons with traps that simply close behind them. All raccoons are released alive. The only way they are ever euthanized is in the event that one have bitten a human, then they are taken to a vet where they are tested for rabies.
Swimming pools, ponds, sheds, wooden decks and trees leaning up against the house are all attractive nuisances to raccoons. Without question, the number one reason is that you are leaving your pets food dishes out with food in them over night. If you are doing this, you are BEGGING for raccoons to come and hang around your property. Don’t make it easy for them.
For whatever reason, male raccoons like leaving their feces on the first step of your swimming pool. It’s kind of like a dog marking its’ territory on a fire hydrant. We trap the raccoon and then suggest you shocking the pool with a stiff dose of chlorine. No need to drain the entire pool.. chlorine kills everything.
NO, the Florida Wildlife Commission will charge you with cruelty to animals if you do and rightfully so. Poisoning is a cruel way to treat an animal, not to mention that neighbors cats could be killed accidentally. While we understand your wanting to get rid of the animal, poisoning is NOT the way you want to do it.
The county deals with dogs and dead animals on the road. Simply put, they do not have the funding or man power to handle raccoon problems. It’s kind of like rats or roaches in your home.. they aren’t yours but you still have to hire an exterminator to get rid of them.
Save your money, these are wild animals and raccoons will ignore them and go on with their lives.
When we set out traps for raccoons, we routinely catch cats. In all the years we’ve been trapping, there’s never been a cat that has been hurt by one of our traps; we simply let the cat go and it runs off.
We distinctly try and hide our traps. Our motto is “Out of sight, out of mind”. Nobody needs to know that we are there but in the event that something happens, we carry liability insurance that can be provided before the job starts.
If I could answer this question, I’d be a millionaire many times over. Every job is different. Sometimes it’s just a one raccoon job and we’re done. Then, the next job is a 20 raccoon job. These are houses or businesses usually located near mangroves. If your house is located well inland, the change of you having a large amount of raccoons is greatly diminished.
Every condo association is different. Best to go to the board meeting and tell them you’re having problems and want it addressed. Most condo associations will pay for the removal from the common grounds.