You may have noticed that we have a pretty substantial population of raccoons that roam our neighborhood. They grow in numbers every year due to a large amount of available living space, and sometimes getting fed by people. Some neighbors have such a raccoon problem, that it makes it difficult to utilize their own back yard. Fortunately, the raccoons in the Northwest don't appear to carry rabies, but there is a real problem on the eastern seaboard... even in Central Park in NY. Raccoons have been known to bite people and present other health-related problems.
Please consider the following suggestions to help decrease the raccoon population in our neighborhood:
- Never feed the raccoons.
- Spraying an area with red or white vinegar appears to keep them away, as they don't like the smell and think that a predator, i.e. cougars, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, wolves, has marked the area. Costco, for instance, sells vinegar by the gallon quite reasonably. Raccoon repellents are available commercially but generally consist of vinegar plus pepper and sulphur.
- If they are nesting in a tree, you can wrap the tree with a 2 1/2 ft wide strip of sheet metal. It would be a good idea to spray paint it a color that blends with the tree trunk, so it doesn't visually stand out. The raccoons can still descend the tree but will be unable to climb up the tree again as the sheet metal is too smooth.
- If you have a low deck that they like to nest under, close off the area with metal fencing, like chicken wire. Lowes carries rolls of green metal fencing in the landscape section. Naturally, before you fence in the deck, make sure there are no raccoons remaining under the deck by using vinegar, bright lights, etc. and waiting a day or two.
You can pay to have them removed, but it starts at around $130 for your first raccoon caught.
Thanks for your help in this matter.