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View Full Version : Will raccoons go away on their own?



Carole
02-16-2009, 07:29 AM
Lookie what's nesting in the ceiling above my front porch:



http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/wildlife/images/publ/factsheets/raccoon/R09.jpg

Well, maybe not this exact mama and babies, but how different does one raccoon family look from another?

Anyway, they apparently moved in this evening and the dogs are going insane. I don't really want to force them to go tonight if I don't have to because it's going to be really cold tonight. Will they go on their merry way when it warms up? This same thing happened about the same time last year, but babies weren't involved. I came down my stairs (inside!) to come face to face with a big ole' beautiful raccoon poking it's head out of an access panel we had cut in the ceiling between the front porch and the foyer. That was the only time I saw the little bugger, but maybe my Motel 6 light is on again? There's a perfectly good vacant house right next door. Why MY house?

Matera the Mad
02-16-2009, 07:31 AM
Owoo! Adowabwe! But no, I think they are going to need some discouragement. Perhaps a mothball or two...

Carole
02-16-2009, 07:32 AM
Yeah. I read about the mothballs, but it also said not to use them around the babies because they will kill the babies with the fumes or something like that. I know that raccoons can carry rabies, and that gives me pause.

kct webber
02-16-2009, 07:33 AM
Well, maybe not this exact mama and babies, but how different does one raccoon family look from another?

Raccoon racist.

:D

I'm afraid I don't know the answer to your question, though. :o

Wayne K
02-16-2009, 07:34 AM
They usually don't move into a strange place at this time of year. Maybe their home was invaded or destroyed. You can call animal control, they're humane. Or you can have Vinny "the Chin" and Charlie Walnuts have a little talk with them.

Carole
02-16-2009, 07:35 AM
Raccoon racist. *snicker* That's kinda funny. :)

I actually adore raccoons. We had one fat little guy when we lived down in Knoxville who visited every single trash day. It never failed, I would set the trash out at night on the front porch and early the next morning, I would pull back the curtain to see him standing there with two egg shells in his little hands. When he saw me, he'd just waddle away.

Susie
02-16-2009, 07:37 AM
Don't know the answer either, Carole, but hope you can get them out of there, without a hassle. (((((HUGS))))))

Carole
02-16-2009, 07:37 AM
They usually don't move into a strange place at this time of year. Maybe their home was invaded or destroyed. You can call animal control, they're humane. Or you can have Vinny "the Chin" and Charlie Walnuts have a little talk with them.

LOL!! The website I went to mentioned that March and April are the normal times to find raccoons with babies. Mama's apparently on the job early this year.

Will animal control come out for free? I don't exactly have any money to pay them for removing the raccoons, and I sure don't want to hurt them.

We rescued a baby possum many years ago in Orlando, of all places. The poor little thing was just hanging (literally) in a bush outside the office where hubby worked at the time. Mama was nowhere in sight and there were cars everywhere. We brought him home and called animal control. They told us that it was ok to keep him for a little while, and to feed him kitten chow. He was so cute. He'd hang upside down on our balcony, and at the time I didn't realize that possums really did that. We eventually let him go in the woods since possums lose anything resembling cuteness when they grow up.

Fenika
02-16-2009, 07:38 AM
Not exactly what you need, but there might be info on how to shoo them off, discourage them coming back, or other helpful raccoon tips here: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~devo0028/
(aside from the mothball bit ofc)

Also, you will find someone fairly close to you who will hopefully have time to answer your questions. Just look through the rehabers list till you find someone dealing with mammals. If they are busy or don't answer, call someone further.

Or maybe an AWer will know.

Wayne K
02-16-2009, 07:40 AM
That varies from state to state and town to town.

MaryMumsy
02-16-2009, 07:59 AM
They won't go away on their own. Make sure the dog food is not available to them. Dogs and 'coons don't mix well, although cats/'coons just ignore each other. We had a mother and five babies several years ago when we still had outside cats. The 'coons would parade within two-three feet of the cats on their to and from the food bowl. Even though the last cat died almost two years ago, they still come around once in a while 'just in case'. We hear them on the roof. If you have a wildlife conservation or fish-and-game department in your state, they may come and trap them. Rabies is a concern, but don't worry too much unless there has been press about rabies in wild animals in your area. But keep the dogs away from the 'coons. 'Coons have big teeth and long claws, and a momma will take on a dog more than twice her size.

MM

cray
02-16-2009, 07:59 AM
they'll go away when they're done.

veinglory
02-16-2009, 08:14 AM
Racoon mothers have multiple nests. So if you do it the right way you can move them on (assuming it is legal where you are, raccoons are protected in some areas).

Carole
02-16-2009, 08:17 AM
I'm reading a little about it. Supposedly they do sometimes go away on their own IF they are nesting because of babies. Supposedly they will move their babies at about eight weeks. It seems to me that this is the situation we've got here. I am also reading that if wildlife removal folks come out, they will probably euthanize the mommy and her babies because it's illegal to relocate raccoons for some reason in every state, but I also read that there are exceptions with special wildlife relocation experts. I don't see any of them being around where I live.

It's a little worrisome, the thing about rabies, but apparently there is only one documented case of rabies due to raccoons in the US ever. Most of them are from bats.

veinglory
02-16-2009, 08:20 AM
I have seen presentation by wildlife control people where they remove the babies and leave them in a nest box and board up the hole--then the mother takes the babies to her other nest. So some US pest professionals know how to do it this way.

Carole
02-16-2009, 08:22 AM
I guess I'm gonna have to call around in the morning to see what I can find out about it. Although I really do think raccoons are beautiful creatures and I certainly don't want mama and/or babies to be killed, I also don't want them to rip up the ceiling above the porch OR get inside the house and go after the dogs.

Amy R.
02-16-2009, 08:42 AM
I really can't answer your question, but can you move them to me, please? I normally don't gush, but they are the cutest thing ever.

Carole
02-16-2009, 08:45 AM
omg, I know. Raccoons are so cute and so smart. They're fascinating to watch, even when they are rummaging through your trash. :D

Carole
02-16-2009, 07:28 PM
Bah--the only place around here that will come get them will euthanize mama and babies. Not gonna happen. Maybe I should just start setting more places at the dinner table?

Wayne K
02-16-2009, 08:07 PM
Bah--the only place around here that will come get them will euthanize mama and babies. Not gonna happen. Maybe I should just start setting more places at the dinner table?
If you're already setting places, I love to break bread with animal lovers. It's a true measure of a person's soul.:snoopy:

Jean Marie
02-16-2009, 09:47 PM
they'll go away when they're done.
Best answer, so far :)

If you live close to CT, I can take care of your problem for you. If not, you're on your own.

Seriously, I volunteer for a wildlife rehab friend of mine who takes care of raccoons. She has a piece of property that backs up to open space and raccoons are her favorite. She takes care of and releases other wildlife, too.

I took care of a couple of raccoon babies for a few months. They are the most adorable creatures, smartest, too. We released them when they were ready.

In your situation, if there aren't any rehabilitators in the area, then you are stuck w/ them until mom decides to move on w/ the kids. Could be when it warms up. Whatever you do, don't feed them, 'cause they'll be around forever! Meaning, until the kids have kids.

It's a myth about raccoons being rabies carriers/having rabies. Most wildlife carry rabies. It's also patently obvious when an animal has rabies, too. Nothing to worry about, however, mom raccoon will be extremely protective over the kids, so don't leave any dry dog food out, it's their favorite, as is dry cat food. They like canned food, too.

You've apparently provided her w/ warmth, which is what she was looking for as well as a high protected area to raise her young. Guess the vacant home didn't fit the bill :D Maybe, it was lacking in decor...

In the interim, have fun :)

smoothseas
02-16-2009, 09:55 PM
If you're already setting places, I love to break bread with animal lovers. It's a true measure of a person's soul.:snoopy:

quoted for truth.

Kitty Pryde
02-16-2009, 10:04 PM
I used to live at a summer camp that was overrun with raccoons (and skunks, and coyotes, and king snakes, and rattlesnakes). In the year I lived there, raccoons:

-broke into our garbage and made a huge mess
-broke into our bungee-corded shut garbage and made a huge mess
-chased innocent camp counselors all over the property
-sliced the heck out of the face of Georgie-Boy, The Toughest Cat In The World, necessitating many expensive veterinary services
-after getting sprayed with the garden hose for breaking into the garbage, chewed a million tiny teeth-holes in the garden hose
-when they found garbage cans they couldn't break into, they rolled them downhill from one end of the property to the other
-stood outside in packs of ten, hissing at us through the screen door any time we fried catfish
-climbed into our truck through a three inch window gap, unzipped my backpack, where they found and ate three Minty Aero Chocolate Bars from England, chewed up a vintage Doc Savage paperback novel, and pooped ALL OVER the inside of the entire vehicle

So, I wouldn't kill 'em, but I am definitely not in the 'raccoons are precious' party. Too smart and devious and gross. I've heard loud music can drive them away, then you can seal up the part of your home where they've taken up residency. Good luck with the little buggers.

Carole
02-16-2009, 11:13 PM
If you're already setting places, I love to break bread with animal lovers. It's a true measure of a person's soul.:snoopy:

C'mon over! An animal lover, I be. :D


Best answer, so far :)

If you live close to CT, I can take care of your problem for you. If not, you're on your own.

Seriously, I volunteer for a wildlife rehab friend of mine who takes care of raccoons. She has a piece of property that backs up to open space and raccoons are her favorite. She takes care of and releases other wildlife, too.

I took care of a couple of raccoon babies for a few months. They are the most adorable creatures, smartest, too. We released them when they were ready.

In your situation, if there aren't any rehabilitators in the area, then you are stuck w/ them until mom decides to move on w/ the kids. Could be when it warms up. Whatever you do, don't feed them, 'cause they'll be around forever! Meaning, until the kids have kids.

It's a myth about raccoons being rabies carriers/having rabies. Most wildlife carry rabies. It's also patently obvious when an animal has rabies, too. Nothing to worry about, however, mom raccoon will be extremely protective over the kids, so don't leave any dry dog food out, it's their favorite, as is dry cat food. They like canned food, too.

You've apparently provided her w/ warmth, which is what she was looking for as well as a high protected area to raise her young. Guess the vacant home didn't fit the bill :D Maybe, it was lacking in decor...

In the interim, have fun :)

I wish I could get a picture of them, but I really don't want to frighten mama and make her feel defensive. for now, I'm just leaving them to do their little raccoony thing. I live in Tennessee, so I guess I'm on my own. :D I really don't mind them at all. My biggest worries are if mom feels threatened by the dogs barking at her babies' squeaks and tries to defend them, or if she tears up wiring in the ceiling. I dont' really worry about rabies because of what you said and because I read that there's only one documented case of rabies from a raccoon ever in the US.


I used to live at a summer camp that was overrun with raccoons (and skunks, and coyotes, and king snakes, and rattlesnakes). In the year I lived there, raccoons:

-broke into our garbage and made a huge mess
-broke into our bungee-corded shut garbage and made a huge mess
-chased innocent camp counselors all over the property
-sliced the heck out of the face of Georgie-Boy, The Toughest Cat In The World, necessitating many expensive veterinary services
-after getting sprayed with the garden hose for breaking into the garbage, chewed a million tiny teeth-holes in the garden hose
-when they found garbage cans they couldn't break into, they rolled them downhill from one end of the property to the other
-stood outside in packs of ten, hissing at us through the screen door any time we fried catfish
-climbed into our truck through a three inch window gap, unzipped my backpack, where they found and ate three Minty Aero Chocolate Bars from England, chewed up a vintage Doc Savage paperback novel, and pooped ALL OVER the inside of the entire vehicle

So, I wouldn't kill 'em, but I am definitely not in the 'raccoons are precious' party. Too smart and devious and gross. I've heard loud music can drive them away, then you can seal up the part of your home where they've taken up residency. Good luck with the little buggers.

They are smart, for sure. But I wouldn't call them devious or gross. They're just doing what comes natural to them which is locate food when it's around. Really, they sound like raccoons that were accustomed to finding food where your camp was (which is probably also their home, or really close to it.) For example, your backpack had food, the raccoon wanted food and it got it. It's like they say with bears in the wild: If ya don't want them around, don't bring them a picnic. And raccoons are just as determined as they are smart. If they know food is somewhere, they will use their little dexterous hands to get at it. And if they have been fed there (deliberately or accidentally, like with the trash and your pack or with cat food left for cats) they know where to find the food. They don't reason like we do, so to them it was a treasure hunt for a snack.

If you think about it, you and the other campers were the guests in their home--the wilderness, so to speak. :)

And noooow, I can see out my window that two squirrels are chasing each other back and forth across the power line going from the main pole to the house. It's flippin' Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom around here! :D

Wayne K
02-16-2009, 11:51 PM
C'mon over! An animal lover, I be. :D

I do love Tofurkey.

Jean Marie
02-17-2009, 05:00 AM
[quote=Carole;3295349]



I wish I could get a picture of them, but I really don't want to frighten mama and make her feel defensive. for now, I'm just leaving them to do their little raccoony thing. I live in Tennessee, so I guess I'm on my own. :D I really don't mind them at all. My biggest worries are if mom feels threatened by the dogs barking at her babies' squeaks and tries to defend them, or if she tears up wiring in the ceiling. I dont' really worry about rabies because of what you said and because I read that there's only one documented case of rabies from a raccoon ever in the US.



They are smart, for sure. But I wouldn't call them devious or gross. They're just doing what comes natural to them which is locate food when it's around. Really, they sound like raccoons that were accustomed to finding food where your camp was (which is probably also their home, or really close to it.) For example, your backpack had food, the raccoon wanted food and it got it. It's like they say with bears in the wild: If ya don't want them around, don't bring them a picnic. And raccoons are just as determined as they are smart. If they know food is somewhere, they will use their little dexterous hands to get at it. And if they have been fed there (deliberately or accidentally, like with the trash and your pack or with cat food left for cats) they know where to find the food. They don't reason like we do, so to them it was a treasure hunt for a snack.

/quote]
Wish I'd known you were in Tennessee, I would have stopped and at least had lunch/coffee w/ you on my way to CA when I drove thru just after Christmas.

Darn it.

They do have the cutest little hands, don't they :D

Wayne K
02-17-2009, 05:27 AM
They are smart, for sure. But I wouldn't call them devious or gross. They're just doing what comes natural to them which is locate food when it's around. Really, they sound like raccoons that were accustomed to finding food where your camp was (which is probably also their home, or really close to it.) For example, your backpack had food, the raccoon wanted food and it got it. It's like they say with bears in the wild: If ya don't want them around, don't bring them a picnic. And raccoons are just as determined as they are smart. If they know food is somewhere, they will use their little dexterous hands to get at it. And if they have been fed there (deliberately or accidentally, like with the trash and your pack or with cat food left for cats) they know where to find the food. They don't reason like we do, so to them it was a treasure hunt for a snack.
.! :D
Sounds like you're talking about my family.

Carole
02-17-2009, 05:55 AM
Wish I'd known you were in Tennessee, I would have stopped and at least had lunch/coffee w/ you on my way to CA when I drove thru just after Christmas.

Darn it.

They do have the cutest little hands, don't they :D
Bah! If you drove to CA, you probably went through Knoxville on I-40. I can almost throw a rock and hit I-40. Although I do try to restrain myself until the wee hours! :D


Sounds like you're talking about my family.
LOL!!! Mine too! At least my boys, anyway.

Beach Bunny
02-17-2009, 06:40 AM
I used to live in Knoxville. A friend of mine lived out in the country west of Oak Ridge (I can't remember the name of the town.) She had raccoons come up on her back porch all the time. She left cat food out for them. But, they did not take up residence like your raccoon family has. The point of this is that the momma will probably move her babies as soon as she can. She won't stick around, especially if you aren't feeding them. :)

Carole
02-17-2009, 06:50 AM
Hey! I'm a little west of Oak Ridge too! Well, kinda ...err, yeah - west. heh heh geography was never my strong suit! But I lived in Knoxville for several years, and we also lived in Oak Ridge for a couple of years before moving out here.

Beach Bunny
02-17-2009, 06:56 AM
I went and looked in google earth. She either lived near Kingston or Harriman. It's been too many years for me to remember which.

Chumplet
02-17-2009, 07:53 AM
We had raccoons in our attic years ago. They tore a huge hole in the roof and took out the vent cover near the bathroom window for a second exit. We tried everything to get them out of the attic - a bright light, a blaring radio, moth balls -- after a few weeks we just decided to wait till the babies were old enough to leave, then we'd block the entrance so they couldn't get back in.

Close to leaving time, the mom got stuck trying to exit through the vent. She hung upside down for about three days. We tried pushing from behind, and using a rope around her armpits to pull her out, but she stayed stuck. It was weird, looking out the bathroom window at a pair of beady eyes staring back at you from six inches away.

Finally, just like Winnie the Pooh, she lost some weight and budged. She never came back.

Oh, and we got the roof fixed and had aluminum soffits installed to replace the old wooden ones.

Carole
02-17-2009, 05:49 PM
Wow! What an experience, for you and for raccoon mommy! I have no idea how she's getting in and out of the ceiling over the porch. The only thing either of us can figure is that she is going under the house and coming up between the walls. There aren't any roof shingles missing, and there aren't any holes around that we can see.

But I think she might have moved out last night with the babies. There was a terrible commotion and lots of squeaking from the babies. The dogs were going crazy in the living room, too. But soon, we didn't hear anything else. Night before last, we could hear them all carrying on for several hours, really until we finally went to bed. Last night, it was just the one time.




I went and looked in google earth. She either lived near Kingston or Harriman. It's been too many years for me to remember which.

That's really close to where I am. Kingston and Harriman are almost side by side, but I am wedged in the middle. I go to school in Harriman.

KikiteNeko
02-17-2009, 06:44 PM
Aw, they're so cute... Well, the ones you have are probably as cute as the ones in the picture. Please don't kill them :( Call animal control, the humane society or your local compassion club (google your town + "compassion club"). Good luck.

I've heard they carry rabies, too, but I don't think every racoon has rabies, just the batsh*t ones who attack people and large animals. My grandma had a family of raccoons in her attic; they leased it from the family of squirrels there before that. None of us ever got rabies... I don't think... Hm...

Chumplet
02-17-2009, 08:04 PM
Raccoon rabies has been moving up the Eastern Seaboard States and crossed into Canada once or twice, but the Ontario government is keeping it under control by using catch and vaccination, and dropping oral vaccine bait. It started in 1947 in Florida, and only one human ever contracted the disease.

Jean Marie
02-17-2009, 08:44 PM
Bah! If you drove to CA, you probably went through Knoxville on I-40. I can almost throw a rock and hit I-40. Although I do try to restrain myself until the wee hours! :D



Something did hit my windshield and went splat right around there...you! Made Kola sit up and blink. Cassie didn't stir. Shame, that was the am after we stayed at Perks' house :D

Maybe, we'll reprise our trip, who knows. We're turning into Road Warriors :)

Could be a move to CA in our future. Have to sell my mom's house, first though.

Good luck w/ those cute little raccoons. You will miss them when they're gone. Seriously.

Jean Marie
02-17-2009, 08:45 PM
Raccoon rabies has been moving up the Eastern Seaboard States and crossed into Canada once or twice, but the Ontario government is keeping it under control by using catch and vaccination, and dropping oral vaccine bait. It started in 1947 in Florida, and only one human ever contracted the disease.
See, now that's the sensible way to deal w/ the rabies situation. You Canadians are pretty smart ;)

SouthernFriedJulie
02-17-2009, 09:07 PM
Get a live trap and put cat food in it. Find a safe way to ship them to me. :-)

Problem solved.

Carole
02-17-2009, 09:50 PM
Something did hit my windshield and went splat right around there...you! Made Kola sit up and blink. Cassie didn't stir. Shame, that was the am after we stayed at Perks' house :D

Maybe, we'll reprise our trip, who knows. We're turning into Road Warriors :)

Could be a move to CA in our future. Have to sell my mom's house, first though.

Good luck w/ those cute little raccoons. You will miss them when they're gone. Seriously.

Haha! I remember when you visited her, but I had no idea you were passing through this way afterward. Bummer.

tomothecat, I don't have any options with moving them, even with having the humane society or anyone else around here. Anyone in this area who will come get them will kill them. Only a relocation expert can move them because it's illegal for anyone else to, so all others who will will also kill them. Unfortunatly, I can't find any reference for a relocation expert in my area. The only one who used to do it doesn't anymore. So we're a bigger family here for a while, unless they did move out last night. It was awfully noisy up there for a while, and then nothing.

HeronW
02-18-2009, 07:47 PM
...Close to leaving time, the mom got stuck trying to exit through the vent. She hung upside down for about three days. We tried pushing from behind, and using a rope around her armpits to pull her out, but she stayed stuck. It was weird, looking out the bathroom window at a pair of beady eyes staring back at you from six inches away.

Finally, just like Winnie the Pooh, she lost some weight and budged. She never came back....

ROTFLMAO mortified raccoon...

DL Hegel
02-22-2009, 12:25 AM
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Captshady
02-22-2009, 02:18 AM
I didn't read the whole thread, but figured I'd throw in my post. I used to volunteer at a wild life rescue on the outskirts of San Antonio. We'd help humanely trap and cart away wild animals that "moved in" to places. I've "rescued" a few racoons, and IME, they don't leave. I've taken some up to 10 miles away and released them, only to have them show up again (10 miles usually does the trick though). I'm certainly no expert, but my limit experience says no, they won't leave on their own.

Carole
02-23-2009, 04:30 PM
Well, it looks like they're gone. Boo! We heard a lot of commotion several night ago, and we haven't heard anything since.

It's a sad and lonely little porch ceiling now. I guess they weren't fond of the dogs barking.

Pilot
02-23-2009, 04:51 PM
Had a pet coon when I was a kid (LOOOONG time ago!). He ran free, but was a lot like a cat about being called. He showed up when HE chose. Most inquisitive critter I ever had, even worse than the ferrets. Constantly broke things, 'cause getting there was more important to him than the value of the obstacles. Guess we had that guy for close to 5 or 6 years, and he was a lot of fun.