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Raccoons again.

Posted by sleeplessinftwayne z4-5 IND (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 18, 06 at 15:24

The raccoons may be a bigger problem than I thought. Last night I was feeding the fishies around 4 am and suddenly there was a young raccoon in the water. I yelped and demanded No, no! What do you think you are doing? He turned around and went out the same way he got in. In a moment there were three of them attempting to get in the water and retreating when I said no but they kept on trying. Remember this is only about 10 feet from me. For the next 15 or 20 minutes they persisted. They showed no fear of me at all!! At one point, I had a raccoon between my legs trying to climb into the bucket of fish food. He even used my leg as a ladder! I had to pick up the bucket to stop that. They chased the glass floats I have in the water and lifted them out. They didn't show any interest in the fish but almost pulled over a big teracotta pot trying to get out of the water. The fish didn't seem too upset. Some of them went deeper but that was all. These babies are obviously too unafraid of people. I can redesign the plantings and probably the sides but I really worry about that lack of fear. It was certainly nothing I did that made them leave.They just lost interest. I am worried about what will happen in the future when they are hungry and I'm not around. Augggghhh!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Raccoons again.

It sounded like they were rude tourists! "We came all this way and we're going in the water red flag or no!!!" LOL.
Havahart has a motion detecting sprinkler spray deterent that most animals really dislike! It might be cheaper than having your pond torn up. PJ


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RE: Raccoons again.

Sandy, I think they KNOW you are not going to hurt them. I don't know how they know, but my resident raccoon is the same way. I was out watering my pots on the deck one night and she came prancing up there (she has been digging in the pots) with me just 5 feet away. I shot her with the hose, she jumped aside but it didn't deter her. I finally charged her and she took off. When she was getting to the suet, I could lean out the window and yell and wave my arms at her - she didn't budge. She also discovered that I keep the bird seed in the garage and I have had to chase her out of the garage several times when we left the door open. The resident deer is getting to be the same way - they used to bolt at the first sign of movement but now he retreats behind the bushes and snorts and stomps his feet - it would be funny except this one deer is really doing a number on my garden this year. Too bad he doesn't eat the honeysuckle or the queen anne's lace!


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"hey! sandy brought lunch!" it sounds like you are their foster momma. do you have a large dog, sandy?


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RE: Raccoons again.

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 19, 06 at 9:57

PJ, that sounds so TRUE! LOL!

I would have probably got myself in trouble by petting the little buggers! You've shown great restraint and decorum, Sandy. :D

There's a lady over on the California forum who just had her pond thrashed - lilies everywhere, dead and missing fish. I told her to visit us here, but I also mentioned the dog thing, as well as the motion sprayer thing. Unfortunately, the only proven method all around is the dog. The motion sprayers work for some and not others (as Jean has shown).

I know we have them around here, because of the road kill count. I hope I don't ever have to post any more than that, though. :(

Brenda


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RE: Raccoons again.

Actually it's true about the dogs being the best guardian all around. My "girls"(trio of mutts) guard the house,the yard, and have proven their worth over and over.
However,I don't like recommending live animals if I can help it!
I worked at a petstore for a couple years. That's were I learned about fish but not ponds. I must have been asked a thousand times what the best(least amount of work) dog was.
I'd say that it depended on what kind of time and money they were willing to put into it. Not a popular answer. I explained the need for vet money,quality food money,time,energy and patience while it went through it's life stages. How really an adult had to get educated on the right way to train for their lifestyle. How "outside" dogs could get bored,lonely,and destructive. Vet bills can easily run into the thousands etc.. You also wouldn't believe how many times I heard "Oh it will be my kid's dog!" You gotta be kidding! The owner of the house is responsible! Kid's can't even legally own an animal. A trained dog is a joy but sadly I've seen too many neglected animals to advise people to get one without just really wanting to love the dog regardless of what it will or wont do.Too bad sprinklers don't work 100%! PJ


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RE: Raccoons again.

Sprinklers would work!!! Just fill them with something other then water......like maybe Jack Daniels! Oh wait, that's a sprit, that belongs in the other thread!

Cat Urine!!! Anything smell worse?


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That might chase the raccoons away but it would keep me away from the pond, too. I guess I will have to dig out the Scarecrow. I have to admit I am torn. Seeing their antics and having them accept me as "Not Enemy" is a kick but I also know they can and will go too far in the future and I would regret being forced to get heardhearted about them. I don't feed the birds or put food out that would attract them but they must be raiding somewhere close by. They are well fed and show no signs of ill health which is unusual for urban wildlife. I hope they decide to make their grownup residence far away next spring. I miss my Wisconsin wildlife. Sandy
PS Jean, Those deer will eat anything. Once I lost a redwood birdfeeder to a bunch that couldn't find anything after a fresh snowfall. All that was left was the glass and some of the framework. I guess the nails didn't go down very well.


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RE: Raccoons again.

oh, my. that reminds me of when our dogs collar was missing. then, we found the tags and ring in the house. the pups ate her collar. a few years later, my sister's dog ate my dogs collar. i was nervous about getting one with studs to prevent this, or cause major internal damage, but tried it anyway. years later, he still has it!

if nothing else sandy, think of it this way. even if you were nice to them, someone else may be vicious. they won't know the difference until it is too late and they are injured, killed, or taken captive. stay strong!


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RE: Raccoons again.

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 20, 06 at 11:10

PJ, I hope you know that I would NEVER recommend getting a dog as merely a raccoon deterrent! I love animals, too, (ok, sometimes TOO much? :D) and I've seen plenty of neighbors with lonely dogs (or too many dogs). I'm a self-proclaimed neighborhood Fairy Pet Mother. :D

Hope that scarecrow works for you, Sandy! If not, maybe some "mood music", like one of those fake barking dog things that goes off whenever there's a sound. I have a headless dog from WalMart, but....that's another story entirely.

Brenda


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I misunderstood you Brenda. I'm sorry.
I'm going with the headless dog with a fake bark! LOL! (teasing) :^) PJ


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ooooh, coach dog for the headless horseman? you're all set for halloween, brenda! you could put a pumpkin on the shoulders, or jack o lantern.


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RE: Raccoons again.

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 21, 06 at 8:47

LOL!! This is basically what the WalMart dog looks like, only he has no head (since, in theory, it's supposed to be buried while digging). If you switch it to the motion setting, he starts barking and kicking one of his back legs out behind him when you touch him or make any sort of noise.

Not sure what raccoons would think of this strange creature, though. :D

Brenda


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OH! THAT KIND! lol...here i thought you were being a packrat. i can never throw anything away. hmmm, i could use a dog with no head, someday.... :)


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He's so cute! Russels would give a racoon and run for their money! Terriers are hard wired to do that sort of thing. He's giving that mole all he's got! You could rent him out to dig ponds! LOL!PJ


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RE: Raccoons again.

Oh my! When I was much younger the family was visiting old friends back in the "Hills and Hollers". I got to sleep in the living room with a cousin about my age in a bed with a feather mattress and lots of home made quilts. That was where the huge fireplace was that the men all sat around while they whittled and told stories. (In winter that seemed to be the main entertainment before television.) Nancy Pat and I didn't have any problem keeping quiet so the men would keep telling stories. I remember one story about a hound that couldn't keep from going after raccoons. He finally met his match when he took after a huge old male raccoon who had been chased by many other dogs but had always escaped easily. The men could hear the dog howling when he thought the coon was treed but the coon continued to lead the dog on most of the night. A number of bets were made on the outcome. Finally the coon started crossed a creek at a ford and the dog caught up. The raccoon tricked the dog into deep water and grabbed on. He then used his back feet on the dog's belly. The dog managed to escape but it was a long time before he healed up enough to hunt anything again. Sandy


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sandy, i have often heard that racoons lure the dogs into water to take them down. but as i only heard this from dh, i had my doubts. well, dh is right again!


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The young'ins have been back at least twice. The first time I found only their wet paw prints. The next time they didn't quite make it to the pond. They apparently had some sort of disagreement and you could hear their shouts and insults to each other even inside the house. On the other hand they could have had a runin with one of the opossums. So far there has been no damage or fish killing. Sandy


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My mom's family hunted in Oklahoma. She heard of Raccoons drowning or nearly drowning dogs too. I was surprised. They don't look that big.PJ


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The adult males can be huge! And they are very strong. I think I am in worse trouble. Last night I was out by the pond for two hours telling them no and swatting at them with my cane. They found the rubber tip very interesting and would grab it whenever it came close. They also started sneaking under my chair and grabbing my ankles with their bony little hands and then nipping or licking the skin. I think they were tasting me. I'm now in the market for a Fido shock kit. There seems to be several models and I can't find anything that would clear up what each of them does that the others don't. Remember Rchafin's copper surround that was so nice looking? If I could use 1/2 inch copper pipe rather than the 3/4 inch pipe I think I would use that design. Sandy


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RE: Raccoons again.

sandy i apologize for laughing hysterically! you describe it so well. and soooo typical of a racoon (racoon curiosity x baby curiosity= utter chaos)

i wonder if those "harmless" citronella sprays they put in antibarking dog collars would put them off. i know cats hate citrus smell. well, mine did. carry around a lemon wedge? with our luck it would backfire and they would start pilfering your pockets for more.


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RE: Raccoons again.

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 25, 06 at 12:42

OMG, Sandy, they sound precious! Nipping and licking, oh, MY!

But I know you can't allow it to go further. I hope you find something that works, and pronto! Before they get even MORE Disney adorable.

Brenda


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Last night the little female scratched at the window until she got my attention.


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You're surrounded and they love you! A raccoon petting zoo? EEEKKK! PJ


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"My" three didn't make an appearance last night. But then it was garbage night!! One stranger did show up though. She briefly came to within 5 feet of me but was very nervous about it. She left after a short time but I saw her stand up beside the Skippy to see if I was still there. I wonder how many raccoons this neighborhood is supporting. With the dormatory construction at IUPurdue destroying a chunk of woods I expect to see more critters looking for a new home. Sandy


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hello sandy! i am not sure whether i was revisited by my coon squad, but i definitely had some racoon a couple nights ago. they are a sneaky bunch! the only signs were cloudy water and one tiny item out of place.


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RE: Raccoons again.

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 26, 06 at 15:50

Sandy, if you wake up to find one cuddling in bed, I think that's the time to run for the hills.

They keep getting closer....and closer....

Brenda


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brenda! you know sandy has a hard enough time sleeping! :)


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There have been no raccoons for two nights but then it has been very wet. Thunderstorms have dumped enough water on our dry, dry ground to flood low lying areas of town. Why do people build in flood plains? I'm glad I didn't top off the pond last week. The rain caused it to overflow. No flooding here though. The ground is too dry for it to stay in low spots more than a minute or two. They must not have been willing to get that wet for a few moments of play. Sandy


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RE: Raccoons again.

I took the plants out of the Skippy to change the quilt batting and didn't get them back in before I had to go in to fix dinner. The raccoons showed up before I was able to get them back in. Guess who wound up in the top of the Skippy? They paddled and splashed and peeled up the new batting so the pond is all murky now. I went out to chase them away but they simply greeted me and kept on with their play. One approached me and suddenly reached into my jacket pocket, obviously looking for something. He seemed to be very disappointed he didn't find anything because he bit my pocket. HOW DOES A RACCOON KNOW ABOUT POCKETS? No wonder they are so tame. Someone has been feeding them. No wonder they keep trying to climb up on my lap! What do I do now? Sandy


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i think you may be right, sandy...OR they think you are special. i get a picture of them jumping in joy seeing you come out to play.

have you tried loud, scarey noises, short of firing rounds into the air? i have a sneaky suspicion that won't work either :)

where's their momma in all this?


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Haven't seen momma for about six weeks, just about the time they got big enough to start foraging for themselves. The reason I haven't been yelling at them is because I don't want the neighbors to be upset with me. It's bad enough to be sleepless without making everyone else the same. Sandy


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RE: Raccoons again.

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 9, 06 at 11:51

Lordy, it's a spa retreat in Sandy's skippy! Maybe you could supply some mud packs and heated towels. LOL

It sounds like they're VERY tame. It just keeps getting cuter, which makes for a difficult eradication. And if some idiots are feeding them, they're making it harder for you to enforce any rules on the little buggers.

Maybe a wild animal consultant or group (not sure of the technical terminology) is in your area? I remember being referred to one here in my area when I found a small, orphaned (unknown I.D.) bird.

Brenda


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Brenda, I'm not sure why I haven't done that. I give out the critter control phone number fairly often at the Ext. Maybe I am enjoying their antics too much. I guess I am lonely for the 32 we took care of one year in Wisc. Now I'm worried that something has happened to momma. Unless she is one of the regulars at the restaurant about a mile from here, surely she would still be here, enforcing a hide from humans rule since I am not feeding them. The restaurant has a very large pond with a deck overlooking it where the animals come to beg. The young'ns here seem very well fed so I don't think they have been eating just the bread they get there. The raccoons I've seen there don't look as healthy as these three. I've been known to wish a skunk would try to join the begging brigade. Sandy


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RE: Raccoons again.

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 10, 06 at 11:56

Well, that's good enough reason as any, Sandy! It's always hard to tell true emotion online, so I wasn't sure if you really wanted them to go away or not. :)

Have you ever seen this batch of young raccoons with their mom? From just about every site I've read online, I've gathered that she could very well be nearby during their antics in your yard, but she's either busy or scared. Well, not sure about the 2nd one, from the sound of your group. LOL

And it sounds like they all appear healthy, which is a good thing. If you start craving an inordinate amount of fish (or insects, small mammals, fruit, berries, corn....) and one night find yourself lounging in your skippy spa, then you could very well be an honorary 'coon momma! :D

Brenda


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Substitute raccoon mom. Now that is a title I would be happy to do without. I'll never forget the momma of the 5 juvenile delinquents of the 32. She would come to the back under the lights before anyone else got there and would stretch out on the rock patio and take a nap for 10 or 15 minutes. It was pretty clear the kids were running her ragged. She was a good mom though. I saw her lose her temper just once and that was after they dropped a screen door on her head. LOL! There were baby raccoons hiding under hostas all over the yard.
I have seen mamma with these brats before though. She didn't seem to be overwhelmed. The first time they had been on the roof and she was getting them down when she saw me sitting by the pond. Everyone froze and stayed that way, one baby and momma on the ground and two babies in the redbud tree until momma was sure I wasn't going to get up and chase them. I turned my back and soon she chirupped for them to get the heck down and let's get out of here. I had several more sightings of the whole family while the young'ns were still small. She may be in another yard while they are here. The squirrels usually sound their alarm when they are close and it just occurs to me that is why I found a squirrel nest in the pond one night. I'll bet the brats tore it up. They tore down the wintercreeper that climbs the oak trees where the squirrels have a nest or two or three. :D Not on purpose though. They were playing tag and three raccoons chasing each other around the tree ten feet up was a bit much for the vines. Sandy


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 12, 06 at 8:56

LOL Oh, I just love those visuals, Sandy, especially all of them freezing when they finally spot you near the pond! They're so comical, yet can be so destructive, I can imagine it's a love/hate thing most folks have with them. I sure hope you spot momma again, if only for peace of mind!

I know there are raccoons here in our area, but I've only seen them with that "run down feeling" next to the road. We've had something thrashing about on the roof of our attached, corrugated garage/all-purpose area, and DH came in white-faced one early morning. "Did you hear that?!" LOL I'd heard it once while I was alone, so I was beyond panic. I can only hope it's a stray cat or a raccoon...and not a rat. *gulp*

Brenda


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The news tonight had one of those filler videos. It featured a raccoon being chased down the streets and up the side of an apartment building in New York, NY. Poor thing was hit with two tranquilizer darts before they caught him. Our former house in Wisc. had a parapet topped with a galvanized metal coping. The noise was like a freight train when the babies ran around on top of it. Sandy


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First real raccoon disaster. Went out to feed the fishies and could barely see a foot down. The little darlings had pulled the flower pots out of the Skippy, spilling dirt everywhere, and pulled up the quilt batting. Fortunately I got there before the Skippy overflowed after the outlet got stuffed with chunks of loose batting. The mud will get cleared out fast and I needed to do a partial water change anyhow, but how do I get rid of those !@#$%^* Styrofoam beads. I've got this new floating skimmer but don't see any way to keep little bony hands off of it. Now I wish I had waited to get the one that goes through the liner. Sandy
PS I think there may be a total of 7 young'ins from 3 families. I might need a paint gun to tell them apart.


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RE: Raccoons again.

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 17, 06 at 9:07

Ruh-roh, Raggy! I guess we knew that would happen eventually. I can imagine what the neighbors will say when they see you out there with your paint gun, Sandy - holster, goggles, raccoon-proof vest. LOL For some reason, I'm thinking Broadway - "Sandy, Get Your Gun"

Brenda


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time for nuisance bear ear tags!


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The link below is the kind of thing I am worried about. Even though I am pushing them away, someone else is teaching them that humans can and should be pushed back. It is just asking for trouble. They seem to have learned I won't be pushed and I am not going to supply them with goodies. Last night they hid in the shrubbery and complained the whole time I was out there but didn't approach. I hope the lessons stick for other people and not just me. After the house lights were out they came to get a drink and checked for fish food but finally retired to the roof to chase each other for a while. I guess a letter to the editor is appropriate. Sandy

Here is a link that might be useful: Psycho raccoons on the attack.


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dang! sounds like a b-movie!


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 23, 06 at 8:46

I couldn't get the article to load, but it does sound like a worst-case scenario, Sandy. Besides, they'd get the caning of their lives if they attempted any funny business with you. Sandy, starring in "The Sopranos"! :D

Brenda


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RE: Raccoons again.

Last night they started to get more aggressive than I was comfortable with. They started out by grabbing my fingers and licking them. I guess I smelled like fish food. Then they started to rip plants out of pots and were not happy when I made them stop at which time they double teamed me. One on one side of the pond slipped into to the water while the other closest to me climbed onto the planters and started sifting soil for fish food. Shaking the cane holds no terrors for them any more and wapping the steel framework around the pond did no good whatsoever. Finally I must have offended the larger one as he bared his teeth and snapped at me. That was the final straw. I grabbed the garden hose and turned it on them full force. They scrambled pretty fast considering how fat they are now. They made one final attempt at the pond but the hose was too much for them.
Today I got the makings of an electrical fence. I wish I could bill the person who is feeding them. Grumble, grumble. I once had high hopes for their continuing good behavior but the easy feeding and human contact has overcome natural behavior. Sandy


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RE: Raccoons again.

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 24, 06 at 9:15

Ok, that's scary, Sandy. Little Damiens, looking all sweet and cuddly (and licking your fingers!), then turning on you.

It would be great if you could get a sign for the front area of your house (like where neighbors could see it). "DON'T feed the RACCOONS!"

Brenda


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