raccoon problem?

topic posted Thu, March 2, 2006 - 9:16 AM by  pengrin™
Last night I finally saw what creature was trying to get through my door windows since there's a tiny crack for him to get in. Raccoon woke me up at 2AM.. ;( Luckily, he's not able to get in.

Any thoughts on how I can block him from trying to pull my door window (I guess like french doors) open so I can get some sleep? Thanks!
posted by:
SF Bay Area
  • Unsu...
    Unless you left a trail of smelly food droppings leading the critter in to the house you have a problem racoon. That is not normal behaviour.
    Call your local animal control and start talking Rabies.

    If you have no such office in your town, buy a rifle.

    Don't mess with the critter. A Racoon can shred a doberman.
  • raccoons are very nasty (they shredded my cat last august, and removed the tip of this lady's thumb when she tried to protect her small dog from their attack) and they can be encouraged by food or water or good spots to hide.

    Raccoons (like bears) do now know that there is food to be found in houses in general, so it is not really abnormal for them to try to get in if they feel they can. Also they love to tear into layered or rotty wood to look for insects. This does not mean they are rabid. Just hungry. And smart.

    Since it keeps returning to the same spot, I suggest trapping it - you can re-release or euthanize - local animal control traps them, or since you are in the bay area, you can call Animal Damage Control 925-283-3130 (James)>>they helped me trap 11 after the cat incident (yeah call me vengeful)...but if you re-release them in my hood I'll have to fedex them back to you as coonskin caps. I don't mess around now and own a .22 pellet gun which can kill them.
    • I'll take everybody's word that raccoons can be dangerous, but I've had several close encounters and have never seen an aggressive raccoon.

      Once, in college, someone didn't latch the kitchen door all the way. When we came home there were 4 raccoons in the kitchen. They had stuffed themselves with almost 2 full loaves of bread, and were apparently now just throwing hunks of bread at each other. They didn't seem impressed when we walked in, and we ended up having to shoo each one out with a broom to get it to leave. But they never came back.

      My GF gets them in her yard all the time, but they've never bothered her dog or done anything aggressive.

      I have a pair living in my alley right now. Every once in a while I will see them while they're on their way somewhere, but I see no evidence of them during the day.

      I certainly wouldn't try to pick one up, but I also wouldn't be overly worried about them. Yeah, they're wild animals, but they're not mean-tempered by nature. They're not cats, but they're not bears, either. Just secure your door and when he figures out that he's not getting any food that way, he'll move on.
      • I had 7 years of ok coon relations with many house break-ins and food robberies and hands-on late night "shooing" (with steel-toed boots, fire-wood chucking, ridiculous arm movements and stomping, bb gun etc, all of which worked for a second).

        Raccoons are considered native californian mammalian predators as well as carnivores/omnivores/opportunists. They are wild animals, even if it is possible to have non-agressive interactions with them.

        (I will no longer be on this thread since I have contributed to this one here before, and it got mean and ugly and defensive (before getting yanked by the moderator), and I am too sad about my cat to discuss this further, I apologze.)

        >good luck Pengrin, whatever resolution you seek<
        • i had issues with a racoon coming in the cat door and making itself right at home...

          the cats just ignored or avoided the racoon...this racoon was young and so fit through the flap...i tried all the groovy tripped out moves with the stomping and clapping and yelling to make it leave--which worked the first couple of times-- but after a while i think i only made it think that i was crazy and went back to washing its face and digging in to the left over cat took more with the broom and such to get it to go...

          i blocked the cat door at night and at first the racoon came every night scratching and pushing the flap, but after about a week the racoon figured out that it couldn't get in that way so came far less frequently and so eventually it grew too big to get in through the flap and after a while, i never saw it again...

          i say keep the racoon from getting in and if you have any food or compost near that door move it away from that door because it wants in most likely for food.

          racoons have attitude.
      • Unsu...
        Generally they are cute adorable little critters - with a disposition very much like bears too - just little bears.
        Exactly as you describe they tend to make litle or no trouble other than the occasional garbage can dumped over and crap all over the place.

        Sometimes however one runs into a bad animal. Why they go rancid is any one's guess. Disease, broken poorly healed bones, mistreatment, mental illness, Psychosis ?? I dunno. but animals do go bad and they do have personalities. Rabies is also a reality.

        Cornered they are ferocious as hell. I have cornered more than my fair share in my chicken coop, and around the feed bins near my horse stalls in northerrn maine. Normally a coon won't get bigger than 20 pounds. I've seen em pushing 50.

        Possums too can be very aggrresive when they are of a mind to be.
        I had a cat that was evicted most forcefully from its house I built for it right outside a porch door. Evicted by a possum who took up residence in the cat house and eating the cat food. It wouldn't come out of the house. I noticed it because the cat had run off and was all beat up when I found it. When I brought it near it's house it took a fit. The thing was hysterical as a cat could be.

        I ended up taking a shotgun to the possum.

        The cat wouldn'd take it's food ther any more and I had to toss the house. It took the cat several weeks to calm down and eventually it ran away again. That possum must have given it one hell of a beating.

        Sometimes critters you'd think would normally be OK can be mean, nasty, even dangerous.

        • .
          offline 8
          possums and racoons can be some of the meanest sumsbitches there are. If they arent playing nice, off 'em.
          • It's very sad how uneducated people are about wild animals and how many of you just assume you should "take a shotgun" to them.

            Animal cruelity doesn't just apply to domesticated animals.
            • A
              offline 0
              Some of us were raised with the notion that possums were these cute little critters; so defenseless, that they played ("possum") dead to get attackers to leave them alone; a logical pacifists' poster child?

              Caution - the pictures on this website make the possum seem like the sweetest little critter, but...wait until you've seen a full grown possum; one that has grown large from eating chickens and house pets.

              I remember as a kid, peering out my bedroom window as a white shadowy critter attempted to make a return midnight run into the chicken coop. I woke up my old man, but by the time he got out there with a shotgun, the darn thing vanished into the dark.

              Oh, yes - in this enlightened world we live in, you have many more options:

              So, in a "perfect world" - it's easy for an arm chair quarterback to sit back and criticise.

              Here kitty,kitty:
              (check out those teeth)

              more great info here:
              (still think they are cute?)

              I think I like all animals; including poisonous snakes, mice, rats, bats, skunks and even possum.
              Faced with a given situation I try do use the resources I'm aware of / available to me to address a problem in the most humane manor (I've gone to some truly comical lengths).

              But, sometimes you got to do - what you got to do; to protect you and your'n.
  • Do you mean window shutters?

    Supposedly raccoons don't like the sell of ammonia or moth balls. So maybe laying lots of moth balls on the outside of your window sash will discourage the raccoon. (When it rains, remember to bring the moth balls inside.)
    • They're like french windows as I described it to my friend so there's a little tiny gap for the raccoon to try to pry the window open. Luckily, it's still couldn't get in.

      What happens when the moth balls get wet? I've never used moth balls before.
    • Mothballs work.

      I had a small hole under the eaves in a house I used to live in. Racoons had been in the attic, and looked like they were settling in. I waited til they went out, then sprinkled mothballs around the opening. I saw them around the yard after that, but they never went back in the attic. Works for squirrels, too.

      Just check the mothballs every once in a while and replace when needed.

  • A
    offline 0
    Left-over cookies,Pengrin?

    Can't we all just get along?

    Racoons are petty rascally; and like most critters (and people) if you give em an inch - they may take a mile (or a cat or a dog).

    As long as they don't prove to be distructive or dangerous, I think you should let them be.

    You might explore the world of electronic sonic anti-pest gadgets, but shop wisely; there's a lot of quakery out there.

    Other wise you are going to have to convince the critters that there is no way they are getting in. And they may continue trying for months, so your solution has to be something you can live with - cosmetically for several months (or indefinetly). One idea that comes to mind is get a sheet of galvanized metal mesh (Its like a heavy metal screen) large enough to allow window slats to open and a couple inches more all around. Then build a frame (like a flat picture frame) around it to hold it in place; metal would be best. Or 3/4inch hardwood. Fasten very securely with wood screws or bolts (I know, poor door). You will want to do a little overkill in your effort, because if they get thru this; they will invest even more effort on the next barrier.

    If you can use a flat material flush over the window; you might consider a sheet of plexiglass; once again be very deligent in screwing or bolting into place.

    Say thankyou to the little one for showing you the opening, and rascal proof your house.

    Now, if you don't think he can get thru those french window slats lock them down and wait and see -maybe re-inforce with couple slats of hardwood. If they can't get thru - they will give up in a couple weeks (Unless there is an overwhelming smell of yummy food - which I suspect is typical at your place).
    good luck
    • Unsu...
      *******Can't we all just get along? ***********

      "we" as in this forum or "we" as in the things on the planet?
      • A
        offline 0
        ""we" as in this forum or "we" as in the things on the planet?"

        "all" / both

        A rhetorical question; maybe more suited to a separate topic or tribe. Not seeking an answer, but . . . I suppose an answer could be, "Only in la-la land. Or, in brief, isolated moments; in reality - mostly gone unnoticed."
        • Unsu...
          Generally speaking I think this forum is about as amicable a one as I've ever seen.
          It's one of the nicer tribes.
          I suspect that is because for the most part people leave the "bitter contentious issues" elsewhere and come here wih practical matter.
          Once in a while you see someone spoiling for a quarrell but it usualy never goes anywhere beyong a bit of pissing.
          • Unsu...
            Those of you with cat/dog doors should install the kind with a sensor! Your animals wear a tag on their collar that lets only them gain entry, and won't admit any others. Keeps the strays and the other species out.
            I heard of a skunk letting himself into a friend's garage once....and being discovered the HARD way.
            • If you decide to leave one of those humane cages near the cat door to catch the coon, make sure that's what's actually in it in the morning. My friend set one of those up by his cat door. In the morning he heard some rustling in the cage and rubbing his hands with great glee, he got down on all fours to check on his catch. He turned the trap around to peer into the front and got sprayed straight in the face by one pissed off skunk. They had to take him to the hospital....

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