- Sep 23, 2013
I got started on a raccoon "purge" two years ago when I saw a "family" of six marauding on our 2nd story deck. We had put up with their usual hijinks - torn up screens, dumped garbage cans, destroyed bird feeders, lots of broken small stuff - but when they started in on the second floor and the roof I thought I better take some action before they caused a more serious problem. The animal control folks said they would need to do some research and then they might do something. The pest control companies wanted a hefty set-up fee (~$200) and would charge $85 to dispose of each animal they catch. City boy that I am, I had the same notion a lot of folks do - us a "Have-a-Heart" trap to capture them and release them back to nature far away from our sub-division. The state DNR and the city both say that strategy is illegal - "you have to hire a pro." Rather than the "shooting fish in a barrel" techniques (or drowning - UGH!), I decided my strategy would be to cover the trap with the captured animal with a plastic tarp then use a dryer hose hooked up to a car exhaust. This seems "humane" - they depart from this mortal coil in about 10 minutes without so much as a whimper. I dispose of each carcass in an unmarked shallow grave in the ravine behind the house, reciting a short prayed about my brother/sister raccoon. I just caught Rocky #53 last week. The "pest" issues have died down to some degree but I'm wondering if I have I done enough to reduce the raccoon population to "co-existence" levels.