Raccoons are like rats - they're happier in urban environments than out in the wild. As a result, they often make their way into local residences and get comfortable. They're smart creatures that easily know how to break into houses to nest. Consider these tips to keep these furry pests out of your home.
What are racoons?
Raccoons are small, quick animals that feed on whatever they can find, even garbage. They like being near a water source to hunt for fish, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife noted. If they're agile enough, raccoons will climb trees to eat birds and their eggs. Urban raccoons tend to weigh around 40 pounds, much more than wild raccoons because of ample resources. Raccoons can be vicious and have long, sharp nails that they can attack with. Often, females will invade homes to have their young. Homeowners may not see the pups if they encounter a female, but they may still be there. Raccoons may not even try to get into your home. They may be a pest in your pool, garden, pond or garbage cans during their hunt for food.
Follow these pest management tips to prevent raccoons
Use tightly sealed garbage cans: Homeowners should dispose of their garbage in sealed cans made out of thick plastic or metal, Raccoon Attic Guide noted. Simply leaving trash bags outside won't work. Raccoons will tear through those with ease to search for food. Raccoons also know how to remove lightweight tops from garbage cans. Use bungee cords to seal the cans if the tops are loose.
Build a strong fence: Raccoons are clever and resourceful, meaning they can sneak into a garden without a hitch. Prevent them from snacking on your zucchini or eggplant by building a strong fence around the garden. This can also help keep out other animals. If you think raccoons could get through your fence, place a motion-sensitive water sprayer in the garden that will spray any invaders.
Place heavy metal mesh on any openings: Raccoons' paws are strong, but they can't get through metal mesh. Use this to your advantage. If you have a Koi pond, cover it each night with a mesh overlay to protect the fish from getting eaten and your pond from getting ransacked. This also applies to any vents in your home. Vents and screens are some of the easiest ways for raccoons to enter your home. Keep them out by fortifying these areas with strong mesh or chicken wire.
If you have a raccoon problem, protect your home and call an exterminator. Raccoons are intelligent and tough to deal with. Let pest service professionals handle them.
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