FAQ’s

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This page is dedicated to you and questions you frequently ask us:

Why is it so hard to outsmart these darn raccoons!

FAQ:  Don’t be so hard on yourself. The raccoons have been scientifically tested and their SAT results are in: The raccoons intelligence is second only to higher monkeys and chimpanzees. In fact, it is on par with a very smart 3 year old toddler. And if that doesn’t sound so tough, you haven’t spent much time around 3 year old toddlers. Still not convinced the raccoons are smarter than most of us? Google Purdue University raccoon intelligence. So you see it’s not your imagination at all, the masked bandits are near genius.

Is it really true that the mother raccoon and her babies will move out on their own?

Yes!  Why don’t the trapping and pest control companies tell you that? Well, do the math, as they say.

FAQ: A raccoon uses an attic for a temporary den site because she perceives it safe from predators, especially night-time predators. This allows her to be able to go out at night (when it’s safer for her) to seek food and water for herself. Once the babies are old enough to keep up with her (8-10 weeks max) and ready to start eating some solid foods, they all move on and back to the woods. 

FAQ:  Raccoons do NOT bring food back to the densite for the babies. Raccoons nurse while in the den and for months after they start eating solid foods as well. Mothers keep the den clean and free of all other critters. If you had a rodent problem before she came along? You very likely don’t anymore, not while she’s there!

Ha! I found out how those critters got into my home! 

HOLD THAT HAMMER, Genius!

FAQ: Ok, good for you, you found the magic hole!  Seal it up too quick here and you’ll regret it in a BIG way. What if there are still critters inside and you trap them inside your home? Yeah, not a good outcome, trust us!

TIP:  To ensure no critters are using that hole is very simple. Stuff a wad of newspaper into the hole. Make it just snug enough the winds won’t ruffle it away. Wait at least 48 hours. Yes, at least a few nights is wise. New mothers sometimes do not leave newborns for first couple days. If a few days pass and that paper hasn’t been pushed out of the hole? Voila, knock yourself out and seal it up. But make it bear-proof this time; heavy hardware cloth wire, longer screws and with FENDER WASHERS!  Once a den site, always a den site is true. But proper repairs and prevention can stop future guests. (Another reminder that removing animals is just a short-term band-aid! Seal ’em out properly is the ONLY solution)  Here’s a video showing what we do – and note at the end how we reinforced the OTHER side of the portico roof also.

Before you trap, or seal that hole – WATCH THIS VIDEO!

I have raccoons in my attic! I need some traps set!

FAQ:   Really. Bad. Idea! And yet this knee-jerk reaction appears to be ingrained in our DNA? We must evolve. In south Florida it is highly unlikely that you have more than one raccoon* overhead, however, it is VERY likely that the one raccoon is a mother with 1-6 babies in a location up there where only she or a Munchkin from the Wizard of Oz can get to. Your smart mother found a weakness in your fortress and a den site that feels weather proof and safe from predators — but — she does know of at least one other den site.

Welcome to 21st Century! When you hire 411 Raccoon Solutions we will let her know that she needs to move her babies to another site so that we can secure your home and get your address off the “Top 10 Den Sites” known to all raccoons in your area for years to come. We will not trap or handle her at all. Yes, it can be done, and at this time 411 Raccoon Solutions has a 100% success rate of convincing mothers to move out with all her babies the FIRST NIGHT! 

* Only once have we had a customer that had a second raccoon mother move into an attic and give birth before the present dweller’s babies had reached the age of moving out into the woods (yes, at approximately 8 weeks of age the mother and her kits ‘n caboodle are ready to move on, and won’t be back. Raccoons do not “live” in attics, not in south FL anyway.)

Inspecting your home (and outbuildings) on a routine basis to PREVENT these intrusions is the best money and time you can spend. Here is a diagram to assist you:           

Protect your home diagram

Protect your home diagram

Raccoons in my trees, on my porches… Why am I seeing them all of a sudden?

FAQ:  As mentioned here (Exclusion Vs Trapping?), wildlife populations are dictated by food and habitat…

Raccoon and friends pooping in my swimming POOL! Why must they do that?

(First, let’s realize that many animals including yourself use a potty with water in it!

 Secondly, keep this in mind on next camping trip when drinking downstream! Yeah, ewww!)

Tips & Tricks that work – because trapping and removing will not.

  1. Spray ammonia from spray bottle around pool deck, especially near stairs area. Refresh as needed due to rains and pool use.
  2. Motion activated sprinklers like this one work well. More than one is better, and move them around every couple days.
  3. Motion activated battery operated mini alarms work well and are inexpensive. We like this one, on which we recorded sounds of barking dogs and yelling “Get! Get outta here!”. Seal it in ziplock baggie to keep it dry. Strap or tape it to handrail near stairs. Move around every few days, and ask Fido to test it for you.
  4. ONE alligator head we have had 100% success with, and it’s a cool conversation piece too. Beware of cheap versions. Contact the SFWC to order yours.

GatorGuard in pool

A pest control company told me my attic is trashed and I need all new insulation,                               to the tune of $20,000 !!

Let me guess, he found out your insurance company will pay for it? Check out nuisance wildlife operators at www. BBB.org before you sign that dotted line. Please.

But there isn’t any food here! Our trash is secured and we don’t feed our pets outside.

FAQ:  We suspect you have a neighbor… more like about 300? Chances are that a few of them are not as responsible and courteous to their neighbors as you are. If you know of a neighbor feeding their pets outside very politely ask them to pick up all dishes before dusk. If unsecured trash is the problem, you can suggest a solution of very heavy duty velcro straps, two on each side of the can, securing the lid. Storing all cans in a secure garage or outbuilding is better yet. Those grills smell darn good, too, so lock ’em up as well.

FAQ:  Bird feeders have a day shift AND a night shift. Would you like to buy a sign?

Bird feeder stupid sign

NOTE: If you trap, kill or remove wildlife from a conflict caused by constant food sources like a bird feeder is, you are completely wasting your money and time. As mentioned on the Exclusion page, Nature will quickly replace the vacancies we cause because wildlife populations ARE dictated by food, habitat and even increased by indiscriminate removal. If the first two factors still exist, the remaining animals will breed more often and produce larger litters.

MORE FOOD = MORE WILDLIFE

LESS FOOD = LESS WILDLIFE

NO FOOD = NO WILDLIFE

Getting rid of some of these animals will fix my problem, right? Wait, HUH?

What do you mean it will cost hundreds of dollars and not help!

A MEMO from Mother NATURE:  “Spend all the money you like, Remove or kill all you must but

I’ll just bring in more to fill that vacancy you created, I promise!”

There is an opossum terrorizing our home (or barn*), please come remove it.

FAQ:  If you have been following along you know you’re about to waste money on this one as well, right? Get all pet food, dishes and bird feeders put away before dusk, secure trash, pick up dropped fruit from trees and spilled bird seed. Rodents will still come by for any morsel you miss, by the way. If you don’t want them around either then you may wish to write the opossums, raccoons, fox, skunks, coyote and raccoons a Thank You note for keeping the mice and rats (and snakes) away. Seriously, these critters are the best rodent control you can find anywhere!  *Special note to horse owners*: If you are concerned about feces on your hay but insist on feeding the barn cats there, lay out feed bags or put a sheet down over the bales and launder it weekly.

FAQ:  If you’re a weirdo that really, really loves TICKS, then ok, you won’t want opossums around. One opossum is now reputed to kill up to 5,000 ticks a season! Sorry, tick lovers.

 

“Experts concur there are more ticks in more places in America than ever — which means more tick disease too. But now there’s a new defense in the fight against ticks, opossum. One opossum may devour thousands of ticks a year, quite the ticky appetite”http://stevedalepetworld.com/celebrate-tick-eating-opossum/ 

 

Holy crap, these raccoons have no fear and are coming around during the day…. RABIES!

FAQ:  We must be psychic – we knew you were going to say that! Glad you did, actually. More on this coming soon, but if you are seeing a healthy animal, you are seeing a healthy animal. If you are seeing two or more together, you are seeing a few healthy animals. Raccoons do not actually “carry” rabies. Like you or any unvaccinated mammal they must be bitten and infected by a rabid animal that was in the final stages of the virus – which, by the way, is the ONLY time that rabies is even contagious!

In neighborhoods, parks and backyards that are safe from hunting, dogs, busy roads, raccoons are commonly out during the day. “Nocturnal” is a safety practice for them as needed, not a biological requirement. Trappers made beavers nocturnal decades ago when they nearly killed them to extinction.

Mother raccoons, especially in wooded den sites, must stay in her nest all night to protect babies from night predators. She needs to find food & water by day, and later may take her weaning-age babies out by safety of day as well.  And the juvenile youngsters have not received the memo that they should lay low during the day, so they too are often seen romping by day.

If you are seeing a sick animal, chances are you will KNOW it is a sick animal. Here is a document page that is handy to share with neighbors and communities: RACCOON SIGHTINGS

Our veterinarian told us to have the raccoons removed (who will be killed) for our safety and our pets, something about a deadly parasite that raccoons carry?

FAQ:  Before you take a bite of feces you might find in your backyard, you should know that s/he is referring to Baylisascaris procyonis, (BP “raccoon” roundworm), and you really should not eat it*, nor allow children to. Raccoons have evolved complete immunity to it but humans and some other species have not. so, how many humans in all of historical recordings to-date have been infected? Approximately 30, yep, that’s it Dr. of all pets!!  Here’s some trivia to share: The very common canine roundworm (Toxocara canis) blinds over 500 children a year. I doubt your vet mentioned that detail about his patient, i.e., your dog? Every de-wormer on the store shelf (or from your vet) recommended to keep your pet parasite free also works to control BP roundworm. We hope that you will now educate your veterinarian and inform him/her of how much money you almost wasted trapping and killing other animals! (If a veterinarian told me to kill innocent animals? I’d think about finding another vet)

* If you find piles of dried feces on your roof, in your attic or any place that you suspect may be from a raccoon, wear a mask and gloves and pick up gently as to not let it “powder”. Parasite infections can occur via inhalation (although not one case appears recorded!), and, as proclaimed, you’d have to inhale mega quantities of eggs in the stirred up dust. This is assuming that raccoon was even infected as not all are. Discard in sealed trash bag. The eggs can survive almost any disinfectant procedure short of a blow-torch, so if possible do also discard the dirt or other material that was defecated on.  If you can’t shake a fear that you could have been infected your Dr can give you one pill to “de-worm” yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

More fun FAQ’s coming soon!