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Stealing homes from animals  RSS feed

 
Posts: 369
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i bought a house in southern Illinois. It has been empty for several year. Long story short there are raccoons in my attic and a groundhog in my basement. I don't want to kill them but they are short tempered and bad guest.
I have tried radios dogs lights ect.  My next try will be catch and release. any other thoughts
 
                                
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Put some powdered sulfur in metal lids and set it on fire to create a lot of poison smoke. (1 tsp in a quart-size lid) Most of the animals will escape but won't come back there. Bugs will die, a bonus. You should light it and get out or it won't be good for you either. Let it set a few hours and throw open all doors and windows to air out.
 
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what about some live traps? not sure I would be comfortable with the idea of smoking them out....

I dont' know anything about groundhogs but I am pretty sure people use traps for coons pretty regularly. they are available at our local farm and ranch stores.

I would think that the biggest factor in the long run is preventing access to your attic and basement for such creatures.
 
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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traps, a long drive into a deeps woods and when you drop them..leave them a little dog food..just to establish them in their new locale
 
steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Just think, if you use the poison, in order for it to be effective, you will be poisoning yourself some too.  And then when you go back into the area, then everything is covered with a poison residue.  And will it have made your toxic for years to come?

I support the traps idea.
 
                                
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LOL. You guys are funny. It's sulfur. It can be wiped off. The gas created only while it's burning is the poison. We put sulfur on our gardens.
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 25152
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I haven't put any sulfur in my garden for 15 years.  And while it is what is recommended for controlling some pests (organically) as a fruit tree spray, I stopped doing that too.

There are just different levels of organic.

And if it kills other mammals, then it can kill us too.  And anytime you use a gaseous poison, it gets into everything and continues to poison for years later.

Now, I think if you're gonna go with a poison route, I might go with CO2 - a gas there is already plenty of in our air.  But that would only work for the basement.  Maybe toss 20 pounds of dry ice down there.

Another idea is a garbage can with a foot of water in the bottom and a bit of bait floating on a paper plate.



 
steward
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Poisoning the animals may result in their death in a hard to reach area.  If you cant remove the carcass, you live with the smell. 

Trapping is safe for you and safe for the animal.  If release to the wild is not an option, contact animal rescue groups.  They may even trap the beasts for you.

 
gardener
Posts: 1948
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Since you now live there, I like the idea of blocking their entry while they are out at night.  You can even bait them away from the entry(s).

This is what I did to stop skunks from the crawl space under my house.  Pew Weeeeeee!  Took a little work to find the small entry spot, but then it was easy to block - poof no more skunks.  Dogs and Cats help with spending the message to move on too.

I wouldn't want to pay for the traps myself.

 
charles c. johnson
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A friend said i could use his trap. I'm just worried its a momma raccoon. I don't live there yet. I wanted to wait until winter was over to remove the animals , but this house might sell early so looking for answers before its to late
 
Leah Sattler
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do racoons have a season that the have babies?  that might alleviate some worry of having little ones left somewhere inside.

with the sulfur thing......just because something can be used safely and even beneficially in one situation or quantity doesn't automatically make it safe for all applications. of course when presented with possible solutions I don't think all the solutions are usually equal and the best, least invasive, least risky, least likely to result in negative consequences (dead animals in walls and crawlspaces are not pleasant) should be tried first.
 
charles c. johnson
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too bad i can't train the raccoon to run electrical wire and insulate. then it could stay forever lol
 
Leah Sattler
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ha ha ha! I foresee another photoshopped "beast of burden" thread like the moose....except it will be a racoon wearing a toolbelt and carrying a voltmeter
 
charles c. johnson
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thats  funny lol  If you think about it im sure you could train a monkey to drag wire and stuff it in holes. you could make a fortune  people would love not having to wreck there house to add power
 
pollinator
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Location: Green County, Kentucky
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In addition to the other concerns about using sulfur, I would think it might leave a residual smell -- of rotten eggs. 

Kathleen
 
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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There are small animals trained to do electrical work.

IIRC, they put a harness and a fishing line or similar on a mouse, and wafted the scent of food (cheese?) through the opening they wanted to reach. Once the mouse reached the chees, they un-clipped the harness and used the line to pull wire, or perhaps to pull through a heavier line that was strong enough to pull wire.

I only saw it used for empty runs of conduit, though...I imagine a tangle could end up trapping the creature.

It's too bad dried urine is such an important part of packrat midden structure, or they might be handy at installing insulation...maybe along with a breed of rice with especially small kernals and especially fluffy husks?
 
Leah Sattler
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so this is drifting way off topic  but I was always fascinated by the land mine hunting rats. an example of a small animal/rodent that has actually been trained to save human lives (in a roundabout way).

http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/tanzania605/video_index.html

what an incredible idea!!!
 
              
Posts: 238
Location: swampland virginia
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Get them out. They can carry all sorts of diseases that can put you six feed under. They are cute animals that will tear you up and make a mess of things if you let them. Smart animals too. Takes them years to forget how to do something. Best not to let them figure it out. (hear that is what some governments and businesses say about the populous too)

Easiest solution would be to find where they enter and exit the building (raccoons) and hook a tube or cage up to that spot, making sure they can leave, but not get back in. I know some have had success getting rid of squirrels using metal ducting and arranging it at a downward slope and stopping it several feet above their roof. Depends on where they are entering and exiting. A search you might try is on 'tomahawk one way door animal excluders'

If you trap them in a box cage, make sure you get the right sized one for the animals and I seem to recall marshmallows being a favorite food of the raccoon. (also eat grubs, berries, corn... and seen 'em tear up the berries on a mulberry tree and a groundhog eat all foliage off one.)

If you have kids or dirt eaters, know that raccoon feces can be deadly (to adults too). Handle with care. The worms they can carry can last for years in the soil.

If you continue to have problems with them, talk to the neighbors and convince them to not feed the raccoons, their pets outside, lock their trash cans, etc.

Also, a small population thinning goes a long way when it comes to competing for food. Most animals will eat your food (or you) but would prefer to keep their distance from humans. They close in on us when they run out of options. Keeping them living off the land instead of living off humans should keep the population in check.

My population was thinned (trapped and relocated) because they started leaving deposits all over the yard, tore the garden up, woke me up at night, concerned about kids and dirt and rabies... I know within a short distance of me, others were being removed at the same time they invaded a home.

Keep them in check and everyone will be safer and happier.

Oh, one other way. Get a Bob Cat. They love eating raccoons etc...
 
charles c. johnson
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BLEH  well i trapped the raccoon which come to find out is not legal without a permit lol.
I planned to release him that is also a crime lol
I called department of natural resources. They said what ever i do don't release it kill it.
 
Leah Sattler
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glad you got it ..... sorry it sounds like there is legal redtape.... sometime what they don't know won't hurt them  . I wonder what their reason is behind not wanting you to release it? is there a coon problem in general in the area?
 
charles c. johnson
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something about rabies
 
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What a coincidence. I was watching "irty Jobs" a day or 2 ago. In this particular episode,  the host (Mike Rowe) was working with an animal control guy. His job was trapping skunks, raccoons, opossums etc. This was in California where the only way the law allows for these animals to be destroyed is euthanasia. So the animal control worker's job consisted of trapping the animals, figuring out how they are getting into the home, fixing the problem, and then letting the animals go somewhere else on the property where they were caught. I guess that's job security! Amazing.
 
Leah Sattler
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hmmm. do they figure there is a higher rate of trapped coons having rabies then just any coon? not that one less coon in this world is a bad thing I'm just curious.
 
              
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Location: West Iowa
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trap and kill would be one of the better ways of dealing with it, or if you are around at night, they are easy to hunt with gun then.  Relocation is a horrible idea.  Raccoons are already overpopulated in too many areas, and relocating them,  not only does nothing to temper those numbers, its very possible to spread disease doing that. 
 
charles c. johnson
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well i was going to kill it but wifey likes cute little furry things.
I was also worried that some one would see me and report it and I would go to jail for animal cruelty, or something sense it is in the city.
So i have to call and get a permit to kill critters.
Then I will have 30 days to deal with the ground hog  opossum  and other raccoons. With out fear of animal cruelty charges.
You know unless I torture them.
 
              
Posts: 238
Location: swampland virginia
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my way of dealing with them was relocating, as they were used to stock some hunting grounds for coon season. according to wikipedia, they carry many diseases, average about 0.2 to 7.7 coons per square mile in the wild, and about 129 to 388 per square mile in urban areas. they have hit varmint status and looked upon from a safety standpoint as mice and rats. Though cute, they are smart relentless disease carrying wild animals.

Feel free to use the following posting put on craig's list. it generated many laughs and was deemed by one as the best post ever on craig's list. modify as needed and let me know your results .

Title: (free stuff) Free Raccoons, Squirrels and Ground Hogs

Free.

Come and get them all. Do not just cherry pick the best ones.

They are in the trees, in the gardens, in the ground. These are the Fattest Raccoons, Squirrels and Ground Hogs in Hampton Roads (In My Opinion).

Do with them as you please. I hear they are good eating in hard times, can keep you warm in the winter, or just make nice ammo in your potato gun for a good laugh (lock and load).

If anyone from PETA prefers, I can have them dropped off at your Norfolk Waterfront location.

[In all seriousness, if anyone was looking to transfer some of these animals, they do clean up the grubs, aerate the yard, and take care of many tree seeds, not to mention how Cute they are. I just can't stand to think they might get evicted soon for not paying room and board.]
 
charles c. johnson
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did it work lol ??
 
Leah Sattler
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"0.2 to 7.7 coons per square mile in the wild, and about 129 to 388 per square mile in urban areas"

good golly! if the urban numbers are correct no wonder they want him to kill the dang thing! let me come over i'll do it for ya!
 
charles c. johnson
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yeah thats way to many
 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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LOL  Leah your the best!

I could just see you with your .22 (and with child) taking all those coons out!  You would learn 'em some respect (of the hormone charged woman).....

All I do is blast them out of my neighbors trees at night with a high powered water hose, but it's great fun when it can be had.
 
              
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Location: swampland virginia
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charles johnson "carbonout" wrote:
did it work lol ??



Made for a few laughs, but ultimately looked for those in need of coons - hunters, skinners, etc. I knew there were a bunch of them and had watched the population grow over the years. Had one walk within 3 feet of me one night while i was sitting in a chair on the other side of the fence he was getting ready to jump. When I saw over half a dozen of them in a couple trees and others wondering in and out of the yard like they owned it, something had to be done. Stay up late and shoot them (what do you do with the bodies? - vultures) Dig holes as traps and burry them? Trap them and then what? Well, decided I'd find someone who could benefit from them.

Leah, agree with you. I didn't think the population would be that high, but after seeing how many were in less than 1000 square feet, I can see it being that high or higher. Too many people feeding them, even if they are not aware of it.
 
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