Raccons in my birdfeeder

Bumblebeez SC Zone 7June 3, 2009

I never (since the day I bought the baffle) have squirrels because of a sturdy, stovepipe baffle but for the past two weeks raccoons have been visiting the gazebo type feeder. I have removed the top and plastic inner sleeve because they would throw those on the ground each night.

How can I make them go away? I'm not going to shoot them which is the advice I've been getting!

I have still been placing a little seed early in the day for the birds but only a little bit because I don't have the sleeve in place.

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rosiew(8 GA)

I recommend getting a Hav-a-heart trap for the raccoons. Perhaps your animal control agency has them available - here a deposit has to be paid, but is refundable. Raccoons have an extremely high percentage of being carriers of rabies, which makes them unwelcome on my property. They most probably will be euthanized by animal control.

HTH, Rosie

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 8:31AM
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vicki7(z7 N.Ga.)

I'm sorry to hear you are having the raccoon problem. So are we. My husband is an avid bird lover and keeps suet in little metal cages hanging on the tree limbs, as well as several regular feeders filled with seed. The raccoons have discovered our back yard and will do just about anything to get to the suet, mostly at night but sometimes in the daytime. We bought a Hav-a-heart trap for about $40 from Home Depot and plan to try it tonight.
I've done a lot of reading about raccoons and they are indeed carriers of several diseases that can be transmitted to both humans and pets. Even their feces can cause disease (gross!). Good luck with getting rid of them. I'll let ya'll know if we catch the varmint!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 12:17PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Hmmm... I just don't want to kill them. Is there a way to safely release them somewhere else? But then I wonder if I'm catching the mother who has babies to feed....We live in the country and I see them occasionally so there's plenty of 'em around but I don't want them at my birdfeeder.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 3:36PM
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If you hang your bird feeder from something, I do not think that raccoons can get to it.

There is another solution; Spray your seeds with tobasco sauce solution also sprinkle some ground red pepper on them, let dry a bit and place in the bird feeder.
coons and squirrells will try and run away with burning mouth(haha). If you want , you can buy hot pepper tinnted seeds from garden centers and pet stores.

I do have a bird feeder hanging from a tree branch that no squirrels can get to it. I have a sysytem to lower it fill it and pull it up again. But right now I do not feed the birds. There are plenty of worms, insects and wild fruits/seeds/berries available for them. Instead I have a bird bath.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 4:27PM
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Those who use electric fences to ward off deer can hang metal feeders near the fence and attach a metal wire from fence to feeder. Won't bother the birds but the raccoons still in contact with a tree, pole or the ground will receive a shock which sends them running unharmed. This is how I solved the problem. No electric fence? Then set up a short section of solar electric fence hooked to metal feeders. Components available on line. Most humane way to handle the situation.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 4:29PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I forgot about red pepper....I will try that first. I appreciate everyone's ideas and posts.
Thank You!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 5:54PM
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Trapping and releasing an animal in a random territory is pretty much a death sentence for it. It just makes you feel better, but is very bad for the animal for a lot of reasons I won't go on about. As someone who has had a lot of animals dumped on my land, I can tell you it is not appreciated. Someone drives off feeling great and I get dead animals. Please, please look for a wildlife rehabilitator in your area, they have certified release sites, plus the knowledge to give quality, experienced advice, not just internet education. Anyone with frontpage can make a website.

Even if you do this, if you have raccoon habitat, more will move in so you need to dismantle the habitat. A local Wild Birds Unlimited will have good advice on how to raccoon proof feeders. They carry stove pipe baffles in raccoon size - squirrel size will not work. Remove water if you can - raccoons love water. Try to provide zero food, zero water and they will be forced to move. If you have a creek or pond you may be out of luck.

All mammals carry diseases in a zillion different ways. I've had more trouble with domestic dogs spreading coccidiosis - most recently distemper, nasty stuff - and house cats spreading everything (through fecal matter) than raccoons, but a raccoon is something I don't want around either. Mostly because I don't want on scrapping with my dogs and getting into everything under the moon. They are mighty feisty. Catching one in a trap is not for the squeamish. It's not as easy as it sounds - the trap will be rolling, and you'll need to open it.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 6:31PM
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No ! it is not a death sentence. The animal trapped and released somewhere else will live a normal life but probably will not have a chance to mate and make babies.
Raccoons and rats and squirrels are not endangered species and there is no need for them to multiply like rabbits. O! I forgot to add the rabbits to the list too.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 10:38PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I must have a certifiable animal sanctuary here then. Lots of rabbits, wild turkeys, deer, possums, raccoons and birds, of course.
I will not speak the S word!
We have a major creek bordering our property- 5 acres away from the house at the bottom of a wooded slope and there is
a small pond across the street from the house about 3 acres away from the house.
Our yard is landscaped and I don't see much during the day but we do have possum poop in the driveway most mornings. Sometimes on the front porch. I have two small dogs - Beagle and a husky Jack Russel who help keep the animals wary.

There is a horse farm next to us and neighbors on the other side but it still quite wild.

I don't if I can help it plan on killing or trapping anything (dh would do it if I wanted it done and he is not squeamish at all ) but I will be getting some red pepper.
I'm also going to look into the raccoon baffles -interesting!- and I do have a birdbath in front of the feeder. I feel sorry for the birds and squirrels during drought they seem to be dependent on the birdbath although I'm sure they're not.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 8:24AM
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I doubt a raccoon would go after a dog unless it was cornered. Mine is a special case - I have an abused rescue Dutch Shepherd who is trigger happy and would go after a grizzly if she felt it was a threat to me. Things rooting around the yard in the dark are a threat. I'm a mere human and not confident that I'm fast enough to call her off before they connect, so keep raccoons away. My Great Dane would hide behind me at bumps in the night. Dogs help keep the raccoons at bay, they aren't as likely to go in dog territory unless there is easy tasty food. This includes trash cans! Speak to the people at WBU or specialty bird store if you have one near - they are good at raccoon strategies and can talk bird for hours. A rehab person can give an idea of what attracts them, how to notice dens, so worth a phone call. They can also explain trap release issues in detail to you should you be interested.

We have 9-12 feeders on baffled pole systems, an embarrassing number of baths including a large ground pond liner bath, and no raccoons. A creek is two acres away, neighbors have raccoon issues but not me. Opossums and everything else visit my water at night, but it seems the higher up the food chain the less likely they are to risk the dogs. I've watched coyotes circle the borders of my yard on their way through. Let your dogs use the bathroom on the borders for scent, seriously, and if you ever get the opportunity, let your beagle bark at a raccoon. They have the best barks for the job and sound like they are at least 150lbs. I had my shepherd go off on the sole raccoon that attempted to visit, it never came back.

Of course a Jack Russel has enough attitude to give Godzilla pause. Great dogs, I'm crazy about them and I am a hard core big dog person. They are such a hoot.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 11:46AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I bet you get some amazing birds Laylaa! I can barely handle my one feeder and bath.
My dogs do have the run of the acreage and the beagle likes to run and chase things at night until bedtime when he comes in - about 11:00 pm. The jr goes to bed about 8:30 :) She sleeps in the bathroom closet and the beagle next to me.
They have been living like this for years so I'm not going to worry about wild animals.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 12:48PM
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