Killing Racoons

marilenav1April 8, 2004

I am in absolute shock - I just got off the phone with a customer (we sell ornamental plants via mail order) and she kept talking to me about a pesticide that she purchases in the US called Buggetta Plus. It can't be purchased in Canada because most pesticides are no longer available to the general public and frankly, I applaud the Canadian government for doing this.

She wanted to give me some - I don't want it because I have a dog and I'm concerned about the environment and don't like to use wide spectrum pesticides in my own garden.

Then she tells me she has a problem with racoons and skunks and asks me confidentially, " if I mixed Buggetta Plus with tuna would it kill the skunks and racoons?" I told her I had no idea but she shouldn't do it because these animals usually have a long, slow and painful death once they ingest the poison. She should call the city or the SPCA and have the animals trapped and relocated if they were a problem.

I felt sick afterwards because I am an animal lover and think that people who don't enjoy nature, plants and animals should live in the city in a condo and buy plastic plants.

Then she told me she was going to go ahead and do it anyway!

Here is my dilemma - she is a customer so I have to be civil to her but on the other hand, I am disgusted by that talk and want to report her to the SPCA. I am also seriously considering cancelling her order (maybe I'm taking this too personally) and returning her money. What is your opinion?

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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

I share the opinions you've expressed and admire that you hold them strongly enough to consider cancelling her order.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2004 at 2:29PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Well, I can understand why she might find skunks a pest in the garden with their digging for grubs and all, but raccoons? They're more of a danger to trashcans and small animals. Putting a pesticide out like she proposes is illegal. Even if it's not a banned or restricted product, the city (Montreal, I assume?) has very specific laws about messing with wildlife.

There are several dangers here. The tuna would be attractive to cats, dogs, and all sorts of other animals. If she poisons a neighbours cat she could be liable for some big fines, and possibly a lawsuit - You might want to mention this to her. Also a sick raccoon is dangerous. They're big enough that you don't want to corner them. It would probably be assumed to be sick with rabies, and anyone comming into contact would have to have an unnecessary rabies shot.

The SPCA cannot do anything here - they might get involved, but can't do that untill the police have been informed (so they told me once). You can call the police's non emergency number (it's in the yellow pages) and ask what your options are.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2004 at 2:32PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I agree with the other posters. Talk to the Humane Society, and cancel her order. Let her know why, too! You have a lot of integrity otherwise, Mary - i and others have been very impressed with your customer service, and it's doubtful that you would lose any business over this. Other than hers!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2004 at 2:51PM
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I agree, for the integrity of your business, you want to be known as one that supports it's customers in natural means of "pest" control. If she wants to continue with her own methods of pest control, perhaps she'd be better off taking her business to somewhere that supports those types of practices.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2004 at 3:57PM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

Tell her what your heart tells you M. I used to be a city slicker, but now I'm a country bumpkin and living out in the country and gardening can be a challenge. Hopefully someday she'll realize that this is what nature is all about.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2004 at 4:56PM
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sheryl_ontario(Muncho Lake, BC z2)

I agree with the sentiment. You could go ahead and fill her order, but report her to the SPCA anyway. Let her be the one to cancel the order. You need to definately report her before she does a lot of cruel damage.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2004 at 5:26PM
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I agree with you completely! And I'll tell you why...
Last summer, one of our neighbours decided to get rid of a couple of rats by placing rat poison inside food, and leaving it outside. No one else in the neighborhood knew this.
A day later, 2 cats and 2 dogs in the neighborhood fell sick and were brought to the vet. One cat didn't make it, and Milo, a beautiful and gentle Black Labrador Retriever fell so ill it was unbelievable. This once energetic happy dog now lives as though he is so old, and yet he is only two years old. The other dog and cat recovered well after 3 days of being very ill.
The vet did some tests and reported the results to the SPCA and the RCMP. It was soon discovered what had happened. No charges were laid as the neighbor was quite devastated by the result. The cat which died was his own.
Sometimes people think of what they wish to accomplish and concentrate so much on their goal that they don't see outside the box.
A little chat with this person might be in order.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2004 at 9:12PM
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Video_Garden(z3/4 Montreal)

I'd poison her order.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 6:45PM
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Thanks for the advice everybody. I decided not to confront this woman directly since I really don't need the additional aggravation. I sent her a letter and advised her that it is illegal and cruel to poison racoons and skunks and that I even wondered if it was legal to use that Buggetta Plus product without a license. I did not bother to elaborate further since it has been my experience that these type of people don't care about consequences to anyone or anything else - only about their immediate problem. I also told her that I wished she hadn't shared this information with me since it led me to report her to the SPCA and cancel her plant order.

I did call the SPCA - (by the way this lady lives in Toronto not in Montreal.) They can't do anything unless I have proof. Since I didn't record her conversation with me, there is no proof to be given.

I don't believe myself to be "holier than thou" but I can't justify that kind of selfish, cruel act and I steer clear of people with that type of attitude - customer or not.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 10:12PM
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Video_Garden(z3/4 Montreal)

It's odd, just this past year someone had been caught disfiguring cats found in a local city neighborhood, and many people were shocked by this gesture when they heard. Here we have someone deciding for themselves to poison racoons and skunks through the use of tuna bait from their home. Does it really need to considered, which of the two is doing wrong?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2004 at 7:49AM
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Just wanted to say
GOOD FOR YOU! You did the right thing.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2004 at 12:02PM
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daisiensam(z4 ont)

I'm very proud of you. I definitely would have done the same thing. It's too bad her neighbours, with pets couldn't be informed.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2004 at 10:10AM
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One of the neighbors on our lake lived next door to a family who had a very unfriendly dog which lunged and growled at them on a daily basis, terrorizing them (no leash, either). Finally after several years of enduring this, they enticed the dog, Josie, to eat meat laced with anti-freeze. It took her 3 horrible days to die. The man was prosecuted and made all the local papers. What he did was wrong, and he knew it and paid for it. So did the unfortunate creature whose owners were of course the ones to blame for not controlling their pet. Raccoons can be a nuisance (how do they know the night before you pick it that the corn is ripe?), but poisoning is cruel.

You're right to be concerned, Mary. If you ever get another call like this one, I hope you can tape it and have them repeat their name and address so they can be stopped.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2004 at 11:18AM
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organicade(Buckingham. U.K)

Comment from England. I only found Gardenweb a short time ago.
Well done. Good on you. I'm sure that a huge number of people in this country would share your views and react in the same way, as do I. To do away with an animal in this manner is a crime against Nature itself. Any animal that comes into our gardens is only looking for some food for itself and maybe its young.
The English equivilant is the Badger, similar in size to the racoon. Since badger baiting (sending a small, vicious dog into the badgers sett to flush the badger out only then to be clubbed to death by the waiting dog owner) has been outlawed the badger population has increased. They are now venturing into our gardens looking for worms and food. Last year my sweet corn crop was devastated and the corncobs torn apart and eaten. I blame myself for not picking them earlier (we were on holiday at the time in Saskatoon, which is why I have taken an interest in this forum). I have grown corn again this year, I would love to see the animals and photograph them. It is unfortunate that we are seeing more of them run over on the roads. Foxes are getting brave as well. They come into the towns during the night and raid the dustbins (garbage cans to you) for any leftovers. You cannot blame the animals, they are just looking for a meal.
Enough of my ramblings. Good luck to you and your business.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2004 at 5:48PM
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annaneaves(Canada (NS))

Nuisance animals are often only a niusance because they are starving. Squirrels for example will steal your lovely flower bulbs, but the easiest way to prevent it, is to feed them so they don't *need* to eat your bulbs! My grand-mother-in-law feeds the raccoons in her area (she has at least 10 that come every night) She has beautiful gardens and they (nor the stray cats or various others that get fed) do not do any visable damage. They even had a porcupine over winter in their outdoor "cat" house. (needless to say the cats didn't use it! lol) I love to watch the animals around this womans' house! You can't imagine how neat it is to watch 15 raccons fighing over a bunch of bowls of food unless you have seen it. One year she found a litter that was abbandonned and even had a couple of house-racoons! (although they took off once they were old enough to mate) I am always happy when I see animals in my yard. The more the merrier!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 10:55AM
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CanuckGardener(z3b SE MB)

It always amazes me when I hear stories like this. People plant gardens and grow plants that attract wildlife and then feel the need to eradicate these "trespassers". How ridiculus.

It's the same as people in California moving into mountain lion territory. Then after a few years a biker is killed by a rogue animal and everyone calls for the eradication of these majestic cats from the area. When will people learn. I can understand killing problem animals that pose a direct danger to humans and pets but definately not by poisoning which tends to affect non-target species as well as those being targeted. And I'm most certainly against eradicating a whole species simply because we have moved into their territory that they and their ancestors have occupied for thousands of years before humans did so. So many people out there don't think their actions through to the end. Kudos to you for letting this person know how you feel.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 12:26PM
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Cybercrone(z6? ON)

Hi Mary:

Just read the very one-sided thread about the poor woman who wanted to poison the raccoons. I'm going to weigh in here on the side of the Devil.
In the first place, it doesn't sound as if any of your respondents have really had any serious raccoon trouble. I have lived in my house only 5 years, and have had them rip my roof open and live inside twice, with the consequent repair and removal costs. They have ripped open my window screens trying to get in. A huge old male who had been kicked out of the nest decided he liked my front porch - not *under* the porch, but *on* it. It took days to get rid of him. Animal services wouldn't do anything, neither would any other agency, because he wasn't sick, they said. All that time we couldn't use the porch. I seldom get anything at all out of my vegetable garden. They eat it all. During the times that the kits are small, it's even a touchy business to walk down my street or laneway at night. And all of this is in the middle of downtown Toronto.
While I would never seriously consider poisoning an animal, I certainly fantasize about it!! They have driven me absolutely mad! As has the old fool down the street who feeds them. Food shortage is a natural birth control for wild animals. If they can't eat too well, they won't have as many babies. So all this old fool is doing is making sure that I have even more raccoons to trap and move down to the beach.
I can understand how upset you must have been to hear this woman's plans, but it may have been more constructive to try and give her some good advice about eliminating raccoon problems rather than going all self-righteous. When you've been driven as far around the bend as some of us have by the enormous raccoon population here and the clueless aw-aren't-they-cute types who make the problem worse for the rest of us, it's a major wonder that we haven't all gone out and bought guns!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2004 at 4:53AM
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philosopher(Zone 5a WI)

Reply to Cybercrone--

I admire your candor (really!), but it's interesting that you mention in your reply, "I would never seriously consider poisoning an animal." Precisely! This woman was asking for advice with the intention of doing just that.

If you want to totally eliminate your raccoon problem, I suggest you either (a) get a couple of dogs or (b) move into the city like me. Yeah, I love the country, but I visit. (And we do garden here in the city.)


    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 7:06PM
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Rosa(4ish CO Rockie)

....Nuisance animals are often only a niusance because they are starving. Squirrels for example will steal your lovely flower bulbs, but the easiest way to prevent it, is to feed them so they don't *need* to eat your bulbs.....

You have GOT to be kidding me!?!
You are advocating FEEDING them so they'll stick around??
And with that artifical feeding the populations of the nusiance animal goes UP, and UP. Now what you have is an artifically high population (due in part to displacement of habitat, loss of predators, HUMANS feeding them, etc..) that is again artifically high and you have even more nusiance animals. That is until you move or STOP feeding them and have even more destruction in the garden because there are way too many in one area. Then the population crashes and they do starve to death.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 9:13PM
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Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)

I think u missed the part where cybercrone said they lived in downtown Toronto, not the country.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 12:51AM
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philosopher(Zone 5a WI)

Debbie, you are apologies. Yes, there are raccoons in the city, as well as opossums, field mice, rats, etc. Our family gets around it by doing the 2 dog thing, so they stay pretty far away from our property.

I guess my comments were based upon the fact that I read a lot more about poisoning/killing/trapping wild creatures from country dwellers than city dwellers. My father in law used to live-trap feral cats on his back 40 and then drown them. An urban friend of mine live traps them and then takes them to the shelter where they are euthanized. That was my distinction.

Again, my apologies.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 1:01PM
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About the racoon issue, I want to point out that I was not being self righteous. Guess what? I am entitled to an opinion and if I feel for any reason at all that the person I am dealing with may wind up being a problem - I don't. Anybody who confides to a total stranger that they plan on poisoning the local wildlife with insecticides and asks for a professional opinion about it has to be a total idiot. Stupid people are dangerous people since they usually act irrationally. I have enough issues to deal with in my daily business life and I don't need headaches. If I feel for whatever reason that a potential customer may give me headaches - I don't sell to them. Period. The small loss of income from that sale was more than worth the frustration of having to deal with this selfish slob.

I understand perfectly well that skunks, raccoons, groundhogs, and squirrels can be a problem and they can create havoc by destroying property. I also understand the frustration that goes along with that. I grow tens of thousands of dollars of crops in an area populated with deer - this is not a hobby for me, it is my livelihood. I don't shoot the deer, drown them, trap them or try to relocate them - I live with it and solve the problem otherwise. In my opinion, there are certainly better ways to eliminate an animal problem than by indiscriminately poisoning them.

My husband has this acquaintance who was forever trapping and drowning squirrels. Why? Because they were eating his $.20 tulips. Give me a break. The same guy is a womanizer who doesn't like children or animals and is far more interested in talking about himself than anybody else. Do I talk to him? Absolutely not. Do I sell to him? No. In the meantime, the guy had a massive coronary - maybe he'll finally learn to be more humble.

I don't know if this person actually went through with her plan but at least I can have the satisfaction of knowing that I didn't help her in any way to carry it through. I don't want to know people like that, I don't want to speak with people like that, and I certainly don't want them as customers.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 2:22AM
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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

Bravo MaryV - very well said!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 4:19PM
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My turn.
If I lived in the country and I was bothered by a varmint raccoon. I'd shoot it.
I live in the city so I cannot . I have trapped them when they were on my deck at night and growled at me...
cute little buggers about to bite me.
I used a county trap and the county came and picked the poor guy up to "RELOCATE" him. hmmmm I wonder.
and the guy who has the farm and just lets the deer eat his crops is crazy.
Thin the herd.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 8:14AM
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I'm considering killing the raccoons around my home to save the lives of my pets. Does anyone know if they will attack my 14 lb. dog or my cat? I have a doggie door so my animals go out at night anytime they want to. I'm an animal lover but I won't allow my pets to be hurt. Any suggestions? The raccoons come out after dark and climb my neighbors deck. It's a matter of time before all 10 or so of them make it to my house. I'd love any help you could give me.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 7:39PM
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rembetika(austin, TX)

what i don't understand is why people have to fight against nature so much. the animals are here, unless you want to exterminate every living thing then we have to learn to live with it. if i have something that an animal wants to eat, then if i can't deter it without stessing out over it, then i focus on something else. that guy trapping & drowning squirrels over his precious tulips is a bit twisted if you ask me. of course if a person's livelihood depends on a crop that is getting overrun by critters, and your dog or cat can't keep them away (or are endangered by the animals) then it's a bit more problematic. but i wish people would loosen up a bit and realize that they live in the natural world.. not some hermetically sealed, plastic, sterile, artificial one. this especially ticks me off when people want to live in the country or the woods, but then you want your property to look like a golf course and you get all worked up about the wildlife that lives around you. well why the hell did you move out in the country then?? come on. i guess people are never going to be happy until the day that all wildlife is exterminated. nature is messy and inconvenient, get used to it.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 10:20PM
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marbles_n_the_garden(DownEast Maine, Zone 5)


I appologise in advance for the length of my post. Animals can be "worked" with to everyone's satisfaction, I believe.

I have heard, "Fences Make Good Neighbors", and have noticed that has not been mentioned here. I realize money is the determining factor with a lot of fences. I also realize that with x number of acres to cover, fences are unrealistic. That said, fences seem like an appropriate option many times. If someone has small pets, protecting them is of vital importance--since small animals can be carried off by large birds (raptors). Fences are good for the person who puts them up, and the animal they mean to keep out. We live a short walk from a WalMart and then a large mall. However, once you drive down the road, it seems much farther away from all that. We have fox, deer, skunks, racoons, hawks, mice, opposum, squirrels, chipmunks, cotton tail rabbits, every kind of bird (which by the way can be very dangerous), cats loose, dogs that get loose. I haven't seen weasels, but hear they are around.

Our neighbors all garden and keep some animals such as chickens, pheasants, sheep, ducks, and so on. Each of these neighbors has very responsible fencing. The one with pheasants keeps them in a pen with holes in the fencing so small, a large JuneBug couldn.t get through. Then, he has an electric fence on the perimeter for the deer, and it has a bottom blocking and electrical fence to deter bunnies, skunks, etc. With all this, and his "have a heart" trap, he catches and drowns animals: racoons, skunks, rats/mice, rabbits. This makes me sad because with such great fencing, I cannot see how they would bother him. Recently, he put the trap just outside his fence. We all saw a racoon in the day (sometimes a symptom of rabies), and he drowned every non-pet he caught.

Another neighbor has guns and has fired them in his yard. This is a neighborhood, not the boondocks. He has 2 dogs sheep, ducks, chickens, and some great fences. His place is a farm to feed his family only--not commercial. He has no qualms about animal killing since he kills his own animals.

One more neighbor has 8 big dogs, a bunch of chickens, and a goose, and has exceptional fencing for all of them, and they are also very responsible with their animals. The woman of the house loves animals too.

In general, these people are the nicest neighbors I have ever lived amongst. They merely have different views of animals than I do. My love for animals is almost odd or different to them.

We do not have much fencing. The man we bough our house from only had a dog, so we have a good-sized dog kennel. That is our chicken house. Nothing has ever gotten in there except sparrows. We have had all the above mentioned wildlife in our yard--except rats and racoons. I wish we could afford to fence in the whole yard, but we cannot. We have the chickens penned with some garden fencing for them to be outside in the day. It is not easy to prevent them from occasionally getting out. One day, a neighbors dog (not the neighbors mentioned) got out and killed one of our chickens. It was devestating to our kids. Recently a fox came in the yard, and injured one and tried to catch 2 others, but I managed to save everyone.

In my former home, there were raccons all the time coming up on our porch at night. They would always leave when we either opened the door to go out, or arrived in the car to come home. I had catfood on my porch. A mom and 2 babies used to visit too, and they never bothered the cats--who tolerated them very well. I do not know if a dog would have been as good with them as the cats. I was concerned, but my cats shots were all up to dat, and rabies had not gotten to our area yet. The town actually had a vaccine-baiting program to see that it didn't. I know racoons are capable of killing small animals, I just haven't seen much of that. I have never seen a racoon in my yard here. There is water nearby, and I think they prefer te woods and such.

The skunks are the grub eaters. I am organic here, and the skunks have never eaten my garden. They get those nasty grubs out, and I'll take the help, frankly. In the grass, I just flip the divot they make back over the hole, and it looks fine. They have never bothered anything here.

The hawk is a concern because of our chickens. Even with the highest fence it can fly into the chicken yard if it chooses, but it has never gone after the chickens. The rooster sounds the alarm, and we go out, and it flies away. It prefers small birds--I have found the evidence.

The 'possom tried to go into the chicken coop for an egg we neglected to bring in, and the rooster (in the dark mind you) went after it, and successfully defended the egg. Haven't seen oppossum mush since.

I have never seen the weasels, but they can dessimate a flock of chickens.

Small birds can be very dangerous, as their feces can carry disease that can hurt people--starlings especially. We still love to watch the birds in our yard and virtually do not have starlings. I did have some pea damage in March from the small birds eating the vines for their greens. They did not kill the plants, they just flowered later once other thing sprouted that they could eat.

The cottontails would get in the garden and eat my beans. I put up a makeshift fence, and it only slowed them. So, I tried to be in my garden more (not a bad thing). I also planted more beans. One they get past their "first leaf" stage, the bunnies weren't as interested.

The deer were here the first year. I till my garden deeply, and a doe and her baby (by their tracks) visited the garden one night, and when they sank up to their ankles, they hurredly left. They ate a couple of seedlings. Once they saw that I was going to be around, they stopped coming. The man who lived here before was never home. ALSO...and ol' farmer told me that Irish Spring soap hung in a nylon stocking and tied to a fence was a great deer deterrent.

My point is that if you know the animals and understand their habits, things can be worked out. Skunks do not jump or climb, so a low fence would be sufficient if they were your trouble. Each animal has its ways, and usually these can be used as a method to repel them--without killing them.

Dogs keep a lot of animals away. My kids are good at that too. By playing ourside, thy are a presence, and the animals avoid the yard.

We have learned to live with the wildlife. We do feed the birds, and put those hard "composite" corn things up for the squirrels--it takes them 3 weeks to eat them, and they leave the bird seed for the birds. We also let the food run out so that the birds & squirrels have to forage for themselves meanwhile. It is better for them. We feed the birds consistently in the winter when the squirrels sleep.

It is not always harmonious (we were very mad with that fox that hurt our chicken), but we respect their existence. We use barriers, our presence, our rooster who warns us, and are careful how we place birdfood out. Relocation is an option, but we haven't had to relocate any of the critters. I feel fortunate to have these animals around. I think it means our area is fairly healthy--despite the mall nearby. It has been good for the kids to observe the animals; we have learned a lot form them.

I think we have gotten too far away from our roots. Back when people had to live with nature more, they had dogs who lived with the sheep and protected them. They had geese that patrolled the property, and frankly can be scarier than dogs. They used other animals to help them look-out and take care of business.

I appreciate Mary taking a stand. I respect that she has her beliefs, and is willing to "put her money where her mouth is", when so many people would cave in the face of loosing a sale. Thank you Mary for setting a good example.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 10:47AM
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Mary: You are in "absolute shock" that anyone could be so, let's see -"cruel", a "total idiot" , "stupid", and wait..... "selfish" as to actually poison a racoon. It's done everyday, Mary, down the street from you. Except usually the poisons don't work so well, so scissors are stuck into their little skulls, and their hands and feet are cut off their bodies. Oh, no, these aren't precious, innocent skunks or (deep breath)....heaven forbid....LITTLE RACOONS -they're children. I hope you're half as "shocked". Incidentally, I don't think poisoning the racoon is the best idea, shotguns usually get the job done with the most minimal trauma and pain to the animal-perhaps a nice "coonskin cap"? Winter's coming.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 9:42AM
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I once had a guinea pig with the coolest personality that I loved a lot. Then one day, a racoon broke into his cage, and ate him. Racoons have opposable thumbs much like humans, and can get into almost anything. I was tramatized for an entire week, and walked around like a zombie.

So I can understand why people think racoons are a nuisance. You let them live around your perimeter, and they will thank you later by killing your beloved pet.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 8:54AM
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What a terrible thing to poison them...then you can't eat them. I love raccoons, they're delicious!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 7:03PM
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This is the best forum on nuisance raccoons I have found yet. The discussion has covered all the bases and I have nothing to add really, except to say thank you to all the contributors. I had been struggling with finding the most humane method of killing the raccoons that have been coming on my property looking for food and harassing my pet cat. The raccoons have attacked my cat on numerous occasions and I am just happy that he has escaped serious injury to this point. Since it is illegal to discharge firearms where I live, this is not an option. Relocation seems like a good option, but in reality it seldom works the way you would hope. Some jurisdiction even outlaw the relocation of these animals. Poisons pose several concerns, all of which are well documented in this forum. So what's left? Trapping the raccoons in a live trap and then drowning them, as bad is it may sound to some people, is actually the best option for me. Thanks again. If anyone has a better suggestion, I'm all ears. Also, I'd rather eat raw fish (and I hate sushi) than any flea bitten, disease ridden nuisance of a raccoon.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 7:26PM
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Kill a Racoon? For ANY reason? Wow! How blindly one sided can you people BE, for gosh sakes?

I am an 85 year old man, living alone on a hill where I get snowbound sometimes in winter (as now). For the past week I have been terrorized by what today was proved (by sight) to be about a thirty pound Racoon who daily has been tearing my upstairs bathroom into SHREDS! It is a decent effort to make it up and down my stairs not more than once or twice at the most, so when I come upon such a mess you may be sure it is more than just moderately troubling. Today for the first time I opened the bathroom door and was actually face to face with the culprit, who snarled at me while he or she rather unhurriedly ambled over to and out by the gnawed out hole in the wall he had managed seven or eight days priorly.

Now as soon as I can get out shopping, I'll find something metallic with which I can repair the hole and stop the critter. But in the meantime I will kill it any way I can, IF I just could (which I'm quite sure I can't, but I'm gonna try.) Don't yip at me to hire a professional animal removal team. I can't afford it. BeLIEVE me, I can't. I absolutely can't afford it.

Now as to the killing the racoon part, I have been tender toward animals all my life. That's why I have never hunted nor cared to. That and the fact that I am just constitutionally opposed to killing and value the lives of all creatures.

BUT. I know this. - This animal, if I were sufficiently in his way or he deemed me a threat to him, and he could, he would kill ME - and think nothing of it. All species respond to the rule of self preservation and I, a species, have as much call upon that irrepressible urge as any other. Thus, in my present circumstance, this critter HAS GOT TO GO (if there were a way, that is, but I don't think there is.)!

Thank you.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 5:25AM
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Charles, did you get him?


    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 8:29PM
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I love animals, but living on a farm and having a garden, you come to hate those raccons, or skunks or any other pest that destroys your garden. I had not been able to eat a good ear of corn, in a few years, until last year. I surrounded the corn with electric wire. not one ear was touched!!! at last. Now to find a way to save my grapes, and cherry trees. they rip the netting to shreds. I may extend the electric fence......

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 8:56PM
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I just lost over $200 to raccoons last night when they ate a huge percentage of my upcoming sweet corn. I know people who have chickens killed by the raccoons all the time. I wouldn't mind if they became extinct... and they'd better watch it tonight.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 7:12PM
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echoes_or(Zone 3)

Well this has been interesting reading.... I don't agree on poisoning BUT they are territorial, mean and dieases carriers. I grew up on a farm and now live in town - location doesn't change thier nature. They destroy just to destroy it seems. They can and will attack humans and animals. You're afraid for the raccoons well just wait to see what they can do to a dog or cat. A bite is minor but they rip and shred their prey. Someone asked if they would move to her property - yes they will and then they will come right in your animal door...

Where we live is very attractvie to them - easy hunting grounds so to speak. We provide nice gardens, trash cans, compost piles, bird food and animals. Why stay in the wilds when they have us to provide. Over population can be a factor BUT they live easily within human areas - so to say that the only reason they are here is because we have moved into their territory is not accurate. There are many towns that have been in the same location many years and which are surrounded by forests and guess what they move into our area not vice versa.

Soooo they need to be controlled, over populations result in inbreeding, worse diseases, and very unhealthy living conditions. I sure would not feed them - then you are aiding in their destruction.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 4:45PM
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My first instinct would be to report her...its an outrageous and warped way of thinking for me .. that a person can feel free to end anothers life, because the animal is making a mess? getting into the garbage? digging the yard? Doing what they are meant to do in the natural ecological cycle of life? OMG! I have racoons, skunks, birds, rabbits, squirrels, deer, fox, that Ive seen.. Nature is great!! ty Skunks..for eating the grubs, the raccoons eat my compost, glad I could help. :) Rabbits run around all day eating at my mixed grasses, weeds, etc. I think its nuts the pristine pesticed sprayed golf course yards. Thats not natural nor healthy to the environment.

I have had many encounters with racoons and skunks, I like to turn the other way and leave them to do their stuff.

If they get ridiculous.. like move into my home, which they have (only the racoons).. But thats because my house was open to them, was being built at the time. I will trap them in a cage (you can purchase these cages) and move them to another natural piece of vacant land, where they can make a new home.. or I call the SPCA to come pick them up, if they are mother with babies. I realize ur not supposed to move them into a new territory, but its way nicer than killing them, doh.

I personally would refuse to do any further business with this woman.. I would cancel her order.. maybe that will make her realize how cruel and disgusting it is to kill.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 11:26AM
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While I agree that poisoning raccoons is more than simply disagreeable (but why, really, more than mice - which I do poison - is a moral point I'd need to ponder)

I've been having raccoons aggressively breaking through a screened door and a kitchen screen this summer .. creating destructive (and quite expensive) havoc.

I don't want to increase the mess in my house by shooting these intruders while in my house. Furthermore, it's my considered guess that the aggressive raccoons that are busy destroying my property have been 'humanely' transported from another's property - at expense to the other harassed homeowners - and now at my expense. This makes no logical sense (except, perhaps to the "humanitarian" raking in the dough by transporting nuisance animals from one house to another .. thereby only increasing his business territory and subsequent profits!)

I don't believe that the cost of living in 'the country' needs to include invasion of one's property by nuisance animals - that's just romantic nonsense defying all good sense. It's the prerogative of wild animals to protect their homes - why must I lose my natural obligation to protect mine in order to appease misbehaving raccoons?!

I don't plan to put out poison where other animals might be harmed; I do plan to keep poisoning mice and I do plan to hire a hunter to kill the raccoons before they tear into my house one more time. And if a wolf or bear or human tried to enter my house aggressively .. I'd quickly get over my present silly scruples and simply shoot them outright.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 4:07PM
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Please don't kill raccoons. You can humanely trap and relocate them (at least 5 miles from capture site).

Do not use poisons for any large vertebrates. Rats and mice only. There are no effective poisons for larger animals. Poison will only result in cruel suffering, and can reach a non-target animal, such as a pet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Raccoon control and removal

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 2:43PM
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The only situation in which trapping and relocation of wildlife is a desirable approach is in the rare instance where a threatened or endangered population is at risk.
Raccoons, skunks, deer, squirrels, opossums, rabbits, etc. are not endangered or threatened, and those creating problems or causing damage should be shot or trapped and terminated. However, in some instances, proper use of poison baits is a reasonable approach.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wildlife relocation not a solution - Audubon Society

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 2:29PM
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Thank you for that last post. After spending 8,000.00 dollars on repairing an attic from raccoon damage I have declared war on raccoons. I live in the ciy, so there, for the donut heads who think they don't live in cities. The highest population densities of raccoons are in urban,suburban areas.
Animal protection legislation has exclusion clauses for household and farm pests, so there, for the donut heads who think it is illegal. Do some research before you post. The problem with poison is that the animal may die in your attic and rot or more likely leave it's young to die and rot in your attic. If I were sure they were't in my home I definately would poison them being carefull to avoid exposure to the innocent. It is in fact illegal to release a live trapped raccoon in Florida because of this problem. They are to be trapped, shot and terminated. Tree huggers leave this problem to those of us who have experienced it.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 7:24PM
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wdstkdaisy has a good point. If it is okay to kill mice with poison, why isn't it okay to kill racoons the same way? Double standard?

The fact is that racoons are very evil creatures. They destroy just for the sake of destroying, and not for survival. I planted tomatotes. They dug it up and uprooted it. I replant everything. They dig it up again. I did this back and forth for 1 week. If they mess with me any further, it's going to be WAR.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 2:38PM
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hello all...very interesting debate going on here..
i live just north of montreal and have had many problems with "coons"..they would sneak up and take the food while the b-b-q warmed up...honest..not shy things.
and i find those that are trapped and released always find their way back..
first..lady with the store...good job, might have been a better idea to give her suggestions on how to get rid of the critters...i got a mid-sized dog and he did the trick for me...he still chases them up a tree when and if they come by..but,be careful,they can be mean if cornered.
second..use the garden hose on them...shoo's them away..
third,a friend puts blood bonemeal around his garden and swears by it...i'm not a believer in poison...there are always alternatives....
good luck

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 12:56PM
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You guys just don't get it.
Racoons don't bother you because of food. They on purposely try to piss you off. They kill things just for fun.

There was no food when they dug up my tomatoe plants.
They did it for fun. It annoyed me. Then I replant it back.
They do the same 10 more times during the next 2 weeks.
I have no idea what their freakin problem is.

If people only want to kill racoons, and not other animals by mistake, lacing foods that only racoons will eat, but not cats, dogs, or birds. I think a banana will work.

I heard rat poison is not effective for racoons because they can throw it up.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 8:58PM
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Oh Yes Racoons! I can't help but think that those of you postings/replying about relocating or removing the critters have not had the pleasure of having to contend with the filthy animals. I am currently trying to rid my house(country) of a family that has taken over my house as their own property and let me tell you how I feel towards them. They've come in through the outside brick wall, removed a loose brick and came into my walls to the second level bedroom walls and ceiling, messed with with my electrical. It's a wonder the house hasn't burned yet! They've been, "marking their territory" with feces and urine in the barn and in the house and trees! The place smells indoors and out. You think I won't kill one if I get a chance?? These are wild animals, if you give them a chance they will take over your property as their own and it turns out I paid too much for my property to have racoons hang around until I can catch and relocate them. Believe me, I tried, spent 100$ on a Havahart trap, bought them tuna to entice and they've obviously been exposed to traps before because they stay away. Their feces has a bacteria that can cause disease in people so I am at risk when trying to clean up after them, not to mention the potential for rabies. Maybe someone else relocated them before they ended up at my place. Two weeks and no catch so I have no choice but to do them in. They are very smart resourceful critters and I never thought they could be such a major problem. I have a dog which in no way intimidates them. Until you've dealt with the problem you should not try to guilt those who are trying to rid themselves of this animal.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 10:04PM
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So many posts, so little room. Sorry folks but this is going to be a long one. It is NOT "self-righteous" to stand up for what you think is right. Mary did the right thing, placing integrity above money. We could all learn from that instead of attacking her because we know deep down we are in the wrong and don't want to admit it. Anyone who has seen a pet go through the slow and horrific death brought on by antifreeze would never suggest such a method of animal control for any vertebrate.

As for the beasties in question, to imply that they dig up your tomatoes "just to piss you off" is ridiculous. YOU just don't get it. They don't give a crap about you because they're RACOONS and even if they did, you DO NOT have the right to poison them and sentence them to a horrific painful death over tomatoes. These are gardens people! It's one thing if it's your livelihood, but if some kid dug up your garden just piss you off, would you pursue the death penalty? Yes, I'm being somewhat facetious (big word for a donut head) and I am NOT trying to say we should offer racoons the same rights as people, but they are living creatures with the same capacity for feeling fear and pain and the same right to try to survive as you do (it isn't ok to poison mice either, by the way, especially if more humane traps are working). Racoons are crafty, maybe even mischievous, but not evil. Humans are actually one of the few species that "destroy just for the sake of destroying, and not for survival." Racoons are just as "innocent" as any other creature. I can respect someone like bugsey and wdstkdaisy who have been completely overrun with them and have tried several other more humane methods and now feel like killing them is the only option. The biggest problem we decent human beings have is not that people feel like their death is the only solution left, but how they choose to do it. Drowning is not right either but the slow horrific death offered by antifreeze is cruel and, to use your words, EVIL. I find it almost funny that people can refer to racoons as evil for digging up tomatoes and then in the next breath attempt to validate their choice to torture them to death.

It does not make us "tree huggers" because we are human beings with some sense of integrity and human decency. It also does not make people "donut heads" for not being aware of the laws in every state and not doing their research because I would be willing to bet that their are some more humane alternatives that some of you haven't researched. If releasing them isn't an option, then shooting them would be better, at least it's quick and painless if done right. If you can't do that, couldn't you call animal control to come pick them up or help you? Because I haven't done MY research, I don't know what the laws are in each state. Maybe in some places animal control can't help. Maybe in some places poison is actually the only option and your crops are your livelihood or the racoons are attacking your house and actually endangering your family like bugsey. In wdstkdaisy's case, something must be done as they are invading his/her home, but at least he/she sees that their is something morally repugnant about poisoning them. I can respect that. What I can't respect is how casually people discuss antifreeze like they're sharing a recipe or giving advice on garden fertilizers. You may feel like you have no other choice, like they've pushed you to it. But please don't get indignant when someone implies that you haven't chosen the moral highground, because anyone who can do such a thing so casually hasn't. No one is perfect, no one does the right thing all the time, but some of you could stand to change your perspective if you think your tomatoes are that important.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 1:10PM
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I had the choice of renting a trap for $30 for a week from the local animal shelter or spending $4 on poison.. There was a racoon family living just under a tree 15 feet from my house and getting into my garbage every night even with a lid on tight, they knock it over and manage to get in.

Tried everything, red pepper, other kinds of pepper, pepper spray, even tying the lid closed, they managed to get in and keep coming back.

So I poisoned them all, a whole family, one large one and 3 small ones, that's what you get for digging into someone else's trash.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 3:08PM
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