Okay, so what's so bad about Raccoons??

tenderkat(Z4/5 - 6500 ft)May 24, 2008

I'm sure this is probably a stupid question to some, but I'm a nature lover, and curious as well. We bought our home in the Colorado Foothills 2 years ago. We have a 9000 square foot yard, surrounded by a privacy fence. On occasion, we have been visited, after hours, by a pair of raccoons. They seem to hope that our unnaccessible doggyfood bin will - poof - be accessible. When I go out there, they scramble about 15 feet up the big Box Elder, and peer down at me. Honestly, I don't mind their forage into our yard. When they come, our toddler is long past asleep, and they don't dare visit if our Rottweiler is outside. So, tonite they came, and I went outside, they went up the tree, and I politely explained to them that there was no food to be found. My questions are these - I plan on building a raised vegetable garden this year - will they raid and destroy it? Also - Now here is definitely where the word STUPID, although I despise it, might come into play - If I, on occasion, leave a few nibbles out on my patio for them, will this create a problematic situation? My husband says absolutely YES! - they will destroy everything! And he says they are very mean, infested with rabies, and prone to bite. Is this true?

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bluebirdbabe(z5 MI)

Your husband is right. Also if you put out food for them, you will end up with more than the pair and it could get out of control. I have to admit they are cute, but again your husband is right. I heard the same thing from my husband.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 10:07AM
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in our area, the potential for RABIES!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 10:47AM
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tenderkat(Z4/5 - 6500 ft)

Yeah.......Okay, it could have been the wine last night........

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 4:52PM
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In most raccoons the most common disease is cat distemper which can cause foaming at the mouth.

As far as leaving goodies out please don't. It could cause them to become less afraid of humans and then be hurt by someone.

Raccoons are very intelligent and probably raid your garden but since you have room plant extra for them. From my experience they do not like green beans or carrots. They will dig in the dirt to eat any grubs or earthworms and can disturb your plants. Don't bother planting corn except for them. (you can plant a smaller patch just for the animals near to the fence. This might distract from the main garden). Teach both of your young ones, toddler and husband, not to go near the animals either to pet or chase.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 10:12PM
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carnivorous23(z5 Il)

Besides rabies, dogs can have allergic reactions to raccoon saliva, and it is considered to possibly have something to do with a canine disease called coonhound paralysis (which is not limited to coonhounds, and is poorly understood).

We've got them near our house as well. They get into the garbage about once a month (no matter if there's a lid on or not, they'll tip it over), they steal our suet from our woodpecker feeder (the entire suetcake, LOL, they open the bottom, pull it out, and eat it), but they don't do any real damage to anything. Of course, we're always careful putting our dog out at night, making sure they're not around. And yes, they actually do live in the sewers here in the city.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 3:51PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

Aren't they cute??? I agree with no feeding. It's nice you can have them visit tho. I've heard of them tearing up ponds(they love Koi at this person's house) and one lady said they used her house shingles to "play cards". She wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. PJ

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 6:55PM
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Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

One dark night, mom and dad raccoon brought their three babies to help tear into my daughter's tiny backyard chicken coop. One of the babies managed to crawl through a small space between the wire and the roof and terrified the two hens, scared it, and the parents went nuts trying to rescue it. The hen's yelling and the raccoon's screaming woke up neighbors two houses down the street. One adult had managed to pull a hen's head through the wire and was chewing on it. It died. My daughter, husband and two teenagers came running out with lights, sticks and baseball bats and used the hose and the raccoons finally ran away.

Aren't they cute! Be careful! Min

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 12:33PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Raccoons in our area are more likely to have distemper than rabies, either way I don't want them bringing in diseases that could be potentially bad for my pets.

But we still have them in the yard. They raid the bird feeders and like to wash in the bird bath. So I find myself cleaning the bird bath and bird feeders constantly.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 4:33PM
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well_drained(z6a MA)

We're very fortunate with our raccoon situation - they don't go after our garbage (maybe because any food scraps go in the compost pile?) but they do occasionally hang out in our oak tree - the partially hollow one with the hole in it. When it gets dark enough, they climb out the hole, down the tree trunk and, 'hi ho hi ho' off to work they go. Watching each new face pop out of the hole is a treat - the record so far is six. But we leave them alone. And we don't grow vegetables, so we don't have to worry about that aspect of it.

Enjoy and play it safe,

- wd

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 12:20PM
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well_drained(z6a MA)

Here are some visuals to go with my last post.

- wd

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 2:03PM
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