Racoon Problem

kitchenshockMay 1, 2007

We have a problem with racoon's washing their food and defecating in our pool. I have tried the stuff you get at home depot and it works for about a day and then they still come anyway. It is becoming a nightmare and the population seems to be getting larger. I called a trapper and they cannot do anything since they claim its illegal to trap and release them. He also said that if you do not take them at least 5-7 miles away, they will find their way back. He recommends catching them, shooting them and burying them. He said that because they are social creatures, if you get one or two it will deter the others from coming.

I really don't even want to think about following his recommendation. My kids would never understand and I don't think I would solve anything by doing this since it will be a never ending battle.

Does anyone know of a more humane way to keep them away? One thing that may have brought on the population increase was that they removed all of the small gators (under 6') from our lakes. So now they have no preditor unless otters eat racoons.

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We've had a problem with raccoons coming in our kitty door and eating her food. The only thing that has helped (so far) is playing talk radio loudly and all night in kitty's room. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 11:52AM
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We have a big raccoon problem. They pull up all my freshly planted flowers to eat the bugs underneath and they defecate everywhere. Our pool is not yet complete but I am now worried they will be using it as a potty like they do with kitchenshock's pool.

I recently heard about using a predator's urine to keep them away. Have not tried it yet but I think I'm going to order some today. Apparently "CoyotePee" works to keep Raccoons away.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 12:04PM
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Oh no! This is worrisome. We're building our pool this summer, and we already have a problem in our neighborhood with raccoons. I'll be interested to see if anyone else out there has had any solutions to this problem...

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 12:13PM
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I know people have used a fake, floating alligator in their pool to help keep ducks away. Maybe racoons are too smart for that? May be worth a try, though.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 12:35PM
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Google "motion activated sprinkler".
Worked in my yard to keep out the neighbor's dog.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 1:11PM
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The sprinkler is also called a scarecrow sprinkler. They are very effective. I use them to keep heron's out of my pond.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 1:47PM
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-we have racoons that visit our backyard...where our pool will be going in in 2 weeks. We have 2 big dogs who pretty much are in the house at night; they know when the racoons are out there at night (-even when we don't hear them). The dogs are a great deterent -the racoons stay away for quite a while if we let the dogs out when the dogs alert on them. IF you use dogs as a deterent, make sure they have had an up-to-date rabies shot, just in case. Make sure to keep garbage, pet food, etc. out of the area-they'll come for that. Motion lights may work too. Our "visitors" tend to leave when we turn the lights on. -we're in a rural area, so it's not a problem for us to battle "nature" w/the dogs.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 3:57PM
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goodtimes/keith thanks for the tip. I just ordered one of the sprinklers from Amazon to see if they work. This might also help with my other animal problem which are Grackles that use my waterfall to drink water from and of course, crap on the rocks. I put an owl out and all they did was use it a a perch and occasional toilet.

dogpaddle, my neighbors on both sides of me do not have the same problem as I do. They have traditional pools with traditional steps. My pool has a large sun step that they like to walk on. Its only got about 3" of water on it and it makes for a perfect spot for them to wash and eat their food. They also use the bowl of my waterfall as well. However, they never go on my sun-shelf which is 18" deep. If your pool is like mine, then stay tuned. I will report back on the sprinkler scare-crow.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 3:59PM
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kitchenshock, Whew! That's a relief knowing you have a 3" sun step. The shallowest part of our pool is an 18" baja shelf. I've been sort of hoping the raccoons will fall in and drown but then again I don't want to deal with hauling them out infront of the kids.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 4:55PM
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I was told almost all pools in FL were enclosed. Maybe you should do that. Heard aligator trick works on ducks, never heard about coons. We have a problem with them in the garbage here, I have a creek nearby. It was mostly last summer during the 100+ deg heat and drought. I read on the net, that they don't like the sound of people. Get a satalite radio and play Howard Stern all night, maybe that will work.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 7:10AM
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Why not trap and relocate them yourself? You can buy a trap for about 50 bucks (google havahart). It's pretty simple and can be done quite safely for all involved.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 10:51AM
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If you are going to take the advice to live trap and relocate - be sure to check with your state fish and wildlife dept. before doing so. Some states have regulations regarding relocation of racoons and other mammals. Your state fish and wildlife staff are the best people to turn to when dealing with wildlife issues like this -- they deal with these issues all the time and can provide you some guidance. It is worth the time you spend on a phone call.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 10:50PM
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We also had a problem with a family of racoons a year ago. They came, slept on our 2nd story deck, ate our figs, and pooped all over. Luckily, we did not have a pool at the time. After a month, we hired a professional trapper who came out to set up the trap and used our fresh figs as bait. It worked. The mama and the baby got caught the very first night. It was the saddest thing; neither my husband nor I slept that night because we could hear them trying to get out. It was even more sad because we knew they'd be put to sleep the next day. The trap company said since these animals have been domesticated living in the neighborhood, they will not survive if they were relocated out to the wilderness.

Anyway, for the next four days the papa came back every night and waited and waited. He was very smart since we could not get him trapped. He was also very stubborn. We had our flood lights on and even shined a bright flashlight at him, the most he did was stared right back at us or turned his back toward us. If we throw things at him, he'd run away for a little while but then he'd come right back to the same spot. After four days, he must have realized that the rest of his family was not coming back so he left and we have not seen him since. Since then we have cut down our fig tree and had our pool built. We're hoping that we will not have to experience that again. By the way, it cost us $250 to have the trap set up for 5 days.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 2:00AM
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Ditto yellowfin and another thing, when your releasing those cute little fellas, the fastest runner should do it and the rest of you should stay in the car.....lol
A mad racoon is nothing to trifle with. A friends dog in Springtown tangled with one. His face looks like a road map.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 6:27AM
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kurtv: I called a trapper and they said that it is illegal to catch and release raccoons in our county. He said he can catch the animal and will euthanize it for $200 per animal. I just see that as a losing battle. He said I could also buy a trap and catch and kill them myself. That is something I am not prepared to do.

Anyhow, I tried something that seems to be working. I took my brush and net poles and crisscrossed them across the sun step so that the raccoon will have to grab onto them to climb in the pool. They are placed in such a way that they will flex a lot and give a very insecure feeling to the raccoon. I have gone two days now with no traces of raccoons on my sun step. However, I know that its probably only a matter of time before they figure out they can climb over the poles. My motion sprinkler should arrive today, so I will test that this weekend.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 10:04AM
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I just bought a trap yesterday at TSC and caught the naughty little masked bandit who's been raiding my bird feeders every night. I don't get up early enough to refill for the birds so I got the trap. He'd eat all the sunflower seeds in a shallow tray, so I used that as bait inside the trap. He's so cute but has been peeing me off every time I thought I'd 'coon proofed the feeders, he'd outsmart me! I'll take him on a drive for a few miles today and release him. I hope he's not too T'd off, colt357 2004!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 10:04AM
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corn, I was told by a trapper that you need to take them at least 7-10 miles away or they will find their way back.

Just to update, I bought the ScareCrow sprinkler and it has worked great. I left it on for a week and just about all the wild life that was interested in using my pool is gone. I now just put it out once in a while. The only negative I have found with it is when you forget its on and walk in front of it. Happened to the wife when she was leaving for work and went out to retrieve a towel on a chair the kids had left out. She got it in the face and was not a happy camper.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 11:30PM
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    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 12:43AM
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kitchenshock: Thanks for the feedback on the ScareCrow sprinkler. If our pesky racoons are still around after our pool build is complete we will have to get one of those. Maybe we will have to post a sign nearby to remind us it is on. Your poor wife. I can just imagine how upset she would have been ... first of all having to go out and pick up after the kids and then to get a shot of water in the face for her trouble! LOL!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 9:14AM
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Last night after working late (3am) I looked out my kitchen window to see 4? adolescent age racoons leaping on & off my husband's car, running in & out of our storage shed, climbing & shaking our birdfeeders AND running around the edge of our grandchildren's 3'x 8' above ground pool! I couldn't see if they got all the way in, but they were in up to their arms for sure, batting away at the balls & innertubes floating in the pool. One of them bit into and shoot the daylights out of one of the plastic balls. I was grossed out! It was just the day before that my 5yr. old granddaughter was swimming her heart out and opening her eyes (& occasionally mouth!) under water for the first time. I cringed at the thought of what may have been entering the pool water! In the morning, I discovered that they had also put 3 sets of holes in the filter/pump tubing, so water was leaking out! I am going for the sprinkler, & if that doesn't work, I don't have a problem getting something done permanently! We have had racoons in our chimney & garbage cans, & have "havaheart" trapped & released them, but this won't do! My grandchildren's health is a priority and these critters are getting a bit too bold. The pool cover is going back on, & hopefully the unsteadiness will keep them from walking on it! Does anyone know of a not so expensive hard cover for pools this size & if so, where to get them! PLEASE HELP! We have a very bright light on the shed right next to the pool. THEY COULD CARE LESS. You would think they were on stage. God's blessings.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 2:40PM
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Hi, We built a gate and we hold it down with 2 pavers with PVC and wire. We NO longer have their droppings around.. If you want a picture just email me. SIMPLE... SIMPLE... SIMPLE.... solution and very easy to do.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 10:55AM
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