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    Reservation for Raccoon, party of 2

    May 23rd, 2011

    This is the continuation of our raccoon saga. At the ending of our last story we had ended with putting down some insecticide in our grass. Well, that did a bit fat nothing. We then moved onto:

    • Moth-balls. Not bad, but not effective enough for them to not work around them, having to keep the kids inside the house, and having to continuously refresh the anti-moth-y smell. Point: Raccoon.
    • Motion sprayers. This was probably the most effective solution, and had we not lived in “tie your child down to a tether lest they blow away from the wind” country, would probably be sufficient. However, the wind would set off the motion sensor, which would go off all evening long, thus draining the battery, thus when the raccoon actually CAME, would do nothing. Sigh. Of course, until the next morning when I would walk out, forget that the sprayers are on, and get nailed by a cold stream of water up my rear (forcing me to have to change pants lest I want to continue explaining to people all morning long that I did NOT pee myself). Apparently there’s always enough juice in the battery to find and get ME. Point: Raccoon.
    • Netting. Yes, our yard now has an attractive orange net that spans from one end of the grass (of a fore-mentioned damage zone) to the other, and also my veggie garden, where the raccoons go for desert. One of my strawberry plants might never recover from being dug up. This has been helpful too. Doesn’t look attractive, but it’s made a huge dent in what the racoons can dig up. Point: Us.
    • Animal control.

    That last one hurts for me to say. But it’s been our last resort. What threw me over the edge of using them is the fact that raccoons can carry a ring-worm that can be fatal to children. So… while the raccoon chasing game is frustrating, this made it unacceptable. Yes, I realize I can’t keep raccoons out of my yard permanently, but an occasional pass-through is OK. A nightly supper club not so much. Especially when there is the possibility they can hang out long enough to spread cooties to my boys. I gotta draw the line here.

    So the animal people came. They setup a trap. The first night we woke up to see the trap over-turned and the food gone. I’m certain the raccoon did it and laughed it’s head off. The second night we had an animal captured. I made the bad mistake of walking out there to see it. It looked so sad and pitiful. It wanted out, and had I not known about the ring-worm, I would’ve let it go. But it was taken away, and the trap kept behind in case there were more.

    I had joked with our baby-sitter the week prior, asking “Wouldn’t it be funny if there were more?” Maybe they had a schedule and Billy comes on Mondays, Sally Wednesdays, and Jo on Thursdays. Well, as it turns out, it’s not so funny when it’s true. ‘Cuz this morning there was a second raccoon in our trap. Arg! Money aside (each pick-up is costing us over $100), I’m a little concerned over what’s happening here. Has our address been written on the stall of a raccoon out-house? Are we ultimately going to escort every raccoon that lives in the canyon out?

    At this stage I just want our grass to take root, I’m putting a fence around my veg and we can call it even. After that I’ll leave them alone.

    So that’s our update. Let’s see how many more come to pay us a visit when this is all said and done. And how much money we’ll be out of.

    PS. For those of you sensitive, please don’t ask animal control what they do with the raccoons once they’re captured. It won’t help you sleep at night :-/

    PPS. I tried to find a “mean raccoon” picture online because I’d like to think of my raccoons as vicious, disease-carrying predators. Otherwise they’re too stinkin’ cute not to make my heart hurt.