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Controlling Raccoons, Opossums, and Coyotes

Raccoons, opossums, coyotes, and other such mammals can easily become nuisances. As more and more vacant land is developed for housing, these critters are losing their natural habitat and so are becoming more desperate and aggressive. They will gladly invade homes, garages, and other buildings; eat garbage and dog food that other animals would never touch; destroy property and valuable plants; and coyotes will kill household pets such as cats and small dogs.

If you would like to control these pests, consider the following:

  • Using caulk to carefully seal even the tiniest openings in structures on your property will help keep these pests out. Any sign that animals have been clawing or chewing on roofing, soffits, fascias, or basement and crawlspace foundations should alert you that those animals are trying to get in. Any damage they have caused should be repaired immediately, and a taste aversion product can be sprayed on the area to discourage further attempts. Taste repellents will probably need to be reapplied after every rainfall until you are confident the animal is no longer trying to get in.
  • Garbage cans with secure lids will help keep these pests from viewing your property as a desirable place to obtain food. Many of these mammals are extremely clever and dexterous, so you should use high quality cans with really tight fitting or locking lids.
  • Ponds and water features can be attractive sources of water during dry periods. Raccoons will eat ornamental fish such as koi unless they are prevented from doing so by screenings.
  • All chimneys should be capped and screened. Raccoons especially like to nest in chimneys that are not frequently used.

These animals can be trapped and removed from the property. A professional is your best choice for this, since these critters are too large for traps designed for

smaller pests such as squirrels and chipmunks. Be aware that in many communities it is illegal to poison an animal or shoot them with any kind of firearm.

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