Adult raccoons have an average length of 24 to 38 inches and approximate weight of 14 to 23 pounds. A male raccoon is also called boar while the female is known as a sow. Its fur has a color that ranges from brown to gray. One of the most prominent characteristics is the presence of black color that surrounds its small eyes. It is comparable to the masks that criminals wear to hide their true identity. It also comes with a bushy and large tail, which can have as much as 10 rings. It has strong hind legs, which makes it easy for them to stand up. Their front paws, meanwhile, are strong but flexible. They also have sharp teeth, making it easy for them to eat a lot.
Raccoons are common in woodlands that are near water sources. However, they can easily adapt to different environments, making them visible almost anywhere. They are often seen along the streets, especially near trash bins where they can find abundant food supply. They can also live in burrows or cavities of different trees. They are also common in the garden, making them one of the most critical concerns when it comes to pests at home.
Identifying Raccoon’s Damage
These animals are omnivorous, which means that they can eat both animals and plants. The environment will be a critical determining factor on what it can eat. They are often foraging for food inside trash bins. When it comes to plants, on the other hand, different fruits and vegetables can be its hosts. To be specific, they like strawberries, apples, pears, peaches, sweetcorn, peas, beans, potatoes, melons, and nuts, among others.
The following are some of the most common signs that will be indicative of the presence of raccoons:
- In corn, they will topple the stalks. To add, they will also rip open half of the ear and will eat it. In the case of other host plants, it can also devour the fruit, especially because they have sharp teeth and long fangs.
- On the ground, watch out for the appearance of holes, which will result from the digging activity of raccoons. They do this because they are searching for insects that they can eat. For this reason, although they are a pest, they can also be beneficial in the garden as they are a natural predator for some pests.
- Watch out for the bird feeders as well. More often than not, they will end up emptying it.
Results of Infestation
Among others, the infestation of raccoons can cause aesthetic damage to the lawns because of their burrowing. If you have chicken, they are also susceptible to being killed by a raccoon. They can also lead to significant economic losses, especially for commercial growers. For corn, for instance, they will eat some of its parts, and in the end, crops will no longer be marketable.
How to Get Rid of Raccoons
Natural and Organic Solutions
Looking for the best ways to control raccoon? The following are some of the solutions that you might want to consider:
- Keeping the garden and household clean is one of the best ways to manage raccoons. By making sure that there is no thick vegetation or piles of trash, it will be easy to eliminate raccoons. Do not provide them with a suitable habitat so that they will stay away. You should also clean up food debris and remove anything that will be a food source.
- Trapping is another popular solution in dealing with raccoons. Choose traps that are more humane. Find a cage and place a bait so that it will be attractive for raccoons. Rather than killing the animal, bring and release it in a place that is far away from home.
- Fencing will also be effective. See to it that it will have a strong foundation, which will make it difficult to knock down. Also, the bottom part should be solid and there should be no holes, making sure that there will be no entry points for raccoons.
- There are also commercial products that you can purchase, which have the main goal of frightening raccoons, allowing them to not come close to the garden or home. There are devices that create an annoying noise, as well as flashing lights. However, through time, raccoons can learn that these devices are meant to scare them, which is why the effectiveness will be possibly lower.
- If you want to refrain from the use of pesticides with toxic chemicals, there are natural sprays that you can make at the comfort of your own home. Combine water, cayenne pepper, and chopped habanero chilis. Bring them to a boil. Spray it on the entry points and it will repel the raccoons because they do not like its smell.
- There are also simple ways to scare the raccoons. Among others, a scarecrow is one thing that can prove to be effective. You might also want to consider streamers and pinwheels, among others.
There are certain chemicals that are effective in the elimination of raccoons at home or in the garden. However, it is also important to note that they can be toxic. This makes it important to be cautious in their use. Pay attention to the instructions from the manufacturer. Also, some of them can kill even your pets or beneficial insects. Also, keep in mind that some chemicals will be illegal, which will depend on the existing laws from where you live.
Bromethalin is one of the most common active ingredients in chemical products for raccoons. It paralyzes the nervous system of raccoons, leading to their eventual death. To be specific, some of the brands that use this as a main ingredient in their products include Real Kill, Talpirid, Fastrac, and Assault, among others.