Andy and I were out of town last week and Dana was home alone. As he left work for work one day he heard a noise around the garbage can so he kicked it. The noise stopped so he thought he scared off whatever was making the noise. That evening when he returned home he heard something inside our garbage can. When he looked inside he saw this:
This young raccoon was trapped. It was 85 degrees F that day. Dana said the creature was pretty docile at day’s end after cooking in the can all day. He tilted the can on it’s side and Rocky headed toward the back yard and freedom. And water for sure! But first Dana took this photo. We think he looks like “cute” Puss-in-Boots from the movie, Shrek!
Raccoons are an urban problem. They have adapted quite well to city life and know where all the best garbage cans are. I wish I had a motion sensitive camera so I could see exactly how they get into ours. It is 4 feet tall, round, smooth rubber, in the shape of an inverted V, and the lid overhangs the edge. We think they must jump, pop the lid up then hang on the edge and hold it open for their buddies. Then the reverse to get out. I almost had a heart attack one morning when I opened the garage door and two raccoons burst out of the can in front of me!
There are a lot of suggestions on the web about how to make raccoon-proof closures but I don’t want to unlock the box every time I takeout the garbage. The PBS documentary, Raccoon Nation, suggests humans are making raccoons smarter by trying to outwit them with our locks and bungee cords. They love a puzzle and will work to figure out how to get around our deterrents. The best repellent I ever used was moth crystals sprinkled around the can. They didn’t like the smell at all!
Are you battling raccoons this summer? What is your best way to deter them?