RE: NANFA-- OT controlling nuisance raccoons

Denkhaus, Robert (
Sun, 25 Aug 2002 13:51:01 -0500

Any nuisance animal problem, particulary in an urban/suburban setting, is in
reality a people problem. Trapping and removing the offending animal(s)
provide a temporary solution at best. The only REAL solution is to correct
the actual problem. Why are the raccoons there? For food? Water? Shelter?
Whatever it is that is attracting them, remove it, clean it up, or whatever is
needed to eliminate the attraction. Usually it will mean the local residents
will need to change their ways because you will not be able to change the

Trapping and removing (which can be interpreted as relocating or euthanizing)
the raccoons really does little to change the situation. Any raccoon removed
from the area simply allows another raccoon to move in from a neighboring
locale. If the food, shelter, etc. is there...they will come. Nature does
not work in a vaccuum.

Many people feel that trapping and relocating the offending individual(s) is
the most humane way to "solve" the problem but if you really look at it it
isn't all that humane. Imagine yourself as the raccoon. You've been minding
your own business doing what raccoons do which is generally taking advantage
of any available food source and any available shelter. In your case, those
garbage cans were an easier food source than having to forage down along the
creek. And, why shouldn't you take advantage of that bowl of dogfood on that
porch? It's not your fault that you can't tell that it was meant only for
Rover. So, since food is so easy to come by in this area you start looking
for a place to hang out when you're not eating. Hey, that garage is always
open and it's dry and comfortable in there. Who can blame you for moving in?
Then one night you stumble into a livetrap. You spend a highly stressful
night awaiting your fate.

Next morning, you get packed up and hauled out to the edge of town and dumped
in the woods. Uh oh! You don't know where to find food. Where am you going
to sleep? Where are you going to hide from mean and nasty predators? Oh wow,
look, there's another raccoon!! Maybe he'll tell you where you need to go.
You amble over and greet him like your long lost cousin and he proceeds to
kick your sorry city-coon a##. These country raccoons are not a friendly
bunch. Nursing your wounds and your pride, you begin a directionless
wandering. Days go by. You've walked miles with little food. You've lost a
lot of weight and your fur is looking pretty shabby. You've crossed a lot of
roads and almost got hit a half dozen times when you look up and see....a
house! Not just a house but a house with a garbage can brimming with tasty
morsels. Hey, there's a bowl of dogfood on the porch! And, the garage is
open! Yea!! A new place to live!!!

A couple weeks go by and you've gotten fat and comfortable again. And then
one night you stumble into a trap....

The moral of the story is that relocating animals tends to result in either:
1) a dead animal or 2) a relocation of the problem along with the animal.

BTW, a lot of animal control agencies will not come out and trap raccoons for
you. Many will lend you a trap and expect you to call them when you catch

Rob Denkhaus
Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Wally Billingham
> Sent: Sunday, August 25, 2002 1:28 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: NANFA-- OT controlling nuisance raccoons
> Ok I get it now, call your local animal control people and
> tell them you are
> worried about rabbies. They will come, set traps and remove
> them for free.
> Wally
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Sunday, August 25, 2002 11:42 AM
> Subject: Re: NANFA-- OT controlling nuisance raccoons
> > In a message dated 8/25/02 8:42:12 AM US Central Standard Time,
> > writes:
> >
> > << Shotguns work every time >>
> >
> > Location is an apartment complex in a urban/suburban
> enviornment. While
> lots
> > of two legged varmits there recklessly shoot on New Years
> Eve and the 4th
> of
> > July,
> > single shots seem to get more attention. And you have to
> see the darned
> > thing, the background has to be right and it has to be one
> not in the
> > apartment itself.
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