Springtime is here, and while we all enjoy the beauty that results, the season also comes with some drawbacks: It’s the time of year when raccoons give birth. And that means extra vigilance for homeowners.
Raccoons can get inside your chimneys and attics, and build dens in crawl spaces and under decks and sheds, wreaking havoc at the same time.
An article in the Park Hill News reports that raccoon families always have at least two dens, usually close to each other. “In the spring, many mama raccoons will take their babies—typically they have broods of 3-4 or more—up into people’s chimneys and attics providing the ambiance of a hollow tree,” it notes.
If you find yourself with these uninvited guests, the best option is to trap and release them. Dan Steckman of Affordable Animal Removal notes in the article that “by law, raccoons must be released on site, unless they are obviously sick, in which case they can be euthanized.”
Preventing the critters from targeting your home in the first place, however, is the best approach. To that end, here are some dos and don’ts:
Block access to your home by putting screens over chimney openings and attic vents.
Make sure your trees don’t provide access to your home. Prune them back so that raccoons can’t climb them and jump onto your roof.
Make sure your garbage cans are tightly shut, to avoid attracting the animals.
Store pet food and birdseed indoors.
Prevent mama raccoons from returning to their den, as the babies will then starve to death. Aside from being inhumane, this will result in an untenable smell.
Rely on sound machines to repel raccoons. They don’t work. Neither do repellent powders and most water sprayers, say experts.