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There are a lot of racoons

July 22, 2012
Kevin Williams - Grundy County Conservation Director , Reinbeck Courier

There must be a lot of raccoons. There are a lot of raccoons. I can base that statement on a number of things. Number one would be on personal observation. A trip down the road right now at night will yield many encounters with reflective pairs of eyes in the headlights. There have been four pretty young raccoons spending time around the Pump 24 station in Gladbrook recently. In fact, they have been up in the trash receptacle and I even watched as they cooled off in the squeegee reservoirs.

And then, too, I can say with certainty that there have to be a lot of raccoons because a caller to the office recently reported that their call to the Wildlife Rehab telephone answering service about orphaned raccoons resulted in the person telling them that they were not taking anymore orphan raccoons. They were full! I was amazed when I heard that. In the over thirty years that I have dealt with these individuals, I have never known that to be the case. Obviously, that means there are a lot of raccoons.

I had a call just this week from an individual who was being bothered by raccoons coming into the garage and eating the cat food located there. Boy, have I heard that before! All I could provide for service was the offer of our department's live trap for relocation of the critters.

But the very best advice that I could offer to this caller and anyone else out there with a similar situation is change the method of feeding your cats. I'm sure that it is easy to put out a pan and do the self-feeder approach. Instead, put out what the cat or cats can cleanup in a reasonable amount of time. It will save cat food in the long run (both that consumed by the cats and other critters).

And it will also remove the attraction. It might take awhile for the raccoons, or opossums to abandon the idea that they can find food there, but they will eventually move on, probably to the nearest sweet corn patch!



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