Things that go bump in the night
I spent my weekend tossing and turning at night. I was unable to shake the memory of what happened to me on Friday evening. It was close to midnight and I was asleep with my precious fur child Chelsea beside me. I suddenly was awakened by a noise on the roof close to my window. Chelsea stirred and looked at me like "Well, aren't you going to do something?" So, I reluctantly got out of bed and went to the window. I drew the curtains and stood face to face with a raccoon. Right at the window!! Like a scene from a horror movie, I walked backwards yelling out to hubby. Hubby was downstairs watching television. He comes upstairs and I show him the raccoon which is still standing on the roof. Hubby runs downstairs and outside. I peer out the window with Chelsea clinging to my arms. Hubby is running toward the roof carrying a rake. He is trying to shoo the raccoon. It is not budging. Hubby hits the roof with the rake. Once, twice.... no movement. Finally he hits it again and unknowingly hits the raccoon on the back. It will be a long time before I forget the grunt that came out of that raccoon. I open the window and yell. "You hit it! Run! It is mad!" I hear hubby come back inside. Meanwhile the raccoon is looking at my precious fur child through the glass and I like it is going to attack. Out of complete desperation I hiss like a cat. This works! The raccoon jumps from the roof to the tree in front of our house using a branch. I yell down to hubby. "It's gone, it's on the tree".
We realize that the raccoon is after some berries that literally grew on this tree overnight. Hubby goes back out against my warning. It is dead quiet until I hear something I have never heard before. Hubby is screaming. I look out the window and see him running and throwing the rake in the air. He comes back inside. Chelsea and I go running down the stairs. "What happened?" I ask.
He tells me he went to shake the tree and FOUR raccoons fell out of it.
So stupid me spends all Saturday evening googling raccoons on the net. It is illegal to kill any form of wildlife. Had to cancel the gun order I placed. You can buy things such as powder which smells like coyote urine. (They are terrified of coyotes) Or you can hang moth balls in nylon on trees. You can also soak rags in ammonia to deter them from coming on to your property. A lot of this stuff works but, it is only temporary.
Anyhow, Hubby trimmed the tree so that none of the branches reach the roof. Although that is a small consolation I still am worried. I read that the females weigh on average 30lbs and the males 40lbs. My dog Chelsea is 13.4 lbs!!! We don't let her out alone at night and now for sure we won't!!
I also learned that raccoons are the number one carriers of rabies and distemper (Distemper would kill a dog - thankfully they are vaccinated against this). Raccoons are not afraid of humans no matter what anyone tells you. In their eyes WE are the pests. They are destructive, carry disease and nest in sheds, attics, basements.........I shudder to think about that. Raccoons eat the fish out of people's ponds. Although studies show they don't usually attack cats or dogs they will feed off anything that is dead. Hey, to me if those suckers eat the crap in the garbage - IF THEY ARE HUNGRY ENOUGH they will eat a small animal!
This is a very serious problem. While you are in bed at night they are roaming your neighborhood. They are supposed to be nocturnal creatures but, IF HUNGRY ENOUGH will come out during the daylight hours. Just what we need!
Please Please Please - DO NOT FEED RACCOONS. No matter how cute you think they are. Trust me they won't be so cute when they give you rabies or chew your roof off. Also your neighbors may not be fans of the critters.
Please secure your garbage. Raccoons are ambidextrous and can open latches and unscrew lids. Don't put your garbage out until the MORNING of the collection day.
Don't leave food lying around after a barbecue or backyard event.
Please do your part to make me sleep better at night! If you can't then at least buy me a coyote!
CUZ I SAID SO!