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Raccoons are night feeding nuisances of the procyon lotor species which are primarily bothersome in rural and suburban areas. It is rare to find them in citis and busy towns unless there are large heaps of garbage and sufficient natural water to keep them happy.

Racoons resemble kittens in size when first born but mature more along the lines of medium sized dogs. They can be small or large depending on the region in which they live and how well fed they are. They are distinct for their “raccoon eyes” which are heavily lined with dark brown or black, and their striped tails. Usually they will be a combination of browns, greys, blacks and whites with the occasional tan. However, those black ringed eyes are a mark that definitely tells you it’s a raccoon.

Raccoons overturn garbage cans at night and scatter the contents on which they feed. They are very dextrous and inquisitive animals and will manuever lids with ease. Sometimes they will take up residence not only around the home, but in it in areas such as basements, barns, attics and similar locations. Raccoons do carry fleas and ticks but these do not pose a serious health threat to humans. Raccoons become dangerous when they are cornered, and will snarl and bite ferosciously often going for the face and eyes.

Keep garbage cans securely anchored in unmovable frames with lids that secure as tightly as possible to the cans. If there are any open screens or areas leading to the inside of buildings, seal up these areas and do any necessary repairs to help keep raccoons out. You should consult your local office of the Department of Fish and Game Control to find out regulations on raccoon control and what restrictions you may encounter in taking care of these pests. If live traps are allowed in your area, they are best laid with melon, prunes or honey-coated breads. Traps can be attached to trees, stakes or fence posts. Raccoons like to be high up. If bitten, seek immediate medical attention as some raccoons may be rabid or carry other infectious bites.