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Raccoons are medium-sized, nocturnal mammals with a black mask over its eyes and a tail with 5 to 10 black rings. Weighing between 10 and 30 pounds (4.5 to 13.6 kilograms), raccoons make a variety of sounds, e.g., barking, hissing, wailing, and screaming in fear or alarm. Their habitat may be a hollow tree in a hardwood forest, a muskrat house, a barn, a chimney, or an attic. As opportunistic feeders, raccoons are omnivorous -- meaning they will eat poultry, sweet corn, water melon, garden vegetables, garbage, fruit, pet food, bird seed in bird feeders, etc. Garbage cans with tight fitting lids, where the garbage can is secured to a rack to prevent it from being knocked over and spilled, discourage raccoon foraging. Compost piles must be properly covered to reduce their attractiveness to the hungry raccoon. Sadly, bird feeders are targeted feeding sites for raccoons, and not feeding birds during the warmer months may be in order to help get rid of raccoons. Questions about local ordinances concerning trapping or eliminating raccoons should be directed to local law enforcement authorities. Though exclusion by an electric fence connected to a DC battery -- never to AC wall current -- is generally the best way to deny raccoons entry to a larger protected area, smaller backyard gardens with ripening ears of corn may be protected by simply wrapping the ripening ears of corn with a filament tape having a glassy-yarn-filament within, i.e. "strapping tape" that requires scissors to cut. Raccoons are well known for leaving behind partially eaten ears of corn.

Nuisance control of raccoons may also be accomplished by:

(1) exclusion:

(a) install a commercially available chimney cap or raccoon screen [50] (installed securely but not permanently, after nightfall, when raccoons are active and not at home) to protect your home from leaves, critters, or rain,
(b) put up a 2-wire electric fence (the type approved for wildlife control) around your vegetable garden (wires 5 and 10 inches -- 12.7 and 25.4 cm -- off the ground), or
(c) put up a Sureguard Pingg-String Electronic Fence
[51] (used to protect gardens and fish ponds from cats, raccoons, and wading birds),

(2) repellents: Havahart® Critter Ridder®
[52] granular repellent for indoors and outdoors, Havahart® Get Away® [53] spray repellent, and Havahart® Spray Away® [54] electronic repellent for urban areas, and

(3) trapping and transporting (relocation): after checking about state trapping and game regulations -- with the understanding that the saliva of the raccoon can have rabies -- bait your trap, e.g., Havahart® Live Animal Raccoon Cage Traps
[55] with fish (fresh or canned), honey or sugar covered vegetables, smoked fish, watermelon, sweet corn, cooked fatty meat, crispy bacon, or especially marshmallows (a favorite), and remember that released raccoons can move as fast as 15 mph (24 km/h) to return back to their home range of 12-23 acres (5-50 ha), so release them in a suitable new home area with a water source far enough away. [56]

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