Raccoons come by their reputation as trash bandits honestly, so they sometimes cause problems in residential areas by getting into garbage cans or even by pilfering fruits and vegetables from gardens. You can keep raccoons out of garbage cans by making sure they have tight-fitting lids or by securing lids with clamps or wires, Wildlife Illinois advises. You can also avoid unwanted visits by raccoons to your property by not storing pet food or bird seed outdoors.
Another problem some homeowners have encountered with raccoons is dens established under porches and decks and in attics and chimneys. You can prevent raccoons from entering your attic by repairing any holes in your roof and home. Keep chimneys raccoon-free zones by attaching a heavy-duty, commercial grade cap to your chimney top, Wildlife Illinois recommends. You should remove tree branches hanging over your roof to keep raccoons from gaining access to attics and chimneys.
If raccoons cause problems by taking shelter or making dens under your porch or desk, you will need to secure the area to keep raccoons out. For structures less than 2 feet above the ground, you can do this by digging out a trench at least 10 inches deep around your porch or deck, Wildlife Illinois recommends. Then attach metal mesh or welded wire to the top of your deck, leaving 6 inches to 8 inches remaining along the ground, bended out away from the deck. The trench should then by filled with rock or soil. You can also attach lattice or another decorative cover over the mesh to improve the appearance.
If animals on your property continue to cause damage after corrective measures have been taken, consider humanely removing and relocating them only as a last resort. Trapping a raccoon to remove it from your property requires a permit from IDNR. If you do not want to remove it yourself, contact a licensed wildlife control operator to contract their services.
All wildlife in Illinois are under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The Forest Preserve District of Will County does not treat, rescue or remove wildlife from public or private property. Both the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Wildlife Illinois maintain lists of wildlife rehabilitators you can contact for assistance with injured wildlife.
(Photos via Shutterstock)
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