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Thread: These racoons need to go

  1. #1
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    Default These racoons need to go

    Hi everyone I'm at my wits end . How do I keep raccoons away from my pre release cage ?
    I feel horrible I know they are just hungry and looking for food but they are scaring the crap out of the babies and keep it up all night . I'm confident that my pre release enclosure is pretty racoon proof but there is always that chance .
    The enclosure big part is 7 tall 5 long 3 deep wrapped 360 with 1/4 inch hardware cloth and the frame is all metal, approx 4 inch feeding doors on either end that also will be the doors for the squirrels to exit and enter after release with double clamp locks on each door everything is metal no wood except the shelves inside ,
    and the attached part is a critter nation deluxe and it's attached also with 18 gauge galvanized steel wire. Again about a 4 inch hole was cut in the critter nation so the kids can go between the 2 cages there is no gap the 2 are completely attached.

    Now that's out of the way the raccoons are persistent little punks 2 adults and 4 babies every night . I have tried peppermint oil , I've put jars out with lids on tight holes drilled through and filled with moth balls . I've used hot pepper oils , made a mix of hot pepper oil. And peppermint oil I've actually sprayed a couple of them with the peppermint oil and warm water hoping that would drive them away and it stood there and looked at me and proceeded to lick the ground . I've yelled , I've even pinched ones rear with my reacher stick (not hard just to scare it) didn't work.

    What can I use to drive them away but not the squirrels they come to the squirrel feeders every day and I want to keep the squirrels coming around but I also want to protect them as well .
    Again I feel kind of like crap because I don't hate the raccoons I love them too but I want to love them away from my squirrels pre release and away from all the squirrels.
    Is this a lost cause?

    Also there are bright lights on all night and that's not even helping

  2. #2
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    Default Re: These racoons need to go

    Hi winnie77,

    I've been in that situation before; 3 squirrels in a release cage overwintering (October-April). Racoons tend to be most active in autumn to fatten up for winter and when the first squirrel litters are born in the spring (when they raid the nests containing defenseless blind newborn). I remember having five or six at a time climbing the release cage. Your hardware cloth should protect them. I even had a squirrel (Franz, as in Kafka) that was unusually nocturnal and would stay out of the nest box in the cage to observe the racoons out of curiosity -- unfortunately, this trait cost him his life a month after release, as he, out of curiosity, followed a mouse, in the dark, down a tree toward a waiting cat...

    The racoons should eventually give up wasting precious energy on unattainable potential food and find other prospects. Just make sure there isn't anything else in the area that could be attracting them (compost, too much food in feeders, etc).

    Finally, what worked for me was to find out what their access point was (over a fence behind a shed in my yard); I have wireless cameras to monitor predators. I used bear spray on the fence and ground there when I knew the racoons we around. The oil will remain on their paws and when they groom they will have a 'spicy' surprise that they will associate with the area.

    I also, in certain cases, use a slingshot loaded with half a rodent block and aim for their buttocks. Racoons have a thick layer of fat so it will not injure them but will produce pain they will associate with the area.

    Good luck!

  3. Serious fuzzy thank you's to TheAcornStash from:

    Winnie77 (07-08-2024)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: These racoons need to go

    Only way I know of is to trap and move them, easier said than done they always escape my traps🤦
    I'm constantly battling racoons I even had to stop feeding my wilds sunflower seeds ( it's just a treat they eat very well) can't keep the racoons out of my pool its

    Let me know if you find a good method 👍
    Charley Chuckles gone from my arms FOREVER in my heart 8/14/04-3/7/13
    Simon, our time was too short together, but you gave us so much love, be with CC now 3/7/14


    The "CHARLEY CHUCKLES MEMORIAL RAIL TOUR" leaves the station choo chooo
    *Deland,FL. *Washington DC *Boston (Back Bay) *Boston (North Station) *Wells,Maine *Albany,NY *New York (Penn Station) *Back to Deland FL. "July 1- July 22" 2013

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RIAL-RAIL-TOUR Check it out here
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    charleychuckles1@gmail.com

    I'm not poof reading any of this

  5. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Charley Chuckles from:

    Winnie77 (07-08-2024)

  6. #4
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    Default Re: These racoons need to go

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAcornStash View Post
    Hi winnie77,

    I've been in that situation before; 3 squirrels in a release cage overwintering (October-April). Racoons tend to be most active in autumn to fatten up for winter and when the first squirrel litters are born in the spring (when they raid the nests containing defenseless blind newborn). I remember having five or six at a time climbing the release cage. Your hardware cloth should protect them. I even had a squirrel (Franz, as in Kafka) that was unusually nocturnal and would stay out of the nest box in the cage to observe the racoons out of curiosity -- unfortunately, this trait cost him his life a month after release, as he, out of curiosity, followed a mouse, in the dark, down a tree toward a waiting cat...

    The racoons should eventually give up wasting precious energy on unattainable potential food and find other prospects. Just make sure there isn't anything else in the area that could be attracting them (compost, too much food in feeders, etc).

    Finally, what worked for me was to find out what their access point was (over a fence behind a shed in my yard); I have wireless cameras to monitor predators. I used bear spray on the fence and ground there when I knew the racoons we around. The oil will remain on their paws and when they groom they will have a 'spicy' surprise that they will associate with the area.

    I also, in certain cases, use a slingshot loaded with half a rodent block and aim for their buttocks. Racoons have a thick layer of fat so it will not injure them but will produce pain they will associate with the area.

    Good luck!
    Since I mentioned Franz, here is a proud photo of him about 2 weeks before he unfortunately went down that same trunk after sunset...

    He had recovered very well from pneumonia at an early age and, after overwintering outside, was successfully released, with his surrogate siblings, as a functional little whipper-snapper. His specialty was to jump on to a trunk from a distance by shifting mid-air and landing head-down as in the photo. He will be remembered...
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Chirps (07-08-2024), Winnie77 (07-08-2024)

  8. #5
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    Default Re: These racoons need to go

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAcornStash View Post
    Since I mentioned Franz, here is a proud photo of him about 2 weeks before he unfortunately went down that same trunk after sunset...

    He had recovered very well from pneumonia at an early age and, after overwintering outside, was successfully released, with his surrogate siblings, as a functional little whipper-snapper. His specialty was to jump on to a trunk from a distance by shifting mid-air and landing head-down as in the photo. He will be remembered...

    I'm so sorry for your loss. It never gets easier when we lose one.

  9. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Winnie77 from:

    TheAcornStash (07-08-2024)

  10. #6
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    Default Re: These racoons need to go

    Most sadly this happens from time to time. I knew squirrel rehabber who tragically lost many squirrels in a release cage to a break in by a band of raccoons.

    A full top bottom and sides, full chain-link fence surround is the only means I know of that can keep raccoons out of a release cage then placed within it. For this you will need to build the surround around the inner cage.

    Start by placing the bottom panel of the chain link on a leveled base of cinderblocks to create a platform. Before you cut the chain-link, measure to ensure that there there will be at least a body's width of space between both the side and top chain-link panels and the inner release cage when placed on top of the cinderblocks. Then add the door and be sure to include a lock. This way the squirrels cannot be reached from any direction by small and midsized predators.

    If you haven't already done so, add a plywood panel over half of one side of the top of the chain-link surround. A side plywood panel can help to shelter the squirrels from the sun, wind and rain. On that side of the inner release cage, place the nest boxes.

    ps. Be sure that the cage wire fabric (hardware) is small gage, because snakes can get into the larger gage size.

  11. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Diggie's Friend from:

    Winnie77 (07-09-2024)

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