While we were on vacation, a family of raccoons decided to move into our garage. Super! I'm guessing they came in through the doggy door and am SOOOOOO happy they did not come into the house through the other doggy door! (We have one from the house to the garage and one from the garage to the back yard.) When we got home and were unloading the van, I immediately took the laundry bag and put it in the washer (in the garage.) I thought it was extremely odd that the self-filling water bowl was full of mud and that all of the cat food was gone. Later, Gene brought in a board or piece of plastic or something covered with poop and was furious that Tiger had skipped using the litter box. I was like "That looks like raccoon poop! Some of it is filled with berry seeds." Gene proceeded to find a HUGE mess and then Duncan found at least one raccoon back behind the water heater.
We've been slowly trapping them one per night. There are at least 5 babies and the mom. So far we've caught 3 babies and I just went to check and found mom. The babies are probably 2/3 grown and weaned, so I don't feel too bad about relocating them. I can't bring myself to kill them and really don't have a clue how I would go about doing that anyway? (Seriously, I don't have a gun or a stash of euthanasia serum. I don't think I could safely "bop off" a raccoon with a quick smack and neck break. That pretty much leaves drowning or some other horrendously cruel method. No.) I just read in Sunday's paper that you shouldn't catch and release raccoons because they spread disease, but I just don't know what else to do. I don't want to pay someone to do something I can do for free!
That is, I DIDN'T want to pay someone before I caught mom! Baby raccoons are scared and cute and you open the cage and they shoot into the woods. Mama raccoons are evil and scary and smart enough to be terrified of humans and want to defend themselves. They are stupid enough to watch 3 of their babies get trapped and then get trapped themselves, but smart enough to want to shred what is threatening them. I don't want to get shredded!!! Or get rabies shots. Perhaps I'll break down and call Critter Control for mama. Or else I'll put on my winter Carhartt's and take my chances. Probably the latter...
As I write, I'm also listening carefully because I baited the dog crate with food hoping to catch the remaining two babies together and be done with this ordeal. They were climbing around the garage when I found mama raccoon trapped so I know they're out there. I'm sure it'll work, right?