Varmint(s) under the house

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Dan_Musicant wrote:

If it is a racoon, it will either unscrew the hinges or just grab the wire mesh and open it. I have watched them open coolers.
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Norminn wrote:

Chuckle. That's fer sure. I had to raise my bird feeder and suet feeder, because they were standing on the deck rail, holding onto skinny bird feeder pole with one hand, and unhooking doors to suet feeder with other hand. Tried to get a picture next time he came back, but I was laughing too hard, and it came out blurry. He looked just like a 2 year old kid, trying to get the cookie jar out of the high cabinet. When he heard me laughing through the cracked-open sliding door, he waddled over bold as brass, and assumed the standard puppy begging posture. Obviously totally unafraid of humans.
I can't find it in me to get too mad at the raccoons- they are what they are, and they are just so damn cute. (Unlike possums- what was mother nature thinking with that one?. And I'd cheerfully kill my moles, even though I have never actually seen them.)
aem sends...
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wrote:
:Dan_Musicant wrote: : :>Since trap and removal isn't possible here in Berkeley, I'll have to do :>something else. :> :>Poison isn't an option. Even if it were, you have no guarantee that the :>animal(s) will/won't die under the house, maybe even in a place I can't :>access. That would be a REAL problem. :> :>I just decided what will almost surely work: :> :>I'll make a door that has something like a cat-door, but will allow only :>egress, not ingress. I have a lot of wire screen, stiff stuff, about :>3/8" mesh. I'll make a swinging door, mounted from the top so that it :>will swing out easily when pushed. The animal can easily see the light :>of day through the wire mesh one-way door. The animal will surely push :>on it when it gets desperate to go out, which it surely will. Once out, :>any such animal won't be able to get back in because the door can only :>be pushed open by the animal from the inside, not lifted open from the :>outside, such as I can do. :> :>Once a couple of days go by and there are no prints, I can affix my :>permanent door. Or, even affix the screen tightly to the door on there, :>actually. Should any other access become available to an animal in the :>future, I can reseal the other access and then reuse the swinging door :>in the elimination scenario. :> :>Dan :> :> :If it is a racoon, it will either unscrew the hinges or just grab the :wire mesh and open it. I have watched them open coolers.
Ah, well, thanks everyone for educating me on the nature of racoons. I had no idea they are so clever. Obviously, I'll have to do something more if it is racoon(s), and I figure there's a darn good chance it is. I could use the plan and see if it works, and if it doesn't go to plan B or C.
I hear that racoons can be nasty when confronted, so that makes me nervous about entering the space (from an alternate, my favorite entrance) with a flashlight with the intention of shooing the animal(s) out. I don't relish the idea of fending off an attacking racoon!!
Don't know what to do, in that event. Thinking cap back on... suggestions? Thanks.
Dan
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I have chased one around the house with a broom. They aren't aggressive, but I wouldn't corner one. If you always leave them a direction to escape in, you can shoo them. One of my raccoons was only a third grown and cute as a kitten. Leaving it napping in the laundry room, I looked up raccoons on Google, and learned that they domesticate well, but tend to bite random visitors and then you can be sued for keeping a wild animal in your house, so I chased it outside.
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wrote:
:> I hear that racoons can be nasty when confronted, so that makes me :> nervous about entering the space (from an alternate, my favorite :> entrance) with a flashlight with the intention of shooing the :> animal(s) out. I don't relish the idea of fending off an attacking :> racoon!! : :I have chased one around the house with a broom. They aren't :aggressive, but I wouldn't corner one. If you always leave them a :direction to escape in, you can shoo them. : One of my raccoons was only a third grown and cute as a kitten. :Leaving it napping in the laundry room, I looked up raccoons on Google, :and learned that they domesticate well, but tend to bite random :visitors and then you can be sued for keeping a wild animal in your :house, so I chased it outside.
OK, so I guess I can try entering the crawl space from my alternative entrance (which I keep latched shut, normally), with a flashlight and try to find the animal(s) and shoo it/them out.
That would be a lot easier than the plan I thought of this morning, which is definitely plan C but seems likely to work:
Plan C:
Lay down slick, waterproof paper of some kind with some substance on it that will cause the animal(s) to leave tracks. Have white paper just beyond this tracking substance, so that I can see the tracks and determine what direction the animal(s) goes. With this I can figure out whether it's a racoon, or whatever, presumably. I can also know whether the animal has just entered or exited. If just exited, close the door. This works if it's just one animal. If there's more than one, it seems problematical.
Dan
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wrote:

Give an avenue of escape and the animal will likely take it as an exit. Have pistol ready. The same principle is used a in police and prison work during riots. Never pin a racoon in a corner!

Plan C might include a fluorescent powder or such that shows under a black light. This has been used to identify culprits; shine a "black light" and the powder will light up. Follow the tracks.
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Dan_Musicant wrote:

Raccoons are far too clever for that to work. They can grab and pull and lift just like you can. I once had a cat door that required the cat to wear a magnet on its collar to get in. The raccoons figured out how to defeat it and come into the house. The then taught other raccoons.
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A raccoon will just open the door both ways, grateful that other dumber animals will be kept out.
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