by April Reinhardt
(last updated February 14, 2011)
Last Sunday evening I watched the television show "America's Funniest Home Videos." One segment showed a video clip that, at first, was quite amusing. A man narrated his video while filming from his back door at night. At first, we saw only a few raccoons, but as the clip continued, there were more then forty of them scavenging for food in the dark. They were unabashed and brazen in their foraging, well aware of the people standing two feet from them. I was appalled at the end of the video and wanted desperately to chase them all away. Finally, the man's friend repeatedly banged two pans together and scared the raccoons back into the woods, but not before they utterly destroyed the three bags of garbage that had been neatly secured for pickup the next morning.
If you've endured the same scenario of an entire gaze of raccoons overturning your garbage the night before the garbage people come to fetch it, here are some tips for keeping raccoons our of your garbage:
If raccoons are a real nuisance, consider installing motion detection lighting or sprinklers near your trash can area. Call your local cooperative extension agent for other ideas about how to rid your neighborhood of raccoons. They may send critter control to take care of the situation if it has gotten out of hand.
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