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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856

    Raccoon - what do I do?

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    Okay I live in an apartment on the second floor. When I got home from work tonight I noticed something moving on the balcony -- a raccoon. I can't tell if it's still there. I was on my way out to the gym when I noticed it. There's a table and chairs out there covered by a tarp, plus two plastic plastic patio storage containers. So it could be under/behind something.

    I called the local animal welfare league which is the only animal control entity here. They said I have to go out onto the balcony to see if the raccoon is still there. I do not want to go out there. I have enough problems right now without adding "raccoon bite and rabies test" to the list.

    So, what do I need to know about raccoons? Can they climb down metal poles? Because that or jumping is the only way down. Is this thing a danger to the dogs that live downstairs and next door if it ends up jumping/climbing down into their fenced-in patios? One of the dogs is a corgi. The other two are some type of hound. (One of the hounds barks at EVERYTHING yet somehow was not barking at the stupid raccoon.)

    I'm so tired right now, I need to eat dinner and go to bed. I cannot afford to miss work tomorrow if I have to wait for someone to come to remove this thing.

    p.s. There's no food or trash on the balcony.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,608
    sounds like a year old whose mother kicked him out. He is looking for his own turf and without food, he will be gone in the morning. He was probably looking for a safe place to sleep during the day. Even at a year old, corgi could get seriously hurt. Depending on the size and temperament of the hound dog, it's up in air. Play it safe and have your neighbor keep their dogs inside. Raccoons often carry whole host of nasty parasites where the dogs or even humans can get it. You should probably hose off your balcony. Let it dry completely afterwards.

    So how bad can a raccoon get? I've heard enough stories... My Norwegian neighbor (deceased) recounted a story where adult male raccoon had dragged a full grown German Shepherd into a pond and drowned the dog. It's probably country folklore...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    They'll definitely defend themselves if you corner them, but if you leave it alone, they're not aggressive. Since it didn't find shelter or anything to eat, it'll leave. Vaseline on the railings is a good way to keep them from climbing back up, it's how I keep them out of my bird feeders.



    Drowning a full grown GSD? Ahem .... (but +1 that a 'coon and a Corgi would be pretty evenly matched - still, it's not like this is the only raccoon in the world, so either your neighbor is going to keep their dogs in at night or they aren't ...)
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    680
    Pretty much what Oakleaf says. Raccoons are actually very common in urban and suburban areas, so not at all surprised you encountered one. When I lived in the Chicago area, we had them in our apartment complex all the time. As mentioned, don't corner one and you'll be fine. Just make plenty of noise before stepping out on your balcony to give them a chance to escape and they'll disappear. It's when you surprise one, suddenly, that may cause a problem, but, even then, it is exceedingly rare for a raccoon to attack a human. Be sure to keep your balcony door locked, too. They are very adept at getting into houses and such. Just don't leave anything around that will attract them. They have an excellent sense of smell.

    As for the coon versus Corgi thing, no way. Not even close. When we were kids, had a neighbor that hunted coons with hounds. My brother and I went with him a couple of times. Trust me, a raccoon can more than hold its own against any full size dog and coon hounds are big dogs. These are not the cute cuddly animals you see in cartoons. If you have a dog, any dog, keep it away from raccoons.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 05-13-2016 at 07:05 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    774
    What a coincidence.

    On Sunday afternoon I was working in the motorhome to get the season started.

    We knew we had issues with a "beast" making holes in our grass. Probably in search for grubs. Hubby thought it was a skunk...but told him no because of the no "smell".

    Well as I was looking through the windshield, I saw a raccoon walk right by our shed and go towards the backyard. Our shed is cement base so it cannot get under, our yard is very well-fenced and it does not get there and no hole big enough for it to go through. I did not go out right away...not caring much for it anyway.

    It is either hiding in the pile of burning wood we have, although it is pretty tightly piled up. Only thing I can see is that it gets under my neighbours' fence. Neighbour was out so I told her what I saw. She was wondering why she had holes in her grass, and why the wood pile she has is a mic-mac. I guess it it there.

    Anyway, I warned her because she has 2 young kids. And kids may be attracted to it and we know it can be dangerous if cornered.

    I have not seen it since then and being rural, it may come and go. I have 3 dogs (14 pounds) and they would be no fight for this...one is blind, one is just in convalesence for hip surgery...and the other one is a nutcase (on prozac). She would be the one fighting it...and lose and me ending up with vet bills. deuh. So hubby made sure all entries are as critter-proof as possible.

    I'm sure once the grub time is over...the raccoon will go away. My wish anyway.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    680
    Helene, they can actually climb fences very easily. Seen them do it many times. Have actually seen them walk along the top of a chain link fence. Pretty amazing animals.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    Thank you everyone for your replies. I think it was not on the balcony this morning, but I only could see (a) the part that is visible through the door and (b) the part that is visible when I stick my head out the window next to the balcony. So there's a slim chance it was behind something but I think not.

    One thing I don't know is if either of the new neighbors -- upstairs and downstairs -- is keeping trash on their patio/balconies. I hope not.

    I have to go out on the balcony soon to get rid of some of the stuff in the patio storage containers so I can use the space for temporary storage when I have my new floors installed. I was thinking I might go out there tomorrow. I will make lots of noise before I do, bang on pots and pans or something.

    I have known for years that we have raccoons as well as foxes in our 'hood, I was just very surprised to see one on the second floor and worried that it had jumped down from a nearby tree and was unable to leave. I'm glad this was not the case!

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Helene, raccoons will dig out underground wasps' nests, but smaller holes are more likely either possum or skunk. Raccoons are pretty much everywhere in the USA and southern Canada, so it's no surprise you saw one.

    W/r/t dogs - just to clarify, when I said evenly matched, what I meant was that if they were in a situation where neither one could get away, I wouldn't lay odds on which one might survive. I didn't mean to suggest I was sure the dog would win! I live in the country, so if there's one thing we have more of than raccoons, it's loose dogs, and I've seen plenty of aftermaths of fights with raccoons, some dogs with cuts deep enough that they needed care so they wouldn't get infected, plenty of raccoons turned into stinky chew toys, but I've never, ever heard of a raccoon killing a dog. They're just not motivated to fight to the death if they can escape.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    680
    Not to worry, Oak, I didn't take it that way at all. You're right, raccoons are way to smart to attack dogs, needlessly.

    As far as killing dogs, old coon hunters with hounds have told me that if a dog chases a raccoon into the water, the raccoon can drown the dog by climbing on its back. Don't know how true that is, though. Might be one of those folk myths. Who knows?

    Just another raccoon tidbit. Had a friend who had a pet coon when he was a kid. Told me the coon figured out how to unlatch the gate to their yard.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sillycon Valley, California
    Posts
    4,869
    I have to share my raccoon adventures. I named him Rockett, and he trashed our back lawn. Didn't come back this year, I think all the lawn grubs are gone.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    680
    They are cute. I have a friend in southern Wisconsin that fills her bird feeders every night for them. Not sure if that's such a great idea, but they won't pass up a free meal, believe me.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 05-14-2016 at 03:55 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    Okay this is funny. This is a small condo apartment building -- three floors, two apartments per floor. The common hall/stairway is in the middle of the building with apartments on either side. I'm sitting here in my living room putting winter clothes into storage boxes (still insisting there is no such thing as "too many wool sweaters") and I can hear a bird chirping very loudly. I think one has gotten into the common hallway through an open window.

    I do not want to deal with it. Hopefully it will figure out how to get back outside. Otherwise I would like one of my neighbors to deal with it. I am usually the person who solves issues that affect us all, like getting hall light bulbs and smoke detector batteries replaced or having the front door lock fixed when it sticks. I prefer not to have to be the bird lady, too. On the other hand, I am really enjoying the quiet that comes with most of my neighbors being not at home right home. So I'm conflicted.

    Still I'm having a day where you stay indoors and don't bother to change out of your pajamas, so I'm not going out to deal with a bird.

    Next I suppose a fox will find its way into my life...

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sillycon Valley, California
    Posts
    4,869
    Watch out for bears ny biker....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    Quote Originally Posted by snapdragen View Post
    Watch out for bears ny biker....
    Or tigers

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    680
    Could be worse. How about a skunk in the building?

    Almost hit a porcupine, last week, while riding and a wild turkey the week, before. No bears, yet. Whew!

 

 

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