Raccoons may look cute at the zoo, but they sure don’t look that way in Florida digging through your garbage can. These beasts can make a serious mess of your yard, and the fact that they carry a lot of diseases makes them especially dangerous. The last thing you want to do is leave out a welcome mat for these creatures.
You may want to keep these creatures away from your home but don’t know exactly what to do. If this is the case, here is some things you can do to keep these beasts away.
The first thing to understand is that raccoons are not coming to your home if you have not given them any reason to. This means you need to take extra steps to stop them from finding any enticing food stuffs that may draw them closer. Prevention is the key to keeping them away, and a few simple things you do will keep your Naples home safe from these creatures.
The first thing to do is to try to make your garbage cans as inaccessible as possible. If it is at all possible, try to keep them inside your garage or another enclosed structure so that they cannot get to them. This will keep them away, because they cannot get in them anyway. If you cannot put them inside a structure then take steps to keep them from being able to be opened easily. One of the best ways to do this is to drill holes through the can and run bungee cord over the lid to keep it securely tightened to the can. They may be attracted to the garbage can, but if they cannot get in they will soon give up and will likely not return.
While you may not have considered this before, there are other sources of food beyond your garbage can that may draw the raccoons, and these need to be removed as well. If you have a cat or a dog and are used to leaving their food in a dish near the door of your Florida home, be aware that the raccoon may find this as appetizing a treat as Fido or Felix will. Food dishes should only be set out as the pet will eat, or need to be kept inside.
You should also consider that bird feeders will attract raccoons. Raccoons are omnivores, which means that they will eat virtually anything. Bird food tastes just as good to them as chicken, popcorn or lettuce. If you have a bird feeder that is easily accessible to them they will be looking for a snake. If you have a bird feeder the best thing you can do is put it in a place that is not reachable.
I know your pond full of exotic fish looks really beautiful in your Naples landscaping, but understand to a raccoon that is nothing more than a bowl of cold soup. Raccoons are especially adept at drawing fish out of a pond or other body of water. A small pond of goldfish is like shooting fish in a barrel to a raccoon.
Unfortunately these creatures aren’t picky about having to get food for themselves. If you have a garden they see that as just as tasty as any other meal they may find in Florida, and they are not afraid to dig out some lettuce or carrots to get the nourishment they crave. It is sad that your garden could be such an attraction, but the reality is that it is. You may need to more fully enclose your garden to keep them out, or simply take out the garden all together. I know you may not like that idea, but if you want to keep them away you simply have to take some drastic steps.
There are also some additional steps you will need to take. Raccoons love to use swimming pools as their personal toilets, so you will need to make sure that it is well covered. Pet doors are just as accessible to a raccoon as they are to Spot or Tabitha. When your pets are indoors make sure the door is locked. The last thing you want is to find a raccoon breaking and entering into your Naples home to get a snack. They are not very friendly guests. If you have other animals outside, like chickens, keep them well fenced in and protected. Coyotes and foxes are not the only animals that will come looking for a little chicken dinner. Raccoons will eat them as well, especially because they are fairly easy for a raccoon to catch and kill.
I know some of these things are real hassles to do, but so is a Florida raccoon making your front door or garbage can a regular stop on his route. Be safe and take the steps to keep them away.
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