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Recently, Seaside Park has seen an increase in our raccoon population. The following is a summary of an article called Living With Wildlife: Raccoons by Russell Link.

 

Facts about Raccoons:

When it comes to food and feeding habits, raccoons typically exhibit the following:

  • Raccoons will eat almost everything however they do tend to like clams, fish, frogs, fish and snails more.
  • Raccoons also eat insects, dead animals, vegetation, garbage and pet food.

Raccoons will typically look for and use the following when it comes to den sites and resting sites:

  • Abandoned burrows, large rock piles or holes in trees.
  • Attics, crawl spaces, chimneys, abandoned vehicles, and abandoned houses.
  • Raccoons will move from one site to another without any specific pattern

Tracks, Scratch Marks, and Similar Signs

  • Look for tracks in sand, mud, or soft soil, on deck railings as well as look for smudge marks on the sides of your house.
  • Look for wear marks, body oils, hairs on wood and other surfaces around the edges of den entrances.

Droppings:

  • Raccoons create toilet areas away from their nesting area

Calls:

  • Raccoons make many different noises
    • Chitters
    • Growls
    • Purrs
    • Snarls
    • Snorts

 

Preventing Conflicts:

Here are some ways to prevent conflict between you and raccoons:

  • Modify the habitat around your home so that you do not attract raccoons
    • Do not feed raccoons
      • If you feed them and they get used to being fed they will count on your kindness and become aggressive if you stop feeding them.
      • Do not give raccoons access to garbage
        • Keep garbage can lids locked or secure with a chain, rope, bungee cord or weights.
        • If you have a dumpster keep lid closed because raccoons will climb in and will not be able to get out due to the texture of the walls.
        • Keep pets indoors at night
        • Make sure to clean barbeque grills and grease traps after each use
        • Try not to keep your pets food outside

If you come in contact with a raccoon do the following:

  • Stand up tall, shout and wave your arms
  • Throw stones or use a hose to scare them off if they do not respond to the above
  • If a raccoon still does not leave and acts strange as if drunk or disoriented it may be sick or injured. At this point, please call Berkeley Animal Control at 732-797-1413.
  • If raccoons need to become evicted from your house, property or neighboring abandoned home do not smoke them out instead put a radio on a loud talk show radio. This will annoy them and they will leave.
  • Do not trap raccoons and transfer them. They will come back or more will come to replace them.