Illiterate Racoons

Last year, we had unexpected house guests. A mother raccoon chewed her way into the house, made a nest in our basement ceiling and had a small litter. We were completely unaware until the babies started crying at about three weeks old. Dean thought they were in the window well, where they had taken up residency the previous year. It goes without saying he was quite surprised when he lifted up the deck boards and found a gaping hole into our warm, cozy basement.

One phone call and a few thousand dollars later, the house and deck are a solid, raccoon-proof fortress. I don’t think they were too impressed…

We discovered on Sunday afternoon that the raccoons have started using the kids’ play fort as a latrine. I noticed evidence late last fall, but attributed it to the kids leaving snacks in the fort. I implemented a strict no food policy, cleaned up the mess thoroughly with bleach, and strung up tin pans to deter the intruders. It worked for a while, but they must have gotten used to the noise. Damn their versatility!


After a few more phone calls, we have come up with an action plan. Once we clean up the fort and surrounding area, we are going to install some lovely lattice around the bottom of the structure. We have also been told to set up a little radio and have it playing an all-talk station – the sound of voices will deter them. Maybe I’ll play them the CBC – a never-ending loop of Anna Maria Tremonti would send me running for the hills!

If anyone has a better suggestion, feel free to provide feedback – we will do just about anything to get them out of our yard. Including electric fencing.

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