Dear John: I have tried every suggestion on google. Nothing is stopping these people. There are so many holes in my lawn, it looks like it’s been rolled. Now they are digging up my flowers and plants. My neighbor caught them on camera.
Now I have two traps that I will take out in the evening. They have entered three times through the cat door, which is now closed. My cat is not happy to be out without it. Any suggestions?
Tommy Hogan, Patterson
Dear Tommy: Raccoons have a strong, unrealistic desire to be landscape designers. Their hearts are in it, but they have no style.
Aesthetics aside, raccoons are tearing up lawns in search of food, namely grubs. Right now, the grubs are feeding near the surface and will continue to do so through the winter. The arrival of cold temperatures will drive them deep underground to hibernate for the winter.
Once the grubs tuck in for their long nap, raccoon activity will likely slow or stop until spring, when the grubs, now adult beetles, emerge and the process begins again. will do
We still have several weeks to go, though, so you might want to get to the heart of the matter by knowing that you don’t have a raccoon problem, you have a problem. You can eliminate or greatly reduce the number of grubs in your lawn by following good gardening practices.
Too much water in your lawn can encourage grubs, but too little can do the same, as bugs sense a plant in distress and take advantage of it.
There’s still time to plant beneficial nematodes in your lawn. These near microscopic creatures find the grubs and do nasty things to them, killing them fairly quickly. Once raccoons realize there are no grubs to eat, they will move to lawns where they have them.
Nematodes are available at most home improvement stores, garden centers and nurseries, as well as online. Make your first application now, then repeat in two weeks. Nematodes are safe to use around pets and children.
There are also many lawn service companies that use chemicals to destroy your grubs. Depending on the type they are used for, they may not be safe for your pets and children.
Focusing on raccoons, moving lights and sprinklers can temporarily discourage them. With luck, they’ll move on, but raccoons are smart, and most of them quickly realize that turning on a light or turning off a sprinkler is worth the risk to get food.
Some people have had success by leaving a radio on, set to an all-talk station, playing softly on the porch to fool the raccoon into thinking humans are around, which usually leads to They are less likely to come.
Your best bet is to use a combination of deterrents, and alternate them so the raccoon doesn’t sense the pattern.
I’m curious about what you plan to do with any raccoons you trap. State law says you must either kill the trapped animal, using recommended “humane” methods, or release it where you caught it. This means you can’t take it on the road or out into the countryside to let it go.
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