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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Ridding Our Home of Raccoons & Opossums

raccoonFolks, it’s war. This raccoon, opossum, grisly bear or whatever has got to go. I haven’t slept for days on end and while the family was at the other house in the other city, I took matters into my own paws. The mothball-laden attic was clearly not enough.

For awhile, it seemed like they were helping. The raccoon wasn’t sticking around much.

But now, the nocturnal movements sounded heavier and slower, more like an virginiaopossomopossum. The first thing I thought of was some kind of sound machine, maybe one of those high-pitched sounds that only animals can hear. At least our dogs were away with the rest of the family. I run the idea by Benedetto.

“Nope,” he tells me by phone. “I asked at the hardware store. Online, the products claim to work, but the employees said not to waste our money.”

repellent“Look,” I level with him. “I’m getting desperate. Sleep deprivation is how they treat enemies of war. And this is war-!”

“The coyote urine is ordered. It should arrive in a few days,” he answered.

“Good, thanks,” I say.

But I need relief now. I read about human urine online. Apparently, if you use the repelmore-concentrated morning urine, it might work just as well as a predator’s. However, you’ll need to store it until the afternoon when the nocturnal ninjas come out to play and the Catch-22 of course is: the fresher, the better. So how do you tinkle in the morning and keep it fresh till late afternoon?

Naturally, I could just ask all of our guys to sprinkle their home-grown repellent outside in the bushes whenever they feel the urge…. Doesn’t strike me as very neighborly….

opossumtracksEverything that I read does not relate to us. We have no garbage outside. There are no holes other than soffits and eaves where they claw and push through, even though all of the literature says that they’re not pushy.

I learn that raccoons are fairly hygienic, whereas opossums leave huge, dog-size droppings everywhere. Up to six opossums could den together in the winter, have an awful odor, and spread parasites and pathogens. Great.

It’s about 4:00 pm and I hear the big guy stirring upstairs, drawing and clawing his opossum_large_03body across the attic. I’ve had enough. I start screaming at him and it catches his attention. Then I wonder if the neighbors might hear….

Like a madwoman, I grab a pot and a wooden spoon and bang it a few times. No. I find a metal spoon. Clang- bang- clang! Yes.

I hear him through the ceiling, moving from master bedroom, to living room, to dining room, to office. I chase the possum with the pot and continue the clatter. He stops, I stop… and then start up the racket again as he pushes and drags himself away. This is my high-tech solution: a pot and spoon.

Opossum and RaccoonI hoped that nobody was calling the police on me, the crazy lady. Happily, all is quiet on the home front. The family and dogs return, while the coyote urine has yet to arrive.

Just in case, I continue researching online and learn of ammonia-soaked rags as a raccoon or opossum deterrent. Even better, it says that peppermint oil could do the trick.

I like that. Peppermint oil. If the need arises again, I just might give it a try.

(Update:  5:00 am:  he’s back.  Do I start banging the pot now while all the family sleeps in heavenly peace?  Gotta get the peppermint oil post haste!)
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