Learning about Raccoons

| December 15, 2014 | 5 Replies

I’ve been learning about raccoons this week. I had hired wildlife capture professionals Animal Capture Wildlife Control to humanely trap and relocate raccoons that have been digging in my garden since September. Three traps were set on December 9th. The first raccoon was caught and relocated two days later. Read about that in “The Connection Between June Bugs & Raccoons.”

Last night, I looked out before I went to bed and there was another raccoon in a different trap. Raccoons, though destructive, are very beautiful animals.

Learning about raccoons - raccoon

Second raccoon trapped

I went out this morning to check on the animal and discovered that it had pulled a huge mound of dirt into the cage and was digging in it. Since the ground underneath the cage was hard and full of birch tree roots it didn’t make sense.

Learning about raccoons - raccoon digging

Raccoon shaping pieces of cloth pot

Then I realized it had shredded two cloth pots and pulled them and the potting soil into the cage. The trap was set behind a row of my cloth pepper pots, and I was waiting for a dry sunny day to clean out the pots, fluff up and amend the reusable soil. They made a nice barrier to conceal the trap. Even the plastic pot had been relieved of the top four inches of soil.

Learning about raccoons - raccoon holding pot

Raccoon holds shredded cloth pot in a ball

That raccoon worked all night on this project. You can see in its forepaws the wadded up remains of a cloth pot. This is what’s left of it.

Learning about raccoons - cloth

Shredded cloth pot turned into nesting material for raccoon

The first raccoon was trapped beside a big plant and it had pulled leaves and branches in to make a green nest in the cage. Jeremy at the wildlife control company assured me this is typical behavior.

Learning about raccoons - Jeremy

Jeremy holding my second trapped raccoon

You can just imagine the rustling around you would hear if one or more were in your attic! My elderly neighbor across the street is convinced they are nesting in his crawl space. Hopefully, there were only two and we will have now moved them safely to the Angeles National Forest. My raccoon’s traveling companion was a huge 30 pound raccoon, a full 25% larger than mine.

Learning about raccoons - 30 pound raccoon

30 pound raccoon trapped in Valley Village, CA

Did you know raccoons store fat in their bushy tail for the long winter? If you’d like to learn more about raccoon characteristics, click here. Next Jeremy was heading to pickups in Manhattan Beach, then to Pasadena, and on to the forest. He said last year he trapped 16 skunks at one property here in Pacific Palisades!

My talented “Late Bloomer” sound editor Christina Horgan tells me she’s been around raccoons her whole life growing up in the area near Magic Mountain, and they work together in groups, so I should expect to trap more. But, I’ve decided this experiment comes to an end today. Learning about raccoons has been interesting, but I’m turning my attention back to my Monarchs. What are you doing to deal with critters? Thanks for reading! – Kaye


Stock up on fall seeds and save on shipping on orders over $40!

Cutting my losses with melons and bean - buy now

I receive a small commission for promoting products I’ve used and believe in. Your support of these products helps me to continue to produce “Late Bloomer” episodes to inspire people to grow their own food and take control over their food security. Click on button to order products! Thank you!

Help me inspire people to grow their own food and take control over their food security. Your donation of any amount makes “Late Bloomer” possible and available for anyone.


Thank you!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Community, Critters, Pest Management, Pests

Comments (5)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Pet rat right | February 19, 2015
  1. Michael Sheard says:

    Cure little varmints, aren’t they?!

  2. Jane says:

    Dear Kaye, I love your posts and read with interest all you do in the garden but reading about the removal of raccoons made me sad. You mention that they travel in groups. Are these family groups? When you remove one, are you taking it away from it’s family? Is there no other way to deal with raccoons besides removal?

    • Hi, Jane, Jeremy assured me they are not in families at this time. In the spring females would be traveling with her babies. Now, it’s mating season, so she will have plenty of males to choose from where she is being relocated, and she won’t be eating garbage from trash cans. You can also buy motion sensor water sprinklers, and that’s what I’ll try next as humane relocation is understandably costly. The pepper deterrent only works for a month or until a hard rain, and that’s not cheap either. It’s difficult. Thanks for commenting!

Leave a Reply