Sunday, December 7, 2014

Raccoons Invaded the Cabin and Trashed It

The Raccoon Wranglers
Pa built a cabin up in northern Arizona many decades ago. He and Nanny would spend their summers up there to escape the grueling Phoenix heat. He started with a single-wide trailer and built on from there. It is a lovely place to retreat to on the weekends but it is only about 300 square feet or so. Our large family of eight have stuffed ourselves in there for a night but it was not the best night sleep I've ever had.

Nonetheless, Wifey and I are the keepers of the cabin and try to get up there once a year to rake up all the pine needles and such. With our latest move from The Valley to Flagstaff we haven't had time to visit in over two years. A brief inspection was seriously past due so I headed over there this weekend with Sis for a spot check.

Upon entering the cabin, which is usually pristinely clean inside, I knew something was awry. Pillow cushions were thrown about and pieces of trash were everywhere. The table lamp had been knocked to the floor and as I approached the kitchen sink, I noticed it contained something unusual...poop turds. Raccoon sized turds was my guess.

The living room upon entry - trashed by raccoons
As I continued to inspect the cabin, the critters had un-made the bed and pillows were in random places on the floor. Paper towel shreds were thrown about and bottles of cleaner on the floor. No major damage though so that was a blessing.

Sis and I cleaned it up in about an hour. The corner of the chair cushion that was chewed up was not visible once it was placed back on the chair. The lamp shade is eaten beyond repair though.

No visible from this angle, the four turds in the sink
I secured the cabin by placing a large, heavy nightstand against the cabinet doors where I think they entered the cabin. There is one place at the back of the cabin where an electric cord runs from the electrical box up under the cabin and because of that thick gauge wire, there is an opening large enough for a critter to get under the cabin. It's obvious now that there's a pathway from under the kitchen sink to the undercarriage of the cabin.

Should I buy a large animal trap or just secure the cabin better? Or both? This is new territory for me.



Jason and Michelle said...

I would do both. Raccoons are persistent.

OrangeJeepDad said...

10-4. Copy that.

Anonymous said...

Secure the place, I wouldn't trap it unless you're going to be there to take care of it after it's caught.

OrangeJeepDad said...

Understood. Probably plan to spend a weekend there.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I tried to comment earlier, but it didn't show. That was from my laptop, so am trying my tablet.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Setting live traps and leaving would be very inhumane. The trapped animals would suffer a very slow and painful death. If you do catch them, are you prepared to shoot them? Even if you release them a few miles away, they can and probable will return. I am talking from experience.

OrangeJeepDad said...

I would definitely stay a few days and monitor the traps. The neighbors informed me that they have been passing around a laser mounted weapon for dispatching raccoons in the neighborhood lately.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE.... research racoon poop. It can carry a type of worm that is very dangerous to humans. I KNEW THIS, BUT ALSO LOOKED IT UP , to be sure. Sorry for the caps. it was turned on and didn't want to retype it..

Practical Parsimony said...

Traps! Repair the area. use hardware cloth, 1/2, galvanized after welding (GAW). The large table won't keep them out of your house. They will just eat through the cabinet. I live in my house and fight them all the time. They can chew through the wiring and burn the place down.

Besides the nasties in the poop, they will leave fleas and eggs behind. The flea eggs can live for years before hatching. Walking on the floor will activate a hatching of fleas from eggs left years before.

put a ball of shiny foil in the trap. Raccoons like shiny objects. That was, food left to trap them will not draw other animals.

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