NEW NEIGHBOR

“Mom,” said Little Bit, “I think I saw a skunk in the front yard.”

I doubted that.  Skunks aren’t very common around here.  But raccoons are.  And possums.

She led me to the front porch and said she’d seen a face pop up out of the gap between the concrete steps and the house.  “And it definitely wasn’t a cat face,” she insisted.

Later I was standing on said porch, escaping the toxic fumes produced by the self-cleaning oven, when the not-cat-face made another appearance.  Pointy nose, stripy fur, dark eye rings…yep, ‘coon.

“Hello Ferdinand,” I said.  (I don’t know, it just looked like a Ferdinand.)

Cute as they are, raccoons make lousy house guests.  Ferdinand is not welcome to live under the porch.  My ever-resourceful husband set out to remove him.

He rummaged about in the garage and pulled out the party fog machine.  (What, you don’t have a party fog machine?  Pity you.)  He juiced it up and ran a tube from the machine into the hole under the porch.  Ferdinand responded with a vicious, snarling attack upon the tube.  TGeek poured smoke into the hole while I perched in the kitchen window and watched for emerging animal, but Ferd stayed put.  Score one for the ‘coon.

So I called Critter Control this morning.  At this time of year, the nice lady told me, a raccoon holed up under a porch is almost certainly a female with babies.  We smoked babies!  Heartless, and alas, ineffective. 

The critter dude will come out on Friday and trap the ‘coons.  In the meantime, Ferdinand and I will have to live with each other.  Maybe I should charge her rent.

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16 thoughts on “NEW NEIGHBOR

  1. Woo hoo for critter control!!! i used a fog machine in a school play once. it worked great in dress rehersal and in the day performance… but at night it set off the smoke alarms and we had to wait for the firetrucks to arrive to let us back into the school… they all laughed at me, but it was great while it lasted! 🙂

  2. We had mom and several baby coons in the chimney a few years ago.   After smoking out most of them, Critter Control had to remove a brick from inside the fireplace to get to the last baby.   I hate to tell you this but the captured critters usually are not released in a nice park somewhere to live happily ever after.   The state mandates a more “permanent” solution.  You better screen off the chimney and any other openings so future houseguests will go elsewhere. 

  3. We have a raccoon that ambles through the backyard most evenings.  He or she usually stops at the glass door just long enough to peer inside and annoy the cats.

  4. Raccoons don’t make good house guests! Not good renters either. But the trapping idea assumes that she will want to come out, and that may not be a given. Keep us posted!

  5. I can’t believe the geek couldn’t get ’em to relocate.  What a wuss.  Doesn’t he have a pellet gun or something he could enrage the mom with and figure out a way to make a trip to the emergency room?

  6. When we had a mother and babies living in our chimney, Critter Control came and lured the mother out into our living room!  Then she set about getting the babies.  One was stuck and a brick had to be removed from the fireplace in order to get at it. That’s probably why she was willing to allow her babies to be taken out. The mother went back into the chimney.  The Critter Control person put the babies in a cage and put the cage on the roof, near the chimney.  She knew the mother would want to feed her babies, even if she was suspicious of the cage. She told me to call her as soon as I heard the cage door slam shut.   Sure enough, about a half hour later, BLAM!  I called, and she came and got them.   No “smoking” took place! 

  7. OMG we wanted to adopt the raccoon who hung around our cabin. We had everyone telling us what dummies we were for feeding him. We thought he was adorable, with his long claws and brave, curious nature. I have been soundly reminded by many well-meaning, loving people that my kids could have contracted rabies. Oops. It seemed so innocent at the time!

  8. Neighbors. You just don’t get to pick them, do you.  (-:  Hope your critter and her babies leave their under-porch abode very soon!  And I’m glad it wasn’t a skunk.

  9. pour bleach down where that coon is, I guarantee she’ll high tail it out of there and NEVER come back. It doesn’t hurt them, no harm, but the foul odor will drive them off real fast. Trust me, this is rural farm wisdom, best kind. 

  10. coons are smart, and pretty destructive, given the chance. People who go all Disney about wild animals just don’t get it. You don’t have to kill every wild thing in your yuard, but you have to understand that they have their place, and under your porch aint it. Recently, a friend had a ground hawg tunnel into his barn and cause over a $1000 worth of damage, including chewing wires. Had the power been on, the ‘hawg would have been fried and the barn burned to the ground. Even the cute ones are dangerous. 

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