Creepy Crawlies with Christy 072017

Creepy Crawlies with Christy 072017

By Christy Pitto

For The Independent

 

Christy – Crawlies 072017 Raccoon 1 sm sd-side

 

This week let’s meet a mysterious masked midnight marauder; the Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor). Raccoons can be found anywhere there is water and trees and we have plenty of both here in the Upper Rogue.

Weighing up to 23 lbs. raccoons keep their full figures via being omnivorous and opportunistic feeders. This means they will eat pretty much anything they can get their very dexterous paws on.

Away from humans, raccoons eat fruits, plants, nuts, berries, insects, rodents, frogs, eggs and crayfish. If you’ve had raccoons around your home you know that around people they will take advantage of bird seed, dog and cat food and whatever they can pull out of an unsecured trash bin.

The raccoons who visit my yard are much more polite than more ‘urban’ raccoons. They take a bit of bird seed and move on. Many areas of the Upper Rogue are rural enough that raccoons are wary of humans (in more suburban areas I’ve had them enter the house through a dog-door to get to dog kibble).

I’m also happy to trade some black-oil sunflower seeds for racoon exterminator services. If I have raccoons at my feeders, I do NOT have rats at my feeders and I’ll take raccoons over rats all day long.

That said, more bold raccoons can become a problem, so check out the bullet point tips by the raccoon pic for some helpful advice courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish and wildlife.