How Do You Contend With Alameda’s Raccoon Problem?

Residents discuss this critter conundrum

Tita Mahoney: Earlier this year we created a beautiful backyard pond under our olive tree. Our friend who helped us made a screen to fit over the pond to capture some of the leaves and protect our pond from the neighbor’s cat. Well, the raccoons became the bigger problem. They ate all my water lilies and carried away the canister of fish food. Yes, we still have beautiful fish. Solution: Another screen with smaller holes to cover the entire pond. I gave up on water lilies and got some lifelike plastic lily pads instead.

John Vest: We definitely have issues here at the [Chuck Corica] golf complex with both raccoons and skunks. We try to empty all trash into an enclosed trash container at the end of each day, which seems to have helped.

Ann Evans: Keep all the pet food inside the house. Also, keep stone fruit inaccessible and have no standing water (e.g., pet bowls) accessible. I’m not sure what that means for swimming pools, but covers and chlorine may be enough to dissuade. With stone-fruit trees, we use a bird net, which keeps them out of the tree, but they eat any fruit that falls to the bottom of the net, ugh! Pick early? The basic thinking here is eliminating the food supply.

Cindy Seibert: I heard on a garden show that the secret to getting rid of raccoons is to combine Captain Crunch cereal with marshmallows and peanut butter and then add a really spicy hot sauce or chili powder on top. Evidently, when the raccoons eat this concoction they never come back!

Mike Restivo: It seems to me that if there is a problem with raccoons, it is because food is plentiful. My suggestion would be to educate Alamedans on how best to secure any food sources. If the raccoons are getting into trash cans, perhaps the city could work with Waste Management to have lid locks placed on the cans. If the food sources are eliminated the raccoons, will leave for greener pastures.

This article appears in the December 2014 issue of Alameda Magazine
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