Feeding raccoons, as it may seem, kind of you, is not a good idea. Most people tend to pity wild raccoons for lack of food, and they may care to provide them with food as a way of connecting with the wild animal.
The fact that they are called wild raccoons is enough to tell you that they can fend for themselves and find food without your assistance. In this article, I will share with you all the disadvantages of feeding raccoons and how they may affect your relationship with your neighbors or the local authorities.
What Happens When You Stop Feeding Raccoons?
Raccoons cannot starve if you stop feeding them. Since they live in the bushes, they are able to find food anywhere. Raccoons consume different foods, including insects and dead animals, so do not be alarmed or feel the urge to feed them just because they live in the wild.
If raccoons fail to find food in your home, they return to their natural dwelling where they are used to and still find what to eat. It means you’re allowing the raccoons to eat the right food for them.
Furthermore, if you stop feeding them, they will not multiply. Feeding raccoons may lead to territorial conflict, which might be very dangerous to human beings.
Raccoons are not easily tamed, and their unpredictable wildlife behavior can cause damage to your property. You can invite an entire community of raccoons by just feeding one of them.
Once one raccoon has found greener pastures, it will go back and invite all its community to come and enjoy together hence you risk having lots of raccoons in your home.
Raccoons can be a danger since they carry diseases and also damage properties. They are frequently infected with rabies. Any rabies-infected animal, not excluding domestic animals, is dangerous. You will not be aware when they scratch or bite you since they are unpredictable. It is necessary to keep them off your backyard.
Why Should You Never Feed Raccoons?
Feeding raccoons can change their resourcefulness as wild animals and instead depend on you for their daily meals. They’ll often come back since they know your place is an excellent place to feed. Because you will be offering them readily available food without them toiling, they will not bother to look for food by themselves.
When a large number of raccoons discover that your property provides a good food source, they will assemble. Since raccoons gather, they will be fighting for food; hence, some of them may not get enough.
This will, in turn, get them malnourished, and it is at this point your domestic animals may acquire diseases and transmit them to you. The malnourished raccoons will have low immunity and hence be prone to contracting diseases outside.
The increasing number of raccoons may be detrimental to the community. When raccoons get their young ones, you cannot remove the animal until the nesting season is over. Furthermore, a young raccoon can take almost 9 weeks to leave the nest. This extended period of nesting may lure more raccoons.
Trying to feed raccoons may be impossible to resist, but keep your family and pets’ safety in mind at all times. Don’t jeopardize their safety and health since it pains you not to feed the raccoons. Keep in mind that if you continue to feed wildlife animals, you are exposing yourself and your family to a more complicated problem.
Is it Illegal to Feed Raccoons?
Feeding raccoons may be frowned upon, but there are no laws prohibiting it, so it is legal. On the other hand, some communities have wild animals feeding regulations that do not allow feeding wildlife, except birds.
Feeding wildlife may appear to be beneficial to some, but it frequently results in unexpected problems. For instance, feeding often begins with a small number of animals, but their figures can rapidly become overwhelming. Feeding can also entice animals that property owners do not want in their yards, such as skunks and raccoons.
Homeowners can discourage raccoons, skunks, and other troublesome wildlife from foraging near their homes by regularly disposing of garbage, feeding all pets indoors, and keeping livestock and poultry in pens at night.
On the other hand, if your neighbor’s frequent behavior to feed raccoons is bothering you, you can take the matter to the local authority to help you take it with your neighbor on your behalf.
Will Raccoons Come Back if You Feed Them?
Raccoons are known for having several dens in a specific residential area. They may leave one site, but once they realize that there is food, they will come back as soon as possible.
The only way to ensure you permanently remove raccoons is by humane removal or securing your residence against them. In reality, if you properly remove the raccoons, it will send a message to them that the area is unsafe for living, unlike when you let them leave by themselves.
Can Raccoons Survive Without Food?
Raccoons literally eat anything and everything. Even if you stop feeding them, there are no chances of dying without food. If they fail to get the food you have been providing them, they can even opt to eat nuts, insects, or even dead animals.
Raccoons are wild animals, so naturally, they are geared to fend for themselves in the bushes, so once you stop feeding them, they will look for another den where they can find food and safety to continue with their lives. The only way raccoons can die without food is if they are restrained in an enclosed place where they cannot look for food on their own.
How to Get Rid of Raccoons?
1. Contact animal control to have the raccoon removed
Report the raccoon to your animal control department. They might be able to capture and relocate the raccoon for you. Unfortunately, some animal control agencies will only come to eliminate a sick raccoon. If you notice any abnormal behavior, or if the raccoon is foaming at the mouth or mangey, notify animal control.
Rabid animals transmit diseases to animals and pets, making this the primary concern when discussing wild animals. Rabies can cause a raccoon to become lethargic, aggressive, confused, or abnormally friendly. It may also have discharge from its eyes or mouth, as well as matted fur on its face.
2. Hire a pest control specialist
Contact a pest control company with raccoon experience if animal control is ineffective. Hire them to remove the raccoon for you. They’ll also be able to determine and correct whatever caused the raccoon to appear in the very first place.
If the raccoons can be easily identified, you won’t have to spend much money to get rid of them. However, if it’s hidden in your wall surfaces or roof, it may cost you a little more, but it’s worth it for your safety and health. A qualified pest removal specialist may be expensive, but it is the most effective way to get rid of raccoons.
3. Scare the raccoon off
If the raccoon isn’t bothering you, scare it away or wait for it to leave by itself. You can scare the raccoon away by simply digging in your trash or hanging from your bird feeder. Scream at it, hit some pots together for the noise to drive them out, or you can shine a flashlight at it.
Raccoons are cunning, and if they know they’re not welcome in someone’s yard, they’ll go elsewhere. This procedure is only helpful if you have a small number of raccoons that have not taken up residence in your home; otherwise, if you have a large number of them, this may be water under the bridge.
4. Close garbage can lids and feed pets inside
If you keep your garbage outdoors, consider bringing it inside and storing it in your garage if you have one. If you must keep the trash outside, ensure the lids are entirely secure at all times.
Raccoons are drawn to food scraps, so keeping the trash safe is essential if you want to keep any local raccoons away. When they realize they aren’t getting anything out of coming to your house, raccoons will naturally stop and go somewhere else where they can find food.
5. Raccoons can be deterred by spraying cayenne pepper and water or ammonia
Fill a sprayer or a small bowl halfway with water and add a few spoonfuls of cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the region around your garbage, birdbath, or any other areas where you’ve seen raccoons. If you prefer, you can also leave a small dish of ammonia out. This should deter raccoons from approaching too closely.
6. Fill in whatever gaps or openings in your residence
Fill up the place where the raccoons are penetrating through. Repair any vinyl siding strips that are missing. Large spouts or exhaust pipes can be covered with chicken wire or mesh screens. If you have a gap in your walls or plaster walls, repair it. Blocking entry points into your home is the most effective way to keep raccoons out.
Raccoons can be a menace in the home. Despite their health hazards and damage-prone behaviors, raccoons can really jeopardize your comfort with their frequent noise, especially if you have a lot of them.
Ensuring that you keep raccoons away from your home will keep you safe and ensure your neighbors’ safety. You might feel the urge to feed them since you think they are starving. Still, my advice is that you fight that urge because the disadvantages in your home outway the advantages they might have.