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RealSimple.com: Dealing with Mice, Bats, and Other Pests

Uninvited Guest: Raccoon

Habitat: Common throughout most of the United States. Prefers wooded and waterfront property and access to prepared foods.

Annoying habits: Empties the garbage and plays kick the can. Enjoys taking a dip and snacking on fish. Stages nocturnal raids, using its dexterous paws to rip into bags of Fritos.

What you need to know: Likes to nest in chimneys and attics. Strong, smart, and omnivorous. Can be a carrier of rabies.

RealSimple
What you need to do: Call a contractor to install a mesh chimney cap (look under Chimney Builders and Repairs in the Yellow Pages). Trim tree limbs near the house. Keep pet food indoors. Put some ammonia-soaked newspapers at the bottoms of garbage cans and cayenne on top of the garbage. Tie down lids with rope.

If that doesn't work: Trap and deport the invaders. Consult your state's Department of Natural Resources for rules on releasing raccoons. For the names of wildlife-control operators who can get rid of the animal for you, look up Animal Removal Services in the Yellow Pages or go to icwdm.org.

(Greg Clarke)



The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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