Quasi-Annual Invasion

by Bingle on Sep.02, 2012, under Richard Bingle Family

It started a few years ago, when we got our education in pesky non-pest removal. Florida is full of ants, insects and various things that you must hire pest control for, unless you like having those things crawling around on the inside of your house. But once you get to the mammal type pests over a certain size, you have to deal with a different type of company. So that is why I called them non-pests, otherwise the pest control companies should take care of them, right?

The first time we actually needed help was when some raccoons had figured out how to push on the aluminum soffit under the roof edge to make a hole large enough to get into our attic and we heard them roaming around up there. We looked online and found out that the longer you took to get rid of them the bigger the mess you would have to deal with, and the larger the overall cost. We wanted to be nice to the animals and hired someone to make sure that they were no longer in the attic, to seal things up, and to remove the animals that had figured out that we had an attic. (Apparently wire and the correct type of foam is both a raccoon deterrent as well as it being considered rat and squirrel proofing.) This company was good, but unfortunately too good. Since they placed multiple traps, to catch the animals that might be exiting the attic as well as entering our fenced yard, they ended up catching quite a few raccoons, as well as an opossum. They were kind to the animals and would relocate the animals elsewhere, but every time something was caught there was a fee for relocation as well as resetting the traps that the raccoons had removed the bait (marshmallows) from. It is really nice having a conservation area behind our backyard, but there is a potential for an endless supply of wildlife to be removed. Once we became fairly certain there was no way there were any raccoons in the attic we put an end to our paying for any more rodent road-trips.

We are not sure why they seem to enjoy our house, especially the roof with the solar panel, as evidenced by the debris left there. Our next door neighbors’ house is an exact mirror of ours, so it should be just as appealing, and the neighbors on both sides have bird feeders that double as mammal feeders for the squirrels and raccoons, so they should like their houses better, but they were surprised to hear we had any trouble.

The next memorable time the raccoons invaded they tried to dig through the window in our loft, that is easily accessible from their favorite roof. After making a hole in the screen they continued digging, even after we lifted the shade and came face to face with them. It was dark at the time so I think they could see us better than we could see them, but they continued trying that unsuccessfully for quite a few days.

It seems that it is this time of year that they care that our house exists, even though they don’t care every year. So the day before we wanted to leave to bring Ashley back to college last year, pieces of the foam from the rat proofing started appearing in the yard. We made a quick makeshift repair, since obviously the warranty had long since expired, and hoped for the best. We found a bit of that in the yard later also, but not enough that they could have gotten back into the attic.

During all the invasions the raccoons had decided that climbing up the corner of our screen enclosure was the most popular method of getting up and down off the roof. Sadly it has caused the screen there to get quite shredded. So the point of this entire post is that the raccoon(s) have made such a large hole that they can get into our screen enclosure, and we got some pictures. It is slightly unsettling that the raccoon stayed around while I got Rich, Amber and Alyssa from inside the house to see it, and that it stayed there until we got some pictures. It figured it was safe where it was and didn’t have any reason to go anywhere until Rich shook a can with pennies in it to scare it.


Hopefully they will soon lose interest in our house again for at least a year. It is funny how something can be both cute and annoying…


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