Wednesday, August 31, 2011

raccoon encountered on deck ... what to do?

See this message from a W Street NW resident:

I live in the 100 block of W ST NW, the unexpected visitor Tuesday night was a Fat * !..raccoon. The unfamiliar bark emanating from Valentino let me know something was amiss, as I stepped out the door, there he was perched on the railing atop the steps. His big raccoon eyes staring back at me, he didn`t budge, I scooped up Valentino and went back into the house as he began to position himself on the post directly under the 2nd floor. Thinking a poke from the broom would shoo him away, I hightailed it back into the house after he growled, calling my husband for advice. By this time he climbed to the upstairs deck but then I lost him.

What to do? We don`t have any exterior holes that lead into the house and I think we would have heard him walking around but we are concerned about pockets of spaces under the deck. Checked but didn`t see any signs of setting up house, or heaven forbid, a family. He must be roaming the neighborhood, same as the albino possum that I see from time to time, so neighbors be aware.

Next steps, call animal control? Exterminator? Set a trap? Please don`t say the latter...trying to make light of seeing a raccoon on my deck in the city, I`ve seen them in the country, even the burbs, but DC. An earthquake, a hurricane, now a raccoon....can locusts be far-behind?


Anonymous said...

Even the most bold raccoons and those most accustomed to people should still have a general fear of people and dogs. Your raccoon is displaying unusual behavior and should be flagged as possibly rabid. Call animal control.

John said...


I read the posting about the raccoon on your block and just want to note that animal control is not likely to be an option. The city will not trap an animal unless it is clearly dangerous to humans or sick in some way. Although the last commenter noted the raccoon's behavior is unusual, my experience in the neighborhood is that raccoons have gotten quite comfortable here and are generally not afraid of people. That said, letting animal control know of your concerns and experience is a good idea; let them make the call.

As for the city, its point of view about removal is that as soon as one animal is removed, another will take its place. Why? Because we residents give them good places to nest (such as under porches and decks with lots of stuff under them) and give them plenty of food because of how we deal with our garbage.

If you have any sense that the raccoon is getting in your house, then a private removal service would be the best option.

Good luck!

John T. Salatti
Commissioner, ANC 5C04
Vice President, Bloomingdale Civic Association
(202) 986-2592

"Together, Building a Better Bloomingdale"