Drive out raccoons

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Only since 1934 is the raccoon freely found alive in Germany. At that time, two couples were abandoned at Hesse's Edersee, near Kassel, to assist the fur industry with self-hunted animals. Eleven years later, in 1945, more animals escaped from a fur farm in Strausberg, near Berlin. Today, it is estimated that there are more than 500,000 animals throughout Germany and that Germany's raccoon centers are located in and around Kassel as well as in the suburbs of Berlin. No wonder then that the inhabitants of these regions have many problems with the masked burglars.

Current distribution areas

A good indicator of whether you live in an area inhabited by raccoons is the so-called annual route of the German Hunting Association. It lists the annual killings of the various animals to be hunted, including the raccoon. Looking first at the numbers of the past ten years, it is especially noticeable that the number of raccoons has increased enormously. Thus, in the hunting year 1995/96, 3,349 raccoons were shot across Germany, around 30,000 in 2005/06 and just under 130,000 in 2015/16 - so the population of animals is increasing rapidly. Looking at the numbers in the individual federal states, one quickly realizes where many raccoons are represented. The leader is Hessen (27,769 kills), closely followed by Brandenburg (26,358) and Saxony-Anhalt (23,114). At some distance follow Thuringia (10,799), North Rhine-Westphalia (10,109), Lower Saxony (10,070) and Saxony (9,889). It is noticeable that especially the southern federal states such as Bavaria (1.646) and Baden-Württemberg (1.214) have hardly to report raccoon kills despite the large area.

If you live in the most heavily armed states and have not thought about protective measures, you might want to catch up. Even though the raccoon is a droll fellow, quartered in his own home, he quickly becomes an expensive "problem bear".

Evolution of the raccoon population

Development of the raccoon population from 2006 to 2015

What damage does a raccoon cause?

In order to even understand how the nocturnal small bears live, biologists explored their way of life. For this purpose, numerous animals were caught in Kassel and equipped with directional transmitters, dismissed and pursued their actions. It quickly became apparent that the so-called city bears have two favorites as a shelter: buildings (43%) and tree hollows (39%). Especially this point leads to great problems, because one or more raccoons in the attic can there - within a very short time - to ensure damage in the range of several thousand euros.

According to Frank-Uwe Michler, biologist and founder of the project Raccoon, especially young raccoons are small vandals at the age of 8 to 10 weeks. "At this age, the boys begin to explore their surroundings and the play instinct comes through," said Michler. It happens quite often that the animals destroy the complete insulation of the roof structure and leave Waschbärkot and urine in large quantities. In addition to these damages caused directly by the raccoon, there are often consequences due to the actual intrusion into the building. The clever animals do not necessarily need an opening through which they penetrate into the attic. Often, one or the other roof tiles or the thin sheet metal is folded up in front of a dormer and slipped into it. If this damage is not noticed quickly, expensive water damage can be the result.

Raccoon in the tree

As long as the raccoons are in trees, everything is still fine - it is problematic when they penetrate into attics and sheds

This attracts the raccoon

Raccoons are omnivores, and what does not have to be hunted or searched is very welcome. Therefore, the animals increasingly leave their traditional habitat in the wilderness and discover the urban areas for themselves. In the suburbs of cities, fruit trees and nut trees provide plenty of food, and in the cities themselves, trash bins and garbage cans promise a lot of food for little effort - and the numerous attics are a welcome place to raise the young and to hibernate in the warm.

Raccoon in garbage bin

What is waste for us is an inviting buffet for raccoons

Measures to evict the raccoon

Once one or more raccoons have settled in the loft or shed, it is difficult to get rid of the robber gang. That's why preventive measures are the best protection. An attic, which is not accessible to the raccoon, can not be inhabited and devastated. The problem is that the little bears are true climbers. Adjacent trees, rain gutters, wooden pillars and even home corners are enough for the raccoon to successfully master its climb.To identify potential climbing aids, you should first make a tour of your house and identify the climbing opportunities. Then it's time to find ways to make the ascent impossible. In the trade, there are all sorts of products, which are partly very expensive and in the worst case even serve as a climbing aid instead of climbing. Here are some really helpful ways to keep the raccoon out:

Shorten adjacent branches of trees to the house

Trees that are directly adjacent to the house are the easiest climbing aids that raccoons like to use to reach the roof. Saw off the branches reaching the house in such a way that at least one meter from the house is kept.

raccoon protection

At least a meter distance should have branches to the house to prevent climbing by raccoons

Protect trees from climbing

To prevent trees from climbing at all, low-hanging branches should not hang closer than one meter above the ground. A diameter-adjustable plastic or metal cuff with a length of at least 60 centimeters, which is placed at a height of about 60 centimeters around the tree trunk, prevents climbing. Even cats and martens are prevented from climbing - birdhouses and nests are also protected from other predators.

raccoon protection

A metal cuff and pruning drooping branches prevent raccoons from ever climbing trees

Plastic or metal plates as a climbing stop

Raccoons like to use gutters or house corners to climb on it. Straight rough-plastered walls, clinker and bricks make it very easy for the clever little bear to find a foothold. With screwed plates made of plastic or metal, this stop is not given and the raccoon has no chance to get to the top. Barbed wire or other pointed wire racks are often more climbing aids for the animals - in the worst case, but they are injured, which is not the point of the matter.

raccoon protection

Smooth plastic and metal plates serve as a climbing stop and prevent the rise of the downpipe in the direction of the attic

Lockable garbage cans

In Kassel, stones for weighting garbage can covers or rubber bands stretched over them are no longer a help against the crafty raccoons. The learning ability of the animals is great and so they find ways and means to gain access to the garbage cans anyway. That's why the city has reacted here and now offers garbage cans equipped with a lock. If you also have a compost, you should be careful not to put any scraps of food there, because once attracted raccoons like to settle in near foodstuffs at home.

With electricity against raccoons

In Kassel has Frank Becker, his character raccoon expert, upgraded. Becker has been involved in catching and repelling the animals since the 1990s and has been offering a special e-fence system for several years. This is stretched like a pasture fence along the gutter and as soon as a raccoon pulls up to it and wants to get on the roof, he gets an unpleasant electric shock that thoroughly spoils his climbing fun. Becker is due to his many years of experience also also believe that only such preventive measures are the only sensible approach. Even if the animals are placed in the attic, caught or hunted on the spot, other animals quickly find themselves in the raccoon areas, who would soon be able to move into the dwellings that had become empty.

Video Board: Keep raccoons away with ONE easy trick.

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