Sunday, September 21, 2008

Raccoon Erradication!!!

About a year and a half ago, in early April... Easter Eve to be exact, we discovered that raccoons had created a "den" in our fireplace. Horror of all horrors. Of course, Mama Raccoon was with babies. And that presented a problem. After doing much research, we decided to let nature take it's course, and to let them say. Everything they read, indicated that the raccoons would vacate sometime in mid June, and sure enough, they did. End of story. Well, not exactly!!!

Fast forward to this past Spring. Mother Nature is pretty punctual about some things, and sure enough, in early April, our "guests" had returned. Of course, we were feeling chagrined because we hadn't closed off the chimney. DUH!!! We accepted their presence with little concern because we were confident that they would leave in June. And they did... I even saw one of the babies one June morning as it crawled it's way off our roof.. crying loudly wanting Mommy. Apparently, Mama raccoons leave the nest, and don't come back... forcing the babies to come out looking for them. Babies stay with there Mother's for quite a long time, so that they can learn to hunt and survive in the wild.

Weeks passed. And then sometime in late August, we heard familiar noises coming from the fireplace, and upon investigation, we realized that they were back. Russell even saw them "breeding" which alarmed us to no end. Our dogs were very aware of their presence, and were quite determined to get inside the fireplace to see what was there. We of course had it barricaded... such a charming look for a living room. We were perplexed on what to do. We didn't' want to call in critter control, and we didn't want to let them stay either.

We remembered reading that ammonia is a good deterrent, so on Friday evening, just after dark, Russell opened everything up, and sprayed ammonia all over the inside of the fireplace. He also left a bowl of ammonia on the grate, and then closed everything up. He waited until after dark, because being nocturnal, they would always "leave" after dark, and return around dawn. I had to work late on Friday and all day yesterday, so I was completely unaware that he had done this. He told me that he had a surprise for me when I got home, and we went and looked into the fireplace. They were not there, and have not been back. We pray they are gone for good, and are now considering various options in keeping them out in the future!!!


Pauline said...

I hope they left the building!

Sean Carruth said...

Make sure you check the smoke chamber above the fireplace and behind the firebrick, prior to capping the chimney. They often hide back there and let the ammonia dissapate. This can be done with a small mirror and a flashlight, from inside the fireplace. Install a stainless steel chimney cap. Stay away from the push-in models and make sure you purchase one that screws to the flue tile.