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skunk{Procyon lator}

Although raccoons are nocturnal, they are among the most recognizable animals in the United States, Raccoons are one of the few species that appears to have benefited from contact with humans, with some studies suggesting that their population density is up to twenty times greater in urban areas than in rural areas.

Identified by their bushy, ringed tails and black-masked faces, these husky mammals can weigh up to 45 pounds. Their shaggy coats are primarily gray with tan shadings.

These adaptable animals inhabit nearly every type of habitat in the United States. Primarily nocturnal, they enjoy insects, fruits, seeds, fish and small mammals.

-Make trash cans unappealing. Cover them securely and keep them in the garage until trash day of possible, or pour ammonia or pepper in the trash can to further discourage the raccoons.

- Do not keep pet food outdoors. Feed your pets indoors or outdoors during the day and remove the food before evening when the raccoons are more likely to be scavenging.

- Pick your fruit or vegetable crops as soon as they ripen and do not leave rotted fruit and vegetable on the ground. Low-voltage hot wire fencing and tape recorded humane voices may save your crops.

- Do home repairs in the fall. This will prevent nursing babies and mother as well as hibernating raccoons from being trapped inside. Home repairs to deter raccoons might include capping the chimney, roof repairs, lattice work or mesh hardware cloth on all vents, crawl spaces, attic gables, or other

- Trim tree limbs away from the roof ad trim vegetables to prevent it from covering foundation walls

- A portable radio in the attic or crawl space or other raccoon den for a couple of days will generally cause the raccoon to pack up and move to more quiet surroundings.

- Clear brush piles from your property to eliminate nesting sites.

- Protect fish ponds by covering them with nylon netting in the evening when raccoons are most likely to develop an appetite for one of their favorite delicacies.

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