In tune with a raccoon–what to do with nuisance animals on the move

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – It’s the time of year when reports of raccoons wreaking havoc is on the rise, and with security cameras usage, footage of raccoons along the Wasatch Front continues to surface.

Raccoons are considered a nuisance animal since the species is not native to Utah. They originated in the Southeastern United States, and the animal adapts very easily and made it to Utah a very long time ago.

“I definitely heard them right above the living room, you could hear it like they were right on top of my ceiling,” Mike Fenster said about noise in his attic.

Fenster reached out to Critter Control in Salt Lake County. The owner of the pest control company says the animals are more noticeable this time of year because they are on the move. The heat makes raccoons a little more sedentary, but right now, they are running around plenty in the overnight hours.

“It’s the wintertime, they’ve got to go in somewhere it’s warm, and also the breeding season contributes to that,” said Caleb Stroh of Critter Control.

With raccoons seeking warmth, now is the time to make sure your homes are sealed up. Raccoons will also go after pet food outside, birdseed and any backyard chickens or ducks.

“Chimney caps, attic vent covers, all those make it so they can’t get into the structure,” said Stroh.

Raccoons are known for carrying communicable diseases like rabies, and while cases are low in Utah, experts say you shouldn’t take a chance.

Homeowners can trap and kill the animals, and animal control officers in some counties will remove the animals. Per Utah law, it’s illegal to catch and re-release raccoons into the mountains.

The animals are smart problem solvers and will remember how they got out of sticky situations in the past.

“They are very tricky to catch. I tell folks don’t try to trap that raccoon yourself and release into the mountains because it comes back into the city and it’s very difficult to trap again,” said Stroh.

Salt Lake County Animal Services has nothing to do with raccoons and won’t trap or pick up carcasses, so pest companies need to be contacted.

For more information on Critter Control, you can contact the company here https://www.crittercontrol.com/.

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