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 photo of racoons
From a raccoon’s point of view, humans make excellent neighbors. After all, raccoons don't know that our luscious vegetable gardens, uncapped chimneys, and full birdfeeders aren't there just for them. And when these clever critters take advantage of the food and shelter we (usually unintentionally) provide, they often get into trouble.

When raccoons get into the trash it’s not a raccoon problem; it’s a trash problem. Here are some tips for preventing problems with racoons.

  • Purchase trash cans made to keep wildlife from getting inside.
  • Secure the lids with bungee cords, rope tie-downs, or weights. 
  • Take cans to the curb on the day on the day of trash pick-up rather than the night before.
  • Keep cans inside a shed or garage.

If you see a raccoon in your yard during the day, don’t panic - they are not necessarily sick or dangerous. It’s perfectly normal for raccoons to be active throughout the day. They may merely be foraging longer hours to support their young, visiting a garden while the dogs are indoors, or moving to a new location.

Key in on the behavior of the raccoon before calling for assistance. Look for:

  • Staggering gait 
  • An animal seemingly oblivious to noise or nearby movement
  • Erratic wandering 
  • Discharge from eyes or mouth 
  • Repeated high-pitch vocalization
  • Self-mutilation

If you see a raccoon showing these signs, call Loudoun Animal Services at 703-777-0406.

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