Wacky Pest Wednesday: Raccoons

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Happy Wednesday to all you Tri-County Pest Control fans out there, and welcome to our latest edition of Wacky Pest Wednesday!  Please join us today, as we go over one of the more conniving pests out there: the raccoon!

Believe it or not, the raccoon may be one of the most intelligent pest that you may come up against.  Thanks to their extremely dexterous hands and clever problem solving skills (well, so long as there’s food involved), they are able to finesse a quick meal just about anywhere.  While you will most likely find them in your trash cans (and yes, their hands can indeed open the lid if they’re determined enough) you can even find them in your home—typically in the attic.  However, even though these pests look cute and cuddly from a distance, you should keep your distance at all times, since they are known carriers of viruses and harmful bacteria like rabies, leptospirosis, and salmonella.

Yet, don’t let their disposition fool you, as raccoons can be considered one of the wackiest pests out there!  For example, when feeding at night, raccoons will rely on their sense of touch more-so than their sense of sight.  Many raccoons will not even bother to look at food before they eat it, as their hands can do all of the work for them.  Indeed, when a raccoon appears to wash their food, what they are actually doing is stimulating the nerve endings on their hands with water, so as to make a more accurate judgement on what they are about to eat.  In addition, the signature “mask” of a raccoon does not denote them as burglars, but rather as athletes, since the black around their eyes works to reflect sunlight in the same way that a baseball player’s eye black does.

While wild raccoons should not be kept as pets, did you know that President Calvin Coolidge kept one as a pet during his time as president?  Back in the 1920s, it was not uncommon to see raccoon on the menu, even for a president, so when the chefs brought in a critter to cook, President Coolidge took it upon himself to adopt the animal as instead of eating it.  Indeed, the pet raccoon named Rebecca soon became famous in the Coolidge White House—one of the last wild animals to be considered a pet for a president.

Enjoy your Wednesday!



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