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Close Encounters with Wildlife Furry Critters Camping in Your Condo

 Winter is coming, and they’re looking for a cozy place to hunker down, stay warm and dry, and maybe raise a  family. And like relatives stopping in for a vacation, they’re cute at first, but more than likely will overstay their welcome.  

 They’re raccoons—and people are easily charmed by their whimsical face-mask expressions and  almost-human dexterity. Who can resist Ricky Raccoon and his cartoon-cute  forest friends, the chipmunks and flying squirrels? There’s an allure to luring them, and it seems like a shame to just throw away that  stale bread or cake.  

 We all “know better,” but homeowners are constantly inviting wildlife critters onto lawns, porches  and patios, whether it’s conscious [look how cute… he’s eating the peanuts!] or inadvertent [Help, there’s a skunk in the dumpster!].  

 The problem is, many otherwise-wild small mammals have adopted all too well to  living around humans and often manage to move right in, where they wreak havoc  with their chewing habits, lack of toilet training and unattended deaths in  hard-to-find places. Plus, diseases such as rabies and various parasites can be  a threat to people and their pets when wild animals come in contact. And what  about the ubiquitous Mr. Mouse?  

 Experts agree that mice, and even rats, can be found anywhere, and are  considered vermin—not “wildlife,” which is treated differently under federal and state regulations. Tom Drapeau,  president of Freedom Pest Control in Topsfield, Massachusetts, reports some of  the experiences he’s had at residential communities with furry critters—vermin or otherwise. “The main problem is with skunks and raccoons… they have become associated with dumpsters especially. We had a 25-unit [condo]  community in Peabody where their dumpster became a regular feeding ground [and]  we rounded up a couple dozen raccoons.”  

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Comments

  • Ford's Hometown Services on Monday, December 12, 2011 11:00 AM
    Great article! There was just a sad story about a 62 year old man down the Cape who died as a result of a raccoon getting into his chimney blocking it and causing the carbon monoxide levels to build up in his home ultimatly killing him. Wildlife can be more than just a nuisanse. Kathy Fogarty