No one wants ants at the picnic, but what about a raccoon? With the 4th of July just around the corner and the whole of Summer ahead, it is important to remember these important tips to help keep your yard free of wild animals after your BBQ.
Bring all Food Inside
Any food left outside can be a meal for potential pests or wild animals. Make sure to bring all extra food inside. Properly dispose of your trash, in raccoon-proof garbage cans. Be sure to pick up any food your guests may have dropped. Many wild animals have the ability to fight their way to a meal, especially raccoons. If you brought any bowls outside for pets, such as for food and water, bring them inside.
If you have an outdoor refrigerator, cooler, or other food storage containers outside, make sure that they are raccoon-proof and clean. If you live in an area with bears, your containers should be bear-proof.
Hose it Down
It can be a good idea to hose down your deck or patio space after a BBQ. Dropped food particles, spilled soda, and even the scent of previous meals can be a siren’s song to nearby critters. Hosing down the patio after your guests leave can be a good way to lessen the risk of furry party crashers. Clean your grill thoroughly after use.
Raccoon Pool Parties
Raccoons like to use pools. Raccoons are naturally drawn to water sources and like to make use of pools when they can. They are expert swimmers. They like to wash their hands in pools. Keeping your pool covered when not in use will help prevent raccoons from getting into it. Fencing in the pool can be helpful, but raccoons are very good climbers.
Raccoons also like to use the pool as a bathroom. It is not uncommon for a raccoon to sit on the steps of a pool and defecate into the water. While chlorine in the pool may kill most germs carried by a raccoon, it cannot kill Baylisascaris procyonis, a type of parasite that raccoons often carry. The worm’s eggs are found within the fecal matter of a raccoon. If you see a raccoon defecating in your pool, or you find fecal matter within the pool’s filter, contact your local animal control company to deal with the raccoon and to test the feces for Baylisascaris procyonis.