Raccoon Appreciation?

October 1 is International Raccoon Appreciation Day.

Apparently, that is a thing.

However, due to some excitement last night, I’m not feeling particularly appreciative of the masked marauders as this is what I discovered in morning’s light:

And a close-up:

I heard some scrabbling just above my back door last night, but was too slow with the flashlight to catch the critter in the act. In that spot, only one shingle was pulled up. I then surveyed the front of my house, flashlight flashing, and could see that there were a number of mangled shingles all along the front. Daylight demonstrated the full extent of the raccoon’s activities.

The same thing happened early in the year, in February. I noticed that roof shingles were randomly pulled up, some which had broken and fallen to the ground. We’d heard odd noises on the roof in the previous night or two, but never saw the rogue raccoon. Really, who else would do this? As cute and charming as they are, racoons are destructive; it cost a pretty penny to have the damaged fixed. Here we go again.

In the scheme of things, this is minor and even a little bit funny. But also, pretty annoying.

I’ve come to realize that I can no longer keep the old Photinia shrub which leans toward and near to the house. I’ve been reluctant to take it down because the birds use it for cover, but going forward, they’ll just have to wing to the big oak, which sits close by. The raccoon varmints are crawling onto the roof from the Photinia and celebrating their day–and other days and nights, too–by partying on my roof. The Photinia must come down, as I want to have money to live on when I’m old and won’t if raccoons continue to mess with my roof.

I think I may need to re-think this whole wildlife gardening schtick.

24 thoughts on “Raccoon Appreciation?

  1. “I think I may need to re-think this whole wildlife gardening schtick” – oh no!! That sounds serious. I’m sorry you’re going through this again. I’ve heard they don’t like metal roofs, but those are pretty pricey, too. What a weird, random thing for a raccoon to do – I wonder why?

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      • Maybe and I hadn’t really thought of bug there. The shingle they mostly target are those a the edge of the roof where the rain gutters (with mesh coverings) are. In the first Shingle Dingle, some other random shingles were pulled up, but not last night, though that might have been because I came outside. We’ve put a radio on the roof and they don’t like that. We’ll take down the photinia in the next few days.

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    • It’s a mystery, but Jane might be on to something with the bug suggestion. But jeepers, there are bugs in much easier place, why get on the roof? And in all the years we’ve lived here, these two incidences are the only times they’ve mangled shingles, though we have had other raccoon issues.

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  2. You think your roof issues are with adolescent raccoons newly bumped from their dens and still figuring out how to forage?

    We consistently have problems with immature deer who haven’t figured out what is good to eat (or what they’ll end up spitting out). Unfortunately, if it is a newly planted something they are yanking on, the 12-18 hours with roots out in the air can be terminal.

    And I hear you about reconsidering your approach to “wildlife gardening”. I want to garden WITH the wildlife in mind, but not ONLY for the wildlife. The preservation of my habitat (house) is important too!

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    • Not sure. The only raccoons I’ve seen recently are juveniles, but I don’t really know (and can certainly find out) when they become sexually mature. My guess is that they might be looking for a snug place.

      I whine about the raccoons, but must admit that I’m glad deer aren’t in my neighborhood.

      Oh, I’m just talking big about no wildlife gardening. I don’t purposely do anything to attract the ones I don’t want and yet, here they are! Varmints!

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  3. From the things I’ve now read online, I believe the raccoons are trying to get into your attic to nest, where there is insulation to keep them warm in the coming months. (They usually only have babies in the Spring.)

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    • That’s certainly a possibility. It’ll be interesting to see if any one of them still can get on the roof. Never underestimate the cleverness of these critters!

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  4. As adorable as I think raccoons are, they clearly need to learn their place in the grand scheme of things. Is there any chance that you might be dealing with squirrels? I wouldn’t have thought they’re capable to pulling up shingles, but on the other hand, my insurance agent was pretty sure it was a squirrel that gnawed holes into the rocker panels on my car. Lots of holes, on both sides. When I went in to submit my claim, I was fearful it would be denied. Not at all. As she put it, since they started making cars out of fiberglass rather than steel, anything is possible.

    Now that I think of it, my mother had a mama raccoon and babies in her fireplace chimney. Thank goodness she didn’t light a fire! She kept hearing noises, and eventually the critter-ridder got called. One mama, three babies. Good grief.

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    • They are adorable, but this has been a hard year for my garden, pond, and roof with these adorable monsters! I don’t think it’s a squirrel. All the damage has come at night and the times we’ve heard them, the noise is “heavier” than what a squirrel would produce.

      We once had a set of twin raccoons in our chimney. When they left, I hired someone who specializes in rigging chimneys raccoon-proof. Like I believe that’s even possible. 🙂

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  5. They are a pain and may be trying to get into your attic or just teething on the shingles. Squirrels have cost me money by chewing flashing around vent pipes and causing a leak into a bedroom. I had to pay for roof and ceiling repair.

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    • We removed the photinia Friday afternoon. It was on its way out and would have absolutely needed to be removed within a year’s time. I’m sorry, but the raccoons will have to find another roof to wreck.

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  6. Okay . . . now that is just wrong.
    I trapped one of five raccoons just recently, and relocated him a bit of a distance away. It was not far enough that he or she will not return, but it was far enough that he was certainly displeased about it, and hopefully want to tell his friends to stay out of my way. I have seen none of them since then.

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  7. My commiseration again. I think I once mentioned that we had the same problem some years ago and, like you, had to pay the roofer to fix the damage. Your plan to eliminate the access route sounds like the right choice.

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    • I wish we’d taken out the photinia after the first round of revelry, but didn’t. There’s not as much damage this time around, but still shingles will need to be replaced.

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  8. Dear Tina:
    I’m really sorry I haven’t written to you in so many months, but a lot has happened, too much, and I have been and am very depressed. Today is the first day I have picked up the laptop for over a month. On September 23, I underwent total anesthesia to remove a cyst from my private parts. I am in pain, with the area very inflamed and with the points that hurt a lot. Putting the computer on my lap has been a show so that it doesn’t hurt too much.
    But what matters is your BLOG. Long live the Day of the Raccoons !!! But I am so sorry that you have come back to lift tiles from the roof and break it again. That wonderful Photinia bush that serves as a refuge for birds is going to have to pay for the raccoons’ damage and that they cannot return to do it by climbing over it. Couldn’t you save it by taking it out? It is a shame to lose such a divine specimen. Let’s hope raccoons don’t come back to wreak havoc.
    I hope you and your husband are in very good health. Stay safe from Covid-19. In Madrid capital and in more cities of the Autonomous Community of Madrid (which would be a state) we have been confined since October 2 because we accumulate 43% of Covid cases in all of Spain. But my dear Mother and I get along well and we do not go out to the street except to the pharmacy, we buy food online and they bring it home. I hope with all my heart that Texas never goes to that extreme. Take good care of both of you. I wish you the best. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita 😘

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    • Thanks for the update, Margarita and I’m so sorry you’ve been ill. It can take several months to heal from surgery, so I wish you good health for this time period. Please take it easy and try not to stress yourself. Wishing you complete healing.

      Yes, we’re still careful, but thankfully, most people where I live wear masks and are respectful. We generally only go places that we need to and don’t make unnecessary trips. You take care of yourself and your mother–I’ll keep you both in my thoughts.

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      • Tina thank you very much for your words of encouragement for my healing. You are a friend. The surgery has left me weak and I often feel dizzy. But my dear Mother is the best nurse and luckily I have not lost my appetite. I am glad that people in your area go with a mask and are respectful. Please continue to go out with nothing but the essentials on the street so that you do not catch the Covid. My mother only goes down with a mask to the street to go to the pharmacy or to go to the doctor, nothing more. I will take care of my Mother, I promise you. You continue to keep each other safe and take good care of each other. I wish you the best in the world. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita 😘

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