Do you ever get the feeling you’re being robbed? I got it twice this past week and both times flicked on the back light to see a raccoon trying to abscond with my suet. Last evening I managed to take a photo of the charming culprit just before it ran into the woods, leaving the fresh suet ball swinging from the tree branch. But it must have returned later in the evening. This morning, the mesh bag was still there, but the suet was gone.
Ten to 25 raccoons per square km are typically found in Canadian urban centres. I don’t imagine there are fewer present in rural areas. In Nova Scotia, they’re classed as furbearers and receive legal protection.
Raccoons are opportunistic omnivores that can quickly become pests if they come to rely too heavily on a single food source in your yard. One left its paw prints on my back steps back in November after knocking over my garbage container. Securing the container’s lid more tightly prevented future visits.
One of my former neighbors had some tear up her lawn a few years ago while probably looking for grubs. The raccoons were trapped and relocated.
Raccoons can acquire both canine and feline distemper as well as rabies and should be kept away from warm blooded pets.
I don’t think I’ll be putting out any more suet balls. All that saturated fat can’t be good for the poor raccoons anyhow. Instead, I’ll smear some suet onto the bark of trees so that the chickadees and woodpeckers can still enjoy it during the daytime hours.
For more information on dealing with raccoons that have become a nuisance, see here.