Over the years my children have had fun pulling April Fool’s pranks on their grandparents. But it seems they’re not the only ones being pranksters.
Not sure if this falls into an April Fool’s prank or not, but last week my mother found a rather unpleasant surprise in the garage attached to their house.
As she was taking out the trash, she happened to glance over at a 4-foot pit used to change oil on vehicles in the garage when she made the grisly discovery. A fur ball of a dead raccoon was lodged inside the pit.
It sent my mother into a panic as she scurried for safety inside the house. After all, what other creatures may be lurking around the corner?
My mom promptly ordered my dad to remove the raccoon. At 88 years old, dad has a full schedule of retirement activities and put it on the back burner for a couple days. His plan was to remove it on Monday.
We joked with my parents over the weekend that their house has turned into a wildlife sanctuary. Luckily, the raccoon didn’t sneak in the house when one of them wasn’t watching.
It looks like my parents have taken up a new hobby—coon trapping. And they didn’t even have to go very far or do much.
This was the first time in 60 plus years that a raccoon has come close to the house. There’s been a few mice over the years, but nothing as big and burly as a raccoon.
I guess joking around about a raccoon maybe isn’t so funny. It’s actually really scary.
Raccoons are very dangerous and frequently rabid. Touching one puts you at risk of a number of diseases and risks your safety as the coon is likely to attack.
In my mom and dad’s case, at least the coon was already dead.
Experts say raccoons wander into garages for the same reason they wander anywhere else—to find food. They are notoriously drawn to garbage. They can smell it from far away, and they’ll stop at very little to get it. Coons are known for climbing up and into dumpsters or even knocking them over to get at garbage inside.
Some other tips professionals recommend in staying coon-free include keeping the door closed and clearing the clutter. You should never keep your garage door open when you’re not using it. Garages tend to become storage areas so it’s important to keep things clean. The cleaner and clearer your garage is, the less accessible it will be to these pests.
One tip experts say helps keep the coon away is using ammonia. Coons are particularly sensitive to ammonia, which smells a lot like urine to their noses. They tend to avoid ammonia, both because they dislike it and because it may mean another animal is nearby.
I don’t know how the coons figured out it was April Fool’s Day, but they pulled one on my parents.
Even if I go in hot pursuit of finding something better, it’ll probably be a coon’s age before I come across it.