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ACDC's Raccoon Position Statement

Download Animal Care of Davis County's official statement on raccoons below (rev. 04/2022).

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Exclusions and Deterrents



As removal is an absolute last resort, prevention is a key strategy in driving coexistence between humans and raccoons. Individuals must keep in mind that there are a number of ways to reduce the likelihood of negative interactions between humans and wildlife in Davis County.

Habitat modification

Raccoon problems may be alleviated by making the habitat, or the area surrounding the site, less favorable to raccoons. Because raccoons have fairly large territories, a neighborhood or community-wide effort may be more successful than isolated control measures in urban areas. Removing potential sources of food, water, and shelter is the first step in eliminating the problem. This includes removing pet food and water during the night and keeping the yard cleaned up and wood piles stacked neatly. Garbage cans should be tied down to a solid structure so they cannot be overturned, and lids should be tight fitting, tied, or weighted down to deny access to garbage.

exclusion

Excluding raccoons may be the most successful strategy to prevent or eliminate damage to buildings, poultry yards, and gardens. Damage to shingles may be prevented by denying access to the roof. The removal of tree limbs overhanging the roof will deny access.

  • Access to chimneys may be denied by covering the chimney opening with a heavy metal screen or with a sheet metal cap.
  • Damage in poultry yards can usually be reduced by excluding the raccoons from poultry at night. This may be done by moving the poultry into buildings at night, tightly closing all doors and windows, and sealing any openings larger than 3 inches in diameter.
  • Woven wire fencing alone may not be sufficient to keep raccoons out of gardens or poultry pens. Raccoons will climb, tear a hole, or burrow under most fencing, particularly if ripe corn or melons are available in the garden. If a fence is already present, the addition of a single wire about 8 inches from the fence and 8 inches above the ground, electrified with a charger, will provide an effective deterrent. 
  • When no other fences are present, two electrified wires, one 6 inches and the other 12 inches above the ground, mounted on insulated stakes or poles will accomplish the same result. A single strand 6-8 inches above the ground may be sufficient, but two wires will provide added insurance. The fence needs to be activated only at night.

Chemical repellents

There are no chemical repellents registered for controlling or repelling raccoons, although a variety of materials have been tested. Research suggests that mothballs (napthalene) or PDB crystals (paradichlorobenzene) may be effective at repelling mammals from enclosed spaces, such as chimneys, attics, wall spaces, or crawl spaces. Use of these chemicals may encourage raccoons to leave the area so that other exclusion techniques can be implemented.

Behavioral approaches

The use of scare tactics or devices, such as propane cannons, pyrotechnics (fireworks), scarecrows, lights, or dogs, are not effective or practical in controlling raccoons - particularly in urban areas. Raccoons usually figure out that scare tactics pose no physical threat, and ignore them.

Euthanasia Considerations



raccoon

Davis County is contracted with Thorn Pest Solutions to remove already trapped raccoons for $55/raccoon.
(800) 626-1156
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The following exceptions to the position statement of Animal Care of Davis County are made to mitigate exigent risk or to alleviate significant nuisance situations that can't be otherwise remedied (e.g. with counseling/education of homeowners, use of humane deterrents, etc.). Exceptions may include the following:

evidence of illness

Most raccoons in good body condition and behaving normally are fine to remain where they are. However, if the raccoon is showing any of the following symptoms, do not approach or handle the raccoon and call an urban pest control agency immediately:

  • Staggering gait
  • An animal seemingly oblivious to noise or nearby movement
  • Erratic wandering
  • Discharge from eyes or mouth
  • Wet and matted hair on face
  • Repeated high-pitched vocalizations
  • Self-mutilation
Extreme property damage

Removal may be part of a multi-faceted approach to raccoon management if all other means of control fail. However, relocation of raccoons is illegal (see State and local governing laws section below). Ad hoc euthanasia has not been demonstrated to be effective raccoon control and in some cases has led to paradoxical population increases in target areas. Community buy-in is critical for success and a multi-faceted approach is required, including exclusion, deterrents, and removal for the entire neighborhood, which oftentimes is not possible.

Click Here for Authorized Utah Wildlife Nuisance Control Services

State and Local Governing Laws



Season dates and bag limits

Utah Admin. Rule R657-11-25

The Department of Agriculture regulates raccoons, and you do not need a furbearer license to harvest them.

Trap Registration License

Utah Admin. Rule R657-11-8

You must possess a valid trap registration license when trapping furbearers, coyotes, or raccoons. The only exception is for those who are trapping coyotes or raccoons within 600 feet of a building or structure occupied or used by humans or livestock. You can obtain a trap registration license by calling or visiting a Division of Wildlife office. There is a one-time $10 license fee for a new trap registration license.

Trapping devices

Utah Code § 23-13-4 & Utah Admin. Rule R657-11-9

Any foothold trap used to take a furbearer, coyote, or raccoon must have spacers on the jaws that leave an opening of at least 3/16 of an inch when the jaws are closed. The only exceptions to this requirement are the following types of traps:

  • Rubber-padded jaw traps
  • Traps with jaw spreads less than 4.25 inches
  • Traps that are completely submerged under water when set

Any cable device (i.e., snare) used to take a furbearer, coyote, raccoon - except those set in water or with a loop size less than 3 inches in diameter - must be equipped with a breakaway lock mechanism that will release when any force greater than 300lbs is applied to the loop. Breakaway cable devices must be fastened to an immovable object solidly secured to the ground. The use of drags is prohibited.

 

Checking traps

Any live animal found in a trapping device must be euthanized and removed from the device by the trapper within the 48-hour trapcheck period or released immediately by the trapper unharmed.

Holding a raccoon or coyote in captivity prohibited - penalty

Utah Code § 4-23-111 & Utah Admin. Rule 58-14-3

No individual may hold in captivity a raccoon or import, distribute, or relocate raccoons. Nuisance raccoons may not be relocated following capture, but may be captured and euthanized or otherwise destroyed on location where capture is unfeasible.

Areas where you cannot discharge a firearm

Utah Code § 76-10-508

You may not discharge a dangerous weapon or firearm under any of the following circumstances:

  • From a vehicle
  • From, upon, or across any highway
  • At power lines or signs
  • At railroad equipment or facilities, including any sign or signal
  • Within Utah state park cam or picnic sites, overlooks, golf courses, boat ramps, or developed beaches
  • Without written permission from the owner or property manager, within 600 feet of: A house, dwelling, or any other building
  • Within any structure in which a domestic animal is kept or fed, including a barn, poultry yard, corral, feeding pen, or stockyard

 

Wild Neighbors
The Humane Society of the United States

Learn about innovative and effective approaches you can take to solve any wild animal problems you encounter in your home, yard or garden here:

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Utah State Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators and Nuisance Control

Please call the Division of Wildlife Resources Law Enforcement 800-662-3337 if a person represents themselves as licensed wildlife rehabilitator or nuisance control who are not on the link below.

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Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah

For more resources visit the Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah.

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