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Here is an odd job

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Here is an odd job

Post by milspec6 on Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:04 pm

I received a call today asking me if I could help them with a raccoon problem? Okay, it had me curious, so I asked for details.

Turns out that this young couple has a 2 year old child and they discovered that they have a raccoon living in their crawl space and have noticed droppings on their porch. For those who don't know this, raccoons are often infected with a round worm called "baylisascaris procyonis" that prefers to take up residence in the animal's brain. Not just the raccoon either, that worm will infect any species including humans.

Some studies state that as much as 90% of raccoons carry this worm in their systems and their droppings often contain the eggs. To make things worse, those eggs can survive weathering and chemicals for years, so they continue to be a threat to anything that comes into contact with it.

Well, I don't really advertise haz-mat work these days, but I started out in that industry and don't mind getting dirty from time to time. So, I agreed to take on this job later next week when I have more time. Basically, I need to get rid of the animal and then remove the droppings if I can or burn those that I can't....lawn dragon to the rescue. You could also hit it with really hot water if you can get access to it like on the deck or patio, but I prefer to burn the eggs out instead.

Problem is that I am no expert on getting rid of a raccoon. Tonight, we are trying tennis balls soaked in ammonia and then we will move on from there if that doesn't keep it away. Trapping will be next, but anyone have any better methods outside of a bullet (wife doesn't want it hurt, just gone).

Should be an interesting job, I will take some pictures when it comes time. Very Happy 
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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by Ryan S on Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:17 pm

Walker hound dogs and a trap. They like peanut butter. But, doubtful to eat seeing your gonna piss him off. Lol.

Should be fun. Too bad you can't kill him. I made a coon skin cap when I was about 14. Tanned the hide, whole mine yards. It was cool. Borax was the tool for drying and acrapping off the fat from the hide. Worked really good.

Be careful, those things will kick your a$$!  kick ass 

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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by Ryan S on Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:19 pm


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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by milspec6 on Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:50 pm

That borax also makes an excellent poison. Add a little cocoa powder to it and set it out in a dish....bad news for those that ingest it. Kills ants really well!

I just don't like to poison things, kind of a harsh way to die. A bullet is more humane as strange as that sounds.

They do growl well for such a cute looking creature...should be fun.
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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by Davey Cracker on Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:16 pm

Did someone s4ay Coons!?Q!@?!  laughing 

Good luck with that crazy thing, Rob!!  cheers 

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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by Freemind1 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:00 am

Problem is, that the crawl space is likely to have urine and feces all over too. Coons are vile creatures. They defecate and urinate everywhere. They will tear up anything soft, like insulation.

To get rid of it, you need to kill it. It sees that crawl space as home (and probably has friends that do too) and you will never get rid of it dropping it off a few miles away. It WILL return.
Poisoning isn't the most humane way to kill it, but it is the only sure fire way to get it. Shooting them come with their own safety hazards to others, such as unintended bullet bouncing around hitting unintended targets.

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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by milspec6 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:28 am

@Freemind1 wrote:Problem is, that the crawl space is likely to have urine and feces all over too. Coons are vile creatures. They defecate and urinate everywhere. They will tear up anything soft, like insulation.

To get rid of it, you need to kill it. It sees that crawl space as home (and probably has friends that do too) and you will never get rid of it dropping it off a few miles away. It WILL return.
Poisoning isn't the most humane way to kill it, but it is the only sure fire way to get it. Shooting them come with their own safety hazards to others, such as unintended bullet bouncing around hitting unintended targets.

I expect to find that your are correct, it will not just be one animal and it will be messy. As long as I can establish the entry point...I can prevent the return. It will be a clean and seal job for certain, going fully suited on this one. I just hope the crawl space isn't so small that I have to go in like a tunnel rat...pistol first. Very Happy 
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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by Freemind1 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:17 am

Tunnel rat! LMAO!

 Laughing 

Hope it goes well for you. A job I would NOT want.

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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:51 am

Why would you want to get involved in this?? Why did they call you?? Other than being a nice guy.
*why not get animal control involved, considering the potential of a health situation.
*I've heard it somewhere regarding bad carpet soiling conditions, "its their problem until you touch it, then its yours".

Be careful you don't put your self in a liability issue.

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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by milspec6 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:42 pm

My carpet cleaner wrote:Why would you want to get involved in this?? Why did they call you??  Other than being a nice guy.
*why not get animal control involved, considering the potential of a health situation.
*I've heard it somewhere regarding bad carpet soiling conditions, "its their problem until you touch it, then its yours".

Be careful you don't put your self in a liability issue.

Wise words, let me explain as I would generally agree with you.

This is a couple that I have known for decades now and were one of my first customers. This issue is at their cabin near the lake that they saved up for 5 years to purchase and now they are afraid to visit it. They knew me back when I was doing mostly bio-hazard work, so they called me for advice. The only animal control expert in this area wants $3500 and they just can't afford it since the new child.

In other words, I am suffering from a full case of "nice guy syndrome" and it just sort of slipped out that I would take care of it for them. I really like solving people's problems, but I make a lousy business owner at times. No 
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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by Ryan S on Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:13 pm

Me too Rob. But it really feels good to help others like that.

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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by Davey Cracker on Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:24 pm

I have the same problem sometimes........The over willingness to help others, even when it's not in my best interest.  Laughing 

I normally, only do this type of 'go outa my way thing', like Rob, for long time customers and a lot of times have a more friendly relationship with.

I think it's just part of us giving types, that want to help however we can.........good or bad for us.  laughing 

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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by milspec6 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:25 pm

It usually does....as long as I don't have to hug a raccoon family, it will a good day.
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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:36 pm

Good guy syndrome. Hope it's going around.

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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by milspec6 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:54 pm

Finished the day dealing with the raccoon a couple of hours ago.  Interesting to say the least how it went...actually a few lessons discovered in there if you read along.

The crawl space was all sand and soil based beneath a cabin built along the lake.  The place was empty for about a year prior to the new owners arrival and judging by the tracks and poo the size of a medium dog, it was home to some rather large raccoons.

The owner had a wilderness camera posted near the porch and their were several very fat raccoons captured on camera going in and out of the crawl space...I guess the ammonia-soaked tennis balls didn't work very well at getting them to leave peacefully.

I started out by fogging the area with a dense concentration of Sporicidin to both protect me and to encourage a choking critter eviction.  It was so dense in there that I couldn't even see into the space for about a 1/2 hour.

When it finally cleared enough to see, I checked out the area.





No signs of activity so I removed the poo deposits and burned them outside and then started to work myself to the interior wall.  The soil sloped up hill by about 7 feet and my fiber-optic camera showed a large depression on the other side and what looked like fur in the corner, but it could have just been some down insulation.  I decided to be ready before exploring deeper.



Turned out to be 2 fat raccoons in that corner just over the dirt slope.  I am not certain who was more startled really, but I smacked my head on the floor joists and shot one of them when they scattered.  The other one made it past me and out the crevice in the foundation....at least I knew where the access point was now.

Removed the corpse and sealed up the gap in the foundation...problem solved.

Here is where the interesting lesson comes into play.  This was a "nice guy" job that was basically just for gas money, but on the drive out of their lane, the neighbor comes out and flags me down.

He saw the van and noticed that I clean upholstery.  He took me back to his garage to get an estimate on some furniture that he bought from a couple that was throwing it away in a remodel.

Inside the garage was a gorgeous living room set of 1970's furniture that resembled a hounds-tooth jacket or a velvet frock.  Beautiful material and not a stain on it.  

He tells me that it came a home worth 2 million and he was a drywaller on the job...paid $50 to the trash guy for it.  He wants it cleaned because he is allergic to dogs and said that he was going to clean it himself, but he hates the smell of chemicals and can be sensitive to them.

Estimate on one sofa, one chair and circular accent rug was $475.  I will be cleaning them Monday.  He also wants me to clean his carpets and kitchen tile the same day.

Lessons here:

1.  Don't trust raccoons to run from odors
2.  Wear a helmet when in tight spaces
3.  Remember that a good deed often brings good results...and business!
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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by Ryan S on Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:23 pm

Great experience Rob. Always works out for the good doesn't it. Cool job too.

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Re: Here is an odd job

Post by milspec6 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:42 pm

@Ryan S wrote:Great experience Rob.  Always works out for the good doesn't it. Cool job too.  

It sure does, I can't recall too many times where giving didn't return a positive. One of the good days.
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