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St. Petersburg Florida Raccoon Control Situation: Hello Thanks for all the information in your web site about raccoons. We found it very informative. My wife and I have a part time home in South Florida (Tampa/Clearwater area) and we've been told that we have (or have had) raccoons in our attic initiated by the fact that several soffit vents were seen hanging down from the eaves. Unfortunately, we are not there now, nor have been since early May of this year and trying to get a clear and honest evaluation and repair proposal from a local service has been near impossible. Knowing that you limit yourself to the Orlando we were wondering if you could help us with the name(s) of respected and reliable animal control services in our area that we could hire to resolve our problem and return our home to it's pre-raccoon condition. Thank you for any assistance you can give us. I found the company that I unfortunately used. It is Compleate Wildlife Management in Detroit/Yspilanti Michigan. They were completely incompetent in handling the problem. A mother raccoon had her babies in a toybox on the back patio of my home. She was contained in the box until they arrived. One was obviously drunk and wearing a menacing chucky-doll t-shirt and I should have sent them away but I was intimidated. They had insufficient equipment and not even protective gloves for themselves. They only managed to scare the mother and let her get away then collected the 5 brand-newborn babies (still wet). They said they would be taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center.
Okay I finally finished that raccoon job in Saint Petersburg today. It took a while, because I made all kinds of mistakes. I really appreciate the feedback of the members of the wildlife email list serve. You gave me some great ideas, including the one that resulted in the capture of the mother. I originally chose choice D: Left the young, and set box traps in the attic and on the roof to catch the mother, then remove the young and fix the holes. Trip one: I left the young, which I could see, in the attic and set three box traps. Trip two: I caught a non-target raccoon, and had to go pick it up. Meanwhile, when I checked the attic, I couldn't find the young again anywhere. A raccoon in hand is worth two in the attic. Trip three: I found that the mother had sprung my cage trap, but wasn't caught. I decided to use raccoon eviction fluid (REV), and used almost a whole ounce, over every portion of the attic that I could reach. Trip four: customer reported that after a night of much activity and growling, the mother was not heard for three nights, but the babies cried all the time. I figured that the mother abandoned them. They were in the only place without REV, which was impossible to reach. After a lengthy and unsuccessful attempt to use a 12-foot extension pole with glue boards on the end (the babies would stick, then immediately fall off) I cut a hole in the ceiling, removed the young, and repaired the hole. I repaired the six open holes in the eaves outside, and thought my job was done. Trip five: the customer called and said that the frantic mother was ripping new holes and running around the attic. I returned with the young, which I still had from earlier, placed them in a small metal cage, and used them as bait in a large box trap (thanks for the idea). I waited for less than ten minutes, and when I checked the trap, I had caught the mother! I did some final fixing, and now I'm finally done. The good part of this job: I got this customer from my web site! The bad part of this job: I got this customer. This job took five trips, and he lived about 50 min away (over 8 hours total driving), and the actual work was sweaty, hard, and took me over six hours pure labor. I caught and removed two adults and four young, plus a snake that was present on one of my trips. I used a lot of gasoline, truck wear and tear, and supplies. Then very happy customer informed me that gosh darnit, he was broke. I got only $100 for the whole job (if the check clears). The lesson: get money up front when you take a job in the ghetto. All in all, I learned a lot from this job, and won't make all the same mistakes again.
If you wish to learn more, click on the How to Get Rid of Raccoons in the Attic home page. For raccoon control in Pinellas County, Florida, call us at (813) 404-7033, and ask to talk about raccoons in the attic in St. Petersburg, FL.