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Unwelcome Visitors to Your Acreage

Unwelcome Visitors to Your Acreage, Nebraska Extension Acreage Insights for July 2, 2018,
Raccoons enjoying a meal of cat food.

You may be receiving visitors to your acreage that are damaging your property, eating or soiling your animal’s food, or spreading disease. These visitors may include raccoons, opossums, skunks, rats, or mice. They may be living in chimneys, attics, under buildings, or in nearby lots or fields where heavy habitat is available.

Opossums can spread a deadly disease to horses by depositing parasites from their feces on stored hay that is later eaten by the horse.

Any mammal can spread rabies if an infected animal bites a healthy animal. 

Excluding the animals and removing food and water sources is the most long term solution to avoid problems. Trapping and shooting is only a short term solution and should be used in combination with exclusion and removing attractants.

These animals can easily find food and water. Cat and dog food left outside after dark, improperly stored garbage, poorly maintained compost piles, and scraps tossed out to the birds provide an easy source of food. Pet waters left outside overnight, uncovered hot tubs, swimming pools, and backyard ponds are especially favorable to raccoons.

Bring pet food and water in at dusk, secure garbage lids, and close holes in buildings that animals can enter.

For more information on animal damage control, go online to for a NebGuide 1688 Controlling Raccoon and Opossum Damage.

Monte Stauffer
Monte Stauffer
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development

Monte oversees 4-H livestock projects, shooting sports, 4-H Council, Equines Unlimited - "Horse-less" Horse Club, and parts of the Sarpy County Fair.

Douglas/Sarply County Extension
501 Olson Dr. Suite 5
Papillion NE 68046-5752

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