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TWEAKS+inspiration : Raccoon Rascals

Happy Labor Day! As you might know, here in the Bay Area, we've got amazing wildlife. Our Oakland house looks out onto a hill, part of the East Bay Recreation Park. Watching from the window took on a new dimension when we moved here 20 years ago, but nature doesn't always takes its course. A 7' gopher snake hangs out in our front yard yet our lawn is plagued by gophers. Wild hare and fox abound, yet we have exciting sightings of "our" mountain lion. Fortunately, sweet spotted fawns seem to do well in our backyard despite the occasional big cat or coyote. There's plenty of room for everyone here in these wild hills. While we don't see raccoons too often, it's a different story in urban San Fransicso as my dear reader points out.

Kathleen – For years I’ve enjoyed your DecorBook interior and exterior home decorating ideas. This summer, I’d like to share a more mundane piece of home garden information that your readers may find helpful.

As you know, the Bay Area is a jungle. Plagued with all sorts of varmints large and small: coyotes that prowl, skunks that spray, and raccoons that tear up lawns and loudly mate on your roof (cute, but please, get a room).

My attempts to ward off raccoons have been numerous. I installed an electronic sound machine (they supposedly don’t like noises) that did nothing. In fact, I thought that I saw them gathered in the yard in entranced swaying or what could be described as interpretive dance.

I next tried applying great quantities of cayenne pepper to the area. But, alas, the noise emanating from our backyard were exclamations of joy. “Magnifique, the cayenne brings out the piquant flavor of the grubs. We must tell our friends.”

Finally, I got very 15th century Spanish Inquisition with them and installed spikes. Yes, this persuasion always works. However, now my neighbor does seem to be having some unwelcomed night guests.

Sincerely, Jayne

Thanks, Jayne! Hopefully, the raccoons don't come back wearing full mail armour.

Have a great weekend! Please keep your comments coming.

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