Many problems with raccoons, opossums and other wildlife often can be solved simply by building an enclosed pen for your garbage cans. It should have a top and four sides. Use a spring-type latch — this lets the garbage collector in but keeps raccoons out. You can also buy ready-made, raccoon-proof pens at some feed stores. Tamper-resistant garbage cans are another good solution. Or you could try stretching a piece of bungee cord across your garbage can lid. Just anchor the bungee cord to the handles. It’s also important to avoid leaving pet food out at night.
If raccoon and opossum problems persist after you’ve removed food sources and secured your garbage, you can rent a humane box trap from the Animal Control and Rescue Center. A $40 deposit is required. This allows you to keep the trap for one week. Your deposit is returned when you return the trap. When you rent the trap, you will be given detailed instructions on setting it up and baiting it. When you catch your raccoon, or other nuisance animal, call the Animal Control and Rescue Center at 225-774-7700 and an officer will come and pick up the trapped animal. You never have to touch it.
Please do not feed raccoons. Sure, raccoons are cute. But rabies isn’t. Raccoons can carry rabies, which is transmittable to humans, pets and livestock. Raccoons also carry distemper, a serious disease which can be transmitted to dogs and cats who aren’t up-to-date on their shots. If a raccoon bites a human, a doctor must be called immediately. Treatment may be needed for exposure to rabies and other diseases. If a raccoon bites a pet, take the pet to a veterinarian right away. View more information on how to humanely discourage wildlife (PDF).