Raccoons are the Next Bedbugs

This week, the New York Times ran a story in their Metro section with the headline, “After Bedbugs, Here Come the Raccoons.” The article is about how some boroughs – Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens – were dealing with this new pest problem of raccoons.

“Raccoons may be wild animals, but they’re no longer a rarity in the city. They seem to be appearing in greater numbers and, like true New Yorkers, seem to be behaving much more boldly,” the article said.

Not mentioned in the article is raccoons in Staten Island. The Island is often called the greenest borough in New York City and has, according to the Staten Island Advance, 9,300 acres of federal, state, and city parkland, so raccoons have been a problem for some time.

In a round up on wild life on the Island, the Advance said:

Raccoons are common on Staten Island. A rabid raccoon found in Bulls Head in 1992 signaled the first confirmed appearance of the deadly disease in New York City since a rabid dog was found in Brooklyn in 1952. Raccoons quickly become accustomed to humans and can be quite bold.

While the Times article does have a particularly scary account of someone finding a dead raccoon in their kitchen cabinet in Brooklyn, but the one of a raccoon simply looking at a women might strike some on the Island as commonplace.

Once I was watching TV when I saw one of those menaces in my backyard. I tried slamming on my backdoor to scare him away; he simply looked at me like, “dude, what’s your problem,” and continued on his merry way. Raccoons have always been bold in my experiences.

So New York City residents, have you had any encounters with raccoons? Ever see one in the city? What’s the best way to deal with these pests?

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