Unusual Number of Raccoons Spotted in Brooklyn


Have you seen any raccoons lately? We’ve had reports of sightings from all over Brooklyn. A reader in Clinton Hill sent in these photos of a family of five in the backyard. “The raccoons are getting out of hand,” the tipster wrote. “Tried calling city for help, but was told its my problem.” They have invaded people’s houses on the block as well. Another reader posted in the Forum (under the headline “Raccoon BIG problem Park Slope”), “We have raccoons on our deck, in our yard. We saw two of them on our neighbor’s roof. We have heard scratching noises on the top floor of our brownstone…One of them bit and scratched our dog (vet gave her an additional rabies shot and antibiotics.)…They are everywhere, walking down the sidewalks at night…Any ideas of what to do or who to call?” Meanwhile, a friend who lives in Greenpoint posted on Facebook, “I am sitting here minding my own biznatch reading quietly on a lit screen and I look up and there is a goddam raccoon, a raccoon!, walking up the short flight of steps to the second floor where I sit, not five feet way. Of course I left the back door open, but still! After we evicted two living in the attic for two or three years, it’s theirs, isn’t it?” The solution, according to another Forum poster: “New York City does not take the raccoon problem seriously, though you should file a 311 complaint anyway. Call a licensed wildlife control company, not an ordinary exterminator.” In July, an NBC news article said raccoons were trashing Greenwood Heights, and residents speculated the warm spring had caused  “an explosion in the raccoon population.” The city does not normally respond to calls about raccoons, unless they appear dangerous, hurt or sick. Legislation to change the policy has gone nowhere. “Last summer, state Sen. Tony Avella of Queens introduced legislation that would require the city agency to remove raccoons if asked to do so by the public, but the legislation remains in limbo,” said NBC.
Brooklyn Residents Ask City Agency to Help with Raccoon Infestation [NBC]
Raccoon Burglarizes Park Slope Apartment [Brownstoner]

 

30 Comment

  • wasder

    Hey those are the raccoons in my yard! And that is my fence! But I didn’t send that photo in. They live in the big tree in my backyard and they are pests in my garden, digging up the sod etc.

  • Havemeyer

    Awww, they’re so cute!!

    Can’t the city just vaccinate them for rabies and let them live among us?

  • Something has been ripping up my garbage bags – I thought it was a rat or a stray cat until I stepped on a huge globule of what was I figured was raccoon droppings inside my front gate – it was filled up with seeds and crunchy stuff. Apparently raccon poo can be mistaken for cat or dog feces. It’s pretty big.

  • dnk

    I had a raccoon in my backyard raiding our chicken coop. We ended up building a Fort Knox of chicken runs to keep hens (and eggs!) safe: galvanized welded wire along all sides (including the top), and we dug the wire 18 inches into the soil so raccoons cannot take the subterranian route to chicken mayhem….

    stonergut: I suppose this is no surprise, but raccoon poop can carry roundworm. More info is on Centers for Disease Control website.

  • THe problem is that in our urban environment these critters have no natural enemies. In Red Hook we had wild dog packs still until about 10 years ago, now we are being over-run with raccoons. Must be a business opportunity for someone to start trapping and releasing them upstate – or maybe in front of the mayor’s house!

  • I’m sensing a business opportunity here — locally produced raccoon-skin caps (Davy Crockett-style). It could be the next big thing for Williamsburg hipsters this winter!

  • I hit one with my car on Prospect Park West. How is that for a “natural enemy,” eme? What a minute! Maybe the increase in raccoon population correlates to the increase in bike riding in New York City.

  • Although I’ve heard tales (and horror stories) of raccoons in blocks closer to Prospect Park, they seem to have migrated to my block closer to the Gowanus, where they’re terrorizing local cats and clawing through trashbags. One evening in July I left the back door and went upstairs for 10 minutes and, hearing odd noises, went back down to find the kitchen floor covered with the contents of the trashcan, as well as the contents of 2 previously unopened boxes of cookies that had been on the counter. I’m much more cautious about leaving the door open now, and instead the raccoon(s) only destroy the compost bin a few times a week.

  • Wasder – do you live on lefferts place? this is looks like my backyard!

  • saw one on christmas eve. my wife said i was just drunk and saw a big cat.

    i hope turtle man comes to brooklyn.

  • wasder

    Leffertslodger–if those are in your yard then your fence looks exactly like mine and there is the same number of raccoons living in your yard. Did you submit the photo? I just assumed that my tenants had sent it in. I live on Irving Place

  • wasder

    Leffertslodger–if those are in your yard then your fence looks exactly like mine and there is the same number of raccoons living in your yard. Did you submit the photo? I just assumed that my tenants had sent it in. I live on Irving Place

  • @stonergut. Mint-X sells mint-scented and EPA-approved garbage bags which are supposed to repel raccoons and other rodents. But I’m not sure how well they work. Instead of putting your garbage bags out the night before pick-up, it might also be advisable to put the bags out the morning of pick-up. Be aware that raccoon droppings can carry dangerous diseases, not the least of which are raccoon roundworm and rabies. You need to be very careful when cleaning up after them.

    I live on the 6th floor of an apartment bldg in Bay Ridge and see raccoons on my fire escape more often than I care to. I suspect there might be a raccoon family living on my roof because when I shoo them away they always proceed further up the fire escape.

  • BigGuy22

    I have a building on Lafayette Avenue & South Elliott…The Raccoon got in to my building and was inside my AC Ducts, it pee’d all over the place, knocked out half of my high hats, dug a hole in the bathroom and stuck its tail and backside through the hole, I had traps set up in the backyard, got nothing. Hope he made it out alive…I live in Marine Park and Ive had Raccoons, Opossums, chickens, pheasents and Hawks in my backyard…Im used to it down there. Never thought Id see them in Fort Greene.

  • minard

    When will the movement to eat locally raised food embrace the raccoon population? Raccoon stew or raccoon confit could work.

  • Marauder

    I came home one night and I saw one in my neighbor’s front yard, it was eating food put out for the cats in the area.

  • Marauder

    I came home one night and I saw one in my neighbor’s front yard, it was eating food put out for the cats in the area.

  • megazoid

    I saw one last week. Went out after dark into the garden to pick some kale for a salad. On my way back, there he was, right in front of the house door. He stared at me, I stared back; I didn’t know what to do next, so I made a hissing sound (yeah it was weird), the raccoon looked at me with a sad and disapproving look and slo-o-o-wly climbed into my neighbor’s yard.

  • Yep it is them! This happy band of five created great havoc on Labor Day weekend as I was barbecuing with Italian cousins on Saturday evening.. they appeared, almost surrounded us, did not appear scared at all while I was trying hard to convince the out of towners’ children these are NOT pets! I have a great photo will try to post from home. Our backyard is on Waverly between Gates and Greene.

  • They can be a serious problem and shouldn’t be taken lightly. One actually killed my cat while I wasn’t around last summer. It ripped out the screen, came in the window and attacked my 6 month old kitten. I’m assuming this one was rabid to act this way, but still…a word of warning. They can be nasty and they aren’t shy.

    Afterward I spent a couple nights up on the roof of the building with a flashlight to look for the offender and realized the extent of their presence. There were regularly three or four within sight on the rooftops and fire escapes of my neighboring buildings, climbing up and down right outside windows, etc.

    I called the city afterward and they won’t do a thing unless you have the animal bagged. This occurred in Park Slope, 3rd Street near 7th Ave.

  • East New York

    “Afterward I spent a couple nights up on the roof of the building with a flashlight to look for the offender and realized the extent of their presence.”

    You really need to get out more.

  • A friend of mine said that she put ammonia around the perimeter of her house in Pennsylvania and she literally watched them walk down the street away from her house and never came back. Not sure if you use it at full strength or dilute it.

  • They’ve been reported on my block (Midwood II in PLG) this summer, although I haven’t seen any since last year (when one traded hisses with my cat).

    I just got home from several weeks in southern Vermont; they have a similar problem there this year, only instead of raccoons it’s BEARS! I’ll take raccoons any day (although bear-watching from the deck of our rental house WAS fun).

  • “Afterward I spent a couple nights up on the roof of the building with a flashlight to look for the offender and realized the extent of their presence.

    You really need to get out more.”

    Ha, a fair point. It does sound a little crazy, I’m sure. I was pissed and wanted to take of the little culprit myself! I gave up after a few days when I calmed down. The point is, there are coons everywhere and they will eat your pets.

  • My neighborhood (Astoria – upper Ditmars area) is full of them. They roam freely at night. Called 311 but got no help.