For over two weeks a critter has avoided not one, not two, but three traps in my flower garden. After uprooting annual plantings, escaping night after night from whatever live trap was left nearby, polishing off whatever snack had lured him/ her into it.
Was the cage too big, too small? We switched them up as we did the bait. Cat food, dog food, grape jelly and even marshmallows. The latter would disintegrate from the evening rain showers so we went back to the pet food. Was it just the birds, cats, bunnies. squirrels/ ground squirrels which I had seen all summer hopping in and out? Rabbits and ground squirrels visits have lessened. I attributed this to our 2 barn cats and their frequent visits up to the main house.
After finding a sprung cage more than not, at the end of last week once again, there was a very large toppled heavy flower pot which meant this critter was not only big and strong, it was smart. Friend Lynn who also lives in the country had stopped by after church and upon hearing about our unwanted flower garden visitor stated, ” It has to be a raccoon, they’re that smart.” She added, “They even teach the next generation what they know.” I believed her. Because somehow this critter could escape the sprung trap leaving behind empty bait bowls.
Tactics had to change. Would persistence and staking down the trap work? Balto, our rescue dog’s bark would alert us to our uninvited visitor.
It’s funny because I had taken out some frozen cookie dough and baked some cookies during Lynne’s visit. I noticed Natureman had put the 2 leftover cookies in the glass cookie canister. After dinner I noticed one of those last two cookies was already missing. I didn’t comment but later in the evening the knowledge of that last cookie tempted me back into the kitchen. Alas, somebody had already had their hand in the cookie jar. It was empty.
Okay, a new strategy was borne, leave less bait. As that last cookie beckoned me, a little bait would work on whoever was creating havoc…
Last night Balto’s barking was more than usual. I had just fallen asleep again but this time his barking was persistent. Natureman grabbed the flashlight and headed out, would the trap need to be reset?
Nope, caught red handed.
Sure enough, caught in the trap was the smart, large raccoon.
When Natureman returned to bed, I suggested perhaps placing a stake towards the front of the sprung trap would work so the thief couldn’t work his way out. Natureman got back up, and reassessed the situation moving the stake that was holding the cage in place to prevent the now sprung door from allowing Mr. Raccoon to leave.
This morning I saw the live cage with its not too happy visitor.
Yep, our critter will not have its hands in our cookie jar tonight…