YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WKBN) – Youngstown police were busy this weekend fighting crime — and raccoons. Several scared homeowners called, saying the animals were in their yards, acting strangely. Police said it didn’t seem like rabies was the cause.
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Elvin Rodriguez’s 9- and 10-year-old sons were playing basketball at dusk on the driveway at their Tavares home when a nocturnal creature slipped through the fence.
After the raccoon started chasing the boys, the family’s dog, a 6-year-old boxer named Macho, came to their defense.
“I think he [Macho] knew, I think he heard the kids yelling and carrying on and he just jumped right in,” Rodriguez, 34, a Lake County Jail correctional officer, said Wednesday. Macho fought with the raccoon before Rodriguez, who grabbed his personal handgun, was “able to call him off” from the battle that left the dog with scratches around his eyes and ears. “Then it stopped for a minute, and hissed, and I was able to shoot it.”
The raccoon tested positive for rabies after the March 13 encounter, marking the fourth time in seven months a rabid animal has threatened Lake County residents.
“It didn’t sink in until afterwards; I was just trying to make sure the kids were OK,” Rodriguez said. “It [rabies] can be very serious.”
In January, a 6-year-old boy died after exposure to a rabid bat south of Umatilla. Two weeks after he reported the “scratch” to his parents, he told them he couldn’t feel his fingers. Then his arms began to twitch and flail wildly before a severe headache set in that sent Ryker Roque, a rambunctious boy, into a coma. He died Jan. 14 at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
In September, a 74-year-old Clermont man was wearing flip-flops and shorts, picking up fallen branches outside his home near Lake Minneola, when a rabid fox lunged at him. He beat it off with his iPhone, dazing it, before fatally shooting it with a .22-caliber pellet rifle. And last month, another rabid raccoon was reported to be in Fruitland Park, according to the Florida Department of Health in Lake County.
“Rabies is a potentially fatal disease. It is important not to handle wild animals, to be aware of unusual acting animals and to keep pets vaccinated against rabies,” department administrator Aaron Kissler said.
It’s time to evict your uninvited bat guests! Bat maternity season begins April 15th and runs through August 15th. Exclusions of bat colonies must be completed before maternity season arrives. What happens is, bats will be giving birth to their young. From that time forward, until the young bats can fly on their own and feed themselves. It is not legal to exlude bats out of buildings during maternity season This is in order to prevent any young bats that can not yet fly from– getting stuck and trapped inside structures and dying.
The state of Florida claims 13 resident species, including the threatened species: Florida bonneted bat. There are some bats that roost in not natural structures such as inside of homes or buildings. It is not legal to harm or kill bats in Florida, there are guidelines that have been developed allowing for bats to be excluded as long as it is not during maternity season.
Bats are very important to our ecosystem. The native bats help keep insects in check. They keep mosquitoes and other bugs at bay for residents who want to enjoy the outdoors. The value of bats to the agricultural industry is estimated in the billions of dollars.
Unfortunately, after the momma raccoon left one day, this homeowner thought he would solve the issue of re-entry. What you are seeing here is a roof vent that the mama raccoon gained entry through originally. So, you may ask…. what’s the problem? Was there any harm done? Well, the little baby raccoons that were still inside the home think so! If you are a homeowner, please do not get involved or in the way of what a professional trapper is doing!
I just want to Thank Jeff and the Nuisance Wildlife team for the bat house, or as we like to call it, the bat condo. We have seen a few bats where we live in Deland and there are lots of mosquitoes for them to feast on since we live on a lake. I am so excited and can't hardly wait for them to take up residence in the bat condo. I will definitely send pictures once they have arrived and get settled in.
Thanks again Jeff for taking it to Joe @Aegis so he could bring it to us in Deland, Fl.
Christy and her team are wonderful! They have helped me with a lot of our clients and everyone loves them. Easy to communicate with and always follow up. Then are easy to schedule with as well! Highly recommended!
We always call Christy at Nuisance Wildlife Removal for our pest control needs. She is always prompt with a return phone call, offers valuable information and gives me a fair price. I also love supporting local and she is just that!