PLEASANT VIEW — There are raccoon problems. Then, there are major raccoon problems.
Residents in a Pleasant View neighborhood have been dealing with the extreme — geese and turkeys killed and maimed, homes invaded and gardens raided. Though residents and the city have trapped and killed dozens, more keep returning.
“They just make messes everywhere,” said Mitch Thinnes, referring to a distressed grate on his chimney.
Three times, Thinnes said, he has had to scare raccoons out of his chimney. They’ve also tried to tear into his roof and they’ve “raised havoc” with his garden.
The neighborhood is north of 2700 North along 600 West in Pleasant View — an area referred to by locals as “Shady Lane.”
Another homeowner said he had killed 67 raccoons in a three-month period and that didn’t take care of the problem. Bob Watson said has since given up, citing a long-term loss of sleep.
One of Watson’s geese had recently survived a raccoon attack. Friday it appeared its eye had been gashed away and the side of its head was blackened. Watson confirmed he had lost geese and turkeys.
Pleasant View city administrator Melinda Brimhall said the city is aware of difficulties in the area and acknowledged the city is a popular area for the vermin. The area in particular, she said, was particularly attractive to raccoons because of canals, fruit trees and small animals and birds.
Brimhall said the city is one of the few in the state to assist with raccoon problems. A part-time animal control officer has trapped them.
Kaysville-based exterminator and self-professed “Critter Gitter,” Bill Grayson, said once raccoons take root, they can be hard to eliminate. In an extreme situation like the one in Pleasant View, he said the key is finding where the female raccoons have created their dens.
“If you find out where they are, you can get rid of them,” Grayson said.
Hiring an exterminator for high-volume calls can get expensive. Grayson said he charged $65 for evaluating a property, another $65 for setting traps — regardless of the number — plus an additional $65 for every raccoon trapped and killed.
Grayson said it is common for raccoons to attack smaller animals and they have even gone after house pets.
Spokesman Larry Lewis of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, which regulates policy in the state on how to deal with raccoons, said it first directs people to their county animal control centers.
Lewis said if county animal control isn’t able to solve the problem, the department’s wildlife services division on occasion offers consulting services.