Possums and Raccoons
At the moment, my cousin Pidge is fighting the good fight with 'possums--who carry protozoa that can cause paralysis in horses--and with raccoons, who are a nuisance whether or not they come bearing deadly infectious potential. She can't bear to harm them. I understand her point of view perfectly. All you really want is for the threat, or nuisance, to go away. You don't actually want to spill blood.
It was for this reason that the live trap was invented. Somebody should perhaps invent a more durable live trap. Animals that are smart enough to ring doorbells quickly learn how to tear up a live trap, as Pidge can attest. Here's her account of her current adventure:
"I'm after opposums. They carry a type of protozoa that can cause paralysis in horses, and I saw three babies in the hay shed. I've gotten two relocated. The other night the door bell rang around midnight. Scared the pants off me, but I crept to the door armed with my lantern (need to use my Cabela's points on a gun) and there was an oppossum rummaging around the door. How the heck....?
"By next morning, I decided I'm not crazy and 'possums really aren't that smart. I checked the doorbell button. There were bugs inside that had shorted it out. The opposum's announcement at my door last night was just coincidental timing.
"I set my live trap, but caught a racoon. The little rascal tore up the wire grate that covers the trip plate. My bait dish (cat food and peanut butter) must have slid under the grate when it tripped. The raccoon figured as long as he was stuck there, might as well keep himself busy and tear out the wire to get at the food. An easy fix if I could reach it...need orangutan arms or NBA ones.
"Last night I was sitting on my step right after dark and the last oppossum came trundling up. He's just a baby and couldn't see me. If I'd had a net I could have snagged him. So I worked on the trap and got a so-so fix. Then in middle of the night there was a commotion on the deck outside my bedroom window. Figured another raccoon had gotten into the refurbished trap.