February 6th, 2009
05:50 PM ET
3 years ago

When raccoons attack

One large raccoon and several smaller ones have invaded the White House grounds.
One large raccoon and several smaller ones have invaded the White House grounds.

(CNN) - In the ongoing battle between a pack of particularly ambitious raccoons and the White House groundskeepers, the raccoons appear to be winning.

According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, no raccoons have been caught on the White House grounds since the band of intruders were first spotted roaming the premises earlier this month.

The National Parks service set up several traps around the White House lawn earlier this week after determining one large raccoon and several smaller ones were causing trouble around the West Wing and the Executive Mansion.

If and when the raccoons are caught they will be released into the wild, the National Park Service has said.

But the traps, which include peanut butter and apples as bait, have yet to allure any of the pesky mammals.

"No raccoons that I know of have been caught or disbursed into other places in Washington," said Gibbs.

The White House press secretary also said he would be of little use in the hunt: "There are a few that roam in my backyard, so I don't have any particular tips."


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. Bandit

    Love those little critters . True, they can be a pest, but their so darn cute. Forget the

    February 6, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. Concerned

    Raccoons can carry a particularly dangerous roundworm which can kill a young child or disable an adult. There is no effective treatment. The eggs are shed in the feces and can persist in the environment for years. These raccoons need to be caught, tested, dewormed, and relocated ASAP.

    February 6, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. Michael in Arkansas

    They should try cheap, stinky dog food. The family of raccoons that lives behind our house goes through a 40lb sack of Wal-Mart's cheapest in about 20 days. They love the stuff, probably because it's made out of other raccoons, euthanized cats and dogs, chicken feathers and other wholesome ingredients.

    February 6, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. Ken in NC

    @ Tim Fitzgerald February 6th, 2009 4:15 pm ET
    I have successfully caught several racoons in live traps this season. They seem to like dry cat food with honey poured over it and apples. That combination has worked for me.
    ______________________________________________________That seems like a good idea but the problem is that these are a special breed of Raccoons. It appears these are Republican Raccoons. Right or wrong, they are HELLbent on completing their mission at all cost.

    February 6, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. jay

    well first off .. i would like to say why in the heck are they using peanut butter.. isnt that the stuff that was making tons of folks sick ?

    here is how to catch or trap a racoon.

    you will need a live trap.
    tin foil
    and some sardines.

    take the tin foil and put it in the back of the trap because racoons loves anything shinny and the sardines are like lobster to them..if they would use that method i promise they will catch them the first night.. jay

    February 6, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. Cheryl

    What idiots. Raccoons love cat food. Anyone who has ever shared space with one knows that.

    Why don't you leave them alone?

    February 6, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  7. Bandit Lover

    Love those little critters. They are so darn cute. Call off the search for a Whitehouse pet and adopt these RACCOONS!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 6, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    that's racist.

    February 6, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. Matt

    Ohhh the Irony!!!!!

    February 6, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  10. Tremolux

    The best thing to use as bait is also one of the cheapest.

    Go to the grocery and buy the smallest size can of seafood based cat food. Get the ones that say something like "seafood buffet", they have several different varieties of oily fish scrap. Just before dusk, stir it with a stick to expose a greater surface area, and put it in the trap.

    "Nasty Cat Food" will catch raccoons, possums, ferrel cats, and probably coyotes and fox if you had a big enough trap.

    Personally, I have no problem with raccoons on the White House grounds. In fact, I think it's cool. They eat insects and rodents for heavens sake! They will guard the White House against rats and mice! Will the Secret Service do that? Raccoons prefer to work nights, and don't need medical coverage!

    ( Keep a tight lid on the garbage, and there won't be any problems. )

    February 6, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. joe plummer

    Time to call in that nut case from texas,ted the mighty hunter,he has a recipe for them im sure.I just wish he and the alien Predator could meet in combat.

    February 6, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  12. Patricia in Las Vegas

    @Aj – you are truly a bottom feeder

    February 6, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  13. mickey mouse

    perhaps they read about peanut butter contamination so they are not going for the traps.... some educated raccoon family....

    February 6, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  14. Ugh

    Reminds me of "rabbit attacks President" from the Carter administration.

    February 6, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  15. Jan

    Sardines work the best. Sometimes they are reluctant to just stroll into the big wire boxtrap....put a big cardboard box over the trap, leaving the end open where the door is. It's dark inside and they go right in because they don't notice the wires on the trap. Raccoons have to be moved at least 20-30 miles away, or they will just walk back home! The best thing is a permanent solution and we know what that is. The population has exploded because of a lack of hunting for fur and a lack of predators. Good luck!

    February 6, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. Rosie

    The critters can probably sense the salmonella in the peanut butter bait and are avoiding it. No wonder they can't trap them!

    February 6, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. Teri

    We had a problem with raccons here in Canada . My 9 yearold daughter came up with a good why to get rid of them. Lace the things you put in the trassh can with chilli pepper and tobasco sauce. It worked for us they never came back . Should work at the White House its the eco friendly way to get them to leave. Good luck

    February 6, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. zona bowman

    put a can of Tuna in trap also, put a hole near the top and place a wire through the hole and wire it to the cage so the big coons cant carry it off

    February 6, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. Tom

    Is there nothing those pesky Republicans won't stoop to????????

    February 6, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. krisdoyle

    I really wish you would learn how to spell. You may be able to get a dictionary for a low price. Please buy one! And please use it!

    February 6, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. Rachel

    The racoons are most like natural to the area. They do live in cities. They are beautiful animals. They should trapped and relocated to a more natural wooded habitat. Not because they are a problem but because people who are nature idiots don't understand that we've invaded THEIR territory.

    February 6, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  22. Erwin

    Al, your comments are not proportional to your age, you can be smarter man, what kind of person are you? this is 2009. wake up

    February 6, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. Idealist

    cat food can give raccoons gout – better to go with dog food.

    February 6, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. Paul Sellers

    The peanut butter has been recalled. The raccoons are smarter than we are. they won't touch it.

    February 6, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. Idealist

    Deb – Ashley Judd is not the only animal lover. Lots of us feel the same way she does!

    February 6, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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