Peter Simpson shows off the bird feeder that racoons have destroyed. Simpson blames a neighbour

Raccoons making themselves at home on Saanich property

Resident blames neighbour for attracting pests to area

Peter Simpson has a raccoon problem. He also has a problem with one of his neighbours. And while the first may stem from the second, he can’t expect help from third parties.

Sitting in the garden of his residence on Phyllis Street, the sailing instructor talked about the experiences that he has had with the raccoons that have routinely visited his home in the search of food. Along the way, they have eaten his ripe fruit and smashed his bird feeder.

One day, he received 15 distinct visits, notwithstanding his efforts to chase them by way of his presence or the water hose.

“I have been spraying them with the hose,” he said. “But they are really brazen, right. I can spray them with the hose, I hit them with a jet of water, and two minutes later, they are back again. They seem to regard the hose as some sort of a joke.”

Simpson said he is not the only one with these problems, as other neighbours have also reported issues of raccoons defecating and intruding on their homes.

This said, Simpson thinks it is one of his neighbours — an elderly woman — who has been attracting the raccoons by feeding them.

“I have chased them and chased them, and they always go back to that property. I have been right behind them, chasing them, and they always head down there.” Simpsons’ wife has also taken a picture that shows raccoons on the roof of their neighbour’s shed.

Simpson acknowledges that he cannot be 100 per cent sure. “It’s hard to prove,” he said. Simpson also acknowledged that it would be difficult to prove that the woman has been feeding the critters. “All she has got to do is say, ‘No, we are not feeding them,’” he said. “If she says, ‘No, I’m not feeding them,’ then my response to that is, ‘Well, then, you have a den of raccoons on your property.’”

Simpson said he has had dealings with the woman in the past, but efforts to talk to her directly have been unsuccessful. Simpson has since filed a direct complaint with Saanich, citing that history.

“Your office has previously investigated this matter and determined that she was in fact feeding 16 of them,” he said in an email to the District of Saanich in filing his official complaint. “She was issued [two] previous warnings…[please] take firm action to deter this illegal feeding.”

Saanich has since asked Simpson to contact Saanich Pound. As of this writing, Saanich Pound has not yet received a call from Simpson, who is currently on an extensive sailing tour.

Mike Gibson, an officer with Saanich Pound, said his office won’t be able to do anything about the file, since raccoons fall under the B.C. Wildlife Act. Provincial conservation officers, in other words, would have to deal with this fall, and it is rather unlikely that they would, because of the demands facing them.

Gibson, however, has some advice from Simpson. If he wants to stop the raccoons from coming, he should turn on the radio and lights over the night to keep them away, because they prefer dark, quiet spaces.

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