Earlier this week, Press staff writer Amanda Marsh reported on the plight of an elderly Johnson City woman who felt trapped inside her own home by a one-eyed raccoon.
Dorothy Schill, 83, said the raccoon often hung around her porch in the middle of the day and was so bold that it would approach her when she went outdoors.
“Some days I would get so nervous that I wouldn’t even go outside,” Schill said.
Some critter visits are more annoying than they are frightening. Raccoons and bears have been known to damage bird feeders and garbage cans in pursuit of a meal.
Homeowners can do a few simple but effective things to discourage wildlife from paying them a visit. One of the first things residents should do is to make sure they dispose of their garbage in containers that are sealed tightly. Garbage left outdoors in plastic bags only serves as a dinner invitation to hungry animals.
It is important also that pet food is not left in a place where roaming wildlife can get at it.
Keep dog and cat food in sealed containers, and never leave pet food outdoors unattended.
Never feed wild animals. Doing so causes them to lose their instinctive fear of humans, turning them into nuisance critters that are unpredictable and dangerous when they encounter people.