Golf Course Management

APR 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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research and genetic contamination resulting from introducing transplanted animals into different populations. Often, euthanasia (when legal) may be a more desirable option to transplanting. Raccoons Although normally found around water, raccoons can travel quite far from naturally occurring water sources. The damage they infict varies from getting into buildings to scattering garbage from unsecured trash receptacles. Exclusion, if practical, is usually the best method of coping with raccoons. Electric fencing at the top of a yard fence will prevent them from climbing, but gates and fencing must be tight to the ground. Raccoons are capable of digging but usually try to gain access in other ways. Use wire or clamps to keep raccoons out of garbage cans that do not have tight-ftting lids. Place galvanized sheet metal around trees or poles to prevent raccoons from climbing. Frightening devices for raccoons have not proven to be effective in the long term. Lights, radios, dogs, pie pans and plastic windmills are only temporarily effective. No repellents, toxicants or fumigants are currently registered for raccoon control. Trapping is often the most logical way to stop raccoon damage. They are relatively easy to trap, but because they are extremely strong and persistent, the trap must be sturdy. A cage live trap is the most logical trap to use around golf courses. These traps need to be at least 10 × 12 × 32 inches (25 × 30 × 81 centimeters) and well-constructed with heavy materials. Bait the trap with a fshbased, canned cat food. Place a thumbnail-sized piece at the entrance, another on the treadle and a larger amount in a paper or Styrofoam cup broken off to 1 inch (2.5 centimeters). Place the cup in the center of the trap's back section. If the raccoon is to be released, take it at least 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the trap site. Conibear, or body-gripping traps, are very effective, as long as there is no risk of capturing a pet or some other animal you don't intend to trap. Kill-type traps should be placed in trees in a way that makes the raccoon go through the trap to get to the bait. Raccoons are classifed as furbearers in some states, so be sure you know and understand local regulations before removing them. Bats Bats usually roost in natural shelters such as caves and hollow trees. Some, however, take up residence in barns and storage buildings. The noises created by crawling and squeaking bats are usually disturbing, but bat excrement can be a serious problem because if excrement persists for a long time after the roost is broken up, it may serve to attract new colonies. Like other mammals, bats can transmit the rabies virus to humans. Any bat acting in an abnormal manner should be approached with caution, particularly if it is found futtering on the ground. If anyone is bitten by a bat, the bite should be treated by a physician, and the bat should be captured without injury to the head so the brain can be examined by proper authorities. (Top) Sturdy live traps, such as the one shown here, can be used to capture raccoons. Photo by Teresa Carson (Bottom) Bats provide environmental benefts, but they are unwelcome in buildings. Photo by Don Pftzer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service April 2013 GCM 95

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