The raccoon solution – An Army story

(Original story was posted on Reddit in r/MaliciousCompliance by u/B_Lawyer2019)


  • Me: A Specialist in the US Army, attached to a cavalry unit in Fort Hood, TX. Electronics and Small Arms repairer. Has an unnecessary amount of access to things I shouldn’t.
  • CPT WonderWaffle: My commander, great guy, no bullshit attitude.
  • SPC FelixTheCat: One of my cohorts, big strong scary Dominican man, scared of crickets and other critters. For some reason.

This one is short and sweet. I was in charge of my shop, Communications and Electronics (C&E). During the hot month August one year, we, most people on post that is, had an infestation problem. Some were rats, some were snakes, I got raccoons. I was first alerted to this when SPC FelixTheCat noted a weird ass smell in my shop, I looked into it but couldn’t ever find anything. Things came to a head one day when I was working in the shop and heard rustling and cracking ABOVE me. These little fuckers had gotten up in the raised roof of my shop. SOMEHOW. Please understand, the building I was in was designed to be a fallout shelter. How a Trash panda managed to subvert that blows me away even today. So not sure as to what it was at the time I used my camera phone to record a small video, if I can find it Ill upload it. What I recorded was hilarious to me, and most others, not to Felix though. It was a raccoon. Smallish in size as I recorded him, he bit into the main leads (240V) that controlled my lights and carbon/smoke detectors. He died painfully. I have nothing against animals, but these little shits had started feasting on my equipment. Power cables, antenna cables, really anything that didn’t kill them. I called the department of public works on post ,explained the situation. They sent out a guy a few days later, with a cat trap. One trap, for an assumed 5-15 racoons. Cool. That trap never caught anything, and things kept getting destroyed. My next step was to go to my commander. This poor man, over the years I put him through so much shit. This was the first time I was directly responsible for something that required paperwork. I explained everything to him. This had been going on for several months at this point. DPW (dept. of public works) has done little to nothing, and will not do more.

Me: Sir, this is getting crazy. Ill have to move some of my sensitive equipment away from my shop so these little shitbuggers can stay cool? Is there something I can do? Poison, traps, hunting (jokingly)

CPT: OP, don’t do anything overtly stupid. Don’t put poison down, as it’s indiscriminate. You can’t bring a gun or projectile weapon on post, but if you want to lay traps or hunt it like Conan the Barbarian, you have my blessing, just don’t get hurt.


Me: I can lay traps?

CPT: Yes, so long as they aren’t going to interfere with day to day operations, and lay them on your time.

Me: Annnnnnnd roger.

So this is what I did.

I moved my sensitive equipment to a storage container to spare them if shit got stupid, which it was likely to do. And started observing. Where they came from, where they loitered and they’re go to snack.

It seemed they came from SOMEWHERE in the roofing system, im not sure where, even today. They diddnt come down onto the ground floor if they could access some kind of food easily from the trash bin, or my cable closets. So cool, they spend most of the time in the rafters. And like trash. Too easy.

My shop, being an electronics shop was set up with a multitude of power outlets, with my own dedicated breakers and circuits. I very rarely used the 240 outlets, in which I had two, which were on separate circuits. So I set up a perimeter in the rafters using 00 gauge cable, and connected them to two separate 240V ports, essentially making my lowered ceiling system an electrocution grid.

And what was the bait? Old MRE ( Meal ready to eat) cheese and bread. The TrashPandas seem to love the shit. I wired up my kill hole and left for a three or four day weekend.

*DISCLAIMER* Do not do this, if you mess up once you’d die from this. This is 240V at 20 amps. Enough to stop the heart of a horse.

The next work day, I walk up to my shop, and because I am a careful cat, I kill power to the shop via the breaker. Only to see that it’s already tripped. Oh boy! A present.

No. No it was not a present. It was a mess. Something I never took into account was I’d catch more than one at a time, and I forgot what happens bodies, and the fact that the raccoons were on a suspended ceiling, not the most sturdy of things. To quote one of the great philosophers of the 21st century, the bodies had literally hit the floor. There were eight in total, and one had grounded out onto the building, which explains why the 240V 50A fuse was tripped. It was stinky. I had to inform my chain of command, I didn’t bother with my platoon sergeant, or platoon leader. Something I had become famous for, skipping the chain of command. I went straight to the commander’s office.

Me: *Knock Knock Sir*

CPT: Heyyyy!! OP, come in what’s up!? ( oh he was so pleased to see me, I used to be one of his favorites..)

Me: Hey Sir, yeah good morning, have you had your coffee yet? (I don’t ever usually make small talk like this, because I am anxious. I knew I was fucked but I had to handle my issue, I was stalling)

CPT: *realizing it was a serious issue* what happened, OP?

Me: You know that raccoon issue we had?

CPT: Had?

Me: Yessir, I don’t think they’ll be back. But we need to call DPW again.

CPT: Why, if its handled?

Me: It’s a new issue, Sir. A.. Biological hazard issue?

CPT: A fucking what?

Me: *Explains*

CPT: You fucking what?

So we head to the shop, with half face respirators, He even asked me why the power to that part of the building was off, I couldn’t help but laugh, and explained why. He stopped talking besides rough affirms.

Surprisingly it took DPW less than a day to get the raccoons out of the shop and out of the ceiling. They then needed to overhaul the ceiling system, I’m assuming fixing the point of entry. I was counseled, and warned not to do anything like that again, but the counseling was for improper use of military equipment, not the egregious harm to wild life, because TECHICALLY they were pests, and also I have had permission from my commander. I adhered to all of his guidance. Set the trap in my off time, and it wasn’t in the way of daily work efforts. I mean, besides my shop being out of order for three weeks or so, but who’s counting?

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