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Opossums, raccoons and armadillos, Oh My!

People living on the Westbank say pests have invaded their neighborhood

NEW ORLEANS — Some neighbors on the Westbank are at wit's end. They said they've had to deal with some nuisance wildlife over the years, but in the last year, it's out of control.

And they have pictures of a small sample of the critters that they've caught.

“We caught one where he dug a hole about this deep underneath the new shed, and that's the one I said, ‘No, he's not getting away with it. I'm done with it,’” Charles Bondi said.

“I just need some help, I need, they tearing my grass up, digging big ole holes in them. I thought it was snake holes,” Cathy Henry said.

“My husband always said, ‘You're bigger than them. They'll run from you.’ So no, I don't go out after dark,” Debra Mitchell said.

In a quiet neighborhood in Gretna, right on the Belle Chasse, Plaquemines Parish line, homeowners said new residents are taking over.

“I had to call the neighbor down the street to let her know I hear something in my attic,” Henry said.

And the problem is not only from above, but in burrows below. Critters have moved in. 

“We done caught like six. He done caught, the guy across the street ,caught like two,” Henry said her latest count totaled.

Cathy Henry said the invaders are raccoons, armadillos, and opossums. Neighbors said there is a house with a dense overgrown yard, a vacant unkept house next door, and they said after Hurricane Ida when a lot with tall grass was changed to a group trailer site, the invasion got worse.

“The armadillo was right there by that tree, right there, and all I could do is run. So you know, I'm tired. I'm too old to be running from armadillos,” Henry said.

“Attack. They do attack. I know raccoons attack,” Mitchell explained why she doesn’t like to go outside after sunset.

A man with one trap, who lives on Dale Avenue, put it in Cathy's backyard. Money is tight, but she's spent $150 out of her own pocket fighting the problem that she feels is caused by other properties that need attention. She is constantly filling in holes. 

Neighbors know you're not supposed to leave any cat food out, and they don't, but with a vacant house next door, a neighbor with a forest for a backyard, using one trap is like spitting on a forest fire.

“I've been calling everybody. I've been trying to do all I could do," Henry said, frustrated. 

So for now, they'll have to share the land with these four-legged squatters.

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