GLACE BAY, N.S. -- A large group of raccoons is preventing a Cape Breton family from enjoying their backyard this summer.

Geoff Oliver and his family enjoy spending time in their pool at their Glace Bay, N.S. home. However, over the last month or so, the family has had a series of unwanted visitors in their backyard.

“Since July 3, when I started trapping, I've trapped 21 (raccoons),” says Oliver.

While raccoons are primarily nocturnal, the family says they animals have been showing up at all hours and have destroyed pool floats and cushions for their patio furniture.

“In the past, there's been times when they've been scratching at our door. There's been times scratching at our patio door, our main entrance door,” says Oliver.

Given his nine-year-old daughter plays in the backyard, Oliver says he is worried the raccoons could spread disease. He’s reached out to his MLA and his councillor, who says problems with the pesky critters are the worst he's seen.

“We're getting a lot of calls on raccoons now and they're everywhere. I spoke to natural resources about it and it's pretty serious. I think they have to do some trapping,” says Darren Bruckschwaiger, a Cape Breton Regional Municipality councillor.

Harrison Moore is with Nova Scotia's Department of Lands and Forestry. He says there's a likely explanation for the raccoon issue.

“The only thing I can think of that would cause that many raccoons to be in one place at one time is having a lot of food available. So it could be waste, it could be someone feeding raccoons,” says Moore.

Oliver says he plans to continue his trapping efforts until the problem has been resolved.