Having the appearance of small “masked bandits”, raccoons are often admired for their intelligence and ingenuity. However, these characteristics make them small wild animals that can cause a lot of damage to homes and businesses. They weigh an average of 5.5 to 9 kg (12 to 20 lbs) and therefore need to be handled with great care.
More often than not, raccoons like to make their homes in chimneys, roofs and attics, especially above bedrooms where it is quieter. They are nocturnal (i.e., active at night), which makes them quite unpleasant when residential owners are trying to sleep.
Raccoon moms will do almost anything to get their young back if they get separated from them, and will be very determined to get them back to the lodge. Little ones can also be relatively curious and destructive once they become mobile.
DO NOT WAIT
WE RESPOND TO
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ON THE RACCOONS
ALL ABOUT RACCOONS
What attracts raccoons?
Raccoons are omnivorous and opportunistic animals. They are mainly attracted by :
- Food: They have been known to scavenge through garbage cans for leftover food. They may also be attracted to pet food left outside, fruit that has fallen from trees and vegetable gardens.
- Water: Raccoons are attracted to water sources such as streams, ponds, water fountains and even swimming pools.
- Shelters: They seek safe, warm places to live and raise their young, such as attics, chimneys, porch spaces and decks.
- Sewer grates and drainage systems: Raccoons are known to “wash” their food, so they are naturally attracted to these areas.
To avoid attracting raccoons, it is advisable to secure your garbage cans, not leave food outside, cover water sources and close off access to possible shelters.
Where are the raccoons during the day?
Raccoons are nocturnal animals, which means that they are most active at night. During the day, they look for safe and quiet places to sleep. These locations may vary depending on their environment:
- In the wild: They can sleep in trees, especially in tree holes. They may also use burrows abandoned by other animals.
- In urban areas: In cities, they may take refuge in attics, garages, chimneys, porches or other similar structures.
It is important to note that if a raccoon is regularly visible during the day, it could be a sign of a problem, such as disease or starvation, and it is recommended that you contact a wildlife professional.
Does a raccoon attack?
Raccoons are generally peaceful creatures, preferring to flee rather than fight. However, they can become aggressive if they feel threatened or if they defend their territory or their young. Raccoon attacks on humans are rare but can occur, especially if the animal is sick.
It should be noted that raccoons are carriers of several diseases, including rabies, which can make them aggressive. If you encounter a raccoon that appears disoriented, aggressive or unafraid of humans, it is advisable to keep your distance and contact a wildlife professional.
As a general rule, it is best not to attempt to feed or approach a raccoon, as this may make it dependent on human food and increase the chances of conflict.
How to keep raccoons away from the house?
To keep raccoons out of your home, there are several steps you can take:
- Secure your trash: Raccoons are attracted to trash cans in search of food. Make sure your garbage cans are securely closed with lids.
- Eliminate food sources: In addition to garbage, raccoons may be attracted to leftover pet food, bird feeders, and fruit that has fallen from trees. Try to keep these items out of reach.
- Protect your garden: If you have a vegetable garden, it can attract raccoons. Electric fences can be effective in keeping these animals at bay.
- Block off entrances: Raccoons may try to take up residence in attics, basements or hollow structures. Plug holes and potential entrances to prevent them from accessing these areas.
- Use repellents: There are commercially available raccoon repellents, although their effectiveness can vary.
- Get a professional: If you have a persistent raccoon infestation, you should consider hiring a exterminator or wildlife professional to help you manage the problem.
Remember, it is important to treat raccoons with respect. They are wild creatures who simply seek to survive.
Can raccoons attack cats?
As a rule, raccoons avoid direct confrontations with domestic animals, such as cats. However, if a raccoon feels threatened, cornered or is protecting its young, it can potentially attack and cause serious injury with its claws and teeth.
In addition, raccoons can carry diseases that can affect cats, such as rabies. They can also be infested with parasites, such as ticks, which can then infest your pet.
It is therefore advisable to keep cats indoors at night when raccoons are most active, and not to leave food outside, which could attract these creatures. If you see raccoons in your area, it is best to keep your cat safe by avoiding interactions with these wild animals.
|French name||Ratons Laveur|
|Latin name||Procyon lotor|
|Length||60 to 80 cm|
|Colour||brown to grey, black mask, black and white striped tail|
|Life||3 to 5 years|
MORE INFORMATION ON RACCOONS
The mother’s instinct is very strong and if she becomes separated from her young, she can cause a lot of damage.
It is often difficult to distinguish between raccoons with rabies and those that are healthy. Rabies is transmitted to pets and humans through the saliva of an infected raccoon, often as a result of a bite.
Raccoon droppings are commonly infested with the roundworm known as Baylisascaris. If the eggs of the roundworm are ingested by humans, they can cause nausea, problems with proper organ function, blindness and loss of muscle control, and even death. Extreme caution is recommended to avoid contact with an infected animal.
Raccoons make a variety of sounds and prefer to build their roost in warm, dry areas. They are very active animals and usually wander around at night in attics, chimneys and roofs. Feces and fur are often found at the access point and may even have a strong odor.
Raccoons are capable of penetrating almost any building material (e.g. soffits, aluminum, shingles and flashings). On average, there are 10 to 25 raccoons per square kilometer in urban areas.
The most effective method is to remove all raccoons and seal the entire building to prevent raccoons from re-entering. Plugging the hole is not enough. Raccoons will tear it apart to re-enter their roost or to find their young.
Raccoons normally have 5 or 6 young from early spring to late summer. From birth, the young make sounds and become mobile when they are about six weeks old. Raccoons usually have 5 or 6 roosts in residential areas.
Ready to get rid of invasive raccoons? Contact our experts today!