Raccoons can live almost anywhere with access to food, water, and shelter. Considered one of the most adaptable mammals, these opportunistic animals will eat everything from berries and acorns to frogs and your trash. Raccoons are nocturnal, sleeping during the day and being active at night.
Raccoons can breed after one year of age and generally have one litter annually with an average of four babies. Raccoons are excellent mothers and will retrieve offspring when they fall or wander from the nest. They also have alternate nest sites if the primary nest is destroyed. Give mother raccoons plenty of time to find and rescue their young. Raccoon babies will open their eyes around 19 days and be weaned by seven weeks. Even after being weaned, juvenile raccoons stay with their mother into fall, sometimes through their first winter.
Raccoons—along with foxes (red and gray), skunks, and bats—are considered a primary carrier of the rabies virus in the United States. While any warm-blooded animal can carry rabies, these are the ones we call “rabies vector species.”
If you see a raccoon in your yard during the day, don’t panic—she is not necessarily sick or dangerous. It’s perfectly normal for raccoons to be active throughout the day. She may merely be foraging longer hours to support her young, visiting a garden while the dogs are indoors, or moving to a new location.
Another growing concern is a roundworm (Baylisascaris) found in raccoon feces that can infect humans and pets. Prevention is key here. Keep raccoons out of attics and crawl spaces, and supervise young children and pets outdoors to make sure they don’t come into contact with raccoon feces. If you find evidence of a raccoon latrine, make sure to clean it up properly.
Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria that can infect raccoons, skunks, opossums, Norway rats, mice, and white-tailed deer. Humans may be exposed if they come into contact with infected urine or contaminated soil and water. Avoid touching wild animals. If contact is necessary to get a raccoon out of your house, call Complete Pest Solutions.
Attacks and bites
It isn’t uncommon for a healthy raccoon to be active in the daytime, but it's highly unusual for a raccoon to be aggressive toward a person. A females may boldly defend her young, arching her back and growling or giving a loud “whoof,” and perhaps lunging at a person she deems threatening. Only rarely will a raccoon chase after someone.
Complete Pest Solutions has moved away from box trapping animals. Our research has led us to the effectiveness of One Way door systems. One Way doors allow us to use the animal’s own instincts and routine to vacate them from the structure they are inhabiting. This has proven to be a more effective, thorough, and humane process to solve our customers’ issue. And our One Way door animal programs come with a complete warranty on all of our work.