Raccoons are ever recognizable with their black-masked face and nocturnal habits. Raccoons will enter a residential area, including your own, in search of food. If you have noticed your trash cans flipped over and the bags of trash in them destroyed, then you may have a problem with raccoons. Female raccoons may destroy and enter parts of your home, especially your attic, in order to create a suitable place to raise their young. Both male and female raccoon droppings may carry parasites or other diseases, posing a potential threat to the safety of you and your animals. If you come across a raccoon during the day, there is an increased chance that this creature is injured or infected with rabies.
What does a Raccoon look like?
These small mammals are known for the distinct, black bandit-mask markings on their faces. Most raccoons weigh anywhere from 10 to 30 pounds and grow up to 3 feet long. Their bushy tails tend to add an additional foot to their total body length. Raccoons have dense, grayish-brown fur peppered with black and white, as well as a series of distinctive black rings on their tails.
What does a Raccoon eat?
Opportunistic and omnivorous, raccoons will eat just about anything they can get their hands on. Common meals include crayfish, frogs, turtles, fish, mice, insects, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whatever they can scavenge from carrion and trash piles. They eagerly take advantage of vegetable gardens, unsecured garbage cans, pet food left outdoors, and even bird feeders.
Forests, marshes, prairies, and wooded areas near human habitations are ideal habitats for raccoons. The creatures prefer to live near a water source, such as a stream, lake, wetland area, or slow-moving river, but are highly adaptable and can learn to thrive in a variety of environments. They make dens in hollowed trees, rock crevices, and the abandoned dens of muskrats or similar animals. We most commonly remove raccoons from properties in Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana, and South Carolina. Contact your local Trutech office today to learn about our raccoon removal and exclusion services!
Frequently Asked Questions
A baby raccoon is called a kit. These pests mate in winter and give birth by late spring. Being born so early in the year gives kits a chance to build and store plenty of fat to survive the winter.
Raccoons give birth to a litter of two to seven kits that rely on their mother for food and shelter. This is why finding a female together with her young in the attic or yard is not uncommon. Baby raccoons have trouble surviving through their first winter if they don’t get enough food during warmer seasons.
Urban and suburban areas are hotspots for raccoons. Kits often hide in dens under houses, sheds, or other structures while their mothers search for food. These animals gather trash and scraps from humans and are often comfortable in populated areas.
As temperatures drop, raccoons develop a heavier coat and consume as much food as possible to ready themselves for winter. Developing a healthy layer of fat will insulate them from the cold and provide extra energy when food gets scarce.
Thanks to all of these wintertime preparations, raccoons do not hibernate. They stay active throughout the winter and sleep in raccoon dens only during the worst weather.
In the wild, raccoons sleep in tree hollows, rock crevices, and the empty burrows of other animals. If given the chance, they also nest in chimneys and crawl spaces in urban areas. Raccoon dens serve as a safe resting place for the animals during the day and a home for growing offspring.
Since raccoons eat a variety of foods, their feces or poop may differ in color and consistency. In general, raccoon droppings are about three to five inches long and broken into crumbling segments. Their diameter is close to that of a human pinky finger, while color ranges from light to dark brown. Though their waste may look similar to that of an opossum or fox, raccoon scat has distinct blunt ends. Additionally, the pests create latrines, which they locate some distance from nesting sites. These waste piles can be found around logs, trees, and unfortunately, on rooftops and in attics.
The average raccoon lifespan is about five years, though many kits die before reaching adulthood. The longest surviving wild raccoon lived for 16 years, while a captive raccoon’s lifespan can last as long as 21.
Being able to identify raccoon tracks can help homeowners understand if their homes or yards are at risk. As the pests cause property damage, infest homes, and carry diseases, it is imperative to spot an infestation early. Raccoon track identification begins with checking the size and shape of animal prints.
These pests have five toes on each foot, so their tracks resemble the handprints of a small child. Front prints are about two and a half inches long, and hind prints often measure up to three and a half inches. Raccoon tracks usually appear in pairs, as their hind foot moves beside the opposite forefoot while walking.