The raccoon is a small nocturnal mammal, typically 20–30 inches long and weighing 15–30 pounds though, in urban areas where they thrive on our refuse, raccoons can weigh up to 60 pounds. Their fur is grayish brown with a bushy banded tail and black masked face. Raccoons appear to flourish in places where humans have developed the land. They are highly adaptable, extremely intelligent animals that live well in cities, suburbs, and rural environments.
Raccoons are omnivorous and will eat almost anything from fish, insects, eggs, and young mammals to fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Most active at night, raccoons sometimes also forage for food by day. They will make their nests almost anywhere — in tree cavities, brush piles, abandoned burrows, chimneys, attics, crawl spaces, storm sewers, haystacks, and barn lofts — and usually have more than one den site available for use at any one time.
Raccoons are as intelligent as dogs and cats, and their front limbs provide them with great manual dexterity. They have routines for food and shelter, and remember places that are good for each.
POSSIBLE CONFLICTS & SOLUTIONS
Raccoons can cause damage such as dumping trash cans, disturbing gardens and ponds, and injuring cats or small dogs, or they may simply be a nuisance for homeowners by entering attics and chimneys.
If raccoons have taken up residence in or around your home, the first step is to encourage them to move out. This is easily accomplished by using mild harassment techniques, and following up with exclusionary methods.
How to Get Rid of Raccoons
Don’t let raccoons run amok on your property. Use these five tips to keep raccoons out of your garbage–and your home. Cute as they are, raccoons can be a real nuisance to home owners. They’re clever, dexterous and will eat pretty much anything that is edible. Here are five tips for how to get rid of raccoons from your log home’s property.
Secure Your Garbage
The number one problem with raccoons is their attraction to a home’s garbage cans. Unfortunately, the typical garbage can lid is no match for raccoons. Raccoons can open lids easily with their paws; if that doesn’t work, they’ll dislodge the lid by knocking the entire can over. Before you know it, you’re waking up to a driveway full of rotting—and smelly—kitchen garbage.
Remove Any and All Food Sources
Make sure there is nothing edible whatsoever around the perimeter of your home. Check for:
Pet food and water
Overripe vegetables in your garden
Fallen fruit from trees
Clean Up Your Landscaping
Don’t give raccoons an environment that allows them cover on their nocturnal food searches. Trim large bushes, remove brush, and keep your lawn mowed. Raccoons don’t like to be exposed in open space, so consider installing bright, motion-sensitive lighting around areas that might attract them.
Seal Up Any Entrances to Your Home, Garage or Shed
A family of raccoons will sometimes take up residence in your home—for example, under your porch or in a remote corner of your shed. Be sure and check around the perimeter of your home’s garage, shed, basement, outbuildings, alleyways or crawl spaces. Additionally, check around your home’s attic, chimney, or any low-hanging eaves. Any small spaces that provide even 4 or 5 inches of access should be sealed.
How to Get Rid of Raccoons in Your Barn
You’ll everything you need to know to catch or repel the raccoon sleeping or eating in your barn. Bookmark this page so you can easily refer back to it. You can also leave a comment if you have any questions.
There are some easy ways to spot raccoon damage. If you suspect that you may have a raccoon around, here are some telltale signs:
Foul odor from urine and feces, especially when warm
Destroyed roofing, walls, beams, or other damaged structures
Food or waste scattered
Damaged or scratched surfaces
Raccoons are disease-ridden
Because they’re so disease-ridden, you should always contact a professional if you have no idea what you’re doing. Even if you don’t come into direct contact with the raccoon, you can get other diseases from the waste the raccoon leaves behind. They’ll poop everywhere, eat all your livestock food, and make a huge mess of your entire barn.
Females raccoons also will lay babies and start a nest. They’re typically found hiding behind hay or within haylofts. They’re also very protective of the babies and will become defensive, bite, or scratch if needed. Never attempt to remove or take down a raccoon yourself.
Always be careful
Always treat any raccoon or anything it’s touched as diseased. This means their poop, pee, saliva, and anything they chewed, touched, slept on, or otherwise came into contact with. Use double-gloves, double-clothing, a face mask, closed-toed shoes, and a long, disposable outer layer of clothing to handle anything that the raccoon has touched.
The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is a native mammal of Maine, measuring about three feet long, including its 12-inch, bushy, ringed tail. Because its hind legs are longer than the front legs, the raccoon has a hunched appearance when it walks or runs. Each of its front feet has five dexterous toes, allowing raccoons to grasp and manipulate food and other items
Raccoons prefer forested areas near a stream or water source, but have adapted to various environments throughout the state. Raccoon populations can get quite large in urban areas, owing to restrictions on and trapping, lack of predators, and food supplied by humans.
Adult raccoons weigh 15 to 40 pounds, their weight being a result of genetics, age, available food and habitat location. Males have weighed in at over 60 pounds. A raccoon in the wild will probably weigh less than the urbanized raccoon that has learned to live on handouts, pet food and garbage-can leftovers.
Food and Feeding Behavior
Raccoons will eat almost anything, but are particularly fond of creatures found in water – clams, crayfish, frogs, fish, and snails.
Raccoons also eat insects, slugs, dead animals, carrion, birds, bird eggs, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. When garbage and pet food are accessible, raccoons will often eat these items, too.
Although not great hunters, raccoons can catch young birds, squirrels, mice and rats.
Except during the breeding season and when females are with young, raccoons are solitary. Individuals will eat together if a large amount of food is available in an area.
Den Sites and Resting Sites
Raccoons take shelter and raise young in dens. They may use burrows that other mammals have dug and abandoned, holes in trees, hollow logs, or areas under large rock or brush piles. They may also take advantage of wood duck nest-boxes, attics, crawl spaces, chimneys and abandoned vehicles.
In urban areas, raccoons normally use den sites as daytime rest sites. In wooded areas, they often rest in trees.
Raccoons generally move to a different den or daytime rest site every few days, but do not follow a predictable pattern. Only a female with young or an animal “holed up” during a cold spell will use the same den for any length of time.
Several raccoons may den together during winter storms.
How To Get Rid of Raccoons
Here are the best ways to get rid of raccoons:
Cage Trapping: For certain types of outdoor raccoon problems, trapping and removal is a good option. But it not always easy.
Exclusion: If raccoons are getting in your attic or walls, or under a shed or deck, you must find the entry areas and seal them shut.
Prevention: Keep away food sources like pet food or bird seed. Keep your garbage cans secure. A good fence can keep them at bay.
Repellents: Do mothballs, ammonia, fox or coyote urine, or sound machines repel raccoons? No – these tactics do not alter raccoon behavior.
In the Attic: Raccoons in the attic must be dealt with in a very careful, specific way, because there will be baby raccoons
You may be able to solve your raccoon problem yourself. If you need to hire professional help, you may want to find out what we typically charge for raccoon removal. Pro help is most relevant if you are unable to effectively or legally trap and relocate animals, or if you have a difficult case
Raccoon Info: Raccoons are usually classified as a pest species due to their habits of living in human dwellings. The most common complaints include the following:
Raccoons living in the attic
Raccoons living in the chimney
Tipping over garbage cans
Stealing pet food or bird seed
Sick, potentially rabid raccoon
Presence is alarming dogs/pets
How to Get rid of them: The primary approaches are trapping, prevention, or repellents, as outlined and discussed below in detail.
Trapping: Trapping is always an option for wildlife removal. However, it’s not always so cut and dry. Much of the time, simple trapping does not solve the problem. The majority of cases of do-it-yourself raccoon trapping have gone awry. It’s common to catch the wrong animal – a stray cat, a skunk, or opossum, or the wrong raccoon. You want your raccoon problem to go away – if the coon is tipping your garbage can, pooping in your pool, killing your ornamental fish or birds, or whatever. But if you trap, you want to be sure to get the right animal, in the right way, and do it legally.