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Raccoon


Latin Name:
Procyon lotor

Size: 40 and 70 cm (16 and 28 in)

Life Expectancy: 3.5 Years in the wild

Problems: Rabies, damage to property, attacking humans

 

Behaviour, Diet and Habits:

Due to its adaptability, the raccoon has been able to use urban areas as a habitat.  Home range sizes of urban raccoons are only 3 to 40 hectares (7.5 to 100 acres) for females and 8 to 80 hectares (20 to 200 acres) for males. In small towns and suburbs, many raccoons sleep in a nearby forest after foraging in the settlement area. Fruit and insects in gardens and leftovers in municipal waste are easily available food sources. Furthermore, a large number of additional sleeping areas exist in these areas, such as hollows in old garden trees, cottages, garages, abandoned houses, and attics. The diet of the omnivorous raccoon, which is usually nocturnal, consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods, and 27% vertebrates.

Signs of Raccoon Problems:

Signs of Raccoons in your area can be feeding damage, such as overturned trash cans or partially eaten garden items, such as corn or melons. Another sign can be the structural damage they may cause as they try to enter buildings, such as into attics.

Solutions

How to minimize damage from Raccoons:

  • Keep trash cans clean and debris picked up.

  • If practical, keep refuse containers inside the garage, and set out for pickup in the morning rather than the night.

  • Keep tight fitting lids on refuse containers. If raccoons are removing lids to get into the can, use a heavy duty bungee cord over the top of the can.

  • Do not allow leftover pet foods to remain outside.

  • If you have fruit trees, remove any fruit on the ground.

  • Cover compost piles to prevent raccoons from feeding on food scraps

  • Quit using bird feeders if you suspect they might attract raccoons.

Limit Water Availability:

  • If raccoons are getting into a small fishpond or other decorative water pond, use wire mesh to cover the pond.

  • Ensure that low spots where water pools are either filled in or drained.

  • Make sure that downspouts direct water away from the house and other areas of the property so water doesn’t collect.

  • Swimming pools can be a special problem. If practical, keep the pool covered at night. If you notice raccoon feces in the pool, contact your pool maintenance company for assistance since raccoon feces may cause disease if the pool is not properly disinfected.

Repellents:

There are many compounds on the market advertised as raccoon repellents, so consult please us before using repellents. Some are effective at repelling raccoons that are simply roaming in search of food.

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