The raccoon, AKA “masked bandit” or “coon” are best known for their black mask at their eyes that is rimmed on top and bottom with white, and their ringed tail. Raccoons look fuzzy and cute but are vicious by nature when they feel threatened. Raccoons are usually greyish black in color and the tail is marked with 4 – 6 rings with alternating colors. The black mask around the eyes keeps the nighttime glares from disrupting their vision. Raccoons have a pointed black snout and small rounded ears. Raccoons walk in a humped back way due to their long back legs. The average weight of the raccoon is 10-30 pounds, but they can be larger. Raccoons are nocturnal so they do their work in the overnight hours while most of us are sleeping.
HABITAT / DIET
The raccoon is a very adaptable critter. The raccoon can live in a wide range of climates and habitats. If there is a water source, food source and a place to den, the raccoon will adapt to those surroundings. In rural areas the raccoon normally makes a “den” in hollow trees and logs, in caves or vacant fox or groundhog burrows. In the cities, the preferred raccoon denning spots include residential and commercial buildings, chimneys, attics, crawlspaces, soffits, hollow trees, under decks or concrete patios, under or inside barns and other out buildings, stacked wood and brush piles, even sewers and culverts. The raccoon will also sometimes occupy more than one den. The range of the raccoon varies based on food and water sources. The male raccoon is known to occupy a 3-20 square mile range, while the female raccoon usually stays within a 1-6 square mile range for her day to day needs. Raccoons are members of the bear family. Raccoons are known to remain in their den inactive for days during severe winter weather but they do not hibernate. The raccoon is known to “fatten up” in the fall due to the lack of food sources available throughout the winter months. During winter the raccoon uses his stored body fat to aid in his survival as well as occasionally hunting for food. Raccoons may lose half of their fall body weight over the winter. The average life span for the raccoon is 3-5 years.
Raccoons are omnivorous, they eat both plant and animal foods. The raccoons plant diet comes from foods such as nuts, wild berries, strawberries, cherries, fruits from trees, and your garden plants such as corn and potatoes. During the summer months, the raccoon enjoys small animals such as squirrels, small rabbits, waterfowl and bird eggs, crayfish, frogs, turtles, crickets, earthworms, grubs, snails, grasshoppers, termites and ants. The fall diet consists mainly of left-over nuts and corn, food from garbage bins, bird feeders and unattended outdoor pet bowls. Raccoons also destroy lawns during the fall as they dig throughout your yard for grubs and other insects.
Raccoons mate mostly during the winter months of January through March, but as late as May. Male raccoons will mate with more than one female raccoon per season, however the female raccoon will not tolerate other male raccoons after mating occurs. The gestation period for the female raccoon is about 63 days. Most baby raccoons are born from March to as late as July. Female raccoons give birth one time per year. The average litter size is 3-5 kits. Baby raccoons are cared for exclusively by the female. The mother raccoon teaches them to forage for food and to find shelter. Young raccoons will typically stay with their mother through the first winter and then will gradually leave. Female raccoons can breed in the first year. Male raccoons breed later, around 2 years of age.
Raccoons may carry rabies or roundworms. Raccoon rabies can be fatal. It is considered a viral infection and is transmitted through saliva via bite wounds. It is also thought that it can be transmitted from the raccoon saliva getting into an open wound, or your eyes or mouth. Raccoon roundworms is a parasite found in raccoon feces. The eggs are shed into the raccoon feces and are almost indestructible. Raccoon roundworm can also be fatal to humans. Extreme caution and care should be taken when removing raccoon feces or cleaning raccoon latrine sites.
The most effective control for unwanted nuisance critters such as raccoons is to trap and remove it from your home or property. Raccoons generally don’t leave on their own and noise or odor deterrents have little or no lasting effect on the raccoon. As the ASAP Critter People say…If you want to get rid of your critter problem…you have to get rid of the problem critter. Our professionally trained technicians will evaluate your critter issue and determine the best method of removal to safely and humanely remove your problem critter. Quality repairs are a must to avoid future problems. Repairs and prevention services are an important part of the control methods we offer and back with a warranty. For prompt, professional, and courteous service, call family owned and operated ASAP Critter People at 513-941-0258 today! THE LEADER OF THE PACK!