Raccoons are a nocturnal medium sized mammal but may be active in the day between Spring and Summer when the females are nursing and raising their young. Adults grow to between 2 and 3 feet in length and they weigh between 10 and 30 pounds. Raccoons have many easily recognizable features including the black "mask" of fur that covers their eyes, their fluffy black and gray ringed tail, and their hunched appearance that is caused by their hind legs being longer than their front legs. The raccoon's body is covered in a salt and peppered colored fur.
Are they dangerous?
Raccoons are dangerous to people and pets and are destructive to property. When living inside of a home or other building, raccoons have the potential to cause extensive structural damages, along with contaminating it with their urine and feces. Raccoons can become very aggressive when they are cornered. They may lash-out and bite or scratch you, your kids, or pets. It is important to note that raccoons are a Rabies vector species, so do not pick them up or help them if they seem dazed, friendly or aggressive as those are indicatory signs of the disease. Besides the potential of Rabies, Racoon Roundworm is hosted in their feces. This disease could cause blindness, brain damage and even death. Besides removing Racoons, it is therefore important to "clean up" their dens and fecal remains. Raccoons can kill poultry, steal eggs, eat crops, up earth earthworms etc.
The most common sign of raccoons living on your property is to see them often on your property. If they are living nearby you may also start to notice overturned trashcans, garden areas being damaged, and structural damages to the outside of your home, garage, or outbuildings. If they have taken up residence inside of your home, you will probably hear scratching, tapping, or running noises in the attic or behind your home's walls, especially in the evening when they are most active.
Why are they in my home?
Raccoons often enter inside of homes to create a safe place to live and burrow inside of after first being attracted to food sources that are found on your property. Raccoons are attracted to properties that offer easy access to food and water sources: pet food, unsecure garbage cans, gardens, and compost piles. Once on your property they may decide to take advantage of any openings found inside of your home to gain access to warm safe shelter. The chimney makes a great substitute to a hollow tree trunk and a female could den there to raise their young. Shingles and facia boards may be torn off to gain access to an attic or wall space, all they need is 4 inches to get in.
How do you get rid of them?
If raccoons have become a problem on your property or inside of your home, contact us. We can get rid of raccoons from your property through trapping and exclusion services. We have the experience and training needed to safely service your raccoon infestation and stop future infestations. Contact us today to learn more about our Nuisance Wildlife Control services that are available throughout The Hudson Valley of New York.
Raccoon prevention tips include:
Make sure that gutters are working properly to direct water away from your home and to prevent it from pooling and creating water sources.
- Install chimney caps on all chimneys.
- Place wire mesh around decks, sheds, and similar structures to keep them from nesting underneath of them.
- Trim back tree branches from the outside of your home, raccoons will use tree branches to travel across and gain easy access into your home.
- Pick-up uneaten pet food each evening.
- Make sure that vents leading into your home have tight fitting covers over them; repair any loose window screens or other large openings into your home.
- Make sure that outdoor garbage cans have tight fitting lids on them and that they are stored a distance away from the outside of your home.