Raccoons are known for their habit, more or less true, of washing their food in water before eating it. They are nocturnal animals and can easily climb trees with their agile fingers and sharp claws. Their fur is black and white with slight tinges of red. They are easily recognized because of their black mask ringed with white around their eyes and furry tail with alternating light and dark rings.
Opportunistic and omnivorous, raccoons adapt to numerous environments, be it in the country, the city or the suburbs. They are between 65 cm and 96 cm long. The largest males may weigh up to 28 kg but generally, their weight as adults varies between 3 and 12 kg.
Development and Behaviours
Raccoons are omnivorous, which means they eat both plants and animals. They usually have one litter per year, which is usually born in late spring or early summer. In general, the gestation period lasts between 63 to 65 days, from which a litter of about three to five young are born.
Raccoons can live up to 12 years in the wild. They do not hibernate but become dormant during the harsh winter conditions.
There are several precautions you can take to prevent a raccoon infestation:
- Raccoons can access homes through holes, cracks, chimneys and other openings along the roof, which is why you should regularly inspect, repair and seal possible entry points.
- Make sure to store your waste in sealed areas. Raccoons are very good at opening trash cans with their delicate little hands. This is why it is best to use airtight, animal-proof covers.
- You should also remove seeds and bird feeders as they are a source of food for raccoons.
- Regularly get rid of debris and accumulated leaves because they can serve as hiding places and perfect homes for raccoons.
- Remember to store your firewood. Raccoons could use it to build shelters during the colder months.
If you notice the presence of raccoons, contact a pest management expert to inspect your property. Do not try to get rid of these animals by yourself, as they may carry rabies or other diseases!
If you eliminate its food source, the raccoon may move away. Using a cage is the best elimination technique available. If they are in an attic, light, and music causes them to flee.
N.B.: After being captured, the animal must be relocated 15 to 20 km away in order to keep it from returning.
In spite of vaccination campaigns in certain regions of Quebec, raccoons may be carriers of rabies, distemper, and scabies, as well as parasites (parvovirus and leptospirosis infections). According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, rabies can also be transmitted to humans by saliva.
Because of the risk of transmission of disease or infections upon contact with a raccoon, we recommend that you call a professional extermination service to capture and relocate this mammal. Contact us today!