Raccoons: Their Behavior & How To Get Rid Of Them
If a raccoon chooses your property for their own home, it’s important to understand their behavior as well as what you can do to get rid of them. Otherwise, raccoons can cause significant damage in just a short amount of time.
Not only can they wreak havoc on your garden and crops, but they can also do massive amounts of home and property damage. Not to mention, they pose a risk to humans and other animals.
Let’s learn more about raccoon behavior before we discuss how to get rid of them.
Raccoons are relatively independent creatures once they reach the age of 12-14 months. They are incredibly skillful animals, able to open doors and objects. They are known to be very curious. As great climbers, they are also able to get easy access to food and shelter.
Raccoon Mating & Breeding Habits
Mating begins in late winter each year and babies are born in April and May. Mothers can give birth to anywhere between 1-6 kits and eventually separate from them after about a year.
Female raccoons are also known to be very protective of their young.
Raccoons are most energetic during the spring, summer and fall. They spend most of their winters asleep in their dens. They are also nocturnal, which means most of their activity is done at night. In the wild, they live in a hollow of a tree. In urban settings, they often nest under decks/sheds, in chimneys and in attics.
The most common infectious diseases of raccoons are rabies, leptospirosis, salmonella and roundworm.
Due to their wide range of skills, raccoons can be quite destructive. Damage caused by raccoons is usually seen with tipped trash cans, invaded bird feeders, damaged crops, damaged roof shingles, or missing food from gardens.
It’s no surprise people want to know how to get rid of raccoons on their property!
There are all kinds of raccoon removal myths out there. Often, well-meaning advice does nothing to eradicate your raccoon problem.
One of the most common myths about raccoon removal is that playing a radio in your attic will get rid of them. While it’s true raccoons may not be big fans of loud noises and lights, it’s not an effective method for getting rid of them.
Laws & Regulations
Pest control must always follow the provincial law that protects wildlife.
Rabies-carrying species including raccoons, bats, and skunks, must be released within 1km of their point of origin in most places. There are usually laws that state captured wildlife must be released within 24 hours of capture as well.
Raccoon Baby Season
Babies are usually born in April and May but have also been known to come as early as March or even later into June. When March comes, be sure to look out for signs of raccoons that are looking for warm places to have their babies. It is most common for them to seek out a space in your attic as it is high up from predators and provides a cozy, comfortable space. There are average of 3 to 6 babies in every litter.
Raccoon Removal Method #1: Excluder One Way Door
The one-way excluder door is a removal method that allows animals to remove themselves from unwanted areas. It works by attaching the excluder door over the animals’ hole to enter or exit their ‘home’. Once they leave the space and enter the excluder door, they are prevented from returning.
You will want to wait a few days after installing the door for the animal to leave. I can take time for the wildlife to leave their precious den, especially raccoons who generally only leave at night time.
Be cautious when using the one-way excluder door to remove wildlife. If you are using the excluder door during baby season, it is best to be mindful as babies who aren’t strong enough for the door should be removed from the home by hand. The mother raccoon will relocate her babies outdoors once reunited.
After you have successfully removed the raccoon, be sure to repair and protect the area. You can do this by removing food sources, sealing up any holes and cracks in the area, clearing the area from any woodpiles and debris, and keeping your home clear of clutter.
Raccoon Removal Method #2: Live Trapping
When it comes to live trapping raccoons, you will want to purchase a cage large and sturdy enough for the raccoon. Put the trap in a flat, spacious area and make sure that it is not within reaching distance of anything the raccoon could access and destroy.
Use non-meat bait such as bread or marshmallows so as not to attract other forms of wildlife. Once you have caught the raccoons it will need to be relocated and released into an approved area.
Keep in mind that it is illegal to trap and relocate/remove raccoons if you are not a licensed professional. The best option for trap and removal is to hire someone who works in professional raccoon exclusion.
Raccoon Exclusion Work
Overall, exclusion can be a great method for animal removal when done correctly.
raccoons do not need to be trapped in cages if a one-way exclusion door is used. However, as incredibly strong animals, it can be easy for them to get back inside if the area is not protected and cleared properly.
Exclusion is most likely to work on an isolated adult raccoon as the area can be blocked off and narrowed down to just one place.
Always be sure to know about the laws and rules around exclusion in your area, and contact a professional to help solve your raccoon problem once and for all.