Humane Capture and Removal of Nuisance Raccoons

Raccoons do very well in suburban and urban environments. They use our structures for living quarters and to raise young. Having raccoons frequently visiting your property may pose many health risks as raccoons are a carrier of rabies and their feces contains parasitic raccoon round worm. So its best to stay away from raccoons and their feces. Raccoons will den inside of chimneys, attics, crawl spaces, under sheds, decks, and hollow trees. They often rip through roof vent and gable vents to access attic spaces, they rip through roof structures where softened wood has been found to access structures. In the spring females will often break into homes to have their young. Often customers will think they have birds in their chimneys in the spring but its usually the chattering of juvenile raccoons. We are called out to remove locate and remove adult raccoons and their young when present.

The raccoon, a medium-sized mammal, is easily recognizable, with a bushy tail with alternating black and gray rings, a black face mask outlined in white, and a distinctive humped posture. Raccoons can vary in weight from 12 to 36 pounds, with some exceptionally large individuals reaching 50 pounds. They range in length from 23 to 38 inches, including a 7–16 inch tail. Tracks left by raccoons are easy to identify, as they are quite similar to human handprints and footprints, with five toes and a comparable shape. Raccoons are known for their dexterity. They are capable of turning doorknobs and opening containers.

Raccoon Trapping

The mating season of raccoons generally runs from January to March, although later mating is possible. Raccoons have a 63-day gestation period and will give birth to a litter of 3–7 cubs (4 on average) in April or May. Mother raccoons give birth in dens typically located in a hollow tree, but they may also use brush piles, caves, culverts, woodchuck dens, barns, chimneys, attics, or similar structures. Cubs weigh about 2 ounces at birth, open their eyes at about 3 weeks, and are active by about 7–8 weeks of age. They are weaned by late summer and are independent of their mother after 20 weeks. They become more independent by late fall, but continue to den with the family group, especially during severe winter weather. Cubs disperse in early spring the following year at the age of 9–10 months.

Raccoons are highly adaptable and occupy a variety of habitats, including agricultural land, forests, wetlands, and neighborhoods. As omnivorous opportunistic feeders, raccoons will eat whatever is easiest to find and readily available, including insects, crayfish, crabs, mussels, turtles and their eggs, injured waterfowl, and muskrat kits. Raccoons raid bird nests consuming eggs and nestlings, and feed on plant material such as berries, nuts, and seeds. Additionally, raccoons are well known for raiding garbage cans, agricultural crops, chicken coops, and pet food left outdoors. Raccoons are active year round and do not hibernate, although during very cold weather, may sleep in a den for several days at a time. Raccoons are mostly crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) and nocturnal (active at night), however, they may be active during the day if food is available. Daytime activity does not mean that the raccoon is diseased. Raccoons can be quite vocal and make a variety of sounds from screams, hisses, growls, snarls, chatters, whimpers and even purrs.