Have you ever enjoyed a peaceful evening in your backyard and noticed a shadowy figure rummaging around your compost bin? Chances are, it’s a raccoon––one of nature’s most impressive opportunists! Raccoons have charmed us with their clever hands and facial masks since they began appearing in our backyards, but when do these nocturnal animals come out to search for snacks? Read on to get the scoop on raccoons: the times they emerge, what they feed on, and why you should take precautions.
When do Raccoons Typically Come Out?
As they are nocturnal animals, so they are mostly active at night. They typically come out at dusk and remain active until dawn. However, it’s common to see raccoon active during the day, especially in urban or suburban areas where they have become accustomed to human presence. In rural areas, raccoon may be less active during the day and spend more time in their dens or shelters.
As the night progresses, they become increasingly active, often scavenging around urban areas like a park or a dumpster. Raccoon have perfect eyesight and hearing, making them adept at hunting even in the dark hours of the night. To ensure safety and comfort, raccoon often seek dense cover from nearby foliage or climbable objects where they can wait until morning.
What are some Signs that a Raccoon is Near?
Here are some signs that may indicate the presence of raccoon nearby:
- Sightings of raccoon, either during the day or at night
- Raccoon tracks, which can be identified by the characteristic five toes and claw marks
- Raccoon droppings, which are typically 2-3 inches long and cylindrical, with a distinct segmented appearance
- Raccoon dens can be located in trees, rock crevices, underground caves, or man-made structures such as attics or sheds.
- Raccoon noises, such as vocalizations, growling, or scratching sounds, particularly at night
- Damage to gardens, lawns, or crops, as raccoons are known to forage for food in these areas.
- Damage to property, such as torn shingles, soffit, or fascia, or damage to screens or vents, as raccoons may attempt to gain access to homes or other buildings.
It’s important to remember that raccoons are wild animals, and human interference can be dangerous for humans and animals. Thus, keeping a safe distance and avoiding human interference is essential. Additionally, raccoons are known to carry diseases such as rabies and distemper. It’s necessary to avoid contact with them and to contact animal control if you suspect a raccoon is sick.
How can you tell if a Raccoon is Rabid?
Rabies is a severe and deadly disease that can be transmitted from raccoons to humans and other animals through bites or scratches. If a raccoon is infected with rabies, it may exhibit sure signs and behaviors, including:
- Acting aggressively or attacking without provocation
- Acting unusually friendly and approaching people or pets
- Acting disoriented or confused
- Being active during the day, as raccoons are typically nocturnal animals
- Having difficulty walking or appearing paralyzed
- Having saliva or foam around the mouth
- Having trouble swallowing and making choking sounds
It’s important to note that not all raccoons that exhibit these signs have rabies, and some raccoons may not show any signs of the disease. If you suspect a raccoon may be infected with rabies, do not approach it and contact your local animal control or wildlife agency for assistance.
It’s essential to remember that rabies is a severe disease, and it’s important to avoid contact with wild animals. Also, suppose you suspect a raccoon or any other animal is sick or showing abnormal behavior. In that case, it’s best to contact the local animal control or wildlife agency for assistance.
What should you do if you see a Raccoon in your yard or home?
Taking proper precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your property from raccoons are essential. Here are some steps you should take:
- Keep your distance: Raccoons can be carriers of diseases such as rabies and distemper, so it is essential to avoid contact with them.
- Keep pets indoors: Raccoons can carry diseases that can be transmitted to pets, and they may also attack small animals.
- Secure your property: Raccoons can cause damage to gardens, lawns, and crops, as well as damage to property by tearing shingles, soffit, or fascia or damaging screens or vents. Make sure to close any openings in your home, such as doors, windows, or vents that may provide entry for raccoons.
- Please don’t feed them: Feeding raccoons can lead to dependency on human-provided food and cause animals to lose their natural foraging skills. Additionally, feeding wild animals can lead to overpopulation, which can cause several environmental and health problems in the local ecosystem.
- Call for help: Contact your local animal control or wildlife agency for assistance in removing raccoons from your property. They will have the necessary equipment and expertise to safely remove and prevent the animal from returning.
In general, it’s important to remember that raccoons are wild animals, and it’s best to keep a safe distance and avoid human interference. Contacting professionals is the best way to handle raccoons on your property, as they have the experience and equipment to safely and effectively remove them.
Are there any safe ways to get rid of Raccoons?
There are some ways by which you can get rid of raccoon, but it’s important to note that none of these methods are 100% effective, and it is essential to use humane and safe practices that comply with local laws and regulations.
By blocking off entry points to your home and other structures, you can get rid of them. You can do this by sealing up holes, gaps, or cracks in walls, roofs, and foundations and installing chimney caps and screens over vents and windows. It is also an effective way to get rid of them.
Remove the food sources that attract them to your property. You can do this by securing trash cans, cleaning up fallen fruit from trees and gardens, and removing pet food and bird feeders from the area.
Another humane and safe method is using humane traps, where the raccoon can be caught and released in a secure location far from the property.
It’s important to remember that raccoons are wild animals, and it’s illegal to harm or kill them in many places. It’s always best to contact your local animal control or wildlife agency for assistance and guidance in removing raccoons from your property.
No, it is not safe to approach a raccoon. Raccoons can carry diseases such as rabies and distemper and should be avoided.
Raccoons can cause damage to gardens, lawns, and crops, as well as tearing shingles, soffits, or fascia and damaging screens or vents.
You can prevent raccoons from entering your property by sealing up holes, gaps, or cracks in walls, roofs, and foundations, installing chimney caps and screens over vents and windows and removing food sources that attract them to your property. Secure trash cans, clean up fallen fruit from trees and gardens and remove pet food and bird feeders from the area.
Feeding wild animals can lead to an overpopulation of the species, which can cause several environmental and health problems in the local ecosystem. Additionally, feeding raccoons can lead to dependency on human-provided food and cause animals to lose their natural foraging skills.
Contact your local animal control or wildlife agency for assistance in removing raccoons from your property. They will have the necessary equipment and expertise to safely remove and prevent the animal from returning.
Raccoons can cause various problems on your property, but there are several safe and humane ways to get rid of them. Securing entry points, removing food sources, and using humane traps are all effective methods for getting rid of raccoon. It’s important to remember that raccoons are wild animals, and it’s illegal to harm or kill them in many places. Contacting your local animal control or wildlife agency is the best way to handle raccoons on your property.