Living with Raccoons
Raccoons are medium-sized breed mammals that have made their homes in the woods and forests of North America for over 500 years. Once our society began claiming land and building cities, industrial complexes, roads, and highways, overtime, the raccoons and other wildlife were forced to leave their habitats and live among us in our residential communities. Today, it is common for someone to see a raccoon, squirrel, or rabbit running through the trees and bushes of a neighborhood. In fact, that person wouldn’t think twice about it. This is because we have become so accustomed to living side-by-side with these animals; consequently, sharing our porches, crawl spaces, attics, garbage, backyards, flowerbeds, and more with these critters, particularly raccoons.
Raccoons Are Mischievous
The species is known for their intelligence, and they use this intellect to cause more mischief than other animals do in our neighborhoods. For a raccoon, our homes and buildings are shelters for them to nest and breed in, and our garbage is their personal dinner buffet each night. They tamper with our belongings and create huge messes for us to clean up in the morning. Being a nocturnal breed, raccoons only come out at night, so they create all this mischief while we are fast asleep in bed.
Raccoons are attracted to shelters that are warm, dim, safe, and isolated from predators. In a residential community, the spots that most accurately encompass all of these qualities are areas in our homes and buildings. Spaces such as attics and crawl spaces are among a few of their favorites. This creates a problem because the accumulation of their scat, food debris, nesting, and breeding results in structural and electrical damages that is costly to repair. They gain access to these areas by scoping out weak and vulnerable spots on roofs and sides of homes and buildings.
Raccoons are thrifty animals, and along with their intelligence, they manage to find food sources in our neighborhoods, night after night. They can use their hands to turn handles and unlock gates, gaining access to our garages and backyards. They rummage through trash cans, city dumpsters, garden beds, crops, and more. A night of raccoon “food finding” is obvious in the daylight, because they create such huge messes with food and garbage; another reason why they are viewed as a nuisance.
Raccoons have become a nuisance in residential communities, but there are ways to avoid issues with them. By following certain guidelines and rules, such as sealing your garbage and never feeding raccoons, you can achieve a raccoon-free property.