Raccoon Behavior in Residential Areas

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.

Finding Shelter

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.

Finding Food

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.

Common Wildlife in Residential Areas

The Mid-west and Eastern parts of the United States is widely known across the country for its farms, crops, race cars, and football, but this region actually has a lot more to offer. With each season, homeowners witness magnificent changes in the beautiful flora and fauna in their surrounding environments, a characteristic commonly overlooked in our towns.

The fall and winter seasons bring new color and snow, and animals that are covered in fur. Then the spring and summer rolls in, bringing out the sun and hibernating animals from their dens. The animals here in these regions are fascinating and fun to learn about. Let’s briefly discuss the most common forest wildlife spotted among residential communities, and how they live.

Squirrels

Squirrels are recognized in the medium-sized rodent category. They are slender-bodied animals, covered in a thick fur. They have a long bushy tail, great vision, and strong claws for climbing and grasping their food. They make their homes in trees where they nest their young as well. They typically feed on foods rich in protein and fat, such as: nuts, seeds, tree buds, small insects, conifer cones, fruits, and fungi. They are widely seen in forests and woods, as well as, residential and urban areas.

Raccoons

Raccoons are a medium-sized mammal often seen in areas with mixed deciduous trees. They have black stripes on their long tails, and their bodies are covered in a dense and coarse fur. This fur allows them to survive in harsh weather conditions, by staying cool in the hot seasons and warm in the cold ones.

One signature trait raccoons share is a mask-like black patch over their eyes, making them look like bandits. This, along with their mischievous behavior in residential areas, has coined them the nickname, “bandits”. Although mischievous, they are very intelligent and have dexterous hands that allow easy gripping and climbing; and they create dens for their homes where they breed and feed their offspring.

Deer

Deer are seen all over rural areas of the country. They live in forest, woods, meadows, and protected nature parks. There are different species of deer, all similar and not-so-similar to each other. Deer breed and produce offspring called fawns. The female deer is a doe and the males are called bucks. Male deer are characterized the most by their long and powerful antlers.

A doe does not have antlers, and are sometimes lighter in coat color. This allows them to blend better to their natural surroundings and keep out of the sight of predators. Deer are a wonderful and tasty source of meat for many families in North America and around the world.

Wildlife Preservation

The wildlife in our country is certainly a wonderful, yet commonly overlooked asset. Animals in the forests and wooded areas should stay protected by respecting their habitats and not over using their resources. There are circumstances when wildlife may lose their way, or be forced into urban and residential areas. In this case, it is important to contact a wildlife removal expert to safely and humanely remove and relocate wild animals from your property.