What are the behavioral characteristics of raccoons?
Why do raccoons invade attics? And how?
How to prevent raccoons?
How to get rid of raccoons?
Physical and biological facts about raccoons
Raccoons are very identifiable animals, unlike other invasive species. They have a noticeable large body with many special physical characteristics:
- Raccoons have a large body such as a dog. They are 12 inches (30 centimeters) tall and 24 to 38 inches (67 to 91 centimeters) long including an 8 inches (20 centimeters) tail.
- Raccoons weigh usually from 8 to 20 pounds (3.5 to 9 kg) but there are some wild species that can weigh up to 28 pounds (12.7 kg) such as the Tres Marias Raccoon.
- Raccoons are commonly known by their gray heavy fur covering all their bodies, a black mask on the eyes, a pointed muzzle containing a black nose and a thick tail with 3 to 7 black colored rings on it.
- Raccoons have special front paws that are perfectly like human hands, they contain 5 claws while the human hand contains 5 fingers. And their skin is harsher but it still has the same concept as a human hand.
- Raccoons have a triangular head with round ears and eyes in the middle, the head is relatively small compared to the body.
Behavioral characteristics of raccoons:
Raccoons are wild mammals with wild behavior, it means they are very aggressive and territorial species, they always seek for a safe shelter to hide from the danger of the wildlife such as predators or bad conditions, that’s why a raccoon in the wild can live only 2 to 3 years while a raccoon in conservation has reached 20 years already.
This invasive behavior has come from the part of female raccoons to find a safe and suitable place to breed her young in a way to guarantee the survival of the species. In these terms, raccoons invade attics and make of them the finest place to form a happy family but to ruin your family and your house. Therefore, you should be careful of the behavior of raccoons.
Raccoons are strict omnivorous which feed on invertebrates such as insects and vertebrates such as birds, snakes, fish… But when there is no food source, raccoons can change their diet into herbivores which feed on human food and some favorite vegetable for raccoons are: strawberries, apples, and nuts.
Raccoons are great climbers, which allows them to climb trees and make their shelter in the main tree trunk. Their habitat looks most like a squirrel’s but it is quite bigger because the large size of the raccoon.
Raccoons usually mate during late winter to mid-spring, which means from January to mid-march. With a gestation period of 65 days, the female gives birth to 2 to 5 cubs in the mid-summer, which allows them to grow in suitable conditions and reach maturity during the next season of mating.
The most special ability of raccoons is that they douse their food before eating it. Many people have assumed seeing some raccoons in caption dousing some fruits in the pool and they are amazing on it. Besides, some explorers have assumed seeing raccoons either washing the food or not eating it.
Raccoons, unlike other wild animals, are very smart and intelligent, they have special skills that allow them to open closed doors, open trash cans, open closed bottles… It means that their paws are physically and practically like a human hand.
• Relationship with wild animals:
Raccoons don’t live much in the wild (not more than 3 years) because of the danger caused by predators which are so many such as: great horned owl, bobcat, American black bear, American alligator, coyotes, jaguars, eagles, and humans especially hunters.
• Relationship with humans:
Raccoons are considered pests in the U.S.A because of their damaging behavior. They look like clean and cute animals but these wild animals can ruin your attic with shit and damage the wall because of their scratching habit.
Raccoons also consider humans as predators and are so aggressive towards them, especially when a female newly bred her young cubs and found by the homeowner, it can never be humanely removed from the attic until the cubs grow and leave the den.
Raccoons are large-sized, smart and aggressive animals, besides, they are nocturnal, it means all their activities happen at nighttime which makes it hard to detect and repel.
If a raccoon invades a house, it makes it terrible for the homeowners to get rid of it and keep it away from the property forever.
Signs of Raccoons in an Attic
Reasons behind raccoons invasion and how they gained entry to the property:
Well, that is true, raccoons are wild animals, but as told above, they suffer from a lethal danger in the wild ranging from predators to severity of the weather. That is why they always seek for a safe shelter that keeps them warm during the long winter and protects them from predators.
Raccoons gain entry to your attic through many ways, and even if there isn’t any, they can force their way in. Raccoons are good in opening doors and windows, so they will open the window of your attic and get inside. As it looks very hard to do, raccoons easily enter attics through holes in the roof, and if there is no hole, they will gnaw a small piece of wood and scratch the rest with their paws until they make a suitable hole for their shifting in and out.
Working tips to prevent raccoons:
Many ways can be followed to prevent raccoons from invading your attic; here we are presenting some of them to help you avoid this nuisance:
Getting rid of raccoons:
In every pest extermination, there must be chemical products that are able to exterminate the pest either by repelling or killing it. As for raccoons, chemical products are divided into 2 types:
- Spray liquid repellents are the easiest to use, you just spray the area of invasion and wait until raccoons leave it. Liquid repellents contain lethal chemical substances with a strong smell that makes all the wild animals leave. The best product for Spray liquid repellents in the market is DeFence® Rabbit Repellent for only $14.
- Granular Repellents are also useful in the case of raccoons in your attic, you can just put the granular pieces near to the raccoon’s nest and wait until it gnaws it and gets poisoned with the lethal chemical substance contained in the product.
Selling a raccoon to a captive organization would be amazing and expensive, therefore, if you have a raccoon in your attic, consider the chance of getting $2,000 for selling it. But first, you need to know how to trap that smart wild animal.
You don’t like chemicals inside your house? You are too soft to trap a raccoon? There is also a solution for you: Electronic repellents. It’s just a small device put into the house to send ultrasonic waves that are able to drive raccoons crazy and keep them away from the property. The efficiency of this method is not completely guaranteed, but it is always useful to keep your place clean and healthy.