As we’ve mentioned, the habitable space for raccoons and other wildlife is steadily shrinking, but the raccoon population is burgeoning. That is probably due to, well, an evolution of sorts. Raccoons are on the higher side of the animal intelligence scale, and have learned better than most species how to co-exist (actually blend in) with the ever spreading human population. They know where to get free food, find warm shelter, and to stay out of sight.
This blending in doesn’t always work, due to the fact that raccoons are highly susceptible to rabies and Baylisascaris roundworm, both of which can be deadly to humans, and canine distemper.
It is advisable to try and stay clear of raccoons whenever possible. Here are some tips that may help that effort:
o Raccoons are mostly active at night but can be seen throughout the day.
o Raccoons are climbers, easily scaling fences and trees.
o Raccoons den inside logs or hollow trees, storm drains and culverts, chimneys, attics, crawl spaces and deserted buildings.
o Do not attract raccoons by leaving pet food bowls, water bowls or pet food containers outside or anywhere else that can be easily accessed.
o Store garbage in metal or tough plastic containers. Spray ammonia near garbage cans. Commercial raccoon repellent is also available.
o Secure doggy doors at night.
o Cap chimneys. Raccoons can think they are hollow trees.
o Access to rooftops can be limited by removing overhanging branches.
o In areas of suspected raccoon activity play a battery-powered radio. It does not have to be loud.
o Install motion-activated lighting in areas of suspected raccoon activity.
o Contact nuisance wildlife removal companies if necessary. Do not attempt to remove a raccoon yourself.
o If bitten by a raccoon, contact your doctor or health officials.