Raccoon

Raccoons can transmit rabies, canine distemper, and parvovirus to domestic animals and humans. You should avoid any raccoon which is active during daylight hours, has lost its fear of humans, or appears uncoordinated, confused or listless. If you encounter such an animal, call immediately.

Raccoons are well adapted to urban living. Raccoon damage typically involves raiding gardens, upsetting trash cans and taking up residence in chimneys, attics or other unwanted areas.

Raccoons living in your home contaminate the area with fecal matter and dirty nesting materials.

Control is not difficult, but it requires skill. Doing it wrong can actually teach the raccoons what to avoid and make removal more difficult.

At-a-Glance

Mating: Promiscuous
Breeding age: 1 year
Peak breeding activity: February to June, peaking in March
Gestation: 63 – 65 days
Litter Size: 3 to 7; 4 average
Typical foods: omnivores (in the wild their favorite foods are berries, acorns, baby birds, frogs, and fish. They are also very fond of pet food and rummaging through garbage cans for food.)
Description

Raccoons are normally gray or black in color with pale gray coloring underneath. They can also be red or blonde in color, although not as common. Their black mask is rimmed on top and bottom with white. The raccoon’s tail has four to six black or dark brown rings.

Habitat and Habits

The raccoon prefers to live in wooded areas with big trees and lots of water close by. During the daytime, raccoons sleep in hollow trees or logs and other animals’ abandoned dens. They are nocturnal and are up and about during the dark hours of the night. Even though the raccoon does not really hibernate, it can sleep for days, and even weeks at a time during the cold winter months.

Reproduction and Care of the Young

Raccoons mate from February through March in Ohio. Males will mate with several females during the breeding season. Typically only one litter is produced each year, but there can be exceptions. Newborn raccoons are well furred with their eyes opening around 19 days. By the sixth or seventh week the young are weaned and weigh about 1.5 pounds. The young raccoons will stay with the mother through the fall with some staying with her during the winter as well.