Raccoons

The raccoon is probably the best known wild animal living in our neighborhoods. Raccoons are easily identified by the black mask on their face and their striped tail. The raccoon is a husky animal about the size of a Beagle.

young raccoon

Raccoons are busy creatures and it seems as if they never stop moving their hands. They love to play in water. If a pet dish is muddy in the morning, it's a pretty sure sign a raccoon has been visiting.

Raccoons live in family groups and have 3-4 young a year. It is not unusual to see more than one at a time in your yard.

Because they are coordinated, clever, and curious critters, they can get into a lot of trouble when looking for food or when entertaining themselves on our properties.

Though not rare or endangered, the raccoon is classified by California State Fish & Game as a fur bearer and is, under certain circumstances, protected by law.

They are quite bold and can be aggressive once they get used to our activities. It is important to resist getting too close.

NEVER intentionally feed them!

A raccoon’s natural diet is varied and they enjoy:

 Fruit

Nuts

Garden Vegetables

Insects

Lizards

Rats

Mice

Gophers

Snails

They seem to prefer different things at different times of the year although they will never pass up a grub or small rodent!

The most important rule to remember when trying to discourage unwanted wildlife visitors is: If there is no food and shelter to support them, most wild animals will go away!


raccoon in tree

 

Download our pamphlet on
Living Peacefully With Raccoons

 

Tips for protecting your property & living with raccoons:

Fasten garbage can lids tightly. Raccoon's nimble front feet can make this a difficult task, but in extreme cases, some rope, chain or a bungee cord should do the trick.

Keep sheds and garage doors closed when not in use.

Cut back tree limbs approximately 3 feet from roof lines.

Harvest all ripe fruit from trees, shrubs and off the ground.

Remove brush piles and trash ccumulation.

Pick up family pet food and water dishes by dusk. Secure pet doors at night to keep raccoons out of the house.

Sprinkle your lawn or planters with liberal amounts of cayenne pepper to discourage raccoons from grub hunting. (Grubs are tiny worm-like bugs that live in your lawn).

Install metal guards (18 inches or wider) wrapped around trees five or six feet above ground to deprive raccoons access to roof tops and other buildings.

For pond protection, horizontally submerge wire mesh around the circumference. Stretch the mesh leaving the inside free. Fish have the center of the pool open and the raccoons can't reach over the wire because it is unstable and they prefer to stand on solid surfaces.

Place ammonia soaked rags around the yard, and under the house. Raccoons are repelled by the harsh odor.

Use motion sensor devices for lights or sprinkler systems. Play a radio near the entrance to a suspected den site.

To secure your house: Close off openings where roof lines overlap. Replace and reinforce damaged screen vents. Keep crawl spaces tightly covered. Keep a spark arrester on the chimney.