Raccoons are uniquely adjusted and accustomed to life alongside their human counterparts through years of urbanization. Human development of neighborhoods, cities, and other urban areas all but eliminate the larger predators that help to contain the raccoon population. Raccoons live as nocturnal animals, so if you are seeing them during the day, chances are you’ve got a family of raccoons living as your very-close neighbors.
Why does this matter? Raccoons carry disease and can also damage property structures, so it is important to handle them carefully and professionally, removing them from your structure as soon as you notice them. Contact your local Department of Fish and Game to ask about the removal of raccoons.
Protecting Points of Access from Raccoons
Areas in and around your property that may be of interest to raccoons include holes or spaces in which they can find shelter and safety from the elements and predators. This may include broken vents, chimneys, missing roof tile spaces, structural holes, or hollow pillars.
To deter raccoon infestation, consider the following precautions:
- Patch structural holes or cover with mesh
- Cover chimney openings and vents with mesh or another form of breathable covering
- Store trash in sealed containers and store in an enclosed area (consider a locked shed)
- Remove fountains, birdseed, bird feeders, standing water in planters
- Clear drains, fix leaky spigots, clear out all sources of water
- Clean debris, brush, and fallen leaves from around your home and property
- Store firewood in an enclosed shed or container at least 20 ft. from your home
- Pick up dog and cat food each day after they finish eating
Why Protect Yourself From Raccoons?
Raccoons make for fun animals to watch. They will play with floating pool toys, clean their hands and food in a bowl of water, and parade through the yard with their babies. This does not mean you should invite them in. They are still wild animals, even though they live amongst us.
They can carry disease and other unwanted pests including:
- Raccoon roundworm (an intestinal parasite)
Not only do they carry bugs and illnesses, but they also can do damage to your property. They have even been known to rip off roof shingles and carve out siding.
Protect yourself from the stress and worry that comes with these unwanted neighbors by inspecting your home for signs of nesting and calling local animal authorities for help.