If you have problems with raccoons near your home, study the raccoon facts below to get an idea of why they are near your home and what to do about it. Raccoons are omnivorous and nocturnal mammals generally found in North and Central America. They belong to the Procyonidae family. A Raccoon is omnivorous, just like dogs and many other small mammals. Though they like meat, the fact is that raccoons will eat almost anything and everything that comes their way.
The wily raccoon appears quite often in American myths and displays many characteristics of a trickster. Raccoons, in real life too, are deceitful pranksters who employ cunning methods to obtain food. It is a fact that raccoons often outwit other animals for their own survival. The animal’s dexterous front paws and the peculiar markings on its face have given this species an important place in American mythology and culture.
Raccoon Facts and Information:
Scientifically, raccoons are considered one of the most intelligent species, and have the memory to remember tasks which they perform even after a gap of a few years.
Raccoon Habitat: Raccoons are capable of adapting themselves to different conditions with great ease. They can be found in coastal marshlands and also mountainous regions. Pandas, which also belong to the same strain of the raccoon family, are mostly found in mountainous marshy areas. Their adapting capabilities have assisted them in setting up homes amongst humans too.
Physical Raccoon Facts and Features: The length of the body of a raccoon varies from 16 to 28 inches, and its weight ranges from 8 to 20 lbs. It is the largest member of the Procyonidae family. The other members of this family include the cacomistles, ring-tails and the kinkajous. The physical features of this mammal include a grayish coat with a dense undercover. It is the most important feature since it is this layer that protects the raccoon from the cold when it is living in its natural habitat. Its peculiar face mask has given this creature the name, “masked bandit”.
Raccoon Facts about their diet: Raccoons, like dogs, are omnivorous by nature. They do like meat of any kind, but in the case of it not being available, they settle for anything. The garbage bin in your garden contains a tempting menu for these animals. Fruits, nuts and other plant products are also eaten by a raccoon, which means many of the plants you are trying to grow in your garden are also on the raccoon menu. They are more inclined to eating what is readily available than hunting live animals for their food. Being nocturnal by nature, they do sometimes hunt animals smaller than them during night time.
Life Span of a Raccoon: Under normal circumstances, raccoons live up to the age of 8 years in the wild, but in captivity they do live for longer periods. There have been instances of raccoons living up to the age of 15 years. The reason for their short life in the wild is their being hunted by animals larger than them like bobcats and coyotes and also birds like the bald eagle and the great horned owls. A few of them are hunted, and of course some die due to accidents. Cars are one of the main raccoon killers out there.
The mating season begins during the months of January or February, and after a gestation period of approximately 65 days, 4 to 5 young ones known as kits are born. These ‘kits’ do not open their eyes up to three weeks from the time they are born.
We hope these raccoon facts will help you lay out a strategy to repell and deter your nightly visitors.