The raccoon has a body length of 16-20 inches and a body weight of 8-20 pounds, grayish coat mostly consist of dense underfur which insulates against cold weather. Two of a raccoons most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws and it’s facial mask, which are themes in the mythology of several Native American tribes. Raccoons are noted for their intelligence, with studies showing that they are able to remember the solution to tasks for up to three years.
Related females often share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four animals to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season, and other potential invaders. After a gestation period of about 65 days, 2 to 5 young, known as “kits”, are born in spring. The “kits” are subsequently raised by their mother until dispersal in late fall. Although captive raccoons have been known to live over 20 years, their average life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1 years. In many areas, hunting and vehicular injury are the two most common causes of death.
Raccoons can carry rabies, a lethal disease,carried in the saliva and transmitted by bites. Its spread began in Florida and Georgia in the 1950’s and it was facilitated by the introduction of infected individuals to Virginia and North Dakota in the late 1970’s. Of the 6,400 documented rabies cases reported in the United States in 2014, 30.2% were in raccoons. The United States Department of Agriculture, as well as local authorities in United States and Canadian provinces developed oral vaccination programs to fight the spread of the disease in endangered populations.
If you have raccoons in the attic, please do not try to trap and remove them. Nine out of ten times, there’s baby raccoons up there. If you trap and remove the mother, you will have a big problem on your hands, and will likely cause further house damage, noise, suffering of the raccoons, and a terrible odor as the babies die and decompose. Our wildlife specialist will inspect your home and determine a course of action. Most likely it will involve humanely trapping the raccoon, or physically removal of the animal. Once this is done, we recommend repairing the hole.