If you wake up sometime in the middle of the night to the sound of someone walking on or inside your roof, it is a raccoon! Raccoons are the top contender for food that is left around your property, and the nice warm home inside of your attic. They love to nest in the warm insulation, especially in the winter months. These Mammals are active all year round, a common mis-conception is that they hibernate throughout the winter months and are not active. They are out, not always as often, but all winter long looking for food, warmth and nesting material.
Raccoons are generally not known to hibernate. Even when the local temperature drops down by a considerable margin, raccoons maintain their nocturnal habits and continue invading human territories for their scavenging activities. In places in the north, this presents a predicament. Cold temperatures don’t allow us to go out as frequently as we like. This means that we can’t generally keep a watch out for invading little mammals. In Canada, raccoons in Toronto are a nuisance for this very reason. Not needing to hibernate, they’ll eat their way routinely through the long winters and feast on
It is a common misconception that raccoons are frequently categorized and referred to as rodents. Albeit a bit oversized, they share a plethora of similar features with rodents who indulge in similar activities in suburban areas. Rodents and raccoons both look to scavenge food, and nest inside of human occupied dwellings, however, raccoons are not rodents. They belong to the Procyonid family. This family of mammals contains other animals with similar habits, notably being nocturnal and omnivorous. The latter means that they are comfortable with both carnivorous and herbivorous diets.
Evolution has granted the raccoons an insatiable curiosity form all that is around them. This, coupled with the fact that they are almost always hungry, means raccoons will find themselves wandering in human territory. Additionally, their enhanced intelligence enables them to be agile and quick in their decision making. Scavenging for food inevitably leads them to destroy gardens, vegetable plants, and fruit trees. When a window left open or there a hole in the roof, a raccoon will step in to explore.
As mentioned above, Raccoons are a threat to suburban homeowners due to their destructive tendencies. There are a few ways to effectively deal with these critters. Classical conditioning dictates that animals are likely to build habits around feeding. Hence, to start with, you’ll have first to ensure that you’re not putting out food overnight.. Raccoons will plan their feeding around the different garbage disposal days in different areas. As mentioned above, the raccoon’s curiosity allows it to get out of its comfort zone frequently. Do not leave any windows, doors or garages open, as these critters will invite themselves in! These tips usually help to deter raccoons in the area, however, wildlife removal companies are able to assess the area, deter the raccoons and or humanely trap the causing the issue!