Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are common throughout the state of Connecticut. They are nocturnal (active mostly during the night) and are opportunistic foragers for food. An omnivorous animal, the raccoon has a large variety in it’s diet. Raccoons commonly feed on fruits, garden plants and crops, nuts including acorns, hickory nuts and beechnuts, and a variety of protein based foods including insects, rodents, birds, fish, etc. Raccoons are also commonly seen scavenging for food in garbage cans and dumpsters. Though they prefer to live in hardwood forests nearby streams, ponds and other bodies of water, raccoons are highly adaptable to new and changing environments. They are quite comfortable making a home in suburban and even urban areas.
An excellent climber, it’s no wonder we often find raccoons living within our homes. A downspout or a tree growing over a home is an open invitation for a raccoon to make it’s way onto your roof and potentially into a chimney or attic. What better place for a female raccoon to raise her pups than in the warmth of the insulation in your attic? How much better can it get for a large boar (male) raccoon to have a comfortable place to sleep off a long night such as in the tight spaces of your chimney? These animals can even make their way into a basement or living space. When a raccoon decides to inhabit a human structure it can cause serious damage. Such unwelcome guests can also be dangerous. Not only can raccoon feces be a host to Baylisascaris procyonis, also known as raccoon roundworm, which is fatal to humans if ingested, raccoons are the prime carriers of transmissible rabies virus within the state of Connecticut. For your own safety and the safety of others, please do not handle or feed raccoons.
Raccoons breed in late winter and early spring. Females birth their young after a 63 day gestation period, generally in April and May. After 30 to 40 days, the young cubs are able to leave the den with their mother. It takes roughly 3 to 4 months before the raccoons will begin to leave the den on their own.
Raccoon in your chimney? Raccoons in your attic? Problem Animals & Wildlife Services can help remove and control nuisance raccoons. Removing the animal(s) is just one part of the equation. I am more than happy to discuss potential raccoon control options with you. From installing a chimney cap to appropriately placing covers or mesh screening over roof and gable vents and under decks, porches, barns, sheds, steps, etc., Problem Animals & Wildlife Services can help keep raccoons from becoming a problem again in the future. Give PAWS a call at 860-840-3237.