Raccoons Appreciate Your Accessible Garbage
By Chris Williams on August 2, 2016.
We’ve had a big raccoon hanging around our yard for some time and getting into our garbage cans. Apparently she’s now a mom because we saw her with 3 baby raccoons yesterday. We’re not sure where her nest is. Does this mean that we’re now going to have 4 raccoons fighting over our garbage or do the babies just feed on mom’s milk? G. M., Greenland, NH
Mom’s contribution lasts for a couple of months but then the weaned babies will be learning to eat what mom eats. If you don’t take preventive measures, your garbage probably will be feeding the whole raccoon family for many months to come. Young raccoons aren’t in any hurry to leave the comforts of home (seems familiar!).
Raccoon Babies Follow Mom’s Lead
In New Hampshire and Massachusetts, litters of 3 to 7 baby raccoons (“kits”) are born in April or May. They can be weaned at 70 days but they don’t even leave the den until they are at least two months old. After two or three months, the young kits make their first excursions out of the den with mom to learn to hunt for food (or how to raid garbage cans!) At about five months after birth, the young can fend for themselves but they will stay with the family through the winter, establishing their own territories the following spring.
Raccoons have no trouble finding food and denning sites in suburban neighborhoods. Around homes they will den in chimneys, attics, sheds, crawlspaces, areas under decks, or in abandoned burrows of other animals. They are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever they can find or scrounge, including discarded food garbage, pet food, berries, nuts, seeds, garden produce, young birds and bird eggs. If your household food garbage is easily available, raccoons aren’t going to work too hard to find other food. Break the cycle, see Keeping Raccoons Out of Your Garbage Cans.
Raccoon Feces Contains Dangerous Roundworms
At Colonial Pest we have certified nuisance wildlife experts on staff that will be able to find where your raccoons are denning. You really don’t want raccoons living on your property, especially if you have small children, because raccoons can be rabid and they have roundworms in their feces that can infect children if the eggs are accidentally ingested (see Why You Don’t Want Raccoons Around Your Property). We can humanely trap and remove your raccoon family. Give us a call today.