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Raccoons Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from raccoons by learning techniques for identification and control.

coming soon illustration
Procyon lotor
16-28 in
11-57 lbs
Grayish fur, facial mask, ringed tail

Raccoon Treatment

How do I get rid of raccoons?

How to Keep Racoons Away

  1. Don't leave pet food outside.

  2. Rake up and remove fallen tree fruit

  3. Bring in your bird feeders at night

  4. Install electric fences around your yard, garden, pond, shrubs, and trees can also keep raccoons away. Clean up any yard debris such as brush, woodpiles, or old logs that could be used as raccoon cover or housing.

What Orkin does?

Orkin Pros are trained to help manage raccoons and other pests. Since every yard or home is different, our Orkin Pro will design a unique wildlife management program for your situation.

Keeping raccoons out of your home is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. Orkin can provide the right solution to keep raccoons in their place...out of your home.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Raccoons

What do raccoons look like?

Raccoons have a distinct hunched posture when they walk, which is accentuated by their stocky build. Their overall appearance, marked by the mask-like facial pattern and bushy tail, makes them easily recognizable.

Fur and Coloration: Raccoons can vary in appearance based on age and habitat. In general, raccoons have dense fur that is primarily gray in color with a salt-and-pepper appearance due to a mix of light and dark fur. Their fur helps insulate them in various weather conditions.

Face: The most recognizable feature of raccoons is their facial mask. They have a black mask that extends across their eyes, giving them a bandit-like appearance. This mask is bordered by white fur, which contrasts with the black, creating a striking pattern. Their facial markings help reduce glare from light sources and may assist with night vision.

Eyes and Ears: Raccoons have round, dark eyes with excellent night vision, which is essential for their nocturnal behavior. Their ears are rounded and have a noticeable white outline, which enhances their distinctive facial markings.

Nose: Their nose is pointed and sensitive, aiding in their ability to detect scents and forage for food.

Body: Raccoons have a stout body with 4 legs. Their front legs have dexterous paws with five fingers, which function similarly to human hands, allowing them to manipulate objects and food. Their hind legs are hardy, strong, and adapted for climbing and swimming.

Tail: Raccoons have long, bushy tails covered in alternating light and dark rings, which can help with balance, especially when climbing. The tail often appears fluffy.

Teeth: Racoons have sharp, well-developed teeth that they use for chewing and protection.

Size: Adult raccoons typically weigh between 10 to 30 pounds with males generally being larger than females.

Claws: Raccoons possess sharp, curved claws on their paws, which aid in digging, climbing, self-protection, and capturing prey.

Where do raccoons live?

Raccoons prefer to live in moist woodland areas. However, they can also be found in farmlands, suburban, and urban areas. Raccoons prefer to build dens in trees, but may also use rain sewers, basements, attics, crawl spaces, ceilings, outdoor sheds, and garages if they can gain entrance. They also often take refuge underneath woodpiles. Raccoons usually have multiple dens, and they move between them every couple of days. Because they are primarily nocturnal, during the day raccoons will rest. If a raccoon is seen during the day and appears to be angry and agitated, do not go near the animal. It may be trying to protect its young or suffering from a disease condition. Raccoons are common carriers of rabies, roundworms, and leptospirosis, and veterinarians and other wildlife experts do not recommend having a raccoon as a pet.

What do raccoons eat?

Raccoons eat nearly any available food, including insects, vegetables, fruits, nuts, corn, fish, bird eggs, rodents, and dead animals. In cities and suburbs, raccoons will eat food they find on the ground and often break into and feed off items left in garbage cans. Raccoons are not experts at hunting prey, but they may at times catch and consume young mice, birds, squirrels, beetles, grasshoppers, and worms. However, raccoons often feed on human food waste from trash cans. Raccoons are infamous for raiding trash cans to scavenge for human food scraps. Overall, raccoons have a diverse diet that allows them to adapt to various environments and food sources, making them highly adaptable and successful in the wild.

What do raccoon droppings look like?

Raccoon droppings are tubular, have blunted ends, and are usually dark in color, though coloration is subject to change depending on what the raccoon has recently eaten. Undigested food like berries, nuts, or grains can be present in the raccoon scat.

Do raccoons hibernate?

When the weather gets colder, they enter a dormant state of sluggishness and lethargy. During this time, raccoons slow their metabolism and fall asleep in their dens with their tails wrapped around them for warmth. Unlike hibernation of many mammals, it only lasts a few weeks. Raccoons often seek out warm areas in a home or other heated structures during these times of reduced activity.

More Racoon Wildlife Management Tips

Wildlife Management

Orkin provides Wildlife Management services for squirrels, raccoons, and more in some parts of the country.

How to Get Rid of Raccoons

To get rid of raccoons outside your home, start by removing potential food sources such as open garbage containers.

Raccoons on Roofs

If raccoons are on your roof, start by sealing all entry points such as vents and chimneys.

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