Property owners should be aware of raccoon baby season. Raccoons typically mate between the months of January and June. After a 65-day gestation period, mother raccoons give birth to two to five kits, usually in the early spring to early summer. They can give birth as early as March—so now’s the time to prepare your property for raccoon baby season.
Why? Because raccoons are opportunistic and quite smart. They’ve learned to coexist with people and they’re not picky about their shelter. During raccoon baby season, mothers will begin to seek out safe and comfortable area to raise their young. Your home may be the perfect shelter for a mother and her babies.
To make sure your property is raccoon-proof during raccoon baby season, here’s how to prepare your home.
1. Don’t Feed Wildlife
You might not realize it, but you might be unwittingly making your home more attractive to raccoons. Many homeowners leave out green bins and garbage bins unsecure. They leave fallen fruit from trees on the ground. They overflow their bird feeders with seed. And they leave pet food outdoors for their cats and dogs.
All of these food sources can and will attract raccoons to your property. Secure your bins, clean up your yard, and feed your pets inside so you don’t give raccoons a reason to come wandering onto your property.
2. Avoid Raccoon Repellents
There are many, many wildlife repellent products on the market and their manufacturers swear by their effectiveness. The truth is those ultrasonic noise-making machines, sprays, powders, and even old home remedies simply do not work. Don’t rely on these methods to protect your property for raccoon baby season—or you’ll be in for an unfortunate surprise.
3. Trim Your Trees
Most often, raccoons will get into your home through the roof. Raccoons are great climbers—their thumbs certainly come in handy for this activity! They’re also great jumpers.
To keep them off your roof, trim tree branches that allow wild animals to jump from tree to roof. We recommend trimming branches at least five feet away from your home.
4. Use a Chimney Cap
Racoons often find their way into homes through the chimney pipe. This allows them to climb down the chimney, where they’ll settle down and make a nice home for their babies.
Use a chimney cap to prevent entry. These caps allow smoke to pass through but prevent animals from entering the chimney from the roof.
5. Inspect Your Roof
As we mentioned, your roof is the primary entry point for raccoons. During raccoon baby season, make sure to inspect your roof and check for vulnerable areas, such as structural weaknesses, torn soffits, and broken vent covers. Raccoons are resourceful. Though they’re big, they’ll chew, tear, and scratch their way through even the smallest structural weakness on your roof and squeeze their way in.
One area raccoons often take advantage of is the roof-soffit intersection, where the soffit sits just above the roof. All the raccoon has to do is use the roof as leverage and use its shoulders to open the flimsy plastic or aluminum soffit. Many also destroy vent covers after feeling the air escaping from your attic—because they want access to that warmth. The roof’s edge is also a common entry point. Constant freezing and thawing of the area as well as moisture from rain and melted snow make the edge of your roof vulnerable. Raccoons can easily tear away rotten wood to get into your attic.
If any problem areas in your home are identified, reinforce them with strong-hold materials to prevent entry into your home.