Typically, raccoons live outdoors and most likely will bother you, but during nesting season, these critters seek out a warm and secure place for their young. Raccoon nesting season occurs every spring and
If you’re living with raccoons, brush up on the facts below to get through this nesting season.
Recognize a Nest
Raccoons begin mating in January, with the nesting season continuing until June. They scope out secure den sites that are warm, dry, and offer a level of security accessible only to raccoons.
They’re drawn to places on the property, such as attics and chimneys, which are easy for them to get into, but not anybody else. Attics are common spaces for raccoons; they’re the perfect spots for raising babies. They’re dark and isolated, giving the mother a comfortable place to give birth, and they’re protected from predators and the elements.
You’ll know raccoons are around by their thumping sounds in the night, noticeable roof damage, leftover food scraps, and a new bathroom area on the property.
Raccoons are naturally loud animals, but once
Strong Maternal Instinct
Raccoon mothers have a strong maternal instinct. Coming across their bad side should be avoided at all costs. Evicting a mother raccoon while her babies are in the nest means she’ll do whatever she can to get them back. The mother will be very frantic to reach her young, and she will use any means possible to do so. This can result in damage to your property as she claws and rips through
Raccoons are smart, and they have dexterous paws that are large and strong, which can easily cause property damage. Twisting handles and doors, pushing into soffit intersections, and tearing up vents are all easy accomplishments for these creatures.
If a raccoon family is living in your house, it’s best to avoid moving them until the fall, especially on your own.
You won’t be able to see them, but you’ll certainly hear them. Baby raccoons are born with their eyes closed, but they are able to vocalize almost immediately. The kits are vocal: Squealing, chatting, and crying are common sounds you’ll hear.
Born deaf and blind, kits are fully reliant on their mother to survive. They need approximately three months before they can make it out on their own. When mom is out foraging in those early weeks, the babies will be nestled in insulation. The mother raccoon will remain with them between eight and 10 weeks of age, and they’ll call that shelter home for around 13 to 14 months.
After those first few months have passed, they’ll begin branching out and going outside, but they’ll continue to turn to this spot—their safe space.
Evicting a mother and her babies should ideally not be done during raccoon nesting season. Raccoons are already difficult animals to remove, and with a mother raccoon involved, this becomes even more challenging. If you do decide to handle it on your own, make sure you’ve done a thorough check, so that no baby is left behind.
Wait until nesting season ends to avoid separating young ones from their mother. If you are determined to remove the wildlife from your property, call wildlife removal specialists. They’ll remove the kits safely, with the ability to locate and reunite them with their mother. Removing raccoons during nesting season is better left to the experts.