Brandon Fleming

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 last until early June. Keep an eye and an ear out during this time for signs a raccoon has gained entry to your home.

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If you’re living with raccoons, brush up on the facts below to get through this nesting season.


Recognize a Nest

damage done by raccoon nestRaccoons 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 mating season has finished, their noise level significantly reduces. After a brief period of silence, you’ll hear the new sounds of squealing babies, which sounds much shorter than adult raccoons, and it confirms raccoon babies are in your home too. Recognizing a nest is an important first step in dealing with raccoon nesting season.


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 material to see her babies.

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.


The Babies

baby raccoons removed from atticYou 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.


Brandon Fleming

Brandon has been part of the All Wildlife Inc. family as a technician for five years. Outside of work, his go-to activities include camping, fishing, and hiking. Brandon loves the opportunity to work with beautiful and smart animals every day on the job. He enjoys meeting new people and helping animals find a safe place to live (outside of your home) and couldn’t be happier doing this work.