Little Rascals – Time for Baby Raccoons
As spring approaches, bringing with it warmer weather, thoughts usually turn to longer days, warm spring rain showers, and quickly greening landscapes. However, this is also the season for baby raccoons, which means you may notice some unwanted squatters in your attic space this spring. In order to facilitate humane removal practices, there are several important things to be aware of. You need to be aware of the usual timeline of breeding and nesting, how long raccoons stay in their nesting sites, and how to recognize signs they have chosen to set up their nursery in your attic. When it is confirmed that your attic is hosting a family of these masked bandits, it is important to know how to deal with them. At Adair’s Animal Nuisance Trapping, we specialize in humane removal, which is why our motto is, “We put the Wild back where it belongs! in the Wild.”
Life Cycle and Nesting
Raccoons are solitary by nature. They mate in late winter, usually in February. Most litters in Missouri are born in late April or early May. A typical litter size consists of 3-5 young, but up to 8 babies may be present. Young baby raccoons, called kits, are usually weaned by late August, but they will stay with their mothers until the following spring. It takes about three months for kits to be able to move around on their own. Before the end of this time, it is unlikely that you will see any babies in your home. They will be nested in insulation while their mothers are away. After they are mobile, the raccoon family will not necessarily move out. If your attic is warm enough and comfortable enough, they may continue to live there over the course of the year. Not only that, but the young females will instinctively return to what they see as a guaranteed nesting site year after year. In a short period of time, your home or business attic can be overrun by these little masked bandits.
When using exclusion methods to remove raccoons between April and August, it is important to make sure no young are present, as the kits will be unable to survive without their mother. During this time period, it is important to make sure the kits are moved with their mother to a suitable location. This is where the professionals at Adair’s Animal Nuisance Trapping come in. We will carefully check for signs of young and ensure that the entire family unit is humanely captured and transported together to a location where they can thrive without causing problems for home and business owners.
Recognizing an Invasion
The more quickly you become aware of a raccoon invasion and take effective steps to remedy the problem, the less damage you will likely need to have repaired. Here are several indicators that you may have a family of raccoons sharing your home or business:
● Thumping or rustling noises. Raccoons may be up to 50 inches in length from nose to tail tip, and they can weigh between 6 and 25 pounds. They make a lot of noise when setting up their nests.
● Exterior damage to buildings that creates entry points. Examples of this are bent siding, damaged soffits, damaged roof vents, holes, or any other sign of animal entry.
● Chirping noises. Like babies of many other species, raccoon kits are very vocal in the early days of their lives. They may cry day and night at intervals.
● Seeing the mother. A mother raccoon will stay fairly close to her babies. If you see a raccoon repeatedly between April and August, chances are good that you may have a nest nearby.
Potential Raccoon Damage
Raccoons can do a lot of damage. Here is a partial list of problems they can cause:
● damage to structural beams
● damage to air ducts
● damage to pipe insulation
● damage to electrical wires
● contamination of attic space from feces, urine, and the birthing process
● ineffective insulation from nesting behavior, resulting in increased utility bills
● unsightly damage to the exterior of the building: siding, soffit, vents, etc.
As always, if you have a wildlife pest control problem at the Lake of the Ozarks or surrounding area, call the professionals at Adair’s Animal Nuisance Trapping.
We have experience with the safe and humane removal of nuisance wildlife, finding solutions to prevent future problems, and fixing the damage left behind.