Interesting Facts about Raccoons

Bandit-masked raccoons are a familiar sight just about everywhere, because they will eat just about anything. These ubiquitous mammals are found in forests, marshes, prairies, and even in cities. They are adaptable and use their dexterous front paws and long fingers to find and feast on a wide variety of fare. While these furry creatures can be a nuisance to homeowners, there is so much more to this bushy-tailed mammal. Best Pest Control is here to give you some interesting facts about the raccoon.

What Do Raccoons Eat?
Raccoons are omnivorous, so they eat animals, insects, and vegetation. Oftentimes, raccoons choose to live near riverbeds or in marshes so they can eat fish, snails, crawfish, and frogs. Raccoons will also raid gardens, eat your pet's food, steal bird eggs, and rummage through the trash.

Raccoons Can Get Fairly Large
Most adult raccoons average about 18 to 28 inches in length and can weigh anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds. Male raccoons tend to be larger than females. The world’s heaviest raccoon, named Bandit, set a Guinness World Record for weighing almost 75 pounds. Raccoons don’t normally get this heavy, Bandit was kept as a pet and took frequent trips to his local ice cream store.

Where Do Raccoons Live?
Raccoons live in dens that they make out of holes in fallen trees or in burrows that have been abandoned by other animals. They are den hoppers and usually relocate every few days or so. The exception to this rule is nursing mothers – they wait until their kits (baby raccoons) are old enough to be moved before finding a new den.

What Happens to Raccoons in Winter?
Raccoons aren’t exactly true hibernators. However, they can build up their body fat during spring and summer so that they can sleep in their dens for weeks at a time when the temperatures drop and the snow begins to fall. Although they don’t technically hibernate, this is the reason why we don’t see very many raccoons in the winter. Some people may even find raccoons in their attic during the colder months. It’s a good idea to seal everything up during the fall to prevent these critters from entering your home.

How Long Do Raccoons Live?
A raccoon’s lifespan depends on whether it lives in captivity or the wild. Wild raccoons have a life expectancy of about two to three years. Captive raccoons have been known to live for as long as 20 years.

Raccoons Can Carry Pathogens That Spread Disease
While raccoons may look cute, you don’t want to mess with them. These creatures can become aggressive, especially when cornered or they feel threatened. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that raccoons were the most frequently reported rabid wildlife species. They also carry parasites that can transmit baylisacaris infection to humans. While these infections are rare, they can cause severe damage to the eyes, organs, and brain.

While raccoons are interesting creatures, that doesn’t mean you want to find them in your home. If you're dealing with raccoons in your yard or around your home, Best Pest Control can help! In addition to pest control, we also offer animal trapping services at the Lake of the Ozarks. To learn more about our services, call us at 573-348-1600.


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573-348-1600 in Osage Beach


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