Raccoon are a common pest in the GTA area and can cause a variety of problems due to their affinity for digging through human waste to find their meals. Although their natural habitat is deciduous and mixed forests they are also well-suited to living in urban, suburban, and rural areas in close co-habitation with people and other animals. As intelligent, omnivorous, and nocturnal creatures they are natural foragers and their diet of 40% invertebrates, 33% plants, and 27% vertebrates means they are easily able to find what they require to sustain themselves.
Raccoons are distributed all across North America as well as the European main land and Japan due to deliberate introductions and escapes and their adaptable habitat has allowed them to extend their range to mountainous areas, coastal marshes, and urban areas.
Unless they are able to find their way inside a home or building, raccoons will often sleep in nearby wooded or park areas if they are available. Really, raccoons will take up residence virtually anywhere they can find a warm, dry, sheltered, and somewhat secluded spot. Abandoned buildings are a particular favorite but raccoons have also been known to infest sheds, attics, and the space underneath steps or decks in order to raise their young or just find a warm place to sleep.
Raccoons will often stick to a particular home area in which they have a few different places to rest so removing raccoons from a home can be a tricky task: you don’t want to move them too far from their home and introduce them to an area already home to a raccoon. For female raccoons that area is anywhere between 3-40 hectares and for males it can range from 8-80 hectares. In urban settings, with the plethora of free food available to them, home ranges will likely be closer to the smaller end of this range.
While opinions are mixed about the distinctive creature – some considering their mask and dexterous front paws cute while others despise the intelligent trouble-makers – one thing is for sure: raccoons can be carriers of a variety of dangerous and potentially deadly diseases. The two most common diseases carried and spread by raccoons are rabies and distemper. If you see a raccoon be sure to keep your distance and watch for signs of illness:
Raccoons with rabies will have a sickly appearance and impaired mobility. They are often extremely aggressive and loud with abnormal vocalizations. Symptoms of distemper are similar but often milder than rabies. While distemper cannot be transmitted to humans, dogs can be infected with often fatal results. Rabies can be transmitted to humans and pets alike so if you have an unpleasant run in with a raccoon be sure to see your doctor immediately to inquire about rabies treatments for you or your pet.
If you have a raccoon living on your property, try to establish if they have babies with them. If so and the animals are not in your way or showing signs of illness, it is best not to disturb them while they are raising their young.But if they are showing illness it is better to get rid of them.You can call for raccoon removal services if needed.
Tammi Browning is a professional photographer. She had visited more than 175 counties and her greatest passion is travel! She had written a book on the tradition and cultures of Caribbean land. Apart from travel and photography she is also interested in sports. She calls it as her “second passion.” She also likes trekking, scuba diving, mountaineering and sky diving! Follow her on Googleplus@Tammibrowning