Raccoons

raccoons_1685534_1920_Image_by_Hans Benn

Image by Hans Benn from Pixabay.com

Raccoons

Raccoons can sometimes become troublesome.  Tips for managing them include:

  • Keep all pet food secured
  • Keep lids secured on trash containers
  • Cap your chimney and repair any gaps on your structure

Identification

Raccoons are medium sized mammals with distinctive dark fur on their faces (masks) and tails.  They range in size from 16-28 inches long, their tails are 5-10 inches long, and they usually weigh between 10-25 pounds.

Biology

Raccoons live for 2-3 years, but can live as long as 10 years.  Females give birth in the spring to 2-7 young.  

Raccoons are usually nocturnal.  They feed on fruit, vegetables, small animals, eggs, and carrion.

Impacts

Raccoons are native to North America and originally lived in woodland areas.  With the availability of food due to human activities, raccoons have become adapted to living in urban areas.  

Raccoons will sometimes enter buildings through chimneys or structural gaps.  They are also attracted by pet food and birdseed left outdoors. If you have raccoons, the only real solution is to remove anything that might be attracting them. Try to determine why the raccoons are in your yard or attic. Are they finding food, water and shelter? Whatever is attracting them must be removed or cleaned up.

Raccoons use "latrines" where they regularly deposit their waste.  Raccoon feces can carry diseases such as roundworm.  If you encounter a latrine, ensure that you are using the proper methods to protect yourself when cleaning it up.  The CDC has a fact-sheet that provides cleanup guidelines.

If you are having problems with raccoons on your property, you may want to contact a commercial contractor who can assist you.

Resources

Jefferson County does not endorse any particular service or company and strongly recommends that consumers check references, licenses, insurance and bonding before hiring any company.

  • Acorn Wildlife Control: 303-979-0900
  • AGD Varmint Control: 303-748-8879
  • All American Wildlife Damage Specialist: 303-840-7743
  • A All Animal Control of Denver: 303-452-2113
  • Animal and Pest Control Specialist: 303-987-0842
  • Animal Damage Control: 303-884-9100
  • Critter Control: 303-274-8837
  • EnviroCritter: 720-295-7378
  • Urban Wildlife Rescue: 303-340-4911
  • Urban Wildlife Services: 303-588-1869
  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife: 303-291-7227

Information

UC IPM - Raccoons

Raccoon - Wildlife Ecology and Damage Management

CDC - Raccoon Latrine Clean-up (PDF)