Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Raccoons - Signs Of Their Presence

Raccoons are fairly large animals. They range in size and weight from 12 - 36 pounds and their bodies can range from 26 - 38 inches long, including an on average 10-inch tail. Raccoons can be found in great numbers in both urban and suburban environments. In urban areas, for example, raccoons can reach densities of 100 or more per square mile. They are highly adaptable and will eat whatever is available, such as fish, birds, insects, worms, crops, acorns, fruit, seeds pet food and garbage in garbage cans/dumpsters. It's little wonder that more home owners are having encounters with them.

Raccoons are not territorial; they make homes in a number of areas covering a distance of about one mile in diameter. If there is a good feeding area though, they will fight to establish dominance. Some places they make their home are up in trees, tree cavities hollow logs, rock crevices, sewers, abandoned autos and burrows. Often they make their way to residential properties such as chimneys, attics, crawlspaces, porches, sheds, and garages. So how can you tell if its raccoons in or around your home?


                                                Signs of Raccoons                   

Here are a few things to look for to determine if you have raccoons in and around your property:

  • Visual sightings - if you are seeing them walking about in or around your yard, they may be nesting in or on your property, or may be dining on garbage, bird seeds or pet food left outside.
  • Feces(scat) - feces are usually dark, tubular 2.75-5.9 inches long with blunt ends. Often it can be found on lawns, base of trees and on the flat part of a roof or in the valley of the roof. If found on the roof its usually in front of where they're entering the structure.
  • Tracks - like people, they are flatfooted. All four paws have five abnormally long toes. Their tracks are generally described as miniature human footprints with the exception of abnormally long toes.
  • Lawn damage - in their efforts to find and eat grubs, worms, snails and other insects, raccoons  roll up large areas of grass, damaging many sections of the lawn. If raccoon traffic is heavy a trail will be left in the grass.
  • Crop damage - if you grow corn, you'll find plenty that are partially eaten as well as broken stalks. Watermelons too will be damaged in the form of holes in the rinds as raccoons will eat the seeds and flesh of the watermelons. Blueberries, blackberries etc. are also on the menu.
  • Sounds - sounds include hisses, grunts, barks, and growls. When attacked they make a series of piercing snarling screams. The young pups especially make lots of noise; their cries are often mistaken for birds. Home owners often report loud thumping and banging sounds in the attic which is due to the raccoons movement, fighting or playing.
  • Fish ponds - they love fish and have been known to raid fish ponds. The raid generally occurs at night often resulting in damage to plants in the ponds when raccoons struggle to catch the fish.
  • Garbage cans - home owners also report that their garbage cans are knocked over and garbage is found all over the ground.
                                                                Call the Pros

If you experience any of these signs, then you have raccoons. They may appear to be cute and friendly, but remember they are wild animals and can be very aggressive. They are the primary carriers of rabies and roundworms. The feces can harbor the eggs of Baylisascaris procyonis, a dangerous species of roundworms.

If you have any encounters with raccoons, or suspect you have them anywhere in your home or on your property, call EM Pest Control immediately at 516-455-6742. We safely and humanely remove them from your property. At EM Pest Control, we don't kill the animals we capture, instead we move them five (5) miles from the captured site and release them, safe and sound.


For more information on wildlife or any other pests visit our website

If you're buying a home and need a home inspection to determine the condition of the house and possible wildlife issues visit 

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