Raccoons are one of the most challenging nuisance animals to keep out of a home or business. Not only are they aggressive and determined animals, but they are also very strong!
We typically equate a raccoon’s strength when trying to tear into a structure to that of a grown man without gloves. Even without gloves, a grown man could rip apart a gable vent or tear down most soffits with relative ease. Now add that strength to the determination of a new or expecting mother who is looking for a warm and safe place to care for her young, and it’s easy to imagine why a raccoon will fight to get into and remain in your attic!
Unfortunately, raccoons are also dangerous to humans and carry very serious diseases. They are listed on the rabies vector list in New Jersey and confirmed cases of rabies in raccoons are discovered here year after year. Other diseases such as roundworm and canine distemper may not be as fatal as rabies is, but they can be transferred to both humans and pets through bites or claw scratches. So it’s pretty obvious that a raccoon family should not be cohabitating with your family!
Raccoon mothers give birth annually in March and April. The animals will take up residence in a structure at any time of the year, but March and April are the most common months. During that time of year, females are looking for a place to give birth and keep their babies protected. It is not at all uncommon to have a pregnant raccoon break into several houses in a row down a street to scope out which is most conducive to nesting with their babies.
Many people do not know that raccoons climb and are, in fact, tree-dwelling animals. As the state of New Jersey continues to grow, there is constant new construction. We’re knocking down the trees and putting up buildings!
During construction phases, local raccoons will often take up residence in open structures. Eventually, they begin to think that they belong in a house or professional building! In fact, many, many raccoons are born inside buildings instead of in the wild. The combination of this learned behavior and a lack of acceptable habitat has caused an increase in raccoon break-ins to human buildings.
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