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Problem Animal
Raccoon

Grouping Omnivore
Nicknames Ring-tailed Bandit, Masked Bandit, Coon, Night Raider, @#$%^&*!
Best Known For Raiding human habitat and dwelling in chimneys, attics and outbuildings. Destroying sweet corn crops the day before you’re ready to pick. Excellent climbers and swimmers.
Life Span 3 to 5 years.
Mating Season January and February but can mate through June.
Reproductive Details After a 63 day gestation period one litter with 3 to 5 pups is born.
Habitat House attics, chimneys, abandoned buildings, sheds, barns, hollow trees, log piles, old ground hog dens, brush piles, hay piles, hay mow in barns.
Activity Cycle Nocturnal, but not uncommon to be seen out on overcast days. They are not hibernators but will become dormant during harsh winter periods and may lose up to ½ of their body weight over the winter.
Food Seasonal appetite. Eats everything including dog and cat food, birdseed, many fruits, carrion, fish, eggs, fresh water mussels, crayfish, campsite foodstuffs, lawn grubs, sweet and field corn. Will kill and eat chickens and ducks often removing the heads and eating the digestive “crop” region of the neck.
Damage Signs Claw and scratch marks where climbing to gain entry or access a toilet site. Very visible damage at entry points. Knocked over refuse containers. Stripped sweet corn. Fecal matter accumulations at territorial toilet site locations (the family outhouse). Trampled attic insulation from nesting and young rearing. Staining and odor from urine and fecal matter. Lawn damage includes rolled up sections of sod as if a rototiller was used. Distinct poultry kills as discussed in the food section above.
Treatment Trap and remove problem animals, exclude from structures and remove tempting food sources. Noise or odor deterrents have little or no lasting effect.
Distinguishing Features Raccoons have distinctive markings including a ringtail and facial coloration, resembling a mask. Verbalizations are quite common including screams, purring, whimpers, and high pitch growls.
Risk and Disease Raccoon round worm is found in the feces and is only destroyed by fire. Great care should be taken when cleaning up feces and toilet sites in attics. Feces and toilet sites in chimneys should only be cleaned by professionals! Rabies transmission is through bites, scratches and contact with saliva and can also be transmitted to pets and other wild animals via shared outside pet food dishes by swapping spit. Leptospirosis in horses – transmitted from raccoon urine deposits in feed hay.
 

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