Raccoons traditionally live in forests and mountainous areas where they have easy access to trees. Living in forested areas also gives them easy access to vegetation, which they feed on. They are used to making dens in hollow tree sections and barrows made by other animals. Although they eat vegetation within forests, raccoons’ other food include human vegetables, fruits and meat including flesh of dead animals. The fact that they eat human food and can adapt easily to different environments has seen them move to urban areas where they make dens in homes. A raccoon can easily make a den in your attic without your knowledge. This is made possible because they are nocturnal animals that only become active at night.
Raccoons begin their reproduction in winter. The females do give birth to between 1 and 6 kits in the months of April and May after about 70 days gestation period. The first two months are usually very critical in the lives of kits and their mothers do remain very protective over them. They are weaned at 12 weeks before they start roaming within their den. They eventually become independent at 12 months when they start separating from their mothers to join other raccoons of their age. Although raccoons do live to attain the age of 3, there are some that have been noted to leave for up to 20 years. Raccoons are very intelligent and curious animals. Although they are known to carry rabies and other pathogens, they are some of the cleanest animals you can find. For instance, a raccoon will never eat anything without dipping it in water. It will normally rub what it wants to eat in absence of water.
Raccoons are extremely destructive animals. They have the capacity to invade your garden, climbing fruits trees and eating everything in their path. They raid bird (chicken) pens to eat the birds and their eggs. They often tip over trash cans as they forage for food remains.
Any sound emanating from your attic at night should serve as a warning that there is an animal in the attic. It is possible that it may just turn out to be a raccoon. There are several ways to know if there are baby raccoons in your attic. Generally, adult raccoons communicate through over 200 different sounds. The following sounds emanating from your attic should alert you of the presence of baby raccoons in there.
• Scratching – Baby raccoons often scratch to clear their nesting place or when they bury their food.
• Vocal noises – Baby raccoons often make vocal sounds to attract their mothers’ attention.
• Suckling sound – Baby raccoons remain under care of their mothers and are only weaned when they turn 12 weeks. They often produce suckling sound as they compete for nipples.
• Whining and cries – Baby raccoons often cry out whenever they are hungry or uncomfortable.
It is important to note that you may here some of these sounds during the day. These sounds are to a high degree attributed to baby raccoons and it is highly recommended that you contact your city or county animal services office immediately.
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