In nearly every neighborhood in the Portland Metro area, you can find a raccoon nearby. Many people think of them as “cute” with their black, bandit looking mask and striped tail, but they can be dangerous to pets and can do an immense amount of damage to a home.
Raccoon’s mate in the winter months and have a litter of between 2 and 7 kits (or cubs) in late spring after about a 2 month gestation period. Females care for the young without assistance from the males and the young usually are on their own by the fall. They are nocturnal and do most of their foraging for food at night. Many times, their search for food is aided by humans leaving pet food, compost bins and garbage cans accessible to them.
As the weather gets colder, raccoon’s often try to find shelter in homes (usually in the attic or crawl space). Studies have shown that they are pretty smart and are even capable of figuring out locks to get access. Once inside a crawl space or attic, considerable damages can take place. They will often tear insulation down, disconnect air ducts and leave a lot of contamination in their wake.
Some signs that you may have a raccoon problem in or around your home include:
Feces in the yard: Usually occurring in the same place. Raccoon’s will often use the same area as a “latrine”.
Frightened pets: Dogs and cats can smell raccoon’s and will become agitated, especially at night when they are moving around.
Noises in the attic or crawl space: Hearing scratching noises or thumping around is a sure sign of a wildlife problem.
Open foundation vent screens: If you observe an open vent screen in your foundation, it is possible that a raccoon is using it to get inside your home.
If you do feel that you might have a raccoon in or around your home, we do not recommend trying to remove it on your own. Our trained professionals can safely and humanely remove the animal from your home and seal any entry points, preventing future infestations as well.
How you Can Help
Raccoon’s are often drawn to homes that offer either a free meal or easy access to shelter. Be sure to remove any potential food sources including pet food, open garbage cans and even bird feeders. Also, do a quick walk around your home and see if you have any open foundation vent screens that they could be getting in.
How We Can Help
Our technicians are trained and licensed wildlife trappers that understand raccoon behaviors and habitat. We are able to safely and humanely remove the animals and ensure that no young are left behind and entry points are sealed. We also have repellents and other exclusion techniques to handle just about any situation.
If you would like some assistance with animal control in Portland, OR or Vancouver, WA or just wanted to ask a few questions, we are here to help you.
Photo credit: yel02 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)