Hearing strange noises at night? There’s a good chance it might be raccoons. The sounds these creatures make can be as subtle as a gentle purr or as dramatic as a violent scream. If you’ve got raccoons hanging around your property, it’s not a good idea to let them stay. Raccoons might seem cute and cuddly in the movies or even at the zoo, but in reality, these animals are pests, and for good reason! They carry terrible diseases like Leptospirosis, which can be easily transferred to humans through airborne fecal particles. Speaking of feces, their poop can also attract dangerous parasites known to cause major harm to humans, some serious issues like brain damage and blindness! When trying to determine if you’ve got raccoons roaming around your property, there are several good indicators to look out for.
You’re more likely to hear raccoon sounds at night since the critters are nocturnal. These animals are scavengers, eating anything from fish and dead animals to fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Around humans, these pests won’t hesitate to steal your dog or cat’s food if left outside. They will also shamelessly dig through your trash looking for leftovers, hence their nickname (masked bandit). Being much larger than rats, the sounds of their rummaging can be fairly obvious. Don’t be surprised if you find one or even a few raccoons in your garbage!
Raccoons are on the search for the most comfortable den available. Notorious climbers, raccoons can be heard traveling across your roof at night, poking or scratching on parts of your home, looking for an easy way in. Raccoons LOVE attics. Mother raccoons are on the hunt for shelter that will shield her and her babies from the outdoor elements and predators, and since they prefer to live in high places, the attic is the perfect nesting ground. If a raccoon has found their way into your attic, you should hear thumping and dragging noises, as if a bag were being trailed across the attic floor. They will make similar noises if creating a den in the chimney as well. Raccoons in the attic can also sometimes be heard ripping through insulation and scratching on the walls as they attempt to build their nests.
Courtesy of Pixabay
What Sound Does A Raccoon Make Vocally?
Raccoons can use over 100 different sounds to communicate with each other. Some of these sounds are inaudible to humans, but many of them are noticeable, and some are so loud and vocal that they can be terrifying! Baby Raccoons usually make noises similar to cat’s mewing and can typically be heard crying and whining for their mother in one particular part of the home—as baby raccoons do not become physically active until several weeks after their born. This makes detecting and removing their young, much easier than trying to corner adult raccoons.
Fully grown raccoons will use a variety of sounds, some of which include: purring, growling, snarling, hissing, whimpering, and yes, even high-pitched screaming. The screeching sounds raccoons make when they’re fighting can be startling for some, especially if they’ve never heard the bizarre noises before. It’s often said that raccoon noises are similar to that of a screech owl’s whistle.
Other Ways To Identify Raccoons On Your Property
Raccoons, like other mammals, walk on their whole paws instead of just the toes, similarly to bears! Because of this distinct characteristic, raccoon tracks can be fairly easy to detect. Look for small, hand-shaped paw prints that are around two to three inches in length. These can be observed in areas that raccoons like to frequent. Examples include around trash cans, trees, and compost piles.
Stains Or Rub Marks
Similar to rats and other rodents, raccoons prefer to travel along the same routes, moving against walls and other objects to get where they need to go. They mostly do this to avoid detection from predators, but ironically, the animals leave behind dark stains or rub marks on the surfaces they pass. This is another tell-tale sign that a raccoon is snooping around your property.
Raccoon droppings, also known as scat or latrines, are usually dark colored cylindrical-shaped feces that can appear up to ¾ inches in diameter and up to 3 inches in length, depending on the size and age of the raccoon. The scat can vary in size, conditioned upon what the animal has eaten. Raccoon droppings can sometimes be confused with a dog or other animal’s feces but finding rub marks or raccoon prints near the droppings can help narrow it down. Keep in mind that raccoons traveling on the rooftop of your home may leave feces on the shingles/tiles.
The key to preventing raccoons from prolonging their visit on your property is done by simply making your home less inviting to the critters. You may find any one or all of the following tips helpful.
Courtesy of Pixabay
Seal Trash Cans
Since raccoons are so easily attracted to whatever food is readily available to them, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor just by keeping the trash closed. This is one of the raccoon’s biggest attractors, but making sure the lid is secure, (won’t move, doesn’t easily open) will deter raccoons from your trash and send them away to someone else’s. You can even try using bungee cords to seal the lid in place.
This is practically the same as rodent-proofing your home, except instead of dealing with rats, mice, or squirrels, we’re dealing with raccoons. However, the same principals still apply. Block and seal any holes around your home. This includes obscure areas like chimney’s, vents, and crevices around roofs and baseboards. Raccoons only need four inches of space for them to gain access into your home. Keep tree branches at least 6ft away from your house, and make sure there are no holes in the roof or in the windows to the attic.
Deny Them Food
The less appealing your home is to a hungry raccoon, the less likely they are to return. Having bird feeders hanging nearby or by leaving dog/cat food outside is asking for trouble! Coons will never deny a quick tasty snack, and if that snack is readily supplied, don’t be surprised when these pests show up looking for their meal. To avoid this, keep bird feeders as far away from your home as possible, or take them down altogether if they’re just feeding other animals, rather than birds. Make sure to also seal up your dog or cat’s food and place it somewhere safe, like within a garage. Be sure to pick up whatever food your pet hasn’t finished and put it away until the next feeding time.
Call Pest Control
Raccoons are persistent creatures that can be very dangerous to deal with on your own, especially if they’ve gone rabid. If you’ve got some of these unwanted pests hanging around your property despite your best efforts, don’t hesitate to call for wildlife removal. GRC has over 20 years of experience dealing with rodents, possums, bats, and raccoons and will gladly help you defend your home from these animals.
Contact us and get a free estimate today!