|Life||Raccoons are extremely adaptable animals. They are nocturnal but are sometimes active in the daytime, and usually solitary.|
|Home||Trees, sheds, attics, and anywhere else they can make a comfortable home.|
|Food||Grubs, insects, small rodents, other small animals, eggs, fleshy fruits (like grapes), nuts, and vegetables. They will also eat from garbage and compost heaps.|
|Young||Birth occurs between March to June, with litters of 3 to 5 kits. The young remain in the den for about 2 months until they are able to go outside with their mother. Raccoon kits do not leave the nest while their eyes are still closed.|
If you have found orphaned raccoons
First be definite that the raccoons are in fact orphans. Mothers can leave babies for extended periods to search for food. If the young are in a den and appear healthy, leave them. Keep a watch on the den for the mother returning. If you find young raccoons that are not in a den, or if their eyes are still closed, place them in a box and keep it in a dark, quiet place, such as the garage, until the evening. Do NOT feed them. At this time, place the open box and leave it overnight. It is important that the young are hungry so that the mother hears their cries and comes to gather them. If the young are still in the box in the morning, contact the Centre, your local Ontario SPCA or Humane Society, or a wildlife rehabilitator.
If there is a raccoon in your attic or under the deck
If there are young involved, it is recommended that they are not evacuated until later in the season. Young raccoons cannot leave the den until they are at least 2 months old. Once you see the young raccoons walking outside (with the mother), place a battery-operated radio near the den, turned to an all-talk station at a loud volume, and put a bright light on at all times. This will encourage the family to find a more comfortable home after a few days. Be patient at this stage because it may take a while for the mother to find a new suitable home and move the babies. Avoid direct contact with the raccoons.
To determine if the raccoons have left, try one or more of the following steps:
1. Place some plastic wrap over the entry hole. If there are raccoons still living in the space, they will have no problem tearing it down.
2. Place food in the space. If the food is gone after a few days, animals
are still living there. If it is untouched, they have left.
3. Place flour in the space. After a few days, if there are no footprints in the flour, the raccoons have left.
Once you are definite that the raccoons have left the space, permanently secure galvanized steel screening over the entry hole. You may wish to monitor the space for several weeks.