A Wildlife Article from All-Creatures.org

Reasons to love rascally raccoons

From TheFur-Bearers.com
April 2024

The toppling over of unsecured trash bins, digging at or around ornamental plants, and their propensity to setup multiple dens can make raccoons a frustrating neighbour at times. But did you know raccoons play vital roles in ecosystems – and keeping them around is more beneficial?

wild raccoon
A young raccoon (Procyon lotor) behind a home. Photo by Carol Hamilton / Getty Images

Here’s a few ways that raccoons benefit ecosystems (including urban ones!):

If you have raccoons investigating your garden, taking up residency in your house, or exploring your garbage cans with more vigour than you like, here’s a few ways to manage without the need for trapping or dangerous removal (click here to read why this is never an ideal solution for homeowners without professional help).

In the garden

  • Utilize fencing and plant/row protectors.
  • Use motion-sensitives lights or sprinklers (remember to move them regularly).
  • Harvest fruits, vegetables, and berries when they are ripe, and remove any that have fallen.

Around garbage

  • Keep garbage secure until pickup (or as otherwise prescribed by your local government).
  • Consider using bungee cables to prevent lids and cans from being knocked over.
  • Clean food or organic matter from recyclables before putting them in bins.
  • Keep the area clean and free of detritus. Wash it regularly to help removal smells and liquids.
  • Use wildlife-resistant waste receptacles.

In and around the house

  • Never try to remove raccoons yourself.
  • Never try to trap raccoons yourself.
  • Allow raccoons with kits to move on if they are under a shed or deck – they often will after the newborns are old enough.
  • If removal is necessary, contact a humane removal agency (like one from AnimalKind.ca) and request references to ensure they are ethical and humane.
  • Prevention is key: do a seasonal check of your home/business and look for possible entry points, and work with a contractor to secure these safely.
  • Never feed wildlife.

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