Can Raccoon Swim
Do raccoons swim?
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Raccoons can swim, and they do swim rather well. In fact, it would seem that raccoons are creatures of many talents, with many of them much smarter than most humans would ever give them credit for. It has already been proven that raccoons living in the heart of big cities tend to be smarter than those that live in more rural backdrops. Raccoons have now learned how to open doors, pop open latches on windows, and even sneak into garbage cans … with latches and ties! They’re determined little critters, and they won’t give up without a fight when they find something they deem worthy of fighting for. If they find a food source, for example, they will continue to try to get to that food source unless it has exhausted EVERY available method. Raccoons can work on the same problem for many hours until they finally solve it.
Raccoons love water. In “the wild” they would choose to live close to water. A lake, for example, would provide plenty of insects and smaller animals that the raccoon could prey on, plus there’s a steady source of fresh drinking water that they can also use to groom themselves. On top of that, you will find trees around lakes / water sources usually, and these provide homes and shelter for the raccoon, especially when it is being chased by a scavenger.
It is not unusual to find raccoons swimming in your swimming pool, if you’re lucky enough to have one, and some of you may even have spotted them splashing around in your fish pond too. The raccoons will eat your fish, given half a chance, but they’re quite lazy … They’d much rather opt for an easier snack, such as insects, or a slow fish that doesn’t require much chasing.
You will more than likely find raccoon poop if you have a raccoon in your garden alongside a pool or a pond. They like to poop in ponds. In case you weren’t aware, the scientific name for the humble raccoon is “procyon lotor”, and this translates roughly to “washed with water”. If you’ve ever seen a raccoon eat, it will dunk the food in water to make it softer. It looks as though the animal is washing their hands / the water, however, and this is what has earned them the name.
If you have a rogue raccoon enjoying your pool more than you are, and leaving a small deposit while they’re there, it’s time to take action. Making your pond or pool raccoon-proof is relatively simple, and it’s an easy case of making the steps really difficult to access. Razor or chicken wire can work. The raccoons tend to walk into the water via the steps, leaving their small deposit on the step themselves. If you can stop them from getting to it, you can stop them from doing the disgusting business. Plus, you really don’t want to share your pool with any wild animal, and definitely not a raccoon. Their urine and fees are well known to carry and transit a wide range of diseases, and the contaminated pool water will get in your ears, eyes, nose and mouth.
Raccoons really do love water, so make sure your home is safe. Give us a call today to find out how we can make your ponds or pools much less attractive to animals just like rodents.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does raccoon removal cost? — get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of raccoons — my main raccoon removal info guide.
Example raccoon trapping photographs — get do-it-yourself ideas.
Raccoon job blog — learn from great examples of raccoon jobs I’ve done.
raccoons in the attic
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Raccoons Raccoon Removal Advice & Information
Do raccoons swim?
Researches have shown that raccoons can swim at an average speed of about 5 kilometers an hour, and can remain inside water for several hours. Raccoons have also been found to enter swimming pools of private buildings, and can remain in the pool without anyone noticing. It is also believed that raccoons can become very nervous inside water, and that is because their body weights can be as much as 2lbs and they donвЂ™t have find or physical features that can stabilize their body inside a flowing water.
When raccoons swim, they donвЂ™t do so intentionally, they do so in order to catch fishes or some other sea animals or they are running after a predator. Raccoons can quickly attach themselves to objects located within streams (including tree branches and rocks), can find their ways out of water easily. Raccoons originally live in deciduous forests and mountains, however, they have migrated to marshy areas and places close to coastal regions, and thus, they had to get some swimming skills in order to catch insects and sea animals in the sea and streams, especially in urban areas.
Raccoons can crawl, and stand in water, and the development of their claws even makes it easier for them to grab water animals at an incredible speed. Male raccoons are generally heavier than females, and during the spring season , both male and female raccoons can swim faster , but they hardly move near the water in the winter season- this is the season when they temporarily hibernate. Though the bodies of raccoons can vary with habitat, most of the raccoons found in urban areas do have bodies that can withstand strong water torrents, especially when they are swimming.
Raccoons can swim under water at depths of about 5 feet, their breathing mechanisms are developed in such a way that they can survive under water with little or no oxygen, for several minutes, unlike humans who can barely survive without oxygen for over 1 minute. The skin of raccoons comprises of more than 85% of fur or coat, and that makes it easier for the animal to swim even in extremely cold weather. Raccoons use their skin as extra insulator during temporary hibernating periods, and with the extra storage of fats from food ingested during the spring and summer, raccoons can easily stay with less food during winter seasons.
Raccoons can swim for a long time inside water; however, they cannot live inside water. Go back to the How to get rid of raccoons home page.
If you need raccoons help, click my Nationwide list of raccoons removal experts for a pro near you.
Do raccoons swim?
Raccoons have found a way to survive for thousands of years. They are one of the most adaptable creatures, who use their sharp claws, there thick coat of fur, and their natural instincts to be able to adapt to virtually any kind of situation that they are in.
Think about the fact that firm many years in America, raccoons were hunted for their fur to be used in clothing and enhance. This left many of the species of raccoons near extinction, but they have continued to survive and thrive, adapting to the world where houses and swimming pools have overcome and taken over the vast majority of their natural habitat where they have lived for thousands of years before Europeans came to this continent.
To survive, they have often had to move or adapt to new locations to be able to find food and shelter in which to survive. Many of these locations have been along rivers or creeks and that may make you wonder if raccoons swim?
The truth is that raccoons are actually quite excellent swimmers. Like most mammals that you will encounter, raccoons have the capability to swim, much like a cat or a dog. What separates a raccoon from many of these other animals is that they don’t just know how to swim but are actually quite excellent swimmers.
Because of the habitats that raccoons normally resided, there are a vast number of creeks and ponds that can be found in these areas. If they were unable to navigate themselves through the waters they would be denying themselves the opportunity to be able to find a vast amount of food.
Raccoons are known to eat such things as frogs, shellfish, and even fish. To acquire these meals, they must be able to get into the water to be able to capture them. While some forms of these foods, like frogs, can be found along the shoreline, it is more likely that the raccoon would find fish or shellfish in the water itself. This is how their ability to swim really comes in handy.
A raccoon can swim quite proficiently, even buckets head underwater for a time, to be able to capture and haul in its prey to eat. Because of their sharp claws, they are able to grasp at and control fish and other wildlife that is in the water so that they can turn that into their next meal.
For those who have a swimming pool, you are probably already well aware that a raccoon can swim quite well. There are many instances where people who live in areas where raccoons are known to reside have awoken to find one of these critters making its way across their pool. This can happen because the raccoon is looking to capture something that is in the water, or simply because it finds your pool a shortcut of sorts to get across your yard.
Either way, you should be aware that a raccoon can be prone to get inside your pool. Read more: Raccoon Control, how to get rid of raccoons, Raccoon Feces, How to get raccoons out of the ceiling.
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Raccoon Poo and Feces in Swimming Pool
Sometimes raccoons poop in swimming pools. They like water. The scientific name, procyon lotor means «washes with hands» because they like water so much. They like to hide their feces in the water, so they often poo in the pool, often on the first step. If you want to see photographs, click here for raccoon droppings and feces identification.
How to keep a raccoon out of your swimming pool.
1) Install a deterrent — Raccoons usually walk onto the steps, and poop in the shallow water on the first step or two. So if you can prevent them from accessing this step, they’ll stay out of the pool. You can install toddler or pet fencing around the steps. Other people have used chicken wire or even razor wire. Another option is to simply get thin wooden boards and pound nails in through the board to create spikes, and place these boards on the steps, with the spikes sticking up.
2) Trapping and removal — any time a raccoon is repeatedly engaging in an unwanted behavior, it will likely continue. They keep the same general travel routes and behaviors every night. So you can set traps near the pool, and trap and relocate the animals. Read more about raccoon trapping tips here.
Can you get diseases from raccoon feces in the swimming pool?
Raccoon diseases in pool or on property — Anywhere a raccoon travels so, too, does disease. This isnвЂ™t to say that all raccoons are carrying illnesses, but enough of the animals are to warrant caution when one is inside of your home, around your property, or in your swimming pool. The most common illnesses associated with diseases being left behind by raccoons in an attic are roundworms, giardia, and leptospirosis. Roundworms and giardia are intestinal parasites. Both parasites live in the gastrointestinal system, though roundworms tend to cause more systemic issues than giardia. Too many roundworms will result in vomiting and diarrhea, causing hemorrhaging of the intestinal lining. Giardia can overpopulate the intestinal tract and cause watery stool, but itвЂ™s not as damaging to the organs as the roundworm. Leptospirosis is a different type of illness. This bacterial infection is transmitted through infected urine. It can remain dangerous for years after leaving a body. If youвЂ™ve had a raccoon in your pool, chances are it has both urinated and defecated in there. When cleaning the space, make sure you wear gloves, a respirator mask, and eye protection. Roundworm eggs are light enough to be carried on a puff of air. ItвЂ™s bad enough you might ingest one from touching your face with your hands; donвЂ™t let a roundworm egg get sucked into your lungs.
Here’s an email I received from an astute reader:
David, I wrote to you because your website requested people who had dead raccoons or raccoon poop to be tested for the round worm parasite. I had a coon crap in my pool and I need to find someone who can test a sample. Can you help me find someone qualified to put it under a microscope? Thanks, Brian
My response: I don’t think there’s any danger from poop in a pool. The chlorine will kill anything. I have no idea where to test for roundworm.
David, I would be careful telling people that chlorine will do the trick, raccoon roundworm has been deadly in 50% of the cases of human infection, and the eggs are virtually indestructible with chemicals (most sites say they have to be burned).
Thanks for telling me! I’ve never actually seen a roundworm infection, but I thought chlorine would kill the eggs. I’ll keep this info in my memory, and maybe post it on my website somewhere. I’m a wildlife removal expert, not an infectious disease expert, so maybe I shouldn’t ever give any advice on diseases.
Not a problem at all .. happy to give you the info. It is «scary shit» so to speak! From what I was able to learn on the Internet from various University studies and state departments of health, it is mostly prevalent in the upper midwest and California where 60 -90% of raccoons are infected. However, only 10 raccoons in Georgia have been discovered with it and 3 in Florida (2 near Tallahassee and 1 in Miami). The raccoon poop is full of millions of worm larvae eggs. A person has to swallow the eggs to get the disease; the worms travel to your brain and mess you up very badly if they don’t kill you. About 20 cases have been reported in the U.S. and 10 have died; the rest were blinded and essentially retarded from the worms. If a raccoon poops in a pool, one Michigan site I found says that the pool needs to be treated as though it contains deadly hazardous waste until a poop sample (or dead or alive raccoon) can be tested. The eggs are very indestructible and can last in chlorinated water for years. Here’s another problem, the damned eggs are about 60 picometers in diameter . far smaller than the finest particles a pool filter can pick up (5 microns). 1 micron is equal to 1,000,000 picometers! So it really is a problem if it gets in the pool. If you ever need to follow up on testing of it, this is a good place to start.
If you do trap a raccoon, please don’t drown it in the pool. Also, be aware that raccoons can grab outside the cage, and pull themselves into the pool, as apparently happened in the above photo. You can keep raccoons out of the pool by installing a board filled with upward nails (spikes) to prevent it from walking on the first step and pooping in the pool.