What Time Of Year Are Raccoons Born

Raccoons not too old to be carted around by mom

Raccoons rely on their mom to tote them around for a few months after birth

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DEAR JOAN: Around 6:20 a.m. the other day I saw a raccoon go under our deck with something in her mouth.

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She came back out and looked at me, hesitated for seconds, then went down the side of my house and climbed the fence. A few minutes later she came back with a baby raccoon in her mouth and went back under the deck.

Do raccoons have babies out of the breeding season time frame? I saw that they normally have them in May and June. I think she had the babies in another place and then brought them to my yard.

We have had raccoons and baby raccoons under our deck in the past.

Curious Lori, Cupertino

DEAR CURIOUS LORI: Raccoons begin mating in late winter and usually have one to six kits in April or May. The dates can vary, but you shouldn’t be seeing newborns this late in the year, and you probably weren’t.

Baby raccoons are born blind and helpless. Their eyes don’t open for three weeks after birth, and it’s another two to three weeks before they can stand on their own. They are weaned about three months after birth, and won’t venture out on their own until they are 8 to 10 months old. Even if the kits you saw were born in April, they’d still be very much dependent upon their mom.

You’re right that the raccoon gave birth somewhere else and has been forced to find new housing. This might not even be her first move, but carrying the young kits, one by one, to the new place is par for the course.

The kits will stay with their family through their first winter.

DEAR JOAN: I have a lot of wildlife sharing my property. Recently I encountered a young rattler — lots of rattling even after I beat a hasty retreat — and in the same area I am finding empty snail shells in the morning.

I have roof rats and thought it might be them until I saw the snake, and then found a snakeskin. Any idea who’s chomping on the snails?

K.E., New Almaden

DEAR K.: The rattlesnake’s diet consists of rodents, gophers, rabbits, ground dwelling birds, lizards and other small animals. They probably would eat a snail if one was presented to it, but I don’t think they are big snail consumers.

I think it’s most likely that your snails are being eaten by the roof rats, which in turn are being eaten by the snakes.

The rattler you saw might be a bit older than you think. Baby rattlers are born with a non-rattling bud that first appears when they are about 10 days old. Other rattles are formed with each skin shed. Young rattlesnakes shed more often than the adults, which shed about three times a year, but it still would take some time for the rattles to attain that heart-stopping sound.

www.mercurynews.com

Raccoon Facts

Raccoons are highly intelligent and curious creatures, but they can also be a nuisance to any homeowner. These nocturnal mammals can destroy gardens, make a mess by tipping over garbage cans, and can cause structural damage in search of food. On this page, you will learn general raccoon facts and how to identify raccoon damage.

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General Raccoon Facts

Scientific Name: Procyon lotor

Average Size: 12″ tall; 24-38″ long; 14-23 lbs.

Average Lifespan in the Wild: 2-3 years

Identifying Features: Gray fur with a black mask and 4-7 black rings around its tail; pointy snout with a black nose; dexterous front paws.

Raccoon Geography

Raccoons are natively found throughout most of North America. Recently, raccoons have emerged in parts of Europe and Japan.

Raccoon Habitat

Traditionally, raccoons prefer heavily wooded areas with access to trees, water and abundant vegetation. There, they make their dens in the hollow parts of trees as well as abandoned burrows, traveling up to 18 miles to forage for food.

Raccoons are extremely adaptable. They are often found in suburban and urban areas, making their homes in man-made structures like attics, sewers, barns and sheds. In urban areas, raccoons tend to stay closer to their dens with a range of only about 1 mile, depending on their age and sex.

Raccoon Diet

Raccoons are omnivores with an opportunistic diet; eating almost anything they can get their paws on. In urban areas, where wildlife and fresh vegetation are limited, raccoons will be more likely to eat human food and invade trashcans. The majority of their diet consists of sweet foods like fruits and invertebrates.

Some favorite foods include:

Raccoon Behavior

Activity: Nocturnal in nature, raccoons are mostly active at nighttime. They are most active in spring, summer and fall, and will sleep in their dens for most of the winter.

Reproduction: Reproduction begins in late winter. Females, or sows, usually give birth to 1-6 baby kits in April or May. Mothers are very protective of their young until they separate after about a year.

Social Interaction: Raccoons are independent after 12-14 months of age. Adults live in loose knit communities of 4 — 5 raccoons for better protection against predators.

Communication: Raccoons communicate with each other using over 200 different sounds and 12-15 different calls.

Skills: Raccoons possess amazing dexterity that gives them the ability to open doors, jars, bottles and latches. They are also great climbers, which allows them to better access food and shelter.

Identify Raccoon Damage

Raccoons can be extremely destructive due to their curiosity, intelligence, dexterity and climbing skills.

Here are some signs to help identify a raccoon problem:

  • tipped trash cans
  • raided bird feeders
  • pilfered gardens
  • damaged crops (ex. chewed sweet corn, hollowed out watermelons)
  • uncapped chimneys
  • torn shingles
  • raccoon tracks: five long toes and fingers resembling human hands

Raccoon Diseases

Raccoons can carry several bacterial diseases and parasites that can be transmitted to humans and pets through a bite or the ingestion of raccoon waste.

Some diseases that can affect humans and pets include:

  • leptospirosis
  • salmonella
  • roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis)
  • rabies

Although raccoons are notorious for carrying rabies, there has only been one recorded human death from raccoon rabies in the United States. Some signs that a raccoon may have rabies include aggressiveness, unusual vocalization, and excessive drool or foam from the mouth. If you think you may have identified a rabid raccoon, call your local animal control authority immediately.

Fun Facts

A raccoon will rinse its food in water prior to eating it. When there is no water close by, a raccoon will still rub its food to remove debris.

Some hypothesize that the purpose of a raccoon’s black mask is to reduce glare, helping it to see better in the dark.

A group of raccoons is called a nursery.

Although raccoons only live 2-3 years in the wild, a raccoon can live up to 20 years in captivity.

www.havahart.com

Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open During Raccoon Baby Season!

Last Updated: June 2016

Spring time is the season for colorful and brighter flowers, leaves growing back onto branches, the sound of birds becoming more and more noticeable in the morning and of course, spring time is raccoon baby season. Spring is recognized by nature leaving its state of cold, winter hibernation state, and awakening into a more lively state which includes newborn raccoons. Baby raccoons are born without the ability to see and fully depending on its mother for food, shelter and protection. Like all babies, baby raccoons require special care due to his or her inability to care for themselves as a young animal. Their delicate features and lack of exposure to the wild makes them fully dependent for care. This is why specific precautions are taken when handling a situation that involves baby raccoons. If you happen to be in a problem faced with needing to remove baby raccoons from your property, call for a professional. To minimize the risk of harming the baby raccoon and being faced with a mother raccoon, a licensed and trained wildlife removal technician is the person most suitable to get the job done rather than trying to do it yourself.

Raccoon Baby Season occurs early spring to early summer. Female raccoons usually give birth to 1 litter a year consisting of about 3 to 7 kits (baby raccoons). Females begin mating once they have reached sexual maturity at 1 year, and male raccoons once they are about 2 years old. Factors such as climate and weather are conditions that affect the mating and season of baby raccoons which is due to the varying times. Usually, mating occurs in January and after a gestation period of about 65-65 days, baby raccoons can be born as early as March.

Baby Raccoon

Baby raccoons, also known as kits are born weighing almost 2 oz. at birth. They are adorable little mammals who are born with their eyes shut, and are not able to fully see until they are about 21 days. In raccoon baby season, after the kits are born, they have a very light fur but their trademark physical characteristics are still present. The dark mask across the eyes is faint but visible, along with the rings around the tail. If not, the features present themselves as early as a week after. At about 4 weeks after the baby raccoons are born, they are able to stand and once they are walking, it appears to be a crawl with their arm and legs outstretched. At about 6 weeks, baby raccoons are actively walking, running and climbing. Although they have the ability to become independent soon after, many young raccoons will stay their mother for about a year.

Raccoon Baby Season

Homeowners and property owners of any kind should be aware when it is raccoon baby season. During this time, as early as March, raccoons will be on the lookout for a suitable shelter for herself and her young. Once a comfortable setting has been established, the mother raccoon will give birth to about 3-7 kits. If you have baby raccoons in your home, you will probably hear the mother raccoon more actively, as she is tending to the needs of her babies. The baby raccoons will make noises that sound like chirping noises. If you happen to be faced with a litter of kits on your property during this raccoon baby season, call for a professional to help you remove them. Raccoons are not very aggressive mammals unless they are threatened, and a mother raccoon will definitely defend if necessary. This is why a professional animal/wildlife removal company is the best solution to handle this. Special precautions are taken to not harm the wildlife and so there is minimal risk involved. During this process, the mother raccoon is first removed. Once she is away, and it is safe to do so, the babies are placed in a comfortable heated box to stay. The box is then moved to a place easily found and easily accessible for the mother raccoon to find where she will then take each kit one by one to another established shelter for her to raise them. When people try to attempt this with no training or education on the matter, they risk harming the mother raccoon, her young and themselves. It is a delicate process that should be handled by a professional. If a baby raccoon is found with no signs of a mother, the best option is to call a wildlife rehabilitator company like the Toronto Wildlife Centre. Although it may seem easy and safe because the raccoons are so small and easy to care for, please do not take them in to be domesticated. A raccoon’s mother is the best care a young raccoon can receive and a professional is the next best.

If you notice signs of wildlife in your house give us a call. At SOS Wildlife Control Incorporated, we provide superior raccoon baby season services for residential, commercial, and industrial clients. Let us help you solve your wildlife problems. Taking action before it’s too late will help eliminate animal damage repair costs. We can easily be reached at 1-800-981-0330. Don’t wait and call us to schedule an appointment for a thorough inspection to help evacuate all your unwanted wildlife guests in the most humane way possible.

www.soswildlifecontrol.com

Raccoon Facts & Raccoon Information

Animals We Service

More About Raccoons

Everything You Wanted To Know About Raccoons

Raccoons, aka «masked bandits» are revered for their intelligence and ingenuity. They have very nimble and manipulative paws and are very strong. These characteristics provide them with the necessary tools to damage and destroy property in their efforts to survive in urban environments. The following are some more raccoon facts and raccoon information for Vancouver homeowners:

Habitat

Urban: Although the wild raccoon lives a largely solitary life, the attraction to urban areas can cause them to much more densely populate. A density of 10 — 25 raccoons per square kilometer has been observed. They will build their dens in chimneys, attics, roofs, crawl spaces, under decks and sheds.

Breeding

Once per year: Male raccoons will attempt to mate with multiple partners each season whereas the female will mate with only one male, avoiding all others afterwards. Mating occurs during the winter months but can continue until June. This prolonged mating season makes it essential for wildlife technicians to detect if there are any babies present during the initial assessment. Offspring are born about 9 weeks after mating. It is not uncommon for mothers to make a last minute den to give birth in which is why urban structures are so attractive.

Litter size: The gestation period is around 63 days. Female raccoons produce litters between 1 and 7 offspring (typically 3 or 4).

Rearing: Newborn raccoons are blind and deaf for their first three weeks but grow quickly. They are cared for exclusively by the female who teaches them how to forage for food and shelter. One of the main threats to young raccoons is predators such as the coyote. Young raccoons will typically stay with their mother through the first winter after which they gradually leave..

Sexual maturity: Female raccoons can begin to breed at one year of age whereas males tend to begin later at the age of two.

Food and Feeding

Frequency: Raccoons feeds every day but must forage to locate their food.

Time of day: Raccoons are nocturnal so are most active at night.

Diet: They are omnivores which means they will eat both plants and animals as a primary food source. They prefer veggies, fruits, insects, slugs, snails, fish, frogs, turtles, small animals, eggs and are especially attracted to anything that is left behind in the garbage. They enjoy washing their food prior to eating which is where their latin name comes from — lotor means «one who washes».

Morphology and Lifestyle

  • Body length: 18-30 in
  • Tail length: 8 — 13 in
  • Weight: Average of 25lbs but up to 46 lbs
  • Habitat: Warm, dry and quiet spaces
  • Call: Raccoons can emit a large number of whimpers, churrs, snarls and squeals
  • Lifespan: 10 or more years in the wild

Did You Know?

  • Raccoon fact: The raccoon has very dexterous paws and are intelligent enough to twist handles and open doors.
  • Raccoon fact: When in distress, baby raccoons can sounds like human babies.
  • Raccoon fact: Their motherly instinct in is very strong and they will cause major damage if separated from their young.
  • Raccoon fact: Raccoons can have as many as 5 or 6 den sites in a residential area.
  • Raccoon fact: Raccoons prefer to wash their food before eating it.
  • Raccoon fact: Raccoons can carry the rabies virus without showing any signs or symptoms.

Do It Yourself Dangers

For the «do-it-yourselfer», performing wildlife removal and animal proofing can be a dangerous undertaking and best be left to an experienced professional. Over the years we have come across customers who attempted to do-it-themselves, only to sustain serious bodily harm by falling off ladders and roofs. One customer, startled by an aggressive mother raccoon fell through their ceiling onto the staircase below and broke his back.

www.vancouverwildlife.com

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