When Do Raccoons Have Babies In Michigan

Breeding Cycle of Raccoons

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Raccoons are carnivorous mammals with omnivore tendencies. While they prefer meat, raccoons have a wide diet that includes berries, grasses, grains and crawfish. Nursing mothers, in particular, have a voracious appetite, often spending nights and days gathering food. For this reason, although raccoons are generally nocturnal, it isn’t unusual to see healthy raccoons during the day.

Life Cycle

Breeding generally occurs in late winter. If the female is not bred during this time, she will come into estrus again in four months and can be bred at that time, giving birth to babies later in the summer. Most cubs, however, are born in April and May.

The average length of pregnancy for a female raccoon is 63 days. The mother typically has between one and seven cubs at a time, with an average litter of four. The cubs are born with fur and are mobile, although their legs cannot support them, so they scoot along on their stomachs for the first few weeks.


Males are capable of breeding with females in the first spring after they are born — however, due to the presence of older, more mature males, they typically do not participate in this first breeding season. After breeding with females, the male raccoon typically returns to his den for the remainder of the cold weather. While raccoons do not hibernate, they can spend long periods of time in their den without eating during the winter. Male raccoons do not couple with females thoughout the gestation period, and they have nothing to do with raising the cubs.


Females are typically ready to breed when they are about 10 months old. After breeding, they, like male raccoons, typically return to their dens for the remainder of winter. After giving birth, the mother spends most of her time gathering food for herself to keep her offspring nourished. She will keep the cubs in one spot for the first eight weeks. After eight to nine weeks, the cubs are mobile enough to travel with their mother.


At birth, raccoons are between 3 and 5 ounces, their ears are tightly folded against their head and their eyes are closed. After about three weeks, they begin to open their eyes and their ears become erect. By the time the cubs are six weeks old they can typically run and climb proficiently. At eight weeks, they leave the nest with their mother and are eating solid food. By the time they are four months old, the raccoon cubs are typically weaned from their mother, although the family typically stays together well into the fall, and in many cases until the following breeding season.


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.


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.

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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.


Raccoon Nest In Attic — Nesting Season

Raccoons very frequently create a nest inside attics and trees. The females usually have 3-5 young per litter. The nesting season is usually in spring, with peak time for birth in March, and the babies are often noticeable in April. However, nesting season varies depending on what part of the country the raccoon lives in. Down south, they might give birth any time of the year, even though spring is still the most common time.

If you have a nest of baby raccoons in your house, such as in the attic or ceiling, they must usually be removed by hand. You can’t set traps for such little animals — they will just stay in the nest, nursing from the mother raccoon, until they are at least 3 months old, at which point they might start to exit the nest to start foraging. You can’t just trap the mom raccoon and leave the babies in the nest to starve and suffer to death. You’ve got to remove them by hand, such as in the below photo:

Raccoons and nests — A raccoon will build a bed just like most creatures, and a raccoon inside of a home is probably looking to have a family. A raccoon is not picky about what it uses for a nest. Outside, the most common material used are long grasses and hay, though the creature is smart enough to cart fabric remnants back to a den location. Raccoon inside of a home are far more at ease. Insulation provides amazing comfort and warmth, and a raccoon will shred the material until it generates enough of a pile to burrow within. When it comes time to give birth, a mother raccoon in a home will be far more at ease than one outside. This is why most invading raccoons are female. If you’re going to remove the adult, you need to do a thorough search for young. There is almost always a cluster of kits somewhere in the home. If you’re uncertain of their whereabouts, wait until nighttime and listen for squeals and soft sounds. It’s difficult to tell a raccoon nest from other animals’ if you don’t have a trained eye. A squirrel nest might be just as large; however, a squirrel nest tends to be more intricate than that of a raccoon.

NEED LOCAL HELP? We have wildlife removal professionals servicing 95% of the USA. Click here to hire a local raccoon removal expert in your home town. Updated 2018. But read the below advice first!

How do I know if the raccoon in my attic has had babies — If you can’t find out for certain, it’s always best to assume the raccoon in your attic had babies somewhere in the building. Most of the adult raccoons that enter a building are females with the idea in their head to have a family. That’s not to say you won’t occasionally encounter a male raccoon in the attic, but females offer their own challenges when it comes to removal. If you’re able to get close enough to the raccoon to see it clearly, try to discern protruding nipples on its belly. This is a sure sign the animal has young. Beyond that, unless you’re a professional who can tell a female raccoon just by looking at it, you’re going to have to guess. Trapping a raccoon in your home is often illegal depending on where you live. Because of the potential complication of babies in the attic, calling in a wildlife removal company isn’t unreasonable. Not only will the professional be able to trap the adult, if there are any babies in the space, the expert will be able to find and remove them, too.

Raccoon nesting habits — The main criteria is a safe place, safe from predators and the elements. Trees are great, as are attics. The mother will scout around in its territory, looking for a good spot in which to give birth. During this phase, they will often tear open holes in roofs of houses. Once inside, or in any safe place, they will just find a suitable spot. Raccoons don’t build nests, like birds and squirrels do. They don’t really bring in nesting debris like sticks or leaves. They do, however, leave their waste near the nesting area, and all around the attic. If you want to see photographs, click here for raccoon droppings and feces identification.

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Raccoons and their young — Most people who have a problem with a raccoon in the home have a raccoon that is female. That’s not to say a particularly bad winter won’t drive male raccoons into an attic, but most of the time the pest up there is a mother-to-be, and she’s getting ready for nesting season. In nature, male raccoons kill litters that are not theirs. This throws the female into another heat cycle and allows that male to breed her. It’s a sad cycle, and female raccoons are all too aware of the danger males mean to their babies. Because of this, a female raccoon will often leave her normal territory to find a place safe. There are few places as protected from the weather and predators as is a human house. Once the female bullies her way inside she’ll set out to make a nest. This nest is going to be made of insulation and anything else she can tear off the walls of your home. Usually, though not all the time, the nest will be inaccessible to you, down inside of a wall or tucked into an eave. Getting the babies out is just as important as getting out the adult. Often, you can use the babies to lure the mother into a cage trap if you can get the litter nest of baby raccoons out of the attic first.

If you find a baby raccoon nest in a tree, it’s no cause for alarm. I say, just let ’em be! Unless they are causing you any specific damage or problem you don’t want, leave them alone. If you do want to remove them, be sure you catch and remove them all together, the mother plus the juvenile racccoons, so that the mother can care for the young after you relocate them. You can set a trap at the base of the tree for the adult, and them remove the nest from the tree by hand, and put them in an animal carrier, and bring them all to the same place when it’s time to let them go. Hopefully, the mother will find a new tree.

Raccoon nesting box — you can help out by building a nest box for raccoons. Any wooden box, at least two feet wide, with an opening of at least 6 inches, will do. It must be off the ground, preferably in a tree. That’ll help out raccoons a great deal. However, to be honest, and this is coming from a raccoon lover, I’m not sure they need the help. There are so many raccoons in cities now, it’s crazy! One more good nesting area will only increase the population. Click here to learn everything about how to get rid of raccoons in the attic, from the web’s best guide. guy listed in Cleveland on my directory of professionals. He’ll do a good job.


Raccoon Trapping and Removal FAQ’s

Raccoon Removal and Raccoon Trapping FAQ’s

We get many questions every month regarding raccoons and the process of trapping and removing raccoons from home, attic, buildings and other places where raccoons become a nuisance to humans.

What we have bellow is a common list of questions that is most frequently asked via email or to one of our technicians out in the field.
Remember this list of raccoon FAQ’s will be a ongoing piece of work so check back often as the page will often change!

If you feel you need a professional animal removal expert and live in the united states you can go to our animal removal expert page and choose the state and city in which you live to find a reputable raccoon removal professional.

Q: How do I get rid of raccoons in my attic?

A: How do I get rid of raccoons in my attic is a common question that requires a bunch of different answers. You could always trap the raccoon Then you are faced on what to do with the raccoon after trapping it. In many states a raccoon is considered a rabies carrier and it is illeagal to trap and release a possible rabies carrier unless released on your own property. If you release it on your own property, did you really solve your problem? The best way to handle this is to call a professional from our list. They can offer you a complete solution to your, raccoon in the attic problem.

Q: How many babies do raccoons have at a time?

A: How many babies will a raccoon have at a time is a hard question to answer, There is many factors that play into how many babies a raccoon will have. One is the holding capacity of the current population that the area is capable of holding; mother nature has a unique way of controlling this and is fairly good at it. The second is the abundance of food. If food is scarce, then the birth population will be down considerably compared to a good food year. So the answer is, It depends.

Q: How Long Do Raccoons live?

A: How long do raccoons live is a question that we receive in all times of the year from may different people. Raccoons can live in the wild for betwen 8 and 10 years, However we have gheard of documented cases where raccons in capitivity have live up to 20 years. This is a extermely long time and the life span of a raccoon really depends on its diet. Raccoons will live longer in the wild where they only eat natural foods. Compared to a urban enviroment where they are exposed to human foods from trash cans and other sources such as dumpsters.

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Q: Are raccoons easy to trap?

A:Are raccoons easy to trap is a question that is asked a lot of times by homeowners that are looking to possibly trap their own raccoons in traps that they possibly buy from home depot or Lowes. Raccoons can be tricky to catch in a live trap. Raccoons are finicky eaters and we only commit to a trap that has the correct bait inside it. With the right bait source changing from different parts of the country. One thing you can bet is you will have better luck with natural types of bait as opposed to hot dogs and other unnatural foods.

Q: How much do raccoons weigh?

A: How much raccoons weigh really depends on several factors. Raccoons are opportunistic eaters and will eat whatever and how much ever the land will provide them. They can be as lean as 10lb or as heavy as 35 pounds. There have been several raccoons that have been documented to be heavier than this, but 35 pounds is the upper average of how much as raccoon can weigh. The heaver raccoons seem to be found in the Midwest where corn is grown. These raccoons get into the corn silos and just EAT! They will eat and sleep in these silos and become a nuisance by all the corn they eat. These raccoon should be trapped

Q: What Damages do raccoons do to your attic?

A: What damages do raccoons do your attic depends totally on how long the raccoons are allowed to stay up in the attic area of your home. Raccoons will not do a lot of damage if they are removed as soon as they are discovered. If the raccoons are allowed to stay in the attic area of a home they will do much damage to duct work from your AC unit and they will urinate and defecate in your insulation. This will essentially ruin your insulation and possibly your sheetrock on your ceiling. These materials become saturated with urine and this will cause damage that is irreversible. When these items become damaged, they must be cleaned up and replace.

Q: Do raccoons dig in my yard?

A: Do raccoons dig in my yard is often a question that is asked by homeowners that had a very large disturbance in their yard. Raccoons will gain access in yards to dig for grubs and other insects that are found underground in your yard. The drawback about just applying a insecticide is the insects that the raccoons are after is some of the same insects that make your yard healthy and lush. One of these insects is Japanese Beatles. The other thing the raccoon could be eating out of your yard is earth worms. Both of these yard inhabitants are a common food for raccoons that are digging in your yard.

Q: What do raccoons eat?

A: What do raccoons eat is commonly asked when a customer is possibly looking to trap their own raccoons. This goes back and the question and has a similar answer to the how much do raccoon weigh question asked earlier. Raccoons will eat a lot of different kinds of natural and unnatural foods. They are known to eat and kind of wild nut or berry. They also eat corn, vegetables from gardens and have also been known to eat fish from creeks. They will also eat other small animals. So to answer the question one must say raccoons will eat almost anything

Q: What does someone do with raccoons after they are trapped?

A:What does someone do with a raccoon once they are trapped is a very difficult question to answer, the short easy answer is: Do what the state law says you do with it. Many states have many different rules and regulations and have very stiff penalties if you violate their regulations. Many states such as Virginia and Maryland require that if you catch a raccoon in a trap, then it must be humanely put down. Other states such as Florida allow you to relocate the raccoons to areas that allow such relocation.
So it depends on where you are located. The other part of this answer is. Do you know how to release a aggressive raccoon from a trap? These animals are VERY aggressive when they are trapped. Do you want to reach down and open the cage and let a aggressive animal pass within 6 inches of your hand? Raccoons have been known to turn around and attack once released. You should skip this if you are inexperienced. Call a professional from our trappers list located on top of this page.

Q: Can I keep a raccoon as a pet?

A: If you can keep a raccoon as a pet depends on what state you are in.
It is illegal to keep a wild born raccoon in any state in the union however some states allow toy to keep domesticated raccoons. You will have to check with you state office to see if this is possible. However I will tell you that keeping a raccoon as a pet is not a good idea. As young raccoons they are cute a cuddly, however they do get bigger and with age comes their wild ways and instincts It would be totally unnatural for a raccoon to be handled. Many people think that they can teach a raccoon to be tame, this would be like teaching a bird not to fly, this will not happen. These are wild animals and will always be wild. Never try to domesticate a wild raccoon.


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