1. Breeding season can start in January and ends in June.
Peak mating season is March through April, but raccoons will begin to breed as soon as the weather gets warmer. We recommend seasonal inspections of the outside of your home, to make sure prevention is in place before breeding season. Raccoons have a 65-day gestation, and they will remain in the den for up to 7 weeks after birth.
2. Dens are usually temporary.
Outside of the breeding season, raccoons will change dens frequently. They don’t build these dens, but rather take advantage of already empty spaces.
If you have a raccoon setting up camp in a tree outside, chances are they’ll be moving on in a day or so anyway. When it comes to your home, however, you’ll want to be sure they’re fully gone before boarding up the hole or taking other exclusion steps.
3. Raccoons will “den” where they feel safe and removed from humans.
When a female raccoon is going to breed and give birth, she’ll establish a more permanent den. Raccoons prefer to be off the ground in hollow trees, attics, and chimney flues. If these places aren’t available, they’ll look for places where they won’t be disturbed, like under homes, low clearance decks, and sheds.
Because she’s about to give birth to kits, she’ll be even more careful about her choice.
4. You can prevent raccoons.
Raccoons rely on their immediate surroundings. If you make your home inhospitable to raccoons, they won’t stay! These are the best and simplest ways to make sure you can prevent raccoons:
- Don’t feed raccoons
- Seal all sources of garbage
- Feed pets indoors
- Keep pet food away from pet door
- Close pet door at night
- Don’t put food in compost piles
- Instead secure in compost containers to prevent access
- Clean up outdoor food areas, such as barbecue areas or picnic tables
- Eliminate access to potential dens by filling or blocking all holes
- Talk to your neighbors
- If an entire area takes these prevention steps, your yard has a better chance of remaining raccoon-free
5. Raccoon relocation is illegal in Oregon and Washington.
We know it might be tempting to trap and relocate raccoons, but it’s illegal. Relocation has several serious consequences for both the raccoons and the surrounding environments, including the death of the raccoons, the spread of disease, and ecological collapse.
If you have a mother and kits under your porch or in another space on your property, don’t attempt to remove them physically. It’s always best to call a wildlife removal specialist as soon as possible, so the animals can be removed safely and you can minimize any structural damage caused by the animals.
What can I do about the raccoons on my property?
If these prevention steps aren’t working, or you’re concerned about the raccoons on your property, give Pioneer Pest Management a call. We can perform an inspection to make sure all of the available prevention steps are complete, and we can spot any particular areas that raccoons might take advantage of.