This time of year, raccoons are one of the most common wildlife issues faced by Long Island homeowners. Despite the fact that virtually no homeowner wants to deal with a raccoon invasion or the noises, nocturnal activity, or pet-food-stealing issues they bring with them, understanding a little more about raccoon behavior is a good start toward prevention.
Raccoon Fact #1: They’re Named for Their Hands
Have you ever noticed how dexterous raccoons are? They’re able to open trash cans with their own hands, after all! The word “raccoon” comes from the Powhatan word “aroughcun,” which translates to “animal that scratches with its hands.” It’s no surprise then, that raccoons are well-known for using their hands to get into trouble.
Raccoon Fact #2: They’re As Big as Some Dogs
Have you ever seen a raccoon up close? You may have noticed it wasn’t a tiny critter! It’s typical for a raccoon to grow to about 23 to 37 inches long, and larger raccoons can weigh nearly 25 pounds.
Raccoon Fact #3: Raccoons Aren’t Picky
When it comes to what they eat, raccoons are opportunistic creatures who will feed on fruits, nuts, and vegetables, as well as other small animals like frogs, snakes, and mice, and even insects. Because they aren’t really hunters, raccoons are going to eat what’s convenient to them, so in urban settings in particular, whatever is in an easily accessible trash can is also fair game for a raccoon’s dinner.
Raccoon Fact #4: Raccoons Love the City
Speaking of urban settings, raccoons are thriving in cities around the country. While a big city may not seem like an ideal location for raccoons, they’ve actually adapted quite well to city life, and often travel through drains and sewers to get where they need to go!
Raccoon Fact #5: Raccoons Make Over 200 Sounds
If you think you know what sounds a raccoon makes, you may not know them all! In fact, raccoons have a diverse vocal range, including purring, chittering, growling, snarling, hissing, and many more sounds they use to communicate.
Raccoon Fact #6: Raccoons Are Extremely Intelligent
Raccoons are more than just dexterous, mischievous, and adaptable; they’re also great at solving puzzles. In a study by H.B. Davis in the early 1900s involving 12 raccoons, the animals were given 13 complex locks. In under 10 tries each, the raccoons were able to successfully open 11 of the 13 locks.
Raccoon Fact #7: Raccoons’ Masks Have a Purpose
Raccoons are well-known for their black masks across their faces and the bandit-like look they provide to these cunning creatures, but did you know those masks serve a purpose? Their unique fur coloring actually allows for easier identification of one another! It’s also suggested the dark coloring helps prevent glare and aids in their night vision.
We Get It…Raccoons Aren’t Always Cute.
If you find yourself dealing with a raccoon problem in your Long Island home, there are several ways we can help, from removal of the animal, to installing a chimney cap to remove an entry point. For help, call or text (631/516) 864-6900.