RACCOONS (Procyon lotor)
The raccoon is a large bodied animal with long legs and a pointed snout. Color ranges from grizzled to black. The most prominent features of the raccoon is the black “mask” around the eyes and the alternating light and dark bands on the tail. Raccoons can reach lengths of 39 inches (tail included) and reach weights of 30 pounds. Their tracks represent human hand and foot prints.
Raccoons are not a deep woods animal. They are far more common in urban and suburban areas than in the deep woods. Residential areas can hold large numbers of raccoons as they are quite capable of living close to and with humans. Our sheds and attics provide warm shelters and our garbage, bird feeders and pet food dishes offer them all the food they need, as they will eat anything(omnivorous).
Raccoons mate in February through March, upon coming out of winter den sites(they are not true hibernators). Young are born from late April-May and number from 2-7 with 4 being the average. They have one litter per year and the young stay with the female until the fall, as they are fairly social animals. The males do not play any role in raising the young. Favorite places to have their young are sheds and attics.
Raccoons can cause extensive damage to gardens and fruit orchards. They can also wreak havoc on manicured lawns, as they dig under the sod, flipping it in, search of grubs. They quickly turn a beautiful lawn into a mess.
Raccoons are very susceptible to distemper and rabies. Distemper is common is our raccoons in Nova Scotia and seem to hit the population in 10-15 year cycles- the last cycle occurring in the last 3-5 years. Raccoon rabies has not been identified in Nova Scotia, but it has been identified in New Brunswick.
Feeding raccoons is fun for people, however, it can bring with it unforeseen circumstances. Raccoons are bold and usually fearless when conditioned to being fed by humans-this can be a concern for young children. Females are very aggressive when there young are present. Raccoon droppings contain a raccoon roundworm parasite which can be transmitted to humans and pets(no such occurrence to humans in Nova Scotia).
Several exclusionary methods can be successful in eliminating raccoon problems. Repellent methods are not that successful. Live trapping is the best method done by knowledgeable people.
A major outbreak of distemper occurred in the Halifax and surrounding areas in the summer/fall of 2012. For this reason, raccoons should only be handled by trained individuals so as to not release a distempered raccoon back into the wild. As a graduate of a wildlife management/biology program, the only individual to hold this credential running a wildlife control business in N.S., I can spot the symptoms of a distempered raccoon in its early stages. Please ensure that the person you are hiring knows what they are doing before catching and releasing any raccoons back into the wild.
To solve your raccoon problem, call Advanced Wildlife Control at 497-2582.
According to Department of Natural Resources record keeping, Advanced Wildlife Control does more Raccoon removals than any other company in N.S. - a testament to our professionalism and reasonable prices.
By contacting Advanced Wildlife Control, you are getting a truly N.S. owned and operated business, not a franchise company from somewhere in Canada and/or the U.S. Franchises can mean higher costs for you. The N.S. Wildlife Act requires individuals working as a nuisance wildlife operator to be licensed. I am fully licensed pursuant to the N.S. Wildlife Act. To ensure you are dealing with a licensed operator, you should ask the operator to produce their license.