Raccoons | Des Moines, IA
A raccoon's appearance is very distinct. They are known to be about the size of a large cat, and they have a black mask over their eyes along with a ringed tail.
Raccoon Behavior and Diet
Raccoons are nocturnal pests. Therefore, homeowners tend to see them sneaking around once the sun goes down. Most raccoons inhibit trees or logs near lakes or streams. They are not afraid to make their way into public spaces, especially when they are scavenging for food. If they decide to make their home in a more populated area, they prefer chimneys, attics, and beneath porches to construct their den.
As for food, during the spring and summer months, a raccoon's diet can consist of frogs, insects, and fish whereas, in the fall, they are drawn to nuts, berries, fruits, and sweet corns. However, when they make their way into residential areas, they begin to seek out thrown out foods in trashcans.
Raccoons are known to be extremely social animals. They tend to mate earlier in the year, from February to March, with the females carrying their young for about 60 days. A female's litter consists of three to five young. It is at about two months that the young raccoons leave the nest with their mother to help search for food.
Signs of a Raccoon Infestation
The easiest way to determine that you may have a raccoon infestation on your hands is by spotting them consistently near your home. Since raccoons are known for scouring through trashcans, noticeable signs will be overturned trashcans or structural damage on your home. You may also hear rustling noises in your attic in the evening hours.
Ways to Prevent Raccoons
- Seal garbage cans tightly. Raccoons have opposable thumbs and can remove any loose or broken lids. The best garbage cans have lids that lock into place with handles or clamps. If necessary, keep garbage cans inside a secure building.
- Don't feed them. If you have pets, feed them during the day and don't leave their food or water dishes outside, which the raccoons are likely to use at night. In some cases, raccoons have even fought cats and dogs for their meals.
- Eliminate a shelter. To avoid raccoons making a nest around or near your home, remove, seal or close any entrance points into your home, below your porch, or in your garage or shed.
Leading Des Moines Pest Control Service
No matter the time of year, raccoons can become a serious nuisance to homeowners. If you begin to notice these pesky critters making themselves too comfortable around your property, reach out to a pest professional immediately. For questions or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (515) 276-7277 or schedule an appointment online today!