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Elimination

If you can eliminate the raccoon’s access to food, it may move away. Repellants are generally ineffective except for driving a raccoon out of a closed space. Using a cage is the best method of control. You can rent cages at the store at our head office.

If you decide to rent a cage, bait it with sardines, canned cat food, or strawberry jam and add an apple quarter to prevent the animal from getting dehydrated. Once the animal is captured, take it 15 to 20 km away to make sure it doesn’t come back.

Actions

  • Capture animals with a wildlife trap designed for that purpose
  • Release animals at least 20 km away

Prevention

  • Use sealed garbage containers or put them where nothing can get at them
  • Keep birdseed for your birdfeeder in a sealed container where nothing can get at it

Description and development

The raccoon is a solitary, nocturnal mammal that usually measures 65 to 96 cm long. Large males can weigh up to 28 kg, but generally an adult raccoon weighs between 5 and 12 kg.
Raccoons mate in January or February, and females have only one litter per year. Four to five young are born in April or May after a 63 day gestation period. They are weaned at the age of four months but spend their first winter with their mother.

Habits

Raccoons live in forests and agricultural areas. They can be seen not only at the edge of forests and waterbodies but also in urban and suburban parks. Although they often move from one shelter to another, raccoons usually live in hollow trees, barns, stumps, or abandoned groundhog dens. They can even seek refuge in attics and chimneys.

Around mid-November, raccoons enter a state of torpor and spend the winter in their dens. However, they do wake up from time to time. Males leave their den in late January and the females in mid-March. Raccoons are omnivorous, preferring small aquatic animals such as clams, mussels, crayfish, fish, frogs, and turtles. However, they also feed on insects, small mammals, fruit, corn, and sometimes our garbage.

Raccoons live for 12 to 13 years in the wild and up to 22 years in captivity. Raccoons are very dexterous and have a highly developed sense of touch. Their front paws are like little hands that can easily grasp small objects, turn door handles, and even lift lids like those on garbage cans.

Raccoon predators include American martens, bobcats, cougars, grey wolves, red foxes, and humans, who take raccoons mainly for their fur. It should be noted that raccoons can carry rabies.

Photo published with the authorization of photographer Nicolas Barsalou and Valérie Gagnon

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