It’s February, and you know what that means…it’s the month of love! Every store is covered in pink and red, hearts and balloons and flowers and stuffed animals and, most importantly,  chocolate. Some people are celebrating Valentine’s Day, and romantic love, others Valentine’s Day, and important friendships, and others are not celebrating at all. Even some animals are getting into the spirit of the month, though maybe not in ways we humans will enjoy.

Raccoons are a particular culprit when it comes to celebrating the month of love in a less than savory way. It is around this time every year when we start to get an increase in calls of raccoons causing a ruckus in peoples’ attics, and in their chimneys. Most raccoons will not be having babies quite yet, as the mating season starts around the beginning of the new year and raccoon pregnancy lasts about two months. However, raccoon females may be starting to look for a safe place to raise their babies, also known as kits.

This safe place is essential for any soon-to-be mother raccoon. While raccoons do not have many natural predators anymore, male raccoons have no qualms ridding a female of her existing kits to try to send her back into heat. For males, it is all about furthering their own gene pool, and they will do whatever it takes to do so. So, unless the mother-to-be can find a place in which a male cannot easily find her and her babies, it could be bad news for her kits.

One of the most popular places that a mother raccoon may try to reside during this time is an uncapped chimney. This is particularly true if the chimney was used by a raccoon mother the previous year, as that mother or one of her kits will try to return to what has proven to be a safe space. The best way to prevent this from happening is to install a chimney cap so that the raccoons cannot gain access. If the mother-to-be has already moved in, make sure to get her removed before the cap is installed, though, or you may end up with a litter of raccoons or worse in your living room! Advanced Wildlife Control is, of course, here to help with any raccoon-mother-to-be removal, as well as preventing future raccoon entry.