Published on April 19, 2020 – Written By Erin Gerken
With the weather finally on the upswing, it is finally starting to feel like spring here in Wisconsin. And while sunny skies and warmer weather can lead to happier moods overall for us, it can also lead to some unexpected headaches in the form of damage caused by animals. Spring is prime time for this kind of damage, particularly from raccoons. Raccoons sometimes break into homes or other human-made structures on the hunt for a safe place to have their babies.
First of all, let’s explain the reasoning for mom raccoon needing to find a safe place for her babies. While many mammals, and animals in general, will often work together as co-parents to raise their young, raccoons do not. Raccoon moms are single mothers, with no co-parent to help do the job. In fact, if a male raccoon finds mom and her babies, he will try to rid her of her children so she will go back into heat. Raccoon moms try to find a place to raise their babies where a male raccoon cannot break in and wreak havoc. This can result in raccoons ending up in chimneys, attics, and it is not uncommon for our technicians to cut into walls to remove raccoon babies that mom tucked away a little too well for our comfort.
Raccoons have very strong hands and have little trouble ripping holes in siding, soffits, gables, and fascia when looking for a place to hide. When mom first breaks in, it will likely be hard to miss, for a number of reasons. One reason is that the hole will likely be very obvious, as unlike mice who can fit into the smallest of spaces, raccoons prefer space to maneuver and will have no qualms making a hole big enough to fit through easily. Raccoons are also very loud and it can sound like humans or elephants walking around in your attic.
Raccoons typically start to mate around the beginning of the year, between January and March. Gestation lasts around two months, resulting in a litter of two to five kits. Both deaf and blind, kits are wholly reliant upon mom at birth and for the first few weeks after. Even after gaining these two senses, they typically do not leave the den and start to explore for another month or two. This is the time period that can be most confusing for homeowners: baby raccoons do not sound like what you would expect. Often times, we get calls from clients who believe they have birds in their attic because they are hearing chirping or other bird-like noises, but it turns out to be a litter of raccoons.
There is one more catch when it comes to raccoons. As if elephant-like noises and day-and-night chirping aren’t enough, if a mother raccoon does successfully have and raise a little in or around your home, both mom and any females from the litter may try to use your home as their den the following years! This is why we highly recommend removing and relocating any raccoon families that may take up residence in or around your home at this time, and making sure that any damages caused by these animals are properly repaired and sealed and that your chimney is capped.
If you think raccoons may have broken into your home or business, give Advanced Wildlife Control a call today at 262-242-4390. Our technicians are trained to safely remove and relocate raccoon families, as well as repair any damage they caused on entry or during their tenure in your residence.