It’s that time of year again: raccoon mating season! While this is an exciting time for raccoons, it can be quite a nuisance for us humans.
We’re all familiar with having our garbage cans ransacked, but not all of us have had a raccoon invasion. Raccoons are extremely adaptable and can thrive in both urban areas and the wild.
During the winter months, raccoons are not hibernating; they are entering their mating season and looking for a warm, dry den, which just might be your home!
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The Raccoon Mating Season
When is raccoon mating season?
The Raccoon mating season generally falls between January and March and gestation lasts about 63 days.
Females typically begin reproducing around one year of age and give birth to two to five kits. Kits are usually born in spring and stay with their mother in their den for 8-12 weeks.
Raccoons and Winter
Just like humans, raccoons want somewhere warm and dry during the cold, snowy winter months.
Contrary to popular belief, raccoons do not hibernate in winter. This may have become conventional wisdom because during very cold days raccoons seek shelter in their warm dens and remain there.
Related: What do raccoons do in winter?
If the weather is especially harsh, raccoons may stay in their dens for weeks living off of their fat stores.
When this may become a problem for you, because a raccoon may decide to make YOUR home their new den.
Raccoons are highly opportunistic creatures in addition to their adaptability and if you have a warm place where they can easily seek shelter, they will. Mating season increases the risk of a raccoon invasion because the animals are looking for somewhere safe to birth their babies.
Raccoon-Proofing Your Home
Raccoons are adept climbers and if there is a way in, raccoons will indeed find it. There are a number of things homeowners can do to prevent or discourage raccoons from taking up residence.
- Look for any holes or cracks in your foundation
- Do not leave shed or garage doors open
- Cap the chimney
- Check for loose shingles, and
- Be sure the attic is sealed
- Install outdoor, motion-activated flood lights
What to Do If Raccoons Move In
Do not try to remove raccoons on your own. Without realizing it, you could endanger yourself or the animal, or even be in violation of a law or ordinance. Contact a trained professional like Attic Solutions who is familiar with humane and effective raccoon removal procedures.
Do you need help removing a raccoon from your home?
Attic Solutions can provide you humane raccoon removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs.
We can also safely restore and sanitize your attic to remove dangerous contaminants.