Suburban Raccoon Populations Are Growing and Getting Smarter

Raccoons are everywhere in the suburbs and their numbers are growing.

Not only is raccoons territory growing, but they adapting, learning and getting smarter.

Even stranger, they’re getting smarter because humans are forcing them to learn and adapt.

The raccoon population in the midwest and Untied States has expanded at an “astonishing” rate over the past 80 years, according to zoologist Sam Zeveloff, author of “Raccoons: A Natural History.

Raccoons have become highly tolerant of humans.

raccoons invade the suburbsTheir numbers in the suburbs have been growing for decades and they continue to expand in dense urban areas as well.

They’ve been able to expand into the city because of their tolerance for humans, their capability to eat anything; vegetable, meat, birdseed, cat food or garbage, and because of their ability to learn.

Raccoons will sleep anywhere too, from a hollow log, an abandoned burrow, under your deck, in your attic, in the garage or anywhere they can feel safe.

Related: How to keep raccoons from moving into your home

For professional raccoon removal in Chicagoland, call us at (847) 464-1861

raccoons carrying disease into your homeTo summarize, they’re not picky eaters, not picky sleepers, aren’t very afraid of humans, and most of all, they have nimble hands and the ability to learn from their environment.

This ability to live among humans has been a problem because raccoons are more likely to carry rabies than other animals, often suffer from distemper and can spread diseases through raccoon feces.

Related: Common raccoon diseases

In Toronto, which is known as the “Raccoon Capital of the World”, the city has been fighting a losing war against raccoons. The pests have been able to adapt and learn how to open every garbage can and dumpster lid that the city has tried to use to keep them away from trash.

And this is how we are unintentionally making raccoons smarter. 

“If we have this evolutionary arms race to keep them out of our attics and garbage cans, and those that survive figure out how to get in, then what you’re going to see over generations is their brains are different,” says biologist Suzanne MacDonald from York University in Toronto.

So raccoons are adapting to us, we are adapting to them, and they continue to adapt to us.

Time will tell who will win in the end. Or if there is even an end to this war.

One thing that is certain, though, is that the man versus raccoon war will not be over anytime soon. 


For professional raccoon removal in Chicagoland, call us at (847) 464-1861


Sources:

The Intelligent Life of the City Raccoon

Will Raccoons Trump Rats as the Ultimate Urban Mammal?

Raccoons: A League of their own


 

Suburban Raccoon Populations Are Growing and Getting Smarter was last modified: March 14th, 2017 by Attic Solutions

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