If you live in an area with raccoons, you may have wondered when these adorable yet mischievous creatures come out. Raccoons are nocturnal animals, which means they are active at night and sleep during the day. However, they are not strictly nocturnal and can also be active during the day, especially if they are hungry or have become accustomed to human presence. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at when raccoons come out and what you can do to keep them away from your property.
Raccoons: Nocturnal Animals
Raccoons are nocturnal animals, which means they are most active at night. They have excellent night vision and can see in the dark, making it easier for them to find food and move around in the dark. Raccoons usually come out of their dens at dusk, and their activity peaks during the night. They spend their nights searching for food, which can include insects, rodents, fruits, vegetables, and even garbage. Raccoons are opportunistic eaters, which means they will eat almost anything they can find.
Although raccoons are nocturnal, they can also be active during the day, especially if they have become accustomed to human presence. Raccoons are highly adaptable and can quickly learn to live in urban environments, where they have access to food and water. In such areas, raccoons can be seen during the day, scavenging for food or lounging in a sunny spot. However, if you see a raccoon during the day, it may indicate that the animal is sick or injured. Healthy raccoons usually sleep during the day and come out at night.
Raccoon Seasonal Activity
Raccoons are most active during the spring and summer months when they are breeding and raising their young. During this time, you may see more raccoons than usual as the animals search for food and nesting sites. As the weather gets colder, raccoons become less active and spend more time in their dens. They may hibernate for short periods, especially during periods of extreme cold.
How to Keep Raccoons Away from Your Property
If you have raccoons in your area, you may want to take steps to keep them away from your property. Here are some tips that can help:
Secure Your Garbage
Raccoons are attracted to garbage, so make sure your trash cans are secured with tight-fitting lids. If possible, keep your garbage cans in a locked shed or garage until the day of pickup.
Remove Potential Food Sources
Raccoons are opportunistic eaters and will eat almost anything they can find. To keep them away from your property, remove potential food sources such as pet food, bird feeders, and fallen fruits and nuts.
Block Access Points
Raccoons can climb trees and fences, so make sure your property is secure. Block any potential access points, such as holes in your fence or gaps under your shed or deck.
There are several natural repellents that can help keep raccoons away from your property. Some effective options include ammonia, peppermint oil, and cayenne pepper. You can also purchase commercial repellents designed specifically for raccoons.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can raccoons see in the dark?
Yes, raccoons have excellent night vision and can see in the dark. Their eyes are specially adapted to low light conditions, making it easier for them to find food and move around in the dark.
Do raccoons hibernate?
Although raccoons are not true hibernators, they may hibernate for short periods during periods of extreme cold. During this time, their body temperature drops, and their metabolic rate slows down, allowing them to conserve energy.
Are raccoons dangerous?
Raccoons are generally not dangerous to humans, but they can become aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered. They are also carriers of several diseases, including rabies, so it’s best to keep your distance if you encounter a raccoon.
What should I do if I find a baby raccoon?
If you find a baby raccoon, it’s best to leave it alone. Mother raccoons often leave their babies alone for several hours while they search for food, and it’s not uncommon to find a baby raccoon on its own. However, if the baby appears sick or injured, or if you’re concerned for its welfare, contact a local wildlife rehabilitator for assistance.
How can I tell if there are raccoons in my area?
There are several signs that raccoons may be in your area. These include overturned trash cans, damage to bird feeders or gardens, and tracks or scat (feces) on the ground. You may also hear raccoons making noises at night, such as chattering or growling sounds.
Raccoons are fascinating animals that are most active at night, but they can also be seen during the day, especially in urban areas. If you have raccoons in your area, take steps to keep them away from your property by securing your garbage, removing potential food sources, and blocking access points. Remember to keep your distance if you encounter a raccoon, and contact a local wildlife rehabilitator if you find a baby raccoon that appears sick or injured. By taking these precautions, you can coexist peacefully with these adorable yet mischievous creatures.
John Barns is an avid gardener who has a passion for both indoor and outdoor gardening. With years of experience in cultivating plants, he has developed a green thumb and a wealth of knowledge about different gardening techniques. When he’s not tending to his plants, John enjoys hiking and spending time with his family.