Raccoons - What are they?

Raccoon (Procyon lotor) is the only Canadian member of the Procyonidae (a primarily tropical New World family of carnivores). Raccoons are distinguished by their black facial mask and ringed tail, and vary from almost black to light brown. They usually weigh 5-12 kg (maximum 22-26 kg before hibernation). Raccoons are found in south coastal area of British Columbia and parts of the Okanagan Valley, the southern halves of Alberta (excluding the ROCKY MOUNTAINS) Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, southern Québec, and the Maritimes.


Known as agile climbers, raccoons are also strong but reluctant swimmers. They may carry rabies and thus form a reservoir for the disease. Raccoons are vocal and can whistle, shriek, chatter, click their teeth, snarl, growl and make other sounds.


Raccoons are omnivorous. They manipulate their food in water but do not strictly wash it. They have sensitive hands for use in foraging, as when capturing crayfish.

To reduce the possibility of attracting raccoons onto private properties, individuals should cover all possible entrances to homes with appropriate grates, netting, or sealants. Remove sources of food by covering trash cans with tightly fitted, locking lids and bringing pet food inside overnight. Additionally, trimming overgrown foliage and storing wood piles in sheds helps discourage the pests from denning.

When raccoon infestations are present in buildings, the pests tend to make a lot of noise. House residents may hear scratching, rustling, and squeaking, especially during evening hours. Raccoons also set up latrines near their dens, which is where they deposit their urine and excrement. As such, foul odours should alert individuals to the presence of the pest. Finally, tracks and scratch marks around yards may indicate raccoon infestations.

It is important to have a professional remove any wildlife from your dwelling. Raccoons can be a dangerous pest to control if they are not handled properly. Contact us today to discuss your raccoon removal or prevention plan.