Raccoon nesting season peaks in the spring, with a peak time for birth in March. So what does that mean as a homeowner? Well, let me first talk to you about nesting activity…
Raccoons aren’t picky with the nesting materials they use. They will commonly use long grasses and hay but are also known to use remnants of fabrics or soft materials found in and around their nesting site. A female raccoon will find that nesting inside of the home a much more comfortable environment, as the insulation is both warm and convenient. This is why attics are such a common place for a raccoons to burrow, and also why most “invading” raccoons are female.
If you have a raccoon in your attic, please do not try to remove it yourself! Just like all wildlife, raccoons are dangerous and a professional should be called in to safely, and humanely remove both the invading raccoon as well as the nest. It is important for this to be done professionally, as it is a goal of this industry to make sure these animals are not harmed and that their kittens are not left without the necessities of life. Surely, if you remove the kits from their mother, they will not survive.
So, how do you know if the raccoon in your attic has had babies? Well, if you are unable to see/hear the babies, but can get close enough to the mother (without putting yourself in harms way), try to find protruding nipples on its belly. This is a sure sign the animal has young.
Prevention of raccoon nesting:
Raccoons can find access into homes through broken vents, uncapped chimneys and other openings along the roof, which is why homeowners should consistently inspect, repair and seal any potential points of entry. Shortening nearby branches so they are at least 6 to 8 feet from the roof is also a best practice to deter animals.
Raccoons are smart and adaptable mammals. Regularly checking to ensure that your home and surrounding areas are “sealed” is the best way to ensure these clever animals aren’t maneuvering around the home and finding a way in.