How To Deter Raccoons In Katy
Ask a handful of people what they think about raccoons, and you're likely to get a handful of different answers. Some will say they love these cute, furry animals, some will laugh and call them trash pandas, and some will begin to rant about a negative experience they've had with them. What's the truth? Well, there's a bit of truth in all of these statements.
Raccoons are cute, they do get into the trash, and they can be pretty terrible at times. Like any kind of wildlife, when raccoons stay in the wild, they're okay. However, when they move into residential areas, they can cause a lot of problems, both for the people who live there and the homes they reside in. Find out more about raccoons, both the good and the bad, below. Learn why you don't want them on your Katy property and where to find the best raccoon removal in Katy if they do end up on your property.
Raccoons: Cute, But Dirty And Potentially Hazardous
Of all the animals we see around our Katy neighborhoods, raccoons are certainly some of the cutest. These adorable bandits of the wildlife world look more like something you'd want to cuddle than something you should be wary of, but as with any wild animal, caution is always wise. To truly understand raccoons and whether you need to be worried about them getting onto your Katy property, it helps to understand more about their behaviors and habits, as well as what potential problems they can cause. Learn more about raccoons below.
What Do Raccoons Look Like?
Raccoons are one of the most recognizable animals around due to the distinctive black mask markings on their faces and their bushy-ringed tails. Growing two to three feet long, raccoons have fur that is a blend of gray, black, and brown colors. Their ears are small and slightly rounded on the ends, and their noses are long and pointed, with a black snout. Raccoons typically weigh somewhere in the range of 10 to 20 pounds, with male raccoons usually growing larger than female raccoons.
What Do Raccoons Eat?
Raccoons are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and plants. Some of their favorite foods include fruits, nuts, berries, grains, fish, insects, and small mammals and birds. Because they eat a variety of foods, aren't particularly picky eaters, and they are also opportunistic. They can often be found foraging for food in garbage bins and dumpsters. As nocturnal animals, raccoons do their foraging at night and rest during the day.
Where Do Raccoons Live?
Raccoons usually live near wooded areas, and they have to be close to a water source. They build dens in which to live, and these dens can be found in a variety of locations. Hollowed trees, abandoned buildings, brush piles, and rock outcrops can all become homes for raccoons. They may also build their dens under decks and patios or even inside attics and chimneys. Raccoons are active all year long, although they may become inactive for short periods of time during particularly bad or cold weather.
What Is The Average Lifespan Of Raccoons?
The average lifespan of a raccoon in the wild is around five years, although they can live much longer. Adult female raccoons give birth to one litter of two to five pups each year. Raccoons live in small family groups and are not particularly social creatures, although it's not unusual to see more than one of them at a time.
Are Raccoons Really Dirty?
When you think about where raccoons spend their time, it's easy to see how they might not be the cleanest animals. As you'd find on any wild animal, raccoons host their fair share of parasites. From internal parasites like roundworms to external parasites like ticks, raccoons can carry a variety of parasitic bodies.
Raccoons often get into garbage cans and dumpsters when looking for food. When they spend their time in these unsanitary places, they pick up pathogens that can be spread and cause diseases. Salmonellosis and E. coli infection are two examples of the diseases that raccoons can spread.
Raccoons are also known to be one of the common carriers of rabies. Although not every raccoon is rabid, when it comes to all known cases of wildlife with rabies, about a third of those animals are raccoons.
Raccoon waste is also a problem. Their contaminated droppings can spread diseases and parasites.
Although these issues aren't anything you need to worry about if raccoons are not near your Katy home, once they start hanging around your property, you have good reason to worry. The health and safety of your family and pets are all put at risk when raccoons live nearby. While they may be cautious creatures that would prefer to stay away from humans, if they feel threatened, raccoons will act aggressively.
What Potential Hazards Do Raccoons Cause?
In addition to the health-related concerns mentioned above, raccoons are also a problem due to their destructive tendencies. If a raccoon comes onto your property and looks for food in your garbage bins, it won't be polite about it. You'll wake up in the morning to find your trash strewn all over the ground. Unfortunately, that is the least of your worries when raccoons start spending time on your Katy property.
The greatest danger when it comes to property damage is if raccoons decide to move into or around your house. These animals are not tiny. They take up a lot of space, and they are strong enough to move things around that you don't want to be moved around. If raccoons get into your attic or if they decide to move in under your deck, your home is going to sustain damage. Insulation, electrical wiring, shingles, and other parts of your structure are all at risk of damage when raccoons show up and stick around.
Not only is property damage costly to repair, but it can also be dangerous for your house and family. For example, damaged electrical wiring can lead to a fire, and damaged shingles can lead to a leaking roof, a flooded home, and mold problems. Repair costs can quickly grow the longer that raccoons are allowed to live in or around your home.
While raccoons may be cute, they are not animals you want on your property. Getting rid of raccoons starts by understanding what attracts raccoons to your house and property in the first place.
What Attracts Raccoons?
Like all living creatures, raccoons require just a few things for survival. Their three basic needs boil down to food, water, and shelter. When you look around your property to assess what might be attracting raccoons, you should look at it with those three things in mind. Effective raccoon control methods can begin with identifying the main attractants on your Katy property.
When you think about food that might attract raccoons to your property, you have to think broadly. Raccoons will eat almost anything, so it's important to be aware of anything around your yard that could become a possible food source for these mammals.
Garbage bins are usually the main culprit when it comes to attracting raccoons to your property. Even garbage cans that have lids will attract raccoons. These dexterous animals make light work of lifting lids off of trash cans, which then allows them to feast upon whatever they find inside.
There are plenty of other food sources around your property in addition to garbage. If you have bird feeders outside, raccoons will be happy to help the birds finish off the contents of the feeders. The same goes for pet food that you leave outdoors.
When your fruit trees are in season, raccoons won't mind helping themselves to both the fruit in the tree and the fruit that has fallen to the ground. Similarly, if you have any vegetable garden beds, you'll have a hard time harvesting a crop if raccoons find it first.
Water is essential for survival. Raccoons will not live in a place that doesn't have a consistent water source nearby. Although at first glance it may appear that water isn't an issue on your property, take a closer look. There might be more water sources than you think.
Any object around your property that allows rainwater to collect offers raccoons a potential water source. Things like buckets overturning children's toys, or even a sagging pool cover can collect rainwater.
Do you leave a dish with water for your dog outside? Raccoons can use it, too. The same goes for bird baths.
Sometimes, water collects in areas you can't see, which makes it more likely that you won't think of them when assessing your yard. Gutters can become clogged with leaves and other debris, allowing water to build up inside. Outdoor faucets can drip, providing a slow but steady water supply. Landscaped areas that are covered by foliage can have water and moisture build up underneath them.
Raccoons aren't animals that like to spend a lot of time out in the open. Although they come out at night to get food, they spend their days in their dens. Many raccoons build multiple dens and switch between them every few days. If your property offers the sheltering opportunities they prefer, they may end up building one of their dens on your property.
Raccoons will be attracted to any area around your property where they can build a secluded little nest. If you have overgrown foliage, they can create a den in the middle of it. Small, enclosed areas under decks and patios are favorite spaces for raccoons. A large rock wall or woodpile may offer openings where they can hide away.
Raccoons are good climbers, so ground-level shelters aren't the only thing you need to look for when determining what might attract raccoons to your property. If your home has any openings or if your chimney is not capped, raccoons may exploit those areas to find shelter inside your Katy house.
Comprehensive Guide To Preventing Raccoons In Katy
Once you know what attracts raccoons, you can move on to preventing raccoons from getting onto your Katy property and into your home. Raccoon prevention and control starts with assessing your property and then continues with making necessary changes to make your property as unattractive to raccoons as possible.
Now that you have a list of things around your property that might be attractive to raccoons, it's time to do what you can to either get rid of those things or minimize their risk. All of the following tips can help you make your property as raccoon-proof as possible.
- Keep your garbage bins in your garage if possible. If that's not possible, store them away from your house or get bins that can lock or that are considered wildlife-proof.
- Get rid of bird feeders. If seeds have fallen on the ground, pick them up to the best of your ability.
- Remove pet food that you've been leaving outdoors. Store it inside instead.
- Pick the ripe fruit off your trees to use for your family. When fruit begins to fall, pick it up off the ground.
- Consider building a fence made of chicken wire around your vegetable garden. This will be harder for raccoons to climb than a regular fence.
- Remove any bird baths from your property.
- Keep pet water dishes inside your house.
- Pick up buckets, toys, and other items that tend to collect rainwater.
- Fill low spots in your lawn and driveway where puddles often form.
- Clean out your gutters seasonally.
- Check around your house for drippy spigots and leaking pipes and repair any that you find.
- Cut back foliage to allow the sun to dry any areas of excess moisture. This also prevents raccoons from building dens in overgrowth.
- Store firewood a safe distance from your home and try to stack it as tightly as possible to avoid openings that could be used by raccoons.
- Make sure rock walls and other landscaping elements are in good condition and well-built.
- Install heavy-duty skirting around your deck or patio to prevent raccoons from getting under these areas.
- Seal any entry points into your house, both at the ground level and all the way up to your attic.
- Put a cap on your chimney.
By enacting as many of the preventative measures above as possible, you can go a long way in helping prevent raccoons from ever getting onto your property. In the event that you do end up with raccoons on your property or in your Katy home, the next step is raccoon removal.
Why DIY Raccoon Removal Is Not Recommended
When you discover a raccoon, or a family of raccoons, on your property, it's tempting to try to take matters into your own hands. All it takes is one quick internet search to find an abundance of suggestions on the best ways to get rid of unwanted raccoons. However, raccoon removal services should always be done by professional wildlife control technicians.
Why is DIY raccoon removal not recommended? There are a few reasons.
- First of all, the chances of you getting hurt are rather high. Raccoons will become aggressive if they feel threatened, so trying to get rid of an angry raccoon is a recipe for danger. Whether you are bitten, scratched, or end up falling down or bumping into something, there are many ways that DIY raccoon removal can go wrong.
- Many DIY raccoon removal methods are simply not effective. For example, if you try to trap and relocate a raccoon, there is a good chance that it will return to your property. If you don't thoroughly eliminate the entire problem, you'll end up dealing with it again down the road.
- You might accidentally leave babies behind. If you remove a raccoon without realizing it is a mother, its babies may be left behind in a den with no way to provide for themselves.
When it comes to removing raccoons, the best way to do it is with the help of the experts. Humane raccoon removal services are available from Modern Pest Control. Choosing a wildlife removal company that has over 70 years of experience ensures several things:
- The job will be done safely and effectively.
- We will humanely solve your raccoon problem.
- All raccoons will be removed from your property.
- Any areas that raccoons were using to gain access to your house will be thoroughly sealed.
We offer home pest control services that are designed around your specific needs. We know the best methods for removing raccoons, and we have the equipment and experience to do the job quickly and with the results you deserve.
Raccoons may be cute and look cuddly, but these wild animals are not wildlife you want on your Katy property. They can make you sick and can destroy your property. To get rid of a raccoon problem on your property or in your house, contact Modern Pest Control today. We look forward to helping you make your property safer for your family.