CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Can measure up to approximately 3 feet long and sometimes weigh over 35 pounds
  • Gray to brown fur
  • Black mask around its eyes with white fur around the mask
  • Stripe runs from its forehead to its nose and has white fur around its nose
  • Has a bushy, ringed tail and black paws with five toes
  • Toes are flexible and are very good at grabbing, holding, and pulling things apart
  • Very good climber
  • Raccoons make a variety of noises including hissing, whistling, screaming, growls, and snarls

DIET:

  • Raccoons are usually omnivorous, but they are very opportunistic!
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Insects
  • Rodents
  • Frogs
  • Eggs
  • Crayfish
  • Corn (in some rural areas)
  • Forages through trash cans in suburban and urban locations

HABITAT:

  • Wooded areas
  • Places near water
  • Is very adaptable and also found in suburbs and cities
  • Usually makes its den in trees, but it may also make its home in an abandoned woodchuck burrow, a cave, barn, sewer, or even a house

DAMAGE:

  • Can be a pest if they rummage through your trash or around your home
  • Known to be infested with lice, fleas, ticks, and mites, which are known transmitters of disease such as Baylisascaris spp. (roundworm), rabies, canine distemper, leptospirosis, histoplasmosis, tularemia, Q-fever, trypanosoma, salmonella, mange, listeriosis, and canine hepatitis among other diseases
  • Presents a risk of infection to humans and domestic animals if injured by an infected raccoon

CONTROL:

  • Poisoning raccoons is prohibited
  • California Fish and Game approval is required before trapping and relocating any wild animal
  • If you have a problem with any of these animals, call California Department of Fish and Wildlife or local humane society for assistance
  • All trapped animals will be humanely dispatched in accordance with applicable laws and guidelines
  • Once the animal is removed, flea control measures may be required to prevent infestations

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