Raccoon Management Houston, TX
The "masked bandit" has adapted well to the urban landscape.
Raccoons are usually classified as furbearers or game animals, and special permits are usually required to control these critters when they get themselves into a nuisance situation. It is vital to have the entire home or building animal proofed. Raccoons are masters at gaining entry to attic space by finding even the smallest gap or crack to enlarge.
Raccoons in the fireplace or furnace chimneys can cause severe damage if they get loose in the home. Be sure to have your Animal-Safe Wildlife Control Specialist cover the chimneys with NFPA 211 and BOCA code approved chimney screens or rain-caps. These are available in galvanized or stainless steel and come in a wide range of sizes.
Raccoons carry ectoparasites such as fleas, mites, and ticks. They are also host to more serious diseases like raccoon roundworm and rabies. Raccoons are considered high to moderate risk vectors of rabies. There is currently an outbreak of raccoon rabies in the northeast United States. Raccoon roundworm is spread via microscopic eggs in raccoon feces (droppings). Feces should only be cleaned up by trained personnel with the proper safety equipment. An insecticide treatment can control ectoparasites after the raccoons are evicted.
Biology and Habits
Raccoons are nocturnal (active at night), average 2' to 3' long (including the tail), and weigh 10 - 20 lbs. They are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal foods, such as fruits, nuts, berries, grain, bird eggs, nestlings, insects, amphibians, small rodents, etc. They usually breed in February or March and have a 60-day gestation. A litter can be from 1- 8 pups, with 4 or 5 being the average. Young are born from March to June and open their eyes at about three weeks of age. The pups are usually weaned at 8 - 12 weeks. Raccoons nest in tree cavities, chimneys, ground burrows, sewers, attics, garages, etc. Raccoons do not truly hibernate in winter, but "hole up" for days, weeks, or even months, depending on the weather. Their home range is 3 - 20 square miles for males, 1- 6 square miles for females. Home ranges may be less in urban areas where there is easier access to life requirements.