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Raccoon

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Raccoons are all across North America and are well established in Arlington. The raccoon’s fur is gray, with dark black markings around their eyes and black bands on their tails. They weigh from seven (7) to 20 pounds and are very curious and intelligent animals. They have excellent night vision and an acute sense of hearing. They are great climbers and strong swimmers. Raccoons have nimble hands and can open doors and garbage can lids. Their diet includes fruits, nuts, insects, fish, rodents, frogs, bird eggs, deceased animals and garbage. Males reach sexual maturity at about two years and females at one year. They mate from mid to late summer and bear up to four cubs, born sixty to seventy-four days later. Raccoons will live ten to fifteen years in the wild.

Raccoons prefer to live near water, brushy areas and green belts. They will take up residence in attics, outbuildings or chimneys and can be very destructive. They lose their natural fear of humans when they are fed intentionally or unintentionally. When raccoons take up residence in homes or buildings the best way to remove them is to make their new home uncomfortable. Soak a rag or towel in household cleaner (ammonia is best), shine a bright light into the area they are living and play a radio with talk radio or rock and roll.  It is best to do this in the evening before they start moving around so they don’t become accustomed to the deterrents while sleeping.    Once the raccoons have moved to another location, close the area where they are getting in and out so they do not come back. Be sure the young are moved before closing up the area. A mother raccoon will do a lot of damage to get back to her young.

Reference source: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and 911 Wildlife

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