Raccoons mate in late winter and the babies are typically born in the spring. In theory, the promise of new life is exciting and can help lift spirits. However, if you are a homeowner, the raccoon mating season can be stressful. The animals sometimes make dens in human homes and can cause problems if you do not have them safely removed.
When Do the Baby Raccoons Arrive, and How Many to a Litter?
Raccoons mate in the late winter. With their gestation period being approximately two months, most babies are born in April and May, though there may be some early arrivals in late February or March as well as some latecomers in June. Raccoon mothers start looking for places to make dens to give birth around the beginning of March, specifically looking for warm places. Raccoon babies are called kits, and there are usually three to five in a litter, though there can be anywhere between one and eight.
Why Do Raccoons Make Dens in the Attic, and How Long Do They Stay?
Mother raccoons are looking for warm places to make a den and raise their babies. When they make dens in human homes, they don’t always go to the attic. They may end up under the deck or in the garage. However, when raccoons are found in a home, it is usually in the attic. Raccoons are tree-dwelling creatures and a den site that is elevated above the ground provides extra protection from predators.
The baby raccoons are old enough to move out on their own at about three months old. However, waiting for the babies to move out does not solve the problem as females return to the same place they were born to raise their own litter of kits, causing more destruction year after year.
How Can You Prevent Raccoons From Getting Into Your Home?
You can try installing motion-activated lights outside your home. The raccoons’ movements can trigger it, and the sudden flash may startle raccoons so that they run away. However, raccoons are very adaptable, so this may only be a short-term solution.
You can make it harder for raccoons to get to your attic by trimming tree branches so that they do not hang over your roof. Bear in mind that raccoons are very agile climbers and they may find another way up.
The best way to keep raccoons off your property is not to give them a reason to linger. Raccoons are attracted by food, so keep garbage in tightly sealed containers and remove bird feeders from the yard until they move on.
How Do You Know If You Have Raccoons in Your House?
While the mother raccoon goes out foraging for food, she will not wander far from her kits. Therefore, if you see her hanging around, it means that she probably has a den on your property. You may hear rustling or thumping as the mother raccoon moves around or chirping or crying from the babies.
If you inspect your home’s exterior, you may see signs that the raccoon has broken in. There may be damage to roof vents or soffits. The siding may be bent or torn off completely.
What Should You Do if You Have Raccoons in Your Home?
A mother raccoon is fiercely protective of her kits and will fight to defend them if she feels they are threatened. Raccoons can carry rabies, so you should not try to handle them due to the risk of exposure.
The best thing to do is to call for professional raccoon removal services in Madison as soon as possible. While you are waiting for them to arrive, it might be helpful to inspect your home’s exterior to see if you can figure out how they got in.
How Can Skedaddle Help During Raccoon Mating Season?
Our technicians are trained to remove raccoons without harming them or posing a health risk to you. Find out more about our process.