Anyone who has had to call for raccoon control services in Pickering because they are causing havoc on their property knows that they can be a nuisance. You may think of raccoons merely as chaotic troublemakers, but this does them a disservice. Admittedly, raccoons can be a menace as they turn over garbage cans and tear the siding off houses, but there is a method to the madness. Raccoons are not only highly intelligent at baseline, but they have the ability to adapt to new situations and apply what they’ve learned in the past to solve problems.
An intelligence quotient is a number that represents reasoning ability. You are probably familiar with IQ as a measure of human intelligence, but researchers have applied the same principles to measure the abilities of other mammals. While a raccoon may be more similar in appearance to a cat, intelligence testing has shown that their IQ is closer to that of monkeys, which in turn approaches the intelligence level of human beings.
It is possible, though not very easy, for a raccoon to become domesticated. Tamed raccoons have demonstrated the ability to learn skills such as ringing a bell, clapping, and dancing. These are all skills within the capability of the average human toddler.
Fluid intelligence is the ability to find a novel solution to an unfamiliar problem by applying logic. This is in contrast to crystallized intelligence, which is knowledge acquired through past experience. Raccoons seem able to approach new situations and find workable solutions through a combination of intelligence, audacity, and tenacity.
Where the raccoon lives may help to determine its problem-solving ability. While some animals steer clear of human habitations, raccoons like to live in the city near humans because they can scavenge more food.
A city is a flurry of activity, offering human beings and raccoons alike many learning opportunities. Studies comparing the fluid intelligence of urban raccoons versus those from rural areas showed that the former were more eager to approach new problems and more adept at finding solutions. This is similar to findings involving human children from both the city and the country. Regardless of the economic level, children from urban environments showed greater problem-solving abilities than their rural counterparts.
By attempting to deter raccoons from rooting through garbage cans, human beings may actually be helping to make raccoons smarter. Latches intended to make garbage cans inaccessible to raccoons actually present a new and stimulating problem from the animals’ point of view. The cognitive demand for solving the new challenge may actually provide an enrichment opportunity for mental stimulation.
As developers of new latches for garbage cans tested them on actual raccoons, they found that the animals take a systematic approach when attempting to open the bin and access what is inside by trying different things in a methodical manner. Once they find something that moves, they can be very tenacious at working at it until they make more progress.
Raccoons may also have the ability to realize when their efforts are fruitless, which is also a sign of their intelligence. One test of a new garbage can lid involved loading the bin with aromatic bait to attract the raccoons’ attention. The bait was also spread on the ground. With characteristic tenacity, the raccoons tried to open the bins for five nights. After that, they began to give up, seeming to decide whatever was inside was not worth the effort required to get it. They satisfied themselves with the bait on the ground and left the garbage cans alone thereafter.
Get Backup From Raccoon Control Pickering
In addition to their intelligence, raccoons are also very strong-willed. For these reasons, you definitely do not want to try to deal with them alone. Contact our Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control team in Pickering for assistance from our trained technicians.