Raccoons are renowned for their high intelligence and adaptiveness. Because many environments are hostile to young raccoons, the mothers do their best to provide a safe space for their babies, known as “kits,” to develop.
Unfortunately, human dwellings can be tempting shelters for prospective raccoon mothers. Although denning animals can be surprisingly destructive, humane raccoon removal Madison experts can safely remove mothers and kits from inside buildings without exposing them to predators or hazardous conditions. Here is how raccoon mothers protect their kits from harm and what this can mean when they move into your home:
Mother Raccoons: The Ultimate Single Mothers
Though male raccoons sometimes become sociable during mating season, they generally don’t stick around to provide for their offspring. This leaves raccoon mothers alone in the struggle to protect and care for their young.
Like many other species of mammals, raccoons mate in spring. Their litters are typically two to five blind and deaf kits that are completely defenseless until fully weaned at around 16 weeks. Although their characteristic masks are visible early in life, kits are born with coats that are almost uniform in color.
To survive, kits must consume and store a significant amount of fat from their mother’s milk, and this helps to insulate their bodies in the cold of early spring. Mothers usually stay with their offspring until around nine months, after which grown kits can start to take care of themselves.
In the wild, there are many threats to baby raccoons. Predators like coyotes and eagles happily take helpless kits. Extreme cold and other environmental conditions can also result in mortality.
To combat these risks, experienced mothers prepare dens that are both insulated and well-hidden, often in hollowed tree trunks or abandoned burrows of other animals. When constructing dens, raccoons use their dextrous, highly sensitive, grasping hands to manipulate objects in their environment, allowing them to enter spaces largely inaccessible to other animals. While human habitations can prove difficult for even raccoon mothers to gain access to, infrequently maintained spaces, such as attics, deck spaces, barns, and basements, offer worthwhile protection from virtually all potential threats.
Risks to Your Health and Home
Because animals tend not to understand the concept of personal property, they rarely shy away from opportunities to shelter their young in man-made structures. Raccoons’ hands are strong and can tear open drywall, shingles, and certain types of latches. Virtually any obstacle to constructing a suitable den site is a potential target for chewing and tearing, which can cause significant damage to exterior surfaces and electronics. Even young kits can become destructive as they play and explore the world around them.
As with any good mother, a raccoon mom is likely to fight ferociously to protect her young. For this reason, you should never attempt to remove an animal from a den on your property alone. Professionals experienced in animal removal use protective gear and specialized techniques that minimize risks to both humans and animals. While rabies is relatively rare in most areas, it is a serious health concern, so it is always wise to steer well clear of any wild carnivores that have taken up residence in your home.
If a family of raccoons has occupied your property, you can take heart knowing your home is better protected from the elements than a tree or burrow! However, as you are probably unenthusiastic about the destructive potential of your new guests, you should contact our raccoon removal Madison professionals immediately.
At Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, a control professional can handle your problem without the use of poisons, kill-traps, or other harmful measures. To fully ensure the safety of your resident raccoons, all kits will be placed in a warming box until they can be relocated to an alternative den. Contact a technician today to schedule a removal.