Where Do Raccoons Sleep in the Wild?The raccoon's natural environment is in forested areas near water sources. As adept climbers, they like high places. Raccoons are opportunistic and adaptable in what they eat and where they sleep. They’re happy to sleep in a hole high up in a tree, or they may make a den in a hollowed-out log. Their flexible nature helped them expand their territory from tropical regions to as far north as Alaska. They are omnivores and can — and do — eat just about anything. Though they originated in the tropics, raccoons can survive in the cold by cuddling up in dens and spending long periods asleep. These days, they happily share urban environments with people, living in even the densest cities.
Where Do Raccoons Sleep in Human-Shared Environments?These masked critters still often make their homes in tree cavities, where they can find them. However, human-made structures provide many more possibilities that offer shelter from the elements and safety from predators. Unfortunately, it may mean that they invite themselves onto your turf. Common raccoon sleeping and nesting quarters include:
- Your home: The attic is the favoured residential domicile. It’s up high, private and maintains comfortable temperatures most of the year. Females who have kits are especially fond of using the attic to build their nests, give birth and raise their kits. However, if there’s an easy way into your basement, they won’t turn it down.
- The shed: If you have a little-used shed, a raccoon might just put it to good use. Even when you keep the door shut, a determined rascal can pry its way in. A shed offers much of the same protection as the attic, except that it’s at ground level. This isn’t usually a problem in urban environments with few natural predators.
- The barn: Another human-made structure that often doesn’t get a lot of daily traffic, barns are great places for raccoons, especially when they have a loft. These structures can be even easier for raccoons to break into. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of squeezing through a gap or breaking off a soft piece of wood.
- An abandoned car: If you have a car that sits unused on your property, don’t be surprised if you discover a raccoon snuggled up on the floorboards. If there is no access to the interior, it may use the engine compartment. While that doesn’t seem the most comfortable of places, these critters do their best to make it so.