Raccoons are very intelligent and resourceful. This is why our 50 point inspection is designed to identify all current and potential raccoon entry points as well as any damage they may have caused. Our hands-on removal techniques are both humane and effective for adult and baby raccoons alike.
Raccoons are not very clean and their presence can lead to severe property damage. Skedaddle offers thorough cleaning and disinfecting of raccoon den sites to eliminate any health risks. We can also remove and replace any damaged attic insulation.
Once the raccoons are gone you want to make sure your home is protected against future entries. Our wildlife technicians are experts in identifying and securing vulnerable areas of your home with exclusion materials that are built to last.
Situated between Lake Ontario, Lake Simcoe and Lake Scugog, the Durham region is a haven for raccoons. These furry creatures are known to thrive in areas close to water, and despite continually growing developments, they can quickly adapt to find den sites in new and old communities. Areas like McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve, Samuel Wilmot Nature Area and Lake Vista Park offer an ideal habitat for many types of wildlife, including raccoons. As you hike or bike the many trails around the region, you may have the opportunity to observe raccoons in the wild, which is always a treat. However, as raccoons look for their winter dens and a place to raise babies in the spring, the sight of a raccoon on your Durham property can mean costly problems ahead.
Raccoons are incredibly opportunistic creatures, which means whether they find themselves in an urban or suburban community in Durham, they will quickly adapt to find food and shelter. Newcastle, Port Perry, and Bowmanville are communities that border close to a lake front. These areas also provide an ample amount of green spaces and natural resources that raccoons love. Once they become comfortable in an area, many raccoons will recreate their natural dens in the wild inside an attic, where they can shelter from the elements and access food throughout the neighbourhood.
Raccoons are also known to be quite comfortable in city settings. The urban environments of the city provide a never ending source of various foods via garbage, recycling and food waste management. We have found raccoons getting inside properties in some of the densest parts of Durham’s cities, such as; Central Oshawa. Dense communities like Whitby, Pickering and Ajax offer an abundance of garbage to find food and attics to seek shelter, and despite the high presence of humans, raccoons use their nocturnal habits to go unnoticed. Even the rarest of raccoons can be found in these tightly packed areas. In the spring of 2021, a Whitby resident had the luck of spotting an albino raccoon in their backyard – an incredibly rare sight.
The Durham Region is also home to many rural areas where raccoons can thrive. These spaces offer tall growing trees that give raccoons easy access to rooflines and an abundance of natural resources. With rivers running through rural areas like Sunderland, Utica and Sandford, our team finds raccoons thriving here every year.
The recent 2015 rabies outbreak in Ontario has led the Durham Region’s Health Department to encourage residents to maintain their distance from raccoons and all urban wildlife. Raccoons are one of the leading carriers of the rabies virus in Ontario, and in 2017 residents were reminded of how easily the disease can be spread to people, when a child was bit by a raccoon while he was attempting to feed it by hand at the Lynde Shores Conservation area. The team at Skedaddle encourages Durham residents to protect themselves and their ecosystem by hiring professional wildlife removal services to solve raccoon problems.
DIY removals not only lead to people or their pets becoming infected with rabies, but can also cause the virus to spread to other animals in the community. One of the ways that diseases among wildlife are able to spread is by trapping and relocating infected animals to new areas. Trapping and relocating wildlife alone rarely solves the problem and in addition to spreading disease it can also lead to injury or orphaned babies. Raccoons with rabies can be extremely aggressive, however Skedaddle technicians understand that even healthy raccoons can cause injury during removals. During the mating season in particular, mother raccoons can be aggressive as they defend their young. Skedaddle technicians come equipped with the knowledge of how to remove the most combative of raccoons safely.
After spending the fall fattening up for winter, raccoons are looking for their winter den where they can safely laze the days away until the cold weather passes. Rather than true hibernation, raccoons enter a resting state called torpor during winter. This can make identifying a raccoon inside the attic particularly difficult, as their activity is at its lowest during this time of year, and the only time they may emerge from their winter den is during the evening. The majority of Durham is surrounded by forests and farmland and lakes where raccoons can live far from human activity. However, raccoons being clever creatures, would much rather spend their time in urban settings where they can find much larger amounts of food than in their natural environments. Attic spaces are also much easier to build a warm home inside than a hollowed out tree trunk that they would use in the wild. For these reasons raccoons are found in urban and suburban environments in much larger and denser numbers than natural environments.
During a raccoon’s winter stay, the longer they go unnoticed by homeowners, the more damage to insulation, electrical wires and exterior building materials they will cause. Damaged exterior materials can lead to moisture and mold into the home. As they stay for weeks at a time, raccoons will also use an attic space as a bathroom, creating a hazardous mess and a smelly situation quickly. Our team is trained on year-round raccoon removal, and can safely access a roof during the winter time to remove an unwelcome visitor. Using our clean and clear process, technicians decontaminate every area that the raccoons live in and make latrines. It is always best to remove a raccoon before the arrival of spring, and their winter den transforms into a nursery.
Baby raccoons begin to arrive in Durham by mid to late March, and with a 63 day gestation period that means mating usually begins in January. Raccoon babies are not mobile for the first few months after birth and need close attention from their nursing mother. She will avoid having to carry her baby to one of her other dens in the area, and remain in one place as they grow. That means noises that were once occasionally heard by homeowners before the babies arrive will become more constant and much louder as the litter grows.
Finding and removing a litter of up to six babies, which are usually hidden in dark or scraped areas of an attic requires a professional hands-on approach. Skedaddle’s team of raccoon removal specialists are trained to locate and remove baby raccoons from even the most hard to reach places. Our team protects the babies in a heated baby reunion box so that they can be reunited with their mother outside of the home after they are removed. The mother can then relocate the babies to one of the other den sites she is familiar with in the area. Failing to account for or consider raccoon babies during spring and summer removals can lead to additional property damage or their inhumane death.
Skedaddle wildlife technicians can safely and humanely remove the raccoon families and prevent them from coming back. Our technicians then use heavy-gauge screening to close off access points and prevent re-entry. Raccoons have multiple den sites throughout their territory, and if one is inaccessible, they will return to another. We understand that humane removal not only protects properties for years to come, they also help local ecosystems thrive. As part of our commitment to protect Durham’s local wildlife, Skedaddle is a proud partner of Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue, the only wildlife rehabilitation center in the Durham region.
Raccoons are omnivorous and will eat almost anything. They are notorious for tipping over trash cans and opening the lids to get at the scraps inside, which are especially accessible in the urban streets of Durham.
Durham’s proximity to Toronto, dubbed the raccoon capital of the world, makes for a booming raccoon population in the area. It is estimated that there are anywhere between 5 and 50 raccoons per square kilometer in the Durham region.
Among mammals, raccoons are a common carrier of rabies. You should never attempt to handle a raccoon yourself because it is difficult to tell a healthy raccoon from a diseased one.
Raccoon excrement can contain parasites that can cause disease in humans. Cleaning and clearing any contaminated material is an important part of our process and should be performed with great care.