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Winter in Durham: Do Raccoons Hibernate?

If you live in or near an active raccoon habitat, chances are you’ve had more than your fair share of raccoon menaces. Nature’s naturally outfitted bandits are true to their name and if you’ve ever had to deal with them during the winter when you expect most animals to be laying low, you know exactly what this means. In the name of foraging, they pillage homes and commercial spaces, leaving behind costly damages. It is therefore not surprising that raccoon removal is among Durham residents’ top priorities.

Winter preparation for Raccoons

Raccoons are genetically wired to sense the signs of impending cold weather and start preparing to endure it. In the months before winter, their eating rate increases, leading to the development of more body fat. This additional body fat and weight almost doubles its size in preparation for winter. This body fat becomes very useful during the winter when they become less active and can lose anywhere from 14 to 15 percent of their body fat.

Raccoons also start to search for warm areas to use as dens. Because they start mating in mid-January and have a typical gestation period of roughly 65 days the raccoons in your area will likely be nursing baby raccoons (or kits) during winter, all the more reason to find suitable den spots. This means your garage and attic, which are generally warm, safe havens, can become very inviting. The raccoon is a very opportunistic animal and the double benefit of an already prepared space along with close proximity to food (both inside and outside your home) is enough to attract the animal to your home.

The Mystery of Raccoon Hibernation

Raccoons enter a state called torpor that mimics hibernation. During torpor, the raccoon relies on its stored body fat to survive. From time to time, as necessary, these animals will venture out to find food. It is these stints of activity that pose the greatest threat to the peace of property owners and make people realize that raccoons are not true hibernators.

Since they are nocturnal, raccoons that live nearby or have taken up residence in your home will be most active at nights. While you are blissfully sleeping, these sneaky little animals will be busy chowing down on everything in sight. They will eat almost anything from eggs, insects, small mammals, fruit, birds and of course human garbage and gardens. Don’t be surprised when they rummage through trash cans that are left at the curb and leave you with a mess to clean up the next morning.

Raccoons keep up to 10 den sites in an area, including trees, attics and sheds.

Handling a Raccoon Invasion in Your Durham Home This Winter

The best solution for raccoon presence in your Durham home is to avoid it in the first place. Yes, prevention is always better than a cure. This is why Skedaddle, like many other reputable wildlife control services, recommends raccoon proofing prior to winter (hey, if the raccoons are busy preparing, why shouldn’t we?).

If you’ve already got a raccoon problem on your hand, Skedaddle has you covered. Our expert team of wildlife technicians are trained and experienced in handling raccoon invasions. We will evaluate the situation in your home, devise a suitable, effective and humane raccoon removal plan for your Durham home and when we put the plan into action you will no doubt be impressed with the results.

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About the author:Founder of Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control in 1989. Canada's largest urban wildlife removal and exclusion company. Industry leader and pioneer. Split, Scram, Scoot! However you want to say it, Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control has helped over 200,000 home owners and businesses safely and effectively resolve their wildlife issues. Happy to discuss business and franchising opportunities

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