The Sneaky Habits of Raccoons: Understanding Their Behaviors

UncategorizedBy Mar 24, 2023

Raccoons are known for their distinctive masked faces and sneaky habits, which have earned them a reputation as pests. They are opportunistic feeders that will eat anything they can find, and they tend to raid gardens, trash cans, and bird feeders at night. Raccoons are excellent climbers and often seek shelter in buildings and trees, where they can set up a den. They have a highly developed sense of communication, which helps them work well in groups. Preventing damage caused by raccoons involves understanding their habits and taking steps to limit their access to food sources and seal up entry points into homes or structures.


Raccoons are small, furry mammals with a distinctive mask-like marking around their eyes, making them a recognizable species. These clever and adaptable animals have adapted to living in urban landscapes, where they use their intelligence and dexterity to find food and shelter. However, their sneaky behaviors and regular raiding of human homes and gardens have earned them a reputation as pests.

This article will delve into the sneaky habits of raccoons and help you understand their behavior. Understanding their actions can be helpful in preventing them from causing damage to your property.

Sneaky Habits of Raccoons

1. Foraging

Raccoons are known to be opportunistic feeders, and they will eat anything they can find. They are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. They have a preference for sweet and fatty foods, which is why they are often found raiding trash cans, bird feeders, and gardens. Raccoons that live in urban areas have adapted to forage food during the night and can be expected to knock over trash cans, dig through gardens, and raid bird feeders while humans sleep.

2. Shelters

Raccoons are excellent climbers and often seek shelter within structures like buildings or trees. They can gain entry through small holes and gaps in walls, roofs, and attics. Once inside, they often make their way to the attic or crawl spaces to set up a den. Raccoons are also known to carry disease-causing pathogens, so their presence in human structures is not desirable.

3. Communication

Raccoons have a highly developed sense of communication, which helps them to work well in groups. Various vocalizations and body postures convey messages like defense, aggression, and discovery. They also use scent marking, which is when they pee in different locations to demarcate territories.

4. Reproduction

Raccoons mate in February and March, and the young are born between April and May. The kit stays with its mother for about nine months before it becomes independent. Once mature, raccoons will begin their search for a mate and set up their territories.

5. Nocturnal animals

Raccoons are nocturnal animals, which means that they are active during the night and sleep in the day. This behavior allows them to avoid detection by humans and also predatory animals during the day.

Preventing Raccoon Damage

Preventing raccoon damage in your property starts by understanding their sneaky habits. Some ways to prevent raccoon damage include:

1. Seal up your home

One common raccoon entry point is through holes and gaps in walls, roofs, and attics. Blocking these entryways with materials like chickenwire or caulking can keep these animals out.

2. Secure trash cans

Raccoons often raid garbage cans searching for food. Tightly securing your trash cans can reduce the odor and making it less attractive to them.

3. Keep pets indoors at night

Raccoons can become aggressive when confronted, and pets may feel threatened to fight. Keeping pets indoors at night can prevent confrontations with raccoons.

4. Wildlife exclusion

If you’ve had raccoon issues before, installing wildlife exclusion devices in high-risk areas like decks, chimneys, and fences can prevent their entry.


Q: Are raccoons dangerous to humans?
A: Raccoons may carry diseases like rabies and leptospirosis. They are also known to be aggressive when cornered.

Q: Why are raccoons considered pests?
A: Raccoons are considered pests because of their raiding of gardens, garbage cans, and bird feeders. They also gain entry into human structures, where they can carry diseases.

Q: What’s the life span of a raccoon?
A: Raccoons can live up to five years in the wild, with some living as long as 16 years in captivity.


Understanding the sneaky habits of raccoons can be helpful in preventing property damage. Taking steps like limiting access to food sources and securing your home can keep raccoons out. It is also essential to seek professional assistance if you have recurring raccoon issues. With proper precautions, raccoons can become fascinating animals to observe rather than irritants to deal with.