What you need to know about raccoons in the Greater Seattle Area
With their “bandit mask” and ringed tail, raccoons are one of the most recognizable animals in the world. They are known for making mischief on people’s property, getting into garbage cans, bird feeders, gardens and fish ponds. There are even videos on the internet of people feeding and seeming to befriend them. However, raccoons in Seattle are a serious problem for homeowners—which is why Eastside Exterminators offers proven raccoon removal services. There’s plenty of information you should know about these animals.
If you suspect a raccoon has nested in your home, call us now (425) 482-2100.
While raccoons are related to bears and pandas, they are in their own family of species called procyonidea. They are found throughout much of North America, and in parts of Europe and Japan. Racoons typically prefer heavily wooded areas with plenty of access to trees, vegetation, food, and water, where they will make dens in the hollows of trees and abandoned burrows. Where they become a hazard to humans is when they gain entry into an attic or crawl space.
Although mostly nocturnal, raccoons in Seattle have been known to be active during twilight hours, and on rare occasions in the middle of the day. They spend most of their time searching for food, places to sleep, and, depending on the time of year, mates. As far as their diet goes, raccoons are omnivores, but will hunt and kill when the opportunity presents itself.
A Raccoon Infestation Can Get Out of Control
What’s important to remember is that whatever you think of their appearance, the damage raccoons can cause to a home is tremendous. For example, crawlspaces are incredibly common denning spots for raccoons, where they’ll sleep at night and have litters in spring. Attics are just as vulnerable to infestation by raccoons in Seattle. This is because they present an ideal space for evading predator interaction when it comes time to having their litter.
Furthermore, once raccoons start mating, their gestation period is only 64 days. And a single female can give birth to two litters per year, with two to five offspring in each. The offspring are blind and deaf when first born. It takes about four weeks for their eyes and ears to fully open, and another two weeks to be able to move well enough on their own. But after that, it’s only six months before they leave and learn to fend for themselves, starting the process again.
Raccoons Can Hurt You and Your Loved Ones
Raccoons in Seattle can carry many different diseases that can affect pets and humans. The most known disease is the rabies virus that is transferred via bites and saliva. Other lesser known diseases that can be carried by raccoons are leptospirosis, tularemia, and canine distemper—which can kill dogs. Lastly, there is the raccoon roundworm—found in the feces of the animals—which poses risks to children and pets. For this reason, proper precautions and safety equipment are needed to carry out disposal and incineration of raccoon feces.
Dangerous encounters between humans and raccoons in Seattle have been happening for a long time. Most encounters start when home owners leave pet food or bird feeders out overnight. And while not the most graceful, raccoons are skilled climbers which will usually get where they want to go. Moreover, it’s easy to tell how strong raccoons are when they rip open holes into attics, tearing through shingles and wood backing in very little time.
There are many things you can do discourage raccoons:
- Ensure all trees are maintained several feet from the roof—raccoons can’t jump well.
- Secure garbage containers with bungee cord.
- Lock pet doors.
- Clear fallen fruit around fruit-bearing trees.
- Don’t leave pet food or bird feed out in accessible places.
- Place steel mesh over foundation vents.
- Seal openings on your roof with steel flashing.
Get Rid of Raccoons in Seattle
Ultimately, if you have a raccoon infestation, you’re going to want professional assistance. Eastside Exterminators has skilled technicians who are trained and licensed by the Department of Fishing & Wildlife. They will get the job done. Our family can protect your family with other kinds of wildlife removal as well, so call to learn more about our affordable services at (425) 482-2100.