Raccoons are easily recognizable mammals, with lots of fur and a number of distinguishing characteristics. If their bandit’s mask doesn’t give them away, their black ringed tail should.
The area around the black markings over their eyes is white, and the rest of their body is a greyish color interspersed with lighter tan accents. Their paws are extremely sensitive and dexterous, and though they lack opposable thumbs they are quite proficient at manipulating objects.
The front paws of the raccoon are extremely nimble and are able to grasp and manipulate objects with great dexterity. They can easily retrieve a dime from inside a shirt pocket. The sense of touch is the most important sense for raccoons. Their front paws have a thin, bony layer that protects them and becomes pliable when wet. The raccoons sense of touch is not affected even after standing in 50 degree water for hours. Their claws are not retractable and do not have an opposing thumb like that of primates.
Raccoons are thought to be color blind though their eyes are well adapted to sensing green light. They have poor long distance vision but an excellent sense of smell which not only helps them see in low light but also helps them distinguish between relations and unfriendly adversarial raccoons.
The raccoons sense of hearing is exceptional and allows them to even hear earthworms underground.
Raccoon range (red original / Blue introduced
Raccoon front paw
Raccoons are omnivirous meaning they will eat just about anything including meat and vegetation. Their diet ranges from earthworms, insects, bird eggs, small fish, to corn, fruits and nuts. Acorns and walnuts are favorites due to the high fat content which aids in winter survival. When there is plenty of food available raccoons can develop specific preferences for one food type over another. During long periods of snowfall that covers up food sources, raccoons may enter a winter rest, a state of inactivity similar to hibernation.
Raccoons that have become used to life near humans, have become very adept at raiding garbage cans and pet food dishes that have been left out. Pick up and store pet food dishes at night and use bungee cords to secure garbage can lids in place.
Why Get Rid of Raccoons?
Getting rid of raccoons becomes necessary when they become a little too familiar around human residences and activities. Raccoons are wild animals and though they may look "cute and cuddly" that is far from the reality of their real disposition.
Raccoons pose a real danger to children who want to get too close and pet them. Raccoons can carry the rabies virus and children should be warned that if they see a raccoon that stumbles while walking or looks like it's "drunk" that the raccoon is "sick" and must be avoided. Children often want to help or comfort these animals but they must keep their distance.
Raccoons can also cause a substantial amount of property damage ranging from holes chewed and clawed into roofs to siding literally being ripped off a house to gain access to attics or crawlspaces. Once inside, raccoons will destroy storage boxes and insulation and modify the area to their own tastes to be used as a nest or den to raise young.
Pest Control and Exterminator Services
In Georgia and Alabama
Ft. Benning Ga.
La Grange Ga.
Waverly Hall, Ga.
Phenix City, Al.
Smiths Station, Al.
Fort Mitchell, Al.