• Author Dan Frankian
  • Published July 14, 2022
  • Word count 817

Raccoons are fluffy and cute with pointy ears, tiny paws, and bandit masks on their faces. But just because they are cute does not mean they are desirable houseguests. Raccoons, among other pests, are known for their ability to destroy property and bring in dangerous diseases such as rabies and raccoon roundworm

Since raccoons are a protected species in Canada, it is illegal to trap or kill them without the proper licences. So, what can you do if you notice raccoons on your property during the autumn and winter? If you’re looking for effective raccoon prevention tips, here is some important information to know.

Hawkeye’s Raccoon Control and Prevention in Autumn and Winter

If you notice raccoons on your property, you may be wondering what your options are. Raccoon trapping can only be handled by certified professionals because it is illegal to capture and relocate raccoons on your own. Hawkeye Bird and Animal Control has the right licenses and experience to provide raccoon prevention and permanent raccoon removal. We use several tested and true methods to humanely capture and remove raccoons from your property.

Our methods include both passive and active removal options, which keep them away from your home or business without harming them. It is important to note that we are also the only company in the GTA with the license to capture and euthanize raccoons.

What Do Raccoons Do in the Autumn?

The days are already growing colder and darker, and like many wild animals, raccoons are busy eating as much food as they can so they can build up an extra layer of fat. Although raccoons don't go into the same kind of hibernation as bears, they will tend to spend the autumn months finding food and making dens where they will spend most of the winter hidden away.

Some of the places where raccoons will create dens are in tree cavities, underground burrows, abandoned buildings, chimneys, attics, and other secluded spaces near your property. Raccoons will even displace other animals like foxes and skunks out of their dens and take over.

Raccoons might be small, but they are extremely powerful creatures that can squeeze into small openings to find a good space to make their den. They are also intelligent and know how to hide from larger predators, so they can be safe as they sleep.

Where Do Raccoons Go in the Winter?

Do raccoons hibernate in the winter?

Technically, the answer is yes. During the winter, raccoons enter a mild version of hibernation called torpor. However, raccoons in warmer climates may not enter this state.

During torpor, raccoons do very little. Their bodies will almost shut down as they enter a deep slumber that can last up to a month. Their bodies will conserve their energy levels and fat to help them maintain this resting state. If and when there are warmer periods during the winter, raccoons will wake up and come out at night in search for more food.

Raccoons can sleep for up to a month without needing to eat. The extra layer of fat that they store up during autumn adds up to about a third of their total weight. It provides insulation and a heavy coat of thick fur that allows them to survive very cold temperatures.

That’s why in January and February, it’s common for people that live in areas like Toronto to see raccoon activity. These are the last months of winter and are the times when raccoons will end their hibernation and search for mates.

Tips to Prevent Raccoons from Entering Your Home or Business This Autumn

Seal Garbage Bins: Raccoons are attracted to food, which is one of the reasons why they are so commonly found in urban areas. You can prevent raccoons from choosing your home or business as their next home by tightly sealing garbage cans or using locked covers. This will keep them from being able to open the containers if they knock them over.

Remove Food Sources: If you leave out food for your cat or keep food outside for your dog, you might want to stop this habit this autumn. Do not leave out any type of food that raccoons could be attracted to. Even birdfeed could be attractive to hungry raccoons, as well as fruit trees and ponds with fish. Although you might not want to remove all these things, if you notice raccoons in your neighbourhood it might be a sacrifice you have to make.

Repair Your Roof: If you have been putting off roof repairs, now might be the right time to tackle the job. Thin or lifting shingles, worn-out areas, or weakened spots in your roof provides the perfect opportunity for raccoons to move into your attic. Once raccoons have burrowed their way into your roof, they can cause a lot of damage and serious health hazards to your household.

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