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Professional Raccoon Control Serving Orlando & Central Florida

Orlando Raccoon Control

Raccoons are one of the most commonly dealt with nuisance animals in central Florida. Some of the problems they cause include:
  • Breaking Into and Living in an Attic
  • Tipping Over Garbage Cans or Pet Food
  • Tearing Into Screened Porches or Lenais
  • Defecating in Swimming Pools
  • Posing Health or Safety Risks To Pets
For these reasons, in particular raccoons in the attic, it's often a good idea to have humane raccoon trapping performed at your property.
 


RACCOON BEHAVIOR: Raccoons are highly adaptable and capable animals. They are primarily active at night, and will forage within a home range in search of food. Raccoons are well adapted and common in urban areas such as Orlando Florida. They often seek out human sources of food, such as garbage cans, dumpsters, pet food, and even handouts. Most of these urban raccoons have no fear of people, and will stand their ground when approached. I get many calls each year about raccoons that have threatened people and pets. Raccoons will seek out food almost anywhere, and are very clever at obtaining it. They'll clear out goldfish ponds, citrus trees, bird food, and more. They like water, and will often bathe and poop in a swimming pool. If threatened, they may climb up a tree, or stand and fight. They are formidable foes, even to large dogs. Female raccoons raise the young, teach them well, and will ferociously defend them. Raccoons seem to vary in temperament, much like dogs. Some are calm, some are mean.

BIOLOGY: Raccoons are of the Procyonidae family - small omnivorous animals, somewhat similar to bears. Most adult raccoons in Florida weigh between 12-20 pounds. They walk on all fours, with a highly arched back. They have course grey-brown fur, and a fluffy tail marked with rings. They also have dark skin and hair around the eyes, which some people describe as a mask. They have longer hind feet and dextrous front paws, which are almost like hands. They are very strong for their weight, and are excellent climbers. Raccoons can descend a tree headfirst, by swiveling their hind feet backward. They are nocturnal, and forage for food during the night, although they are sometimes active during the daytime. They are omnivores, which means that they eat both vegetative matter and meat. Most mating occurs in late fall or winter, but can vary in Florida. Usually around four young are born after a two-month gestation. The young are born tiny and nearly hairless, with their eyes shut. They eyes open in about three weeks. The mother nurses and raises the young on her own, and teaches them how to forage. They stay with her for most of the year, before finally leaving after about 8-9 months.

NUISANCE CONCERNS IN ORLANDO: The most common problem with raccoons is that they often choose to live inside of attics. This is particularly true with female raccoons bearing a litter of young. The females search for a safe place to stow the litter and raise it. An attic is often an ideal environment - warm, dry, and safe from predators. A female raccoon will often tear out an opening - it could be in a gable vent or roof vent, under an eave, or even right through the roof. Once inside the female will find a suitable spot to stash her young. In the meantime, she (and the young when they grow up) can cause a lot of damage to the attic. Sometimes they will completely rip apart the ductwork or wiring. Sometimes they'll tear up insulation lining and paper. They sometimes tear off piping insulation. They trample down the insulation and dig ruts and tunnels. They also urinate and defecate in the attic, and often bring in parasites. The droppings can pose a biohazard health risks to pets and humans. I've seen some attics with very severe damage.

In addition to living in attics, raccoons outside also get into all sorts of mischief. One of the more common complaints I get is regarding raccoons pooping in a pool. They like water, and they'll often choose to use a shallow pool step as a toilet. I've also dealt with many cases of raccoons stealing goldfish from decorative ponds. They will take any food source that they can find, from your pet's food to your garbage. Raccoons frequently tip over garbage cans in search of food. They will often break and enter in search of food. I once dealt with a case in which several raccoons entered a home through the doggie-door, walked through the kitchen, down the hall, across the living room, and into the parlor just to get to the cat food. Raccoons will also roll up fresh sod, and believe it or not, they'll often dig.

HOW DO I SOLVE THE PROBLEM? There's no magic repellent or device that will solve a raccoon problem. I often arrive at a home with raccoons in the attic, and see several home remedies and gadgets (such as high-pitch noisemakers) that don't work. It's not easy to remove a raccoon from the attic. If you think you can just trap the animal, that's wrong. There's almost always a bunch of young up there, and if you remove the mom without the young, the young will suffer and die and then decompose and cause a big odor problem. It's not legal for a homeowner to just trap a raccoon and release it elsewhere. There's a reason for the licensed and professional wildlife removal expert. I do the job correctly - from simple cases like raccoons taking the dog's food, to trap-shy female raccoons in the walls.


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