Raccoons out during the day - Should I be Concerned?

As most of us know, raccoons are nocturnal creatures - nocturnal animals are normally most active at night. Because of this, we often see a raccoon walking around during the day as a cause for concern. It is a commonly believed myth that a raccoon wandering your neighbourhood during daylight hours must be very ill, however, there are many reasons that these mammals might be wandering about while the sun is shining. 

 

To keep ourselves and our furry friends as safe as possible, it’s important to understand the reasons why these creatures might be spotted during our waking hours. Our team at Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control wants to share our knowledge regarding how to safely observe and interpret raccoon sightings in your neighbourhood. 

 

A Raccoon’s Normal Daytime Behaviour

 

The first thing to observe when you see a raccoon wandering during the day is their behaviour. Raccoons are normally very alert, not usually aggressive unless they are provoked, and move at a leisurely, but determined pace. If the raccoon is exhibiting the following behaviour, you should steer clear and call the Kitchener Waterloo Humane Society right away:

 

  • Wandering aimlessly, without direction or intent
  • Drooling, foaming at the mouth, or excessive discharge from the eyes
  • Oblivious to noises and movements around them (traffic, people walking by etc.)
  • Self-mutilation, or putting themselves in harms way
  • Repetitive, high pitched vocalizations

 

These are all signs the animal may be sick. Although cases of rabies and other raccoon related illnesses are not common in Ontario, there is still a chance the raccoon could be carrying a harmful disease. Never attempt to deal with wildlife on your own - always be sure to call professionals who have experience understanding and dealing with wild animals.

 

If they are not ill, why are they wandering around?

 

If a raccoon is exhibiting normal, unalarming behaviour, the question still stands - what are they doing out and about? Raccoons are extremely intelligent, and adaptable creatures, which is why they have taken so well to urban living especially in Southern Ontario. A raccoon may be wandering around during the day for multiple reasons, including:

 

  • Sourcing for food that is more readily available during the day
  • Travelling to another den after being spooked or chased out of their old home
  • Scavenging for a young litter, especially during spring when baby raccoons are too young to fend for themselves

 

In late spring/early summer, you may also begin to see baby raccoons waddling through yards during daytime as they begin to learn how to survive on their own. If you spot baby raccoons walking around during the day, it is important to leave them be as well, since they could be carriers of any number of illnesses, and it is likely that their mother is closeby keeping watch on them too.

 

How can I protect myself, my family, and my pets?

 

There are a number of things Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control recommends homeowners do to protect themselves, their families and their pets:

 

  • Keep your distance, and never approach, feed or touch wild animals, even if they are deceased
  • Regularly vaccinate your pets against rabies and other wildlife related illnesses
  • Leave baby wildlife alone for a full 24 hours before calling 
  • Ensure that all food sources, including pet food, trash bins and gardens, are secured and inaccessible to all wildlife
  • Educate your family, especially young children, of the dangers of close contact with wildlife

 

Observing wildlife from a distance can be exciting and mesmerizing, but leaving them be is important for your health and theirs. If you spot a raccoon in the wild that appears to be ill, contact your local animal control provider, or if you suspect raccoons have invaded your home, give Skedaddle a call at 1-888-592-0387 or visit our website at www.skedaddlewildlife.com for a safe and humane removal.

 

 Article By: Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control