How to Raccoon-Proof Your Outdoor Trash

With their adorable little faces, raccoons give the appearance of being sweet critters. Unfortunately, their instincts and behaviors are not so cute. For instance, they are often found hanging around at night digging through outdoor trash cans in their quest for food, leaving you to clean up their unsanitary messes.

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Raccoons’ Behavior in the Winter vs. the Summer

Raccoons are adorable and fun-looking on TV, but not so much in real life. They have very sharp teeth and claws, and often carry the rabies virus — so often that virtually anyone bit by a raccoon must undergo painful rabies treatment if the offending animal is not caught and tested for rabies. The potential for rabies and other injuries from raccoons makes wildlife animal capture a vital resource.

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What to Do In a Raccoon Encounter

Raccoons are nocturnal and considered to be nuisance animals. The adult raccoon has grayish-black fur and weighs ten to thirty-five pounds with stocky front legs, long back legs, a striped tail and a black “mask” over the eyes. Raccoons are very intelligent and burrow around streams and lakes. They can also show up beneath decks and homes as well as in barns, attics and chimneys. In an urban environment, they feed on homeowners’ garbage. Their young are nested in the spring in an earthen den, drain pipes or hollow tree trunks.

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