Your Wildlife Habitat
Living With Raccoons
If you have discovered that a family of raccoons has moved in, you probably don’t think they’re so cute anymore. Sharing your home with them or having them regularly raid your supposedly raccoon-proof garbage will try even the most avid nature-lover’s patience. You might have already learned the hard way that a mother raccoon can be ferociously protective of her kits and will do considerable damage if separated from them.
Understanding a little bit about the needs and behaviours of raccoons can reduce your frustrations and help you deal with them in a humane manner. In Ontario, if you capture a raccoon and do not kill it humanely, you must by law release it within 1 km. from where you found it within 24 hours. It is best to play it safe with raccoons, because they have been known to carry rabies. Hire a professional if you need assistance. Below you will find some tips to help you encourage them to leave or to choose an appropriate professional to help you.
The Ontario SPCA website provides fact sheets about raccoons and describes how to get rid of a raccoon family which has invaded your property. It also explains what to do if you find orphaned baby raccoons.
The Canadian Association for Humane Trapping has published a flyer with tips for discouraging raccoons. This flyer describes what to look for when choosing a wildlife removal company.
Trapping: If raccoons have evaded all your efforts to encourage them to move on, trapping might prove to be the only solution. The Ontario Fur Managers Federation (OFMF) website provides extensive information about raccoon behaviour and explains the best approach to their management. Licensed trappers must abide by strict regulations in respect to safe and humane trapping. An overview of trapping and licensing regulations in Ontario is available on the MNR website. To find a licensed trapper, contact your local trappers’ council, contact the Ontario Fur Managers Federation, or your local MNRF office.