Raccoons are a common sight in many parts of North America, and they have been spotted in both urban and rural areas. Urban raccoons sleep in dens often found under porches or high up in trees. They may not be the most well-known animal to roam about, but raccoons can cause plenty of problems for homeowners.
The critters will often live in your attic or crawl space and create quite a mess out of your insulation and other items that you store up there. There is also the possibility that these pesky critters might get into your house through an open window to raid your pantry at night!
If you suspect that raccoons are living on or near your property, then you must know how to find their den. This article will show you how to easily spot a raccoon den and then give some tips on what you can do about it.
What is a Raccoon Den?
Dens are raccoon nests that are used by female raccoons to raise their young. These den sites can be found in many different types of habitats, including lowlands and forests where raccoons will find plenty of food sources.
In the wild, a raccoon den is often a hollow log, a hollow tree, or an area under rocks. They are also comfortable living in abandoned burrows by other animals such as foxes and badgers. Raccoons typically create dens for themselves near water where they can easily find food to eat.
In urban or residential areas, raccoons nest in attics and crawl spaces under homes or porches. Some of these den sites might not be easily accessible to humans because raccoons always try to make them in out-of-the-way places that are difficult for humans to reach. This is how raccoons protect themselves from becoming prey for other animals or humans.
Raccoon Den Locations
There are several different areas on your property where a raccoon might make its den. They usually will not be too far from where they find food, so you may notice them around your barns and sheds.
A dark, dry area underneath a porch is going to be an attractive place for a mother raccoon to build her den. You may also notice that the critters like to use brush piles for this purpose, and even an old abandoned car might be a good spot!
If you have any openings in your roof such as missing shingles or vents leading into your attic, then you should know that raccoons are likely using these areas to get into your home.
In the wild, these dens are typically high up in trees or rock formations, raccoons climb trees as they feel more secure from predators, so you may find it difficult to locate them. Raccoons live in dens year-round, even during warmer weather when they can easily live on the ground.
How Can I Find a Raccoon Den?
Finding out where raccoons like to create dens can be an important step in finding these critters living on your property. To find a raccoon den you have to know where to look – places like attics, spaces under decks, barns, sheds, or old cars are perfect spots to begin your search.
Once you know the right places, you also have to know what to look for. Raccoons often leave signs or cues that they have been in the area, so you have to be observant. Things like raccoon tracks, scratch marks, raccoon sound at night, or odors can lead you to a raccoon’s den site.
Let’s look at some of the clues that will help lead you toward a raccoon den!
Signs That You Have a Raccoon Den In Your Property
There are a few things you can look for to determine the location of a raccoon den. Here are some clues that may help you to spot a raccoon’s den:
Footprints and tracks
Tracks are a clear sign that you are near a raccoon den. Raccoons generally make their tracks in mud or dirt, and these can be found near water sources such as streams, ponds, lakes, rivers, where raccoons like to live.
Raccoons have distinctively shaped feet, and these footprints are easy for anyone to identify. You can also tell that a raccoon made the tracks if you see five toes on both their front paws and back paws.
A raccoon will often leave droppings behind in their den or near their entry point, so you can easily find these by looking around for a pile of small, tubular droppings. Raccoons will often eat fruits and vegetables that they find in your garden, so if you see these droppings near fruit trees or vegetable plants then it is a good indication of where the raccoon den might be located!
Raccoons have a strong musky odor that can often be detected inside of their dens. The smell is often quite strong and will be noticeable if you get close to the den.
If you see scratch marks on your home or shed, then this could mean that there are raccoons inside! These claw marks may also help you to determine the size and number of animals that might be living inside.
A gnawed hole in the side of your home or shed is a good sign that you are close to the den. These holes are usually small and maybe just big enough for a raccoon to get inside. They will have grease marks around the opening and may even have droppings nearby.
Note that many of these signs are also indicative of other wild animals, so you should not rely on just one sign to determine if there is a raccoon in your vicinity!
Finding the Den
Once you’ve found these signs or clues, you can start looking for the entrance to a den. Wherever these clues are located is where the animals are likely to enter and exit from, so you’ll want to look for a hole in your home or shed.
When walking around your property, keep an eye out for any areas that might be ideal places for these animals to live. These dens can often be found in attics or spaces under porches where they have access to food sources such as garbage cans and pet food.
Raccoon dens can also be found in spots such as woodpiles and old abandoned cars or trucks where there is a dry, dark area underneath to provide shelter from the elements. If you see any of these things on your property, then raccoons may be using them for their den!
The den will usually have twigs, leaves, and other debris covering the area. Raccoons are not neat creatures by any means so you can expect to find their nests messy! The smell is also a dead giveaway that raccoons are using the area, so if you notice a strong musky odor then you’ve likely found the den.
The smell of a den is one sign that you can pick up on before even seeing the site itself. They often use their feces to mark around their territory and they will also leave behind food remains after eating it.
What to Do If You Have a Raccoon Den on Your Property
Once you’ve found the den and have determined that there is indeed a raccoon living there then it is time for action!
The first thing you should do if one or more raccoons have taken up residence in your home is to call a professional who has the skills and right equipment to remove them. An expert can not only safely remove the critter and her young with no injuries, but they can also prevent any future return.
Who to Call If You Have Raccoons on Your Property?
If you have a raccoon den on your property then you have to call in the experts. A professional nuisance animal removal company will be able to safely remove any raccoons from your home or building without posing a risk of harm to the critters or your family.
Raccoon Removal Near Me
Raccoons are wild animals that will not hesitate to attack if they feel threatened or trapped, so it is best to let someone else deal with this situation! Removal of raccoons from your home should be done by qualified professionals who have the necessary experience and expertise to get this job done quickly, safely, and humanely.
AAAC Wildlife Removal is the best place to call if you have a den of raccoons in your home or property. We will not only safely remove raccoons living on your property, but we will also clean up and disinfect the area to prevent future returns.
If you found the den in your attic then is very likely that the critters have left mounds of feces, trashed your insulation, and chewed on your wiring! This is not only unpleasant, but it can also pose a serious threat to your home.
At AAAC Wildlife Removal, not only will we remove the raccoons from your home, but we will also clean up their mess and restore your attic to its former condition. Our team of professionals is well-trained in this area so you can trust that they’ll get the job done right, the first time.
If you need help with attic restoration after a raccoon infestation, call us today!
Wild Animal Damage Repair
The masked bandit may have also done a substantial amount of damage to your home or building, so it is important that a professional handle this task as well! Our staff has the knowledge, skills, and equipment necessary for completing any wild animal damage repair work on your property.
If you want to learn more about Wildlife Damage Repair, call us!
Dead Animal Removal
Sometimes a sick or dying critter will crawl into your home’s walls or a cavity and die. This will result in a horrible odor emanating from the building. Finding and removing animal carcasses inside walls is not only difficult and unpleasant, but it is also downright dangerous.
If you need help removing a dead critter from your property, then give AAAC Wildlife Removal a call today. Our professionals will be able to find and remove the animal and horrendous odor so that you can get your home back to normal.
Call us today for help with Dead Animal Removal!
Finding a Raccoon Den – Conclusion
Finding a raccoon den in the wild or on your property isn’t very difficult, but it does require some careful observation and a little bit of detective work. Looking for things like raccoon tracks, feces, or chew marks can help you find the general location of the den. If you find raccoons in trees, attics, or chimneys then it is likely that they have made a den there.
Once you find these signs then it’s only a matter of confirming that a raccoon is actually living there before you can begin to take steps for removing them from your property. Keep in mind that raccoons are wild critters and can be aggressive if cornered, so do not attempt to remove the raccoons yourself should you find the den on your property!
Raccoon Fun Fact: Raccoons are often seen “washing” their food when near a water source, but do raccoons really wash their food? Click here to find out!