What Should You Do When You Encounter a Racoon?

Curious raccoon on a wooden table.

As the sun sets and a couple is enjoying is some fresh air before heading in for the night, they notice an animal sneaking around their property. It’s a raccoon! He or she has come around looking for fresh food or a place to rest. The raccoon is a furry little animal about the size of a small dog. It has a black mask across its eyes and cheeks and black rings around its bushy tail. Overall, its long, thick fur is gray-brown in color. Should people pet it? No. If it’s out during daylight, it could have rabies. Now raccoon sightings are common at parks, but they’re also fairly common around homes in the country, suburbs and sometimes even the city. What should you do if you encounter a raccoon?

Racoons Are Very Smart; Don’t Provoke Them

Know this: raccoons are intelligent creatures. They’re also cunning, wild and dangerous when provoked. They don’t attack you if you don’t provoke them– but they will attack if you do provoke them. Keep in mind they’re distant cousins to bears, and just like bears they can become fierce with humans when they feel they’re being threatened.

You Should Not Touch or Pet a Raccoon

Ideally, if you do encounter a raccoon, don’t approach or touch it. The raccoon could be sick or injured, or protecting its young, and you should not interfere with its life, even if you’re well-meaning and have good intentions. Remember, it’s a wild animal– let nature take its course.

Calmly Walk Away from Raccoons

If you’re close to a raccoon, back away calmly and in a decisive manner. Should a raccoon pursue you, do what you can to cover your arms, neck, face and head using your clothing, jacket or backpack as a shield. If you’ve got pepper spray with you, use it if needed.

Should you find that a raccoon seems to be coming around your house all too often, and it’s a total nuisance, then you should call specialists to capture and remove it from your property and area in general.

Raccoons tend to take up residence in people’s attics or chimneys. They make a mess looking for food in and around your garbage cans/bags, and they also love to steal pet food and bird seed. Their presence in your yard or house can really bother your pets, especially dogs. Therefore, if a raccoon is causing problems, call professionals to get rid of it. In Mobile, Alabama, call Critter Control at 251-680-5068 or at our Jackson, MS number at 769-895-6022.