Raccoons are opportunistic animals that can thrive in the wild, rural, suburban, or urban territories of North America. This adaptability allows them to take advantage of any food and shelter available to them, which may include human-made items like trash bins, pet food dishes, or an abandoned house. This opportunistic behavior has led to them becoming notorious for scavenging for food from humans’ garbage.
As nocturnal creatures, raccoons come out at night to hunt for food, but return to their dens early in the morning to sleep. These dens can be in a hole in the ground, repurposed burrows, or in hollow logs or beneath rocks or brush piles. They’re also known to seek out warm, secluded locations like attics, chimneys, crawl spaces, sheds, and abandoned cars.
The location of a raccoon’s den is usually within what they consider to be their home range, which can span a few square miles or more depending on how large the habitat around them is. This is where the raccoon will be found during their mating season in January and March, as well as throughout the gestation period of their kits in April and May.
Because raccoons are very opportunistic and can adapt to almost any environment, they will also find ways into homes and buildings to make their own nests and nurse their kits. They have been known to cause significant property damage in the process, tearing up ductwork and insulation and chewing through electrical wires. Their front paws are particularly dexterous, with the ability to grasp and manipulate objects with ease.