The nocturnal creature that is the raccoon has mastered the art of locating cozy places to sleep. In suburban and urban settings, a raccoon will use the same skills to find a comfortable spot to slumber in spite of the presence of people nearby. Understanding these sleeping habits can help you learn how to be a better neighbor to your local raccoons.
When a raccoon is nesting, it will typically build its den in a hollow tree or beneath a thicket of brush. If it lives in a city, it will often opt for a crawl space under porches or decks. It will also utilize the nooks in attics and basements that are commonly found in buildings in cities and suburbs. In the wild, raccoons are known to reside in ground burrows and the empty dens of other animals.
In the winter, raccoons will huddle up in their dens to stay warm and conserve energy. They won’t go into true hibernation, but they will drastically reduce their activity level and enter a state called torpor. They will emerge from their dens when weather temperatures improve.
Though the raccoon may seem cute and cunning, it’s important to keep your distance from these creatures. They are capable of carrying deadly pathogens, such as rabies and distemper, that can be transmitted to humans or pets. If you do see a raccoon, try to make yourself appear larger by making loud noises, waving your arms or spraying water at them.