Bandit-masked raccoons are a familiar sight just about everywhere throughout Middle Tennessee. They will eat just about anything. They are adaptable and use their dexterous front paws and long fingers to find and feast on a wide variety of fare.
In the natural world, raccoons snare a lot of their meals in the water. These nocturnal foragers use lightning-quick paws to grab crayfish, frogs, and other aquatic creatures. On land, they pluck mice and insects from their hiding places and raid nests for tasty eggs. Raccoons also eat fruit and plants—including those grown in human gardens and farms. They will even open garbage cans to dine on the contents.
These ring-tailed animals are also territorial, particularly the males. Adult males may occupy areas of 3 to 20 sq. miles; females have a much smaller territory of 1 to 6 sq. miles. They are equally opportunistic when it comes to choosing a denning site. They may inhabit a tree hole, drain pipes, attics of homes and buildings, under decks, under storage buildings, in brush piles, and abandoned burrows.
Raccoons cause substantial damage to homes and businesses in Tennessee. In urban areas, raccoons damage buildings (particularly in attics and roofs), gardens, fruit trees, lawns, get into garbage cans, and trash containers. They are also attracted to pet food left outdoors and will attack pets. Occasionally, one or more raccoons will establish a communal toilet area in your attic resulting in the deposition of a large number of scats.
Raccoons in the Tennessee are known to carry infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans and animals that have contact with raccoons or their waste. Both young and mature raccoons can shed viruses, bacteria and parasites that when exposed to humans and animals can result in infections and disease such as Rabies, Baylisascaris, Procyonis, Giardiasis, Leptospirosis, and Salmonella. People should not handle raccoons or their waste without protection and appropriate training. Raccoons expose humans to disease when handled or if there is exposure to bodily secretions or feces. Saliva, urine, feces and bites or scratches are the most common routes of exposure. Contamination of the environment and any materials used by the raccoons can also be a source. People who handle raccoons, who are bitten, scratched or exposed to their waste, should be aware of the potential health hazards.
In the urban areas of Middle Tennessee where raccoons become so numerous that they are a serious nuisance, they must be excluded or removed by a raccoon removal and control experts. Since raccoons are classified as furbearers, a trapping license or depredation permit may be required before taking any animals so ensure you or your Wildlife Control Technician have the proper licensing and permits required by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. Exclusion or trapping with baited cage traps is the most satisfactory way to remove raccoons, in the urban area. You should never attempt to trap or remove a wild animal unless you have the necessary training and license to do so. If you suspect you have a raccoon in your attic, in your chimney, in sheds, or in a utility building you should call our raccoon removal experts immediately. We can humanely get rid of your raccoons.