Raccoons are nocturnal animals with brown fur, distinctive black mask-like markings on their faces, and ringed tails. They are usually about the size of a cat, but may be larger when well-fed on garbage.
Raccoons will eat almost anything, but urban and suburban raccoons often feed on garbage and pet food. You can help discourage them from visiting your property by harvesting all fruits and vegetables promptly, keeping garbage and compost in closed containers, and bringing pet food in at night.
Urban and suburban raccoons often den under buildings and in attics and garages. They can be kept out by making sure crawl space vents are in good repair and closing up other entrances to your crawl space or attic.
If they are used to being fed, raccoons can lose their fear of humans and become aggressive. Since they can carry rabies, it’s important that you never feed or approach a raccoon.
More information on managing raccoons is available from the UC IPM program website.
Raccoons also carry a parasite called raccoon roundworm that can make humans sick. More information on raccoon roundworm is available below.