Raccoon Population Skyrocketing in Urban Areas- Is it a Cause for Concern?

Uncategorized By May 17, 2023

The population of raccoons has been rising in urban areas due to the availability of food, more green spaces, and a reduced number of predators. While raccoons may be considered a nuisance and can cause property damage, they also provide natural pest control and can aid in seed dispersal. However, some concerns include the transmission of diseases and vehicle collisions. To manage raccoons in urban areas, securing garbage cans, removing food sources, using exclusion methods, and trapping and relocating raccoons with trained professionals can be effective strategies. Raccoons are typically not aggressive towards humans or pets but can cause damage to homes.

Raccoon Population Skyrocketing in Urban Areas- Is it a Cause for Concern?

Raccoon Population Skyrocketing in Urban Areas- Is it a Cause for Concern?


Raccoons are found all over North America and have adapted well to living in urban areas. In recent years, raccoon populations in urban areas have skyrocketed, causing concern among some people. But is this increase in raccoon populations really a cause for concern?

Reasons for Raccoon Population Increase

There are several reasons why raccoon populations have increased in urban areas:

  • Availability of food: Raccoons are opportunistic feeders and will eat just about anything. With more people living in urban areas, there is more food available for raccoons.
  • More green spaces: Urban areas are becoming more green with the creation of parks and other green spaces. These areas provide a habitat for raccoons.
  • Less predators: Raccoons have fewer predators in urban areas, which allows their populations to increase.

Benefits of Raccoons in Urban Areas

Raccoons may be considered a nuisance by some people, but they actually provide several benefits:

  • Natural pest control: Raccoons eat insects, rodents, and other pests, which helps keep these populations in check.
  • Seed dispersal: Raccoons eat fruits and berries and spread the seeds in their droppings, helping to propagate plant species.
  • Educational value: Raccoons can be an important part of environmental education programs, helping people understand the importance of wildlife conservation.

Concerns About Raccoons in Urban Areas

Despite the benefits of raccoons in urban areas, there are some concerns:

  • Transmission of diseases: Raccoons can carry diseases, such as rabies and distemper, which can be transmitted to pets and humans.
  • Property damage: Raccoons can cause damage to gardens, yards, and homes when they are looking for food or shelter.
  • Vehicle collisions: Raccoons are often hit by cars, which can cause damage to the vehicle and harm the raccoon.

Management of Raccoons in Urban Areas

To address concerns about raccoons in urban areas, several management strategies can be employed:

  • Securing garbage cans and compost bins: This will prevent raccoons from accessing food waste.
  • Removing food sources: Don’t leave pet food outside and remove bird feeders.
  • Using exclusion methods: Close off entry points to buildings and seal attics and crawlspaces.
  • Trapping and relocation: As a last resort, trapping and relocating raccoons can be effective, but should only be done by trained professionals.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Are raccoons dangerous?

A: Raccoons can carry diseases, but they are usually not aggressive towards humans or pets.

Q: Can raccoons climb?

A: Yes, raccoons are excellent climbers and can climb trees, buildings, and even fences.

Q: What do raccoons eat?

A: Raccoons are omnivores and will eat just about anything, including insects, rodents, fruits, vegetables, and human food waste.

Q: Can raccoons cause damage to my home?

A: Yes, raccoons can cause damage to homes when they are looking for food or shelter. They may tear up gardens, dig through trash cans, and even enter homes through attics or crawlspaces.

Q: What should I do if I have a raccoon problem?

A: You should first try to remove any food sources that raccoons may be feeding on. You can also use exclusion methods to prevent raccoons from entering your home. Trapping and relocating raccoons should be done by trained professionals.