Why do raccoons fight each other?

Racoons can vary between being peaceful to aggressive depending on their situation. You may have heard some raccoons fighting in the dead of night. They are nocturnal animals so they will sleep during the day and be up at night. The sounds they make are usually a loud ruckus and it may be alarming if you’ve never heard a racoon fight. But why do raccoons fight each other? This article will look into why raccoons fight each other.

How raccoons act in conflict situations:

Usually, raccoons will not get into conflicts. Their first line of defence is to leave the situation. They can usually suss out which of the two raccoons is more dominant and the smaller one will usually back down

In conflict situations, raccoons are usually more inclined to respect the elder raccoon. This is because the older one is larger in size regardless of gender.

When raccoons fight the sounds are similar to pigs squealing, the difference is that the sounds made by raccoons are higher pitched. They might even throw in some growling here or there

If they are fighting each other it will be a bit of a show. The raccoons, albeit usually peaceful, have a variety of features that help them defend themselves.

They have long sharp teeth and claws which can easily tear through the skin of other raccoons. They also have strong jaws which are beneficial as they can bite the opponent, the teeth are also used for hunting and fighting.

So if they are going toe to toe it’ll be one for the books.

During mating season:

When mating season comes round it usually leads to more activity between raccoons. This higher volume of animals being active results in some occasional fights.

The male raccoons are usually the ones who will venture outside their territory. When they come into contact with other males the raccoons will become aggressive towards each other. This will lead to fights between them to determine which is the dominant male.

Rabid raccoons

When a raccoon has rabies the virus completely takes over the raccoon’s brain and body. The symptoms will include increased aggression.

They are also more likely to attack another raccoon, usually, this attack is unprovoked. If the uninfected raccoon cannot escape it will fight.

During the fight the infected raccoon will infect the uninfected one, this can happen from just a scratch. Symptoms of rabies will include:

  • Aggression towards people or other animals
  • Confusion and seeming lost
  • Seemingly obvious notice and movements will not register with the animal
  • White foaming at the mouth            
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Discharge from the eyes, mouth and nose
  • Regular high-pitched noises
  • Self-mutilation
  • Wet matted fur on the raccoons face

Do raccoons fight to the death?

Raccoons fight to the death if necessary.

Raccoons know if their opponent is large and more dominating than them and if the smaller raccoon does not retreat from the situation and continues to fight the racoons will fight to the death.

This also happens if a raccoon gets introduced to a new habitat and there limited resources.

The racoons will fight for resources such as food, water or nesting sites and the raccoons can fight to the death to protect or secure these resources.

What does a raccoon sound like when fighting?

Raccoon fights are usually very loud and can be scary.

You will hear the scuffle as the two small animals go at each other and you’ll also hear some horrible screeches and sounds similar to pigs squealing as well as some growls.

These sounds are definitely something to keep you up at night and raise some hairs. Funny enough the sound of raccoons fighting is similar to the sound of raccoons mating

Will a raccoon attack you?

No raccoons will most likely not attack you.

They have some serious anatomical features that make them seem like they would attack with little provocation but these features are only for defence and not attack.

They will only attack you if they feel threatened or attacked.

In general, they are calm creatures that will go about their day if you let them be. If you get too close to their litter then they will attack you to protect their family. If you scare them or corner them then you will be putting your self in a risky situation.

Why do raccoons fight humans?

This will only happen if the raccoon feels threatened.

Usually, the raccoons first instinct will be to flee if there is a human in the area. They see humans as predators because of their size. But if you corner a raccoon and it feels the need to defend itself then it will.

I don’t suggest getting into a fight with a raccoon as this can end badly for you. You should keep your distance if you find yourself in the same space as a raccoon.

Read this article on what to do when you see a raccoon if you want to avoid conflict with the raccoons in your house, in your garden or in the wild.

How to protect and defend your home from raccoons:

  • Make sure your doors and windows are closed throughout the day to avoid them wandering in
  • Ensure that you close the lids of your garbage, make sure they are secure. This will avoid raccoons trying to get into it looking for food. You can replace your current trash bags with mint fragranced trash bags, raccoons hate the smell and will be deterred by them. These are a favourite.
  • Make sure that your chimney has a chimney cap. If it doesn’t then you need to add one
  • Ensure that you have trimmed all the bushes close to your windows, do is to prevent raccoons from using it as a bridge into your home.
  • Add nets over your ponds to avoid the raccoons feeding on the fish.
  • Make sure that you keep pet food in a place where raccoons cannot access it.

What to do if you get bitten/scratched by a raccoon

You need to seek medical attention immediately. There are a variety of diseases that raccoons can carry, this article will let you know what they can carry and spread.

You likely won’t know if the raccoon is sick, if the raccoon is sick it can pass the disease onto you without you knowing it. Some diseases that raccoons can spread to humans can be fatal.

What time of night are raccoons most active?

These animals are nocturnal in nature so you’re definitely more likely to see and hear from them during the nighttime. This can be irritating if you have raccoons living near you and just want to sleep.

You can generally expect the raccoons to leave their dens after sunset, this is when they are most active and will be out foraging for food. When they come out also depends on when there is human activity.

The quicker human activity dies down the quicker they will come out into the open.

If you find a racoon wandering around during the daytime they may have rabies, may be sick or just may be lost.

Even if the animal does not look or act sickly or disorientated then you should still be alert. The animal may still be dangerous to your health.

How to get rid of racoons:

Radio sounds: Raccoons don’t like the sound of strange and loud noises. If you want to get raccoons out of your house you can leave a radio where they’ve created their den and this will help to make them go away.

Predator urine: Because the smell of fresh predator urine is usually a sign that there is a predator in the area the raccoons will be on high alert and even vacate the area if it smells of predator urine. This is a great deterrent that you can get online or in a sporting goods store. This spray works well, you can also get them in the granular form.

Sprinkles: Motion activated sprinklers are a great way to scare raccoons away. This is a great way to water your garden while getting rid of some raccoons

Prevention is better than cure

Prevention is best when dealing with racoons.

Racoons come into your home and onto your property in search of food and water and sometimes shelter. Here are some things you can do to keep them away from your home:

Seal up: If there are small openings in your home then the smell of your food can waft out and attract raccoons. Make sure to seal these holes to avoid calling raccoons into our home.

Electric is best: If you have a fence around your house then this may not be enough to keep your property safe. Raccoons are great climbers and if they want to climb your fence to get into your home then they will. To avoid this use a premier electric fence to protect your home. This is an efficient electric fence charger

Screen it off: Raccoons will walk into anything open so using a screen to section off parts of your house will be a good idea. The screens will keep the raccoons away but still allow light and air into your home. You can use mesh screens for this. This is an easy to install pest screen.

Secure pet food: Raccoons eat all sorts of food, not just human food. They eat pet food as well. If you have pets make sure to bring their food into the house before sunset to prevent raccoons from getting into it and eventually infesting you home

Monitor your bird feeds: Raccoons will eat the food you leave for birds as well. If you don’t want to remove the bird food every night then you can use tools like a shepherds hook or use special bird feeders to prevent the raccoons from getting into the food.

Clean up your yard: Raccoons can create den sites in your back yard and can use any fallen tree branches or wood pieces to do this. To avoid future raccoon dens keep your yard clean and neat.

Yes, raccoons are good for something but there are a variety of reasons to get rid of raccoons. There also a variety of ways to get rid of racoons.

If you are willing to DIY pest control your home then you can follow this article which has more ways to help you get rid of raccoons (the guide includes humane ways).

If you have the means you can also call pest control services, they will help you get rid of your raccoon problem.

What scent do raccoons hate?

Ammonia: Leave a saucer or bowl of ammonia near the raccoon dean or opening and this will get them all out. This ammonia is affordable and effective.

Cayenne: Raccoons hate the smell of this hot pepper, it will send them packing in no time. Mix together some hot sauce, water and cayenne paper and leave it close to the raccoon den to get rid of the racoons.

Mothballs: If you don’t have any kids or animals in your home then this is something you can use to get rid of raccoons. Leave mothballs close to the raccoon den and the raccoons will disappear in no time. Note: these can be dangerous as they can seep into the surfaces of your house so discarded them after use. These pungent mothballs have a protective wrap, no skin contact can occur while using them.

Epsom salt: If your racoons are destroying your vegetable gardens then you can deter them using Epsom salts. Raccoons hate this smell and will leave your garden alone if you use this. This Epsom salt is affordable and effective.

Will animal control remove a raccoon?

Yes, wildfire control will remove your raccoon problem. The people over at your local animal control services are professionals who know how to humanely remove raccoons and other wild animals. Make sure you remember these things when you find a raccoon:

Do not pick up or handle the animal: It is probably more scared of you than you are of it because you are bigger. Leave it alone and leave it to the professions

Do not corner it: This will only make it more aggressive and can prompt it to attack you. It may feel trapped or attacked so give it room

If you are near it exercise caution: This animal may be small but it is still quite dangerous

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Why do raccoons fight each other?
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