Why You Hear Raccoons Fight at Night (And What You Can Do)

raccoons entry points

Introduction:

Have you ever wondered why you hear raccoons fight at night? While raccoons are not typically aggressive, they may engage in fights when necessary. This article will delve into the reasons behind raccoon fights, the sounds they make, and how it can potentially become dangerous. Additionally, we will share practical advice on how to intervene and prevent raccoon fights. So, let’s explore the intriguing world of raccoons and their nightly battles.

Why Do Raccoons Fight?

The most common reasons for raccoons fight include competition for food, mates, and territory. When raccoons feel threatened or need to protect themselves, they may engage in fights with other animals. However, it is important to note that raccoons rarely attack humans and would usually prefer to flee.

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It is worth mentioning that around 30.3% of the wild raccoons in the United States carry the rabies virus, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data from 2018. Although not all infected raccoons display aggression symptoms, a raccoon infected with rabies may exhibit blind aggression towards anything that moves.

During fights, raccoons emit growling and screaming sounds that can be quite disturbing. In some cases, raccoon fights can even escalate to the point of death, reflecting the realities of the natural world.

Raccoons Fight at Night: The Sounds

When two raccoons engage in a fight, you will initially hear growling and whining sounds. These are soon followed by deeper, animalistic screams. The fight between raccoons sounds intense, high-pitched, and loud, often leaving an unsettling impression on listeners. Below, you can watch a video capturing two raccoons fighting at night, recorded by Texas Wildlife Cams. Please be aware that the sounds in the clip may be upsetting to some viewers.

Mating Season: The Catalyst for raccoons Fight

Unsurprisingly, it is mainly male raccoons that exhibit aggressive behaviour. Hormones play a significant role in driving this aggression, particularly during the mating season. From January to March (and sometimes even April), male raccoons venture out in search of female raccoons but often end up battling other males in the process.

These months mark the peak time to encounter aggressive male raccoons, accompanied by their spectacular growling, hissing, barking, and screaming noises. Since raccoons are non-monogamous, this behaviour continues even after a male raccoon finds a female mate.

How to Stop Raccoons Fight

Now that we understand what raccoon fights sound like and their underlying motivations, the question arises: should we intervene and stop them? The answer depends on the potential risks that these fighting animals pose to you and your family.

If you have small livestock, dogs, cats, or other pets, there is a clear risk involved. Dogs and cats, especially, may show aggression towards raccoons in certain circumstances, and raccoons can pose a serious threat to them.

Though interfering with nature should be minimized, you have the right to protect your family and animals. While we cannot change raccoons’ behavior entirely, we can take preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of fights. Here are some steps you can take to protect your animals and loved ones from aggressive raccoons:

Remove any food sources:

Raccoons are opportunistic eaters, so it is vital to secure your cat food stash and fortify your outdoor trash bins. Impenetrable locks and immediate repairs for any damages are necessary precautions.

Seal weak spots around your house:

Raccoons love to seek shelter in high places, like trees or roofs. Attics often become raccoon dens, even without visible roof holes. These dens attract raccoons in search of coveted hiding spots, leading to fights during mating season. Reinforce weak areas with additional wood or concrete, ensuring no small holes are left, as raccoons can squeeze through tight spaces.

Keep animals indoors during mating season:

It may seem obvious, but many pet owners overlook the impact of raccoon mating season. In raccoon-rich neighbourhoods, take precautions such as removing outdoor pet food before sunset, providing safe sleeping enclosures for dogs, and preventing cats from roaming at night. Rabbit cages should also be well-protected with extra layers of metal cage wiring.

Employ natural raccoon repellents:

 Raccoons have aversions to certain scents. Experiment with natural repellents near potential food sources, entry points, or vulnerable spots around sheds, barns, patio decks, and other hideout locations. Scents such as eviction fluid for raccoons, cougar or wolf urine, Epsom salt, onion, or pepper can help deter raccoons.

Seek professional removal services:

In situations where raccoon fights persist and pose a significant problem, consider contacting reputable pest control companies specializing in larger mammals like raccoons. Although not an immediate solution, a professional can humanely remove raccoons from your property, preventing recurring generations of raccoon conflicts.

FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

 Q 1: Why do raccoons fight at night?

 A: Raccoons may fight at night due to competition for food, mates, and territory. Mating season, which occurs from January to April, can also trigger aggressive behaviour among male raccoons.

Q 2: Are raccoons fight dangerous to humans?

A: Generally, raccoons prefer to flee rather than attack humans. However, it’s essential to be cautious, as around 30% of wild raccoons in the US carry the rabies virus, which can cause aggressive behaviour in infected raccoons.

Q 3: What do raccoons fight sound like?

 A: Raccoon fights can be intense and loud, with sounds ranging from growling and whining to high-pitched and animalistic screams. The noises can be quite disturbing to hear.

Q 4: How can I protect my pets from raccoons fight?

A: To protect your pets, remove food sources that may attract raccoons, reinforce weak areas around your house where raccoons could enter, and keep your animals indoors during raccoon mating season. You can also use natural raccoon repellents as a preventive measure.

Q 5: Should I intervene in raccoons fight on my property?

 A: While interfering with nature should be minimized, it’s essential to protect your family and pets. If raccoon fights pose a risk to your animals, you can take preventive measures, like securing food sources and using repellents. If the problem persists, consider seeking professional removal services from reputable pest control companies.

Conclusion:

Understanding the reasons behind raccoons fighting at night and taking appropriate measures can ensure the safety of your family, pets, and property. By removing food sources, securing weak spots, keeping animals indoors during mating season, employing natural repellents, and seeking professional removal services if needed, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of raccoon fights occurring on your premises. Stay informed and take proactive steps to peacefully coexist with these fascinating creatures while maintaining a secure environment for all.

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