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About the same size as the average house cat, the humble raccoon can grow to about three foot in length. They’re not exactly small creatures, so you would be forgiven for thinking they were also quite clumsy. They sure sound that way, while they’re thumping away in the attic above your head, or making racket in the back garden whilst rooting through your garbage can.
These creatures usually live near water, in areas where there are plenty of trees. The trees are what give the raccoon protection when needed, from predators. The trees also provide hollows, which the raccoons love to sleep in. Sadly, many of these places are no longer on offer to the wild raccoon, and they’ve had no choice but to essentially move right in with us - humans.
Although not a fence, a tree isn’t far off. If a raccoon can climb a tree with relative ease, they won’t have much of a problem climbing a wooden fence, and this will be more so the case if it has a textured surface. The two front feet of the raccoon have dexterous toes - five of them to be precise, and these help the animal to cling on and climb higher.
If you have a fence around your property, it is probably not going to be enough of a fence to keep various wild animals out. Bats and birds can fly overhead, snakes can slither underneath, various creatures, such as moles, can also burrow underground, and even squirrels and raccoons can climb and clamber. There is no foolproof way of keeping all animals out of your yard. The trick is to keep them out of your house, and also to make your yard look as unattractive as possible. This means to take out all food sources that could be enticing raccoons and other animals in, as well as removing all piles of debris and trash. These make for great homes for the average homeless wild animal. If you have suck things just lying around on your land, you are simply asking to be invaded by something. If it’s not a raccoon, it’ll be something else - a skunk, an opossum, squirrels, rats, mice …
If you think you do have a raccoon climbing your fence, it will usually be one of two reasons. It’s either climbing to the top of the fence to clamber across it and get to the higher levels of your home. Take a peek - can a raccoon get across the fence and onto your roof? Could a tree trunk or tree branch be helping it along? If the answer is yes, you’ll need to trim them back.
Other tracks that you are likely to see in your garden if a raccoon is climbing the face, are marks in the soft floor - soil, mud, sand, etc. The fence is also likely to have scratch-claw marks, or maybe even dirty smear patches. This will be where the raccoon has been moving around, and the fur has been dragged across the surface. You may also find small hairs that once belonged to the raccoon, and perhaps even droppings lying around on the floor too. You'll likely spot them - they are usually around three to five inches in length, if you have an adult raccoon on your hands. They’re basically the same size as most cat and dog droppings.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does raccoon removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of raccoons - my main raccoon removal info guide.
Example raccoon trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Raccoon job blog - learn from great examples of raccoon jobs I've done.
raccoons in the attic