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When people think of New York City, a lot of things come to mind. Whether you are talking about the Empire State building, the subway system, Yankee Stadium, or the enormous amount of people, there are a significant number of things to think about when the city’s name is mentioned.
However, one thing that is not commonly when people think of New York City are raccoons. These seem to be the animals that are more frequently found in rural or suburban areas, but aren’t something that one would imagine would be living in the largest city in North America.
The fact of the matter is that these animals do live there, and thrive, meaning that the likelihood of you coming in contact with the raccoon if you lived in the city or were visiting it is quite likely. Raccoons exist in all five boroughs of the city and have easily adapted to the conditions that afforded food and shelter.
Find out: Do raccoons come out in the rain?
If you think about it, New York City is actually quite an ideal location for a raccoon to live. These creatures are true omnivores, which means that they will eat just about anything. Only a goat is less selective than a raccoon. Because of this reason, raccoons are likely to find a wide assortment of food throughout the city. Whether it is diving into people’s garbage cans, the dumpsters at restaurants, or eating the food that people simply dropped along the road, there is what seems like an endless supply of food available for the raccoon.
There were also numerous places where a raccoon can live. These animals don’t need to live in a tree or in a hole in the ground. They can instead live quite comfortably in the attic of a house, the basement of an apartment complex, or even in the storage closet of a business. As long as there is ample space for them to be able to move around in a little bit of privacy so that they can sleep undisturbed, you can be sure that raccoons will find a comfortable place to live.
Learn whether or not raccoons can jump onto houses or over fences.
Learn more about raccoons in garbage: Raccoons & Garbage Cans: How to Keep Them Out
It is for reasons like this that raccoons are seen in abundance within the city limits. However, you should be quite cautious should you come in contact with one of these animals. Not only can they cause a lot of physical damage to your home and property, but raccoons are the carriers of several different kinds of diseases. This includes rabies, which is deadly to you or your pet should you be bitten and not treated right away.
If you come in contact with the raccoon, the best thing to do is to avoid it at all costs. To keep them from coming around your house make sure that your garbage cans are closed tightly, that you trim trees and bushes so they will not have a good hiding spot, and that you feed your pets indoors. By taking these steps you ensure that a raccoon will not become a menace to you and your family.
We know that you're expecting us to say that raccoons live in more rural areas, but that's no longer the case. Raccoons live in urban areas — the same places that people live — because it's easier for them there. With an abundance of food and more than enough places to hide out, especially with seldom-visited attics all over the place, they have no reason to go back to the rural spots. It's a good job really, because very few of those rural spots actually exist.
Raccoons struggle to survive without trees. They also like water. The combination of the two not only keeps the animal in food and water, but it is also gives it a few more creature comforts too — there's plenty of nesting or den sites nearby, especially with rock and wood piles, tree hollows, and other animals' underground dens to take over.
These places — perfect raccoon habitats — are being cut down more and more each day, to the point where raccoons no longer have anywhere to go. They have no choice but to move closer to urban habitats, because the rural ones no longer exist. There are no trees — we are cutting them down. Water is an ever-changing thing, especially with the flooding that are experiencing on a more horrific level each year that passes, and severe and weird weather hitting more and more places across the globe. Whether you're a believer in global warming or not, something is happening to our planet and we aren't the only species that are suffering the consequences.
Habitats that are left out there are now overflowing with wildlife. Urban retreats have become the overflow for those communities. We have invaded their spaces so much, they've had no choice to move in closer to us. Where else are they going to go?
Although there's nothing we can do individually to help the way that deforestation is killing the ecosystem of thousands of other animals around the world each day, there are collective things we can do, such as planting our own trees and creating our own little wildernesses. (As well as joining various charities and organizations to try and invoke a change, obviously.) By doing this, we're running the risk of letting animals move right in alongside us, and although this encourages the spread of disease and can cause conflict, we must find some way to co-exist.
If you don't want to have raccoons hanging out in your yard, you need to make the change to your property. You can't change the way that these animals think or act. You can't make them stop chasing after food, which is probably why they're causing you a problem in the first place. You can make life as unattractive for them as possible, on the other hand, and this will encourage them to move along pretty quickly.
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.
Easiest Way to Get Raccoons Out of a Dumpster