Do Raccoons Make Nests in Trees?

Do Raccoons Make Nests in Trees

Although raccoons routinely make their dens inside people’s homes, under porches, and in sheds and garages, the creatures’ natural den sites are hollows in trees. Tree hollows make the perfect spot for a raccoon to rest up during the daytime, shelter in poor weather, and raise a family in safety.

Unfortunately, raccoons can be a nuisance in a residential setting. The creatures can cause damage to your property, present a danger to pets, overturn trash cans, and make a terrible din at night with the continual growling, chattering, and snarling sounds that they make, call us for professional raccoon removal Hamilton. Also, raccoons have a habit of creating communal latrine areas, presenting a health hazard to you, your family, and your pets.

So, how do you know if a raccoon has made a nest in one of your trees?

Signs of a tree hollow raccoon den

Healthy raccoons are primarily nocturnal, so sightings are often rare. Also, unlike squirrels, raccoons don’t build nests in the branches of a tree, preferring to hide away inside natural hollows within the tree’s trunk. However, you can detect the animals’ presence in your trees in other ways.

  • Tracks that look like tiny handprints in the dirt around the base of trees can indicate that raccoons are living there.
  • Raccoons have sharp claws that they use to cling to the tree bark as they climb. Look carefully at the tree for telltale scratches and claw marks that could indicate raccoon activity.
  • You may notice droppings around the base of trees, indicating that raccoons may be living in some of the trees on your property.

Raccoon feces can contain roundworm, a parasite that can be transmitted to humans and to family pets, too, causing serious health problems.

Raccoons are also recognized in Ontario as rabies vectors, carriers of canine distemper and leptospirosis, and often playing host to ticks, lice, and fleas. So, even if a raccoon is hiding away out of sight in a tree, the animal may still present a very real danger to your family.

How to get rid of raccoons in trees

Once a raccoon has decided to make a nest in one of your trees, the best thing to do is contact a firm of wildlife pest removal specialists. They will have the necessary licenses, training, and equipment to trap and remove the raccoons safely and humanely.

It’s important that you don’t try to catch or kill the raccoons. Such action is not only cruel, potentially dangerous, and largely unsuccessful, it’s also illegal in the state of Ontario.

You can reduce the likelihood of attracting raccoons to your property by taking the following steps:

  • Take away pet food and water bowls at night.
  • Fit trash cans with special wildlife-proof lids, and weigh the bin lids down with heavyweights.
  • Double-bag your trash to eliminate tempting smells that might attract raccoons, and wash out your trash cans each week, using bleach to remove food spills and eliminate odors.
  • Trim ornamental fruit tree branches right back to make the trees and the fruit they contain less attractive to raccoons.
  • Where possible, cover tree hollows with strong mesh nailed to the tree trunk.
  • Keep pet rabbits, guinea pigs, and chickens securely locked in hutches or coops overnight.

It’s also a good idea to fit bright, motion-activated spotlights outside in your backyard to frighten away any raccoons that visit your property on nocturnal foraging trips.

In summary

Raccoons sometimes make dens in hollow trees. That’s a good thing in so much that it means the creatures aren’t breaking into your attic, shed, or garage to set up home. On the downside, raccoons on your property are noisy, destructive, and can spread diseases in their feces.

If you spot raccoon activity around trees on your land, contact a professional wildlife removal firm to deal with the masked invaders safely, humanely, and legally.