Does Raccoon Behavior Change During The Fall and Winter in Ohio?
Raccoons are well known for being loud trash bandits that knock over garbage cans in the night, but these creatures are also sneaky. Raccoon behavior changes depending on exposure to humans, access to food, and the changing of the seasons.
If you are looking to prevent a critter problem or eliminate one, here is what you need to know.
We are here to answer your questions, like “Do raccoons in Ohio hibernate?” and “Do raccoons come out and where do they go during the winter?” Keep reading to learn more about their behavior in the fall and the colder Ohio months of winter.
Are Raccoons More Active in the Fall?
As cold weather rolls in, you may notice more groups of raccoons (known as gazes) out and about during the day. This is because they are in search of food and shelter before the temperature drops below the freezing point.
October in Ohio typically means temperatures between 62°F to 72°F at the high end and 41°F to 46°F on the low one.
They are not necessarily more active; you are just much more likely to spot them when they wander in the daytime. If you encounter a wild raccoon during the day, it could hiss, spit, or make a low growling noise at you if it feels like you are a threat, but it will likely run away.
If you see raccoons around your home in the fall, be on alert for signs of a problem and consider an assessment by a wildlife removal and control specialist.
Raccoon Behavior in Winter
Animals like bats, woodchucks, turtles, snakes, and some squirrels go into hibernation in the coldest winter months. But do raccoons in Ohio hibernate? The answer is a little less clear than you may think.
Instead of going into a full state of hibernation for months like many other mammals, raccoons enter a type of sleep called torpor. During torpor, raccoons sleep in dens for days or weeks at a time and rely on their stored body fat for sustenance. However, they do not stay in this state all winter.
Raccoons emerge on warmer days (when the temperature is above at least 15F) to find food. If their options for food or shelter are limited, this is when these creatures may wind up on your doorstep or underneath it. Gazes may hide in dense bushes, hollow spaces in trees, barns, and under porches or decks before making it into your home.
Signs of a Raccoon Problem
If you suspect a gaze of raccoons are living nearby or have made it inside, you should know the signs to look for. Here are some tips for how to spot a raccoon’s activity:
- Damage to insulation, roofing, gutters, window panes, wood, wiring, walls, etc.
- Droppings (which look similar to dog dropping but may contain undigested food)
- Urine stains and spilled trash
- Sounds such as low growls, shuffling, scuffing, scurrying, or chattering, especially at night
The time of the year you are more likely to hear these sounds are the late fall and winter months.
Raccoon Behavior During the Cold Months in Ohio
Raccoons are not just nuisance wildlife animals; they are capable of causing serious structural damage to your home and spread disease. Understanding raccoon behavior patterns helps to prevent pest problems.
If you are concerned about raccoons on your property and would like more information regarding getting rid of them, contact the Critter Detective. We will set up a consultation that will enable us to give you a quote for safe raccoon removal and control in Ohio.