Tampa's Raccoon Problem and What You Should Do

a raccoon on the roof of a home

Despite being made out as cute or cuddly creatures in some entertainment and media, raccoons are not an animal one wants to come into unexpected contact with. Tampa has a raccoon problem; they are common critters to see all over the Tampa Bay area and the numbers are only growing. Raccoons are quite dangerous, are destructive to property, can get aggressive, and carry diseases. They are drawn into urban areas due to the high volume of food sources and will nestle into attics, outbuildings, garages, sheds, and more. Raccoons are clever; plenty of research has been done to show they are quite intelligent and are hard to catch. EcoTech Pest Control Services wants everyone to be aware of the real threat raccoons pose if they make themselves at home around Tampa.  

Raccoons Are Common Pests

Plenty of residential and commercial pest control calls come in every day about raccoons in and around Tampa and the Tampa Bay area. Here at EcoTech Pest Control Services, we know all too well how destructive these animals can be. Raccoons can be a huge nuisance; they will not only steal food, but they also damage yards, gardens, buildings, and will even kill small animals. Raccoons are mammals, not rodents, and they have very useful almost hand-like paws, which is part of what makes them so destructive and dexterous. Knowing the basics about where raccoons live, what raccoons eat, and how they act can come in very handy, even possibly preventing a raccoon problem or harmful interaction.  

Raccoons And Disease  

Not every raccoon is dangerous; however, they all have the potential to be. Raccoons are known to be carriers of rabies, ticks, fleas, roundworm, giardiasis, canine distemper, canine hepatitis, and more. Raccoons can bite humans and pets, and this can spread disease and infection. If bitten by a raccoon, get medical attention immediately, and wash the bite with soap and water as soon as possible, as a raccoon bite is an emergency situation.  

What Raccoons Look Like 

Raccoons are fairly recognizable by the distinct markings on their faces. The “mask” around the eyes works well with the raccoon’s reputation for being thieves. Raccoons are heavyset, with salt-and-pepper-colored fur, black rings on their tails, and light-colored patches of fur around the eyes and nose. Raccoons can get quite large; their bodies can reach anywhere from 15 inches to more than two feet long. They can weigh upwards of 25 pounds, meaning they can take on small pets with ease.  

What To Know About Raccoons: Habitat, Behaviors, And Diet 

  • Habitat: Raccoons live all over the continental United States. They can adapt to a variety of ecosystems, including wetlands, woods, urban areas, rural areas, parks, campsites, backyard sheds — essentially anywhere. They are in search of food, water, and shelter. Raccoons like to make dens in ground burrows, hollow areas of trees, and dense underbrush, as well as chimneys, attics, sheds, crawl spaces, and other areas if they can get into them.  
  • Behaviors: Raccoons are nocturnal, so they come out mainly at night. Unless it is breeding season, they like to hang out alone; females usually have one litter with anywhere from three to seven babies. They can live for several years, up to 16 in the wild, about five in urban areas. Raccoons are not innately aggressive but will become so if confronted or scared. 
  • Diet: When it comes to what raccoons eat, raccoons are omnivores, meaning they eat just about anything. Raccoons will eat vegetables, grasshoppers, squirrels, mice, bird eggs, nuts, fruits, pet food, birdseed, garbage, and more. Their dexterous paws make it easy to open trash bins, as well as sneak food from hard-to-reach places.   

How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Yard And Property  

Keeping raccoons off your property is not easy; however, it is worth the time and effort. Consulting with a professional like EcoTech Pest Control Services is always best. We have the following tips to help you keep raccoons off your property:  

  • Keep trash stored in a secure, locking, or animal-proof outdoor container, or inside where raccoons cannot access it.
  • Install fences around yards and gardens.
  • Clean yard of food debris, including fallen fruit and veggies from trees or gardens.
  • Do not leave out food for outdoor pets.  
  • Keep outdoor pet food and birdseed indoors, in airtight containers.  
  • Use chimney screens to prevent raccoons from getting in.  
  • Block off areas underneath porches or homes.  
  • Secure entrances to crawlspaces, and outdoor entrances to basements.  
  • Clean yard up of debris, reducing the number of hiding spots raccoons have.  
  • Seal off entry points.
  • Call a professional pest control team.  

Call in the Professional Team At EcoTech Pest Control Services To Solve Your Raccoon Problem 

 Residential pest control is always done best when left to the professionals, and this goes double for raccoon problems. Raccoons are tricky to catch, and anyone who tries to catch them is exposing themselves to potential disease, as well as the risk of injury.  Additionally, trapping or removal of raccoons is not something one wants to DIY; this is best left to a professional pest control team. EcoTech Pest Control Services has been serving the Tampa and Tampa Bay area for many years, and as a locally-owned and -operated business, the team is here to help. We specialize in environmentally friendly pest management, and our team serves both commercial and residential pest control needs.