Friday, January 21. 2022
Ever since yesterday’s shocking discovery, our technicians are on the look out for baby raccoons very early this year.
The mother raccoon would have had to mate in November in order to give birth to her babies this early in the year.
After realizing when this raccoon would have mated, I decided to research what the temperatures were in November 2021. The temperature was well above zero (around 8 degrees) for 21 out of the 30 days in November. The other 9 days in November only dropped to -1 overnight.
Although it is extremely early to be discovering litters of baby raccoons, there could still be more raccoons that mated back in November.
We look forward to see what is in store for the rest of 2022!
Thursday, January 20. 2022
Gates Wildlife discovered our first litter of baby raccoons on January 20th 2022 in Mississauga, Ontario. This discovery is a whole month earlier than we've ever seen in our 37 year history.
Typically mother raccoons mate in January and give birth to their babies in attics, chimneys and sheds in the months of March, April and May. We have never come across baby raccoons this early in the year.
This mother raccoon moved into a shed that was set up to house feral cats during the cold winter. The homeowner reported noticing that the feral cats that were living in the shed had moved out and into a much smaller container on the picnic table in her backyard, which she thought was odd. She suspected that another animal had moved into the shed, forcing the cats to move out.
Upon arrival, Gates Wildlife Technician Tyler discovered an insulated feral cat box inside the shed. As he slowly opened the box, he was surprised to discover 2 one week old baby raccoons snuggled inside.
With the outside temperatures being so cold we decided, with the homeowners blessing, that it would be best to leave the mother and her babies alone. Hopefully she will decide to move out on her own when the weather warms up.
Monday, January 17. 2022
In addition to their genetic makeup, raccoons have developed habits that make them more likely to survive winters than many other wild animals.
One habit is their version of hibernation, which is called torpor. Torpor is a state of decreased physiological activity in an animal, usually marked by a reduced body temperature and metabolic rate. During torpor, the raccoon's body uses less energy as it’s body temperature falls and insulin production lessens, triggers lower levels of blood sugar.
They sleep much more often but will come out on warm day to look for food. Raccoons activity levels do not go totally dormant like animals in hibernation but they may sleep for weeks at a time in this state.
Wednesday, January 5. 2022
Once baby raccoons are born, there will be a lot of chittering noise emanating from the attic. A lot of our customers describe the noise of a crying baby raccoon as sounding like multiple birds chirping at one time. They make a high-pitch chirping noise when they feel bothered or are hungry. While the crying noise will occur primarily at night when the mother raccoon goes out for food, it can also occur throughout the day. Surprisingly the mother will place her babies above the master bedroom, keeping you awake and worrying about the damage.
Female raccoons will typically give birth to 1 to 7 offspring. Although 4 to 5 is more common, we have seen 11 babies in one litter before.