NYC is a hotspot for raccoons. As omnivores who will eat nearly anything, there is always food for them, whether it is in an open trash can or berries growing on bushes at the local park. But the development in the city has left few places in nature for raccoons to nest during breeding season and many have grown comfortable moving into homes and businesses for shelter instead.
Raccoon invasions and dens can happen anytime, but are especially common in the spring when female raccoons build their dens inside properties before giving birth. This creates a safe area for the babies when the mother goes out to forage for food. Their dens can be in a variety of locations throughout a building, although any place poses risks to the property and occupants.
Common Raccoon Hiding Places
Raccoons preferred nesting spaces are in areas that are quiet and not frequently disturbed by people. They are talented climbers and can easily scale a tree or trellis to reach a property’s roof. They can also use their dexterous front paws to tear into different materials, enlarging or creating an open if needed to get in.
In both residential and commercial properties in NYC, raccoons are most often found hiding in:
- Chimneys – Dark and unused during late spring and summer, chimneys are ideal for raccoons.
- Basements – A rarely visited building basement is a very popular place for raccoons to invade, especially if they sense that no humans have been there.
- Crawl Spaces – A home crawl space provides a dark and secure place that is often easy to get into.
- Attics – Exposed insulation or stored items provide materials for raccoons to build their nests from.
- Closets – A storage closet at a home or business is a quiet place to nest if the raccoon can get to it, though this is typically uncommon.
- Garages – Especially if trash cans are stored in or nearby, raccoons may nest in available garages.
- Outdoor Sheds – Sheds and other outbuildings are often less secure than a home, making them easier to get into and more private.
Preventing access to these spaces is a primary way to keep raccoons from hiding inside your property. Another is to keep food sources – like trash cans and pet foods – secured. Raccoons are more likely to den where there is access to food and water nearby, so removing.
If you already have a raccoon nest in your property, professional help is a necessity to remove it since raccoon’s attack if they feel threatened and there might be babies present. NY and NJ Animal Control Trappers can safely and humanely remove the entire raccoon family from anywhere on your property. Contact us today for 24-hour support.