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Home > Other Critters > Raccoons

Raccoon—Procyon lotor

Raccoons are mammals; they are found in riparian areas along streams, lakes, marshes, swamps, farmland, and in suburban neighborhoods and in urban areas where they can find adequate food, water, and shelter. The raccoon is omnivorous which means they eat both plants and animals. Their diet is very broad, consisting of aquatic animals, fruits, nuts, cultivated crops and grains, birdseed, bird eggs, small mammals, birds, and garbage.

Raccoons can be pests by damaging vegetable gardens and crops, by killing poultry, by damaging houses and outbuildings and by raiding garbage cans in search of food.

raccoon in bushes adult raccoon raccoon in tree
Raccoons have a distinctive black robber's mask across the eyes and black banded tail. The remainder of their body's fur is a grizzly, grayish-brown. Adult raccoons generally measure 20-30" long from their nose to the tip of their tail and weigh from 10-35 lbs. Raccoons make a variety of sounds, including barks, hisses and piercing screams.

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[Photos, left to right: Kevin D. Arvin,; Ricky Layson, Ricky Layson Photography,; Gerald J. Lenhard, Louisiana State Univ,]

It is the policy of the State of Maine to minimize reliance on pesticides. The Maine Department of Agriculture and the Maine IPM Council encourage everyone to practice integrated pest management and to use pesticides only as a last resort. The mention of pesticides in the fact sheets linked to these pages does not imply an endorsement of any product. Be sure that any product used is currently registered and follow all label directions.