Humans are curious by nature, and little mysteries intrigue us. A small child asking, “Where do the stars go to sleep?” may prompt a smile, but the question is evidence of an inquisitive mind. Another sign of a curious mind is wondering where raccoons sleep.
In some ways, raccoons are like the stars that intrigue a little child. Raccoons appear at dusk and suddenly vanish when the sun rises. And just as we are fascinated by looking at a starry sky, watching raccoons get up to their antics is definitely amusing. Besides the amusement, knowing raccoons’ habits will teach us how to peacefully deal with the animals and even avoid raccoon accidents in our house.
Raccoons’ Sleeping Habits
Raccoons’ sleeping habits are opposite of humans’. Raccoons are nocturnal and become active at night when we are sleeping tight. So our chances of tracking their movements are not great. But if there is a forest or a bush near your house, that is most likely where raccoons go before sunrise to find a suitable place where to sleep.
To identify the exact location where a raccoon sleeps is not an easy task. When it comes to making a den, raccoons are real slackers. These critters are not in the habit of building their own dens. They find it more convenient to use dens made by other animals or any kind of hole or shelter they may find in nature. Bottom line: They are quite opportunistic when it comes to denning and can quickly adapt to any environment.
Raccoons may be found sleeping in hollow trees, caves, rock clefts, burrows of other animals, nests abandoned by squirrels or beavers, groundhog holes, piles of wood, crawl spaces underneath houses or decks, barns, abandoned cars, disused buildings and so on. When the weather is milder they may sleep in large forks in trees or even on the ground. And it’s not unusual for a raccoon to change shelter almost every night.
Where Do Raccoons Sleep In Winter?
While in warmer times of the year raccoons sleep in the open or in improvised shelters, when the temperature drops significantly survival becomes a primary concern for raccoons.
To face harsh weather conditions, raccoons need to find dens warm enough to keep them alive. Even though raccoons do not hibernate, to counteract the low temperatures they may sleep for extended periods of time, even weeks. During these periods, they are sometimes willing to share their dens either with other raccoons or even other animals to benefit from the shared body heat.
If your house is located in an area populated by raccoons, wintertime is when you need to be extra careful. During the coldest season as well as during the breeding season (January to June) your house can become an irresistible temptation for a raccoon. Your house is definitely warm and dry and it offers excellent protection. Plus, when from time to time the raccoon wakes up looking for food, he has a good chance of finding what he needs just by wandering around your yard (for example, inside your trash can). What more could a raccoon ask for?
Your attic, chimney, walls, garage or the crawl spaces underneath your house or deck are all perfect accommodations. For a raccoon, this is like going to the real estate agent and choosing the option most convenient for him.
During this time of year especially, you should make an effort to keep your house uninviting for raccoons by avoiding anything that may entice the critters. Regularly inspect your property to detect signs of raccoons’ presence and, if you see any, take action immediately to remove the raccoons.
As amusing as they can be to watch during their activities, you won’t be delighted at all with the problems a raccoon sleeping in your home can cause.
Satisfying your curiosity about where raccoons sleep is one step closer to better understanding these creatures that are becoming increasingly popular in urban and suburban areas. Knowing their habits is the best way to avoid any nuisance and to never experience the threat of raccoons in your house.