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Class: Mammal
Other names: Coon
Color: Grayish black
Distinctive Features: Black mask and striped tail
Diet: Fruit, nuts, aquatic animals like crayfish, fish and clams
Predators: Cougars, bobcats, coyotes
Interesting Fact: Raccoons can climb down trees headfirst, rotating their hind feet so they are pointing backwards.

Raccoons: Masks Are Appropriate for This Mischief Maker

While they can be fun to watch, raccoons are often a big nuisance in the urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods of Maryland. They see open trash cans as an invitation to dine, and may figure out how to open any that are not well secured.

A raccoon has:

  • A stocky body, with short front legs and long back legs
  • Grayish-black or brown fur
  • Striped tail
  • Black mask on face

Raccoons weigh between 10-35 pounds and are about 20-30 inches long from nose to tip of tail.

Washing Up on Raccoon Facts

Raccoons like to live close to stream banks and other water sources and in areas of Maryland where they can climb rocks or trees. They will settle anywhere there’s a good source of food, however. Their favorite menu items include plums, blackberries, blueberries and apples, acorns and hazelnuts and, if they live near wetlands, crayfish, fish, turtle eggs, snails and clams. They’re good swimmers and can stay in the water for several hours.

The raccoon gets its name from a Native American word that means “one who rubs, scrubs and scratches with its hands.” They will often dip their food into water, although it’s probably not a cleaning process. Putting their paws in water softens them and increases their sensitivity, allowing raccoons to remove more easily any unwanted parts of food.

Raccoons in Maryland are most active from spring through fall and are usually nocturnal, although they do sometimes come out during the day. They store fat in the autumn so that they can spend weeks during the winter napping (not actually hibernating).

Female raccoons have litters of 2 to 5 kits each spring. Their average life expectancy in the wild is 2 to 3 years.

Keeping Trouble Out of Your Yard

Raccoons are responsible for 60 percent of rabies cases in Maryland and can transmit canine distemper and parvovirus to dogs. They are usually not aggressive, even when sick. But when raccoons get inside a home, these pests can cause hundreds of dollars of damage.

4 Pest Control Tips to Prevent Raccoons:

  • Keep pet food inside
  • Clean up barbecue areas
  • Don’t feed them
  • Use metal screen or hardware cloth to close off any potential nesting sites in your attic or other areas of your home

Are raccoons stealing inside your home? Take control and contact one of the top pest control companies in Maryland – Brody Brothers: 443-379-8857


Are other wildlife critters visiting your home or business? Check out our Wildlife Pest Control page to see other animals we can safely remove from your property.

What Our Clients Are Saying
Over 300 verified Contact Us Online Reviews

“I have been with Brody Brothers for 5.5 years. Ari has been coming to my home for all this time. He does a great job. I hardly ever have an issue. He keeps us pest free which isn't easy living in the woods.”

Jessica Lubek
Owings Mills, MD

“Over 10 year. Service is always top notch. They are always on time and take care of any problems.”

Larry Goldberg
Reisterstown, MD

“We have been using Brody Pest control for about 40 years! We were always very satisfied by their service,alrays on time and very pleasant and knowledgeable.”

Morris & Greta Lasson
Baltimore, MD

“We have been using Brody Brothers for around 5 years and we love that they are personal and they will keep coming back until a problem is resolved.”

Michal Kovacs
Pikesville, MD