A lot of research has been conducted to figure out or calculate the distance that a raccoon can travel in a night, we can safely conclude from those studies that a raccoon can travel up to 20 miles in one night.
Although this will not be a declarative answer because the distance traveled depends on several factors like weather, terrain, and food.
So without wasting a minute, let’s delve into this deeper and know the life cycles of racoon, how they choose their territory and more.
1. Why do Raccoons Travel at Night?
So, how much distance can a raccoon travel in a day? Well, this is a tricky question because the raccoons travel at night only, and sleep during the light hours of the day.
This is because they are nocturnal animals and spend their nights doing all the basic survival chores of their lives.
They start the search after the sunset and proceed towards the closest places first where they expect to find feed for the day.
Usually, rivers, ponds, and small water bodies like lakes provide them with good meals. Their motto is to travel only till they can’t find satisfying food, which surprisingly they can also find in trash cans nearby or on farms that have vegetables growing.
After roaming around for the whole night the raccoons get tired and reach their dens by sunrise to catch up for the day’s rest.
Hunting at night and sleeping is the general schedule but there may be variations to the same in changed circumstances like the growth of a new one.
2. How do they Choose Territory?
Choosing territory is an important part of a raccoon’s life because, after the hunt at sunrise, they need a place to come back and relax.
Now these dens or territories need to be apt to suit their requirements like closeness to essentials like food and water.
They have to be very sharp and clear about choosing their homes and follow a very distinguished way of marking territories, by making markings using a secretion that comes from their anal glands.
Indeed they even use their excretory materials for the same purpose, the idea behind this being that all raccoons have specific odors in their excretion which help to make the other raccoons realize that the area is taken.
3. What if Raccoons are Relocated?
Raccoons are very smart animals, with a very efficient sense of navigation. They are cunning and have a strong recognition of their territories.
This facilitates them to come back to their dens when they are done with hunting and other activities of the night. Similarly, it will keep going to the same food source to acquire feed, as long as there is enough food out there.
Once it starts depleting it will find a new place to get its food from. Sometimes when they have to travel a long distance to find food, say a distance of 15-2o miles; it is a big surprise that after having the food the raccoon will come back to their den with the help of their home instinct.
This works in huge favor of the raccoons because no matter how much they are relocated they can always come back to their original dens; however, this works in opposition to humans because if humans try to dislocate raccoons they can’t do that.
This is very harmful because they carry a lot of germs with them which in turn implies them being carriers of a lot of deadly diseases.
Once they get accustomed to your home, or make it their den they will have to be removed with the help of expert help.
4. Preventing Raccoons from Making Your Home a Den
- Keep outside garbage locked – Store your garbage in containers that do not leave any scope for animals to enter. Use lid containers and also try to store them a little bit away from your house to prevent them from entering any premise near where you live.
- Use motion sensor lights, and motion sensor noise makers – Now as we learned above raccoons are nocturnal animals and carry out all their business at night, so it is best advised to place motion sensing devices. What happens in such a scenario is if the raccoons try to enter the light will automatically switch on making them go away, and to add to it the noise will scare away the raccoons.
- Outdoor cooking and eating – Anything that is used as an outdoor cooking or eating appliance should be thoroughly cleaned and sealed before packing, because in case there is a barbeque which you used for grilling some vegetables and left some scraps while cleaning it, this will attract the raccoons. Indeed to be extra cautious, wash all such appliances with the help of bleach to prevent any further entry of raccoons as it will eliminate the smell of food.
- Storing pet food – Pet food is among the easy and loved foods for raccoons. They will detect the smell, locate it and start stealing and eating it. So always store pet food in a manner that the smell is blocked and they are inaccessible. Even bird feed for that matter as raccoons love bird seed.
5. Final Notes
Considering the factors we have to understand that availability of food is not the determining factor. Given they are located in a place where the vegetation is very thick, the movement and speed of movement are slowed down.
On the contrary, in less vegetated places, their movement is swift, they can travel longer distances easily and they even have to look out for food and sustenance.
When winter months strike, the temperature gets very cold for raccoons. They stop traveling a lot, as it gets very difficult for them to travel in freezing temperatures.
So, they get into some kind of hibernation where they stay in one single, safe, and comparatively warm place for a good amount of time.
In summer which is the weather of their favor they do not mind traveling and hence are more mobile and active.