Discovering a raccoon rummaging through your trash late at night is a common occurrence for many Dayton residents. These intelligent creatures are known for their aggressive and threatening behavior, however, over time many misconceptions about them have been spread. Let us set straight the myths and facts about raccoons, so you can better understand the common late-night visitor in your backyard. 


Myth: All raccoons are aggressive and dangerous. 

A common myth about raccoons is that they are inherently aggressive and pose a significant threat to humans. Although it is true that raccoons are wild animals and should be treated with caution, they generally prefer to avoid confrontation and will typically only display aggression if they feel threatened or cornered. 


Myth: If you see a raccoon during the day, it has rabies. 

Many people believe that if you see a raccoon during the day, it is a sign it has rabies, and although that could be true, it isn’t always a dead-giveaway sign. Detecting rabid raccoons can be incredibly difficult, which is why it is recommended to avoid contact with all raccoons. There are many possible reasons why you might see a raccoon during the daytime, despite its nocturnal nature. 


Myth: Raccoons hibernate during the winter. 

Despite popular belief, raccoons do not hibernate during the winter. It is true that raccoons may enter a state called torpor, where a raccoon will lower their body temperature and sleep for a longer period of time. Torpor is similar to hibernation with the only difference being that they will still wake up on warmer days to forage for food. 


Fact: Raccoons can easily adapt to new environments. 

A very remarkable aspect of raccoons is their ability to adapt to various environments. Raccoons originated in North America, but now they have expanded their range and can be found in urban, suburban, and rural areas across the world. A partial reason they easily can adapt to new environments is due to their diverse diet. Raccoons mainly consume fruits, nuts, insects, small animals, and even human garbage. 


Fact: Raccoons have incredible problem-solving skills. 

Raccoons are often debated as one of the most intelligent species in the animal kingdom. They have amazing problem-solving skills and have been observed using tools and figuring out complex tasks. Raccoons have dexterous front paws that allow them to manipulate objects and open containers. This is how raccoons can open your trash cans and even food jars. These intelligent and curious animals shouldn’t be underestimated. 


Fact: Raccoons are excellent climbers and swimmers. 

Raccoons’ sharp claws make them agile climbers. It is not unlikely to catch a raccoon scaling a tree or navigating its way to your rooftop, chimney, or attic. Even more surprising is that raccoons are excellent swimmers known to dive into bodies of water to catch fish, amphibians, and other aquatic prey. 


It is important to never underestimate raccoons because of their intelligent and agile abilities. If you discover a raccoon in your Dayton yard or home, call the professionals at Critter Control of Dayton. Our expert technicians have years of experience and know the correct methods for trapping these complex critters. Also, remember, not everything you read on the internet is true, so it’s best to get all your wildlife facts and information from wildlife experts.