Raccoons use their sense of touch to find food, as opposed to the majority of animals, who either use their senses of sight, sound, or smell. Their front paws are extremely agile and have nearly four times as many sensory receptors as their back paws, which is similar to the proportion of human hands to feet. When they are feeding at night, they need to be able to distinguish between items without being able to see them. Raccoons can increase their sense of touch by a process known as dousing. In reality, animals are soaking their paws to stimulate the nerve endings, even though it may appear to people that they are washing their food. A raccoon can feel more than it would otherwise be able to because water on its hands provides it additional sensory data to work with, similar to how light does for human eyes.
Do raccoons come out when it's raining? Researchers have shown that weather conditions may affect the movement of Austin raccoons, and they enjoy coming out immediately after the rain has stopped. Similarly, the movements of Texas raccoons are not hindered when it drizzles slightly, however, they can be shut inside their dens when the rainfall is very heavy.
If you give raccoons a problem, they'll typically figure out how to solve it as long as there's food involved. They have repeatedly demonstrated this in labs in addition to yards and campsites. Early in the 20th century, ethologist H.B. Davis presented 12 raccoons with a set of locks to pick. They had to negotiate hooks, bolts, buttons, latches, and levers to get to the rewards inside the boxes; some of the boxes had multiple locks. The raccoons eventually managed to bypass 11 of the 13 defenses.
What can you do to keep raccoons away? Leaving pet food outdoors is a sure way to attract a local raccoon. Trash cans are another lure for these masked bandits. Use locking lids, or keep your garbage secured in the garage. Bird feeders are easy pickings for raccoons, so clean underneath the feeders daily, or consider taking them down at night.
How do I keep raccoons out of my garden? To keep raccoons at a distance, try scattering blood meal around corn plants. Also try sprinkling wood ashes around your plants. Grind up garlic, mix it with an equal portion of chili powder, and spread it around the garden.
Can humans get raccoon roundworm? The species commonly found in raccoons is Baylisascaris procyonis. When infective eggs of this roundworm are ingested by humans, Baylisascaris larvae hatch in the intestine and travel through the organs and muscles. Infected raccoons shed millions of eggs in their feces.
Scientists believe raccoons to be intelligent animals, but people who live in cities may find that their local populations are particularly cunning. This might be the result of urban raccoons frequently having to overcome hurdles created by people. When Toronto-based psychologist and biologist Suzanne MacDonald fitted city raccoons with GPS collars, she discovered that they had learnt to stay away from significant intersections. The idea that raccoons accustomed to living among humans are better able to solve unusual challenges was validated by a second experiment. In both urban and rural areas, MacDonald hid food in trash cans. Most city raccoons could figure out how to open the tricky lid, but the country raccoons consistently failed.