Are the raccoons dangerous? Raccoons can carry several dangerous diseases including rabies. While incidents of rabid raccoons attacking humans are rare, it's not something you want to risk.Raccoons carry two other diseases, roundworm and leptospirosis, that can also be transmitted to humans and pets.
Do raccoons come out in the winter time? During cold spells they will curl up in a ball or lay on their backs, covering their eyes with their front paws and sleeping for days at a time. But if the cold weather snaps, it is not unusual for the nocturnal raccoons to come out in search of food.
More recently, scientists gave the Aesop's Fable test to some raccoons. Researchers have adopted the well-known parable of a crow throwing stones into a pitcher to cause the water level to rise as a benchmark for animal intelligence. Raccoons were put in a space with a water cylinder, marshmallows floating on top, and stones strewn about it. They had to raise the water level first by dumping the stones before they could get to the sweet treats. Two of the eight raccoons imitated the action after being shown how to do it, but a third approached the issue differently and knocked the entire structure over.
Can raccoons climb up and down vinyl siding? Raccoons are excellent climbers, so it's fairly difficult to keep them from climbing on the roof. They can ascend the corners of most houses, and easily climb up and down downspouts. Raccoons can tear open eaves, and even shingled roof, so beware of the damage they are capable of.
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 smart is a raccoon? While raccoons are intelligent animals, Melanie is particularly gifted for her species. “All raccoons are pretty smart,” said Suzanne MacDonald, a professor of animal behavior at York University in Toronto. “Back in 1913, this guy named Walter Hunter wanted to see if raccoons are smarter than dogs.
In the early 20th century, raccoons were poised to become the go-to model for animal experiments. They were some of the most curious and intelligent animals available, scientists believed, so that meant they were an obvious choice for comparative psychology studies. Though raccoons were the subject of several psychology experiments at the turn of the century, they didn't stick around in labs for long. Unlike rats, they were hard to breed and maintain in large numbers. They also had the pesky tendencies to chew through their cages, pickpocket researchers, and hide out in air vents. Despite one researcher's plan to breed a tamer strain of raccoon, the creature's future in the lab never took off.