It is common to observe raccoons in cities as they have adapted well to urban living.

What a raccoon looks like

Raccoons are medium in size and weight between 15 to 23 pounds. They have greyish brown coats and ringed tails.

When you encounter a raccoon

It isn’t unusual to encounter raccoon in Mississauga, especially at night. Learn what to do when you encounter them in public spaces or on your private property causing a nuisance.

If you find a baby raccoon inside a garbage or recycling bin, it’s because the mother has placed them there. Don’t touch or attempt to move the baby raccoon, as the mother will return.

To encourage the mother to move the baby raccoon out of the bin, keep the bin’s lid popped up and bin tipped over.

Raccoons are nocturnal animals, and they’re omnivores that eat almost anything. They’re commonly observed in neighbourhoods throughout the year, in or around garbage and recycling bins.

If you encounter a raccoon, don’t approach, feed or touch it. Raccoons can carry diseases and parasites that affect people and pets, including rabies, distemper and fleas. Information about why it’s important not to feed raccoons and how doing so can cause problems is available online.

If you find a raccoon stuck in an empty dumpster, you can consider placing a ladder, branch or board inside the dumpster to help it climb out overnight when there are no people around.

Protect your property

It isn’t unusual to find raccoons making dens in or around houses. Consider taking humane actions to encourage raccoons to leave your property.

Animal Services will not respond to resident calls to trap and relocate healthy raccoons from their home territory, as doing so is illegal in Ontario.

If you find raccoons living in your home or private property, consider taking the following actions for three days and nights in a row to encourage them to leave:

  • Place a bright light near the area the den is located.
  • Leave your deck lights.
  • Place a radio or speakers loudly playing music.
  • Soak rags or old towels in apple cider vinegar and place it near the area the den is located.

If raccoons don’t leave your property, you may contact a wildlife removal company of your choice as a last resort. Animal Services doesn’t trap or relocate healthy raccoons from their home territory.

Report an ill or injured raccoon

Raccoons are known carriers of diseases and parasites, such as rabies, distemper and fleas.

A raccoon may be ill or injured if you notice:

  • It appearing disoriented, staggering, falling over or paralyzed
  • Mucous caked around its eyes or nose
  • It appearing tamed and approaching people or pets
  • It lying or sleeping on the ground

If you suspect a raccoon is sick, injured or orphaned, contact Animal Services at 905-896-5858.