Raccoon Behavior: Raccoons are talented animals, and very well-adapted to live in almost any setting with ample food and water sources - including urban and suburban areas. Raccoons have a variety of skills that allow them to exhibit a variety of behaviors, most revolving around the basics: foraging for food and seeking shelter. Regarding the former, raccoons are omnivores, and opportunistic. They will eat food from the garbage(which they open the lids of or tip over) and dumpsters (which they sometimes get stuck in), and they will often steal pet food. Dog or cat food left outside is pretty much an open invitation to a raccoon, as the animal has no fear of any dog or cat, or oftentimes, human. If the pet food is indoors, the crafty raccoon will still get to it - they will rip open a screen to get inside the patio where the food is laid out, and will often find the food storage, and break into that as well. I've frequently observed raccoons entering pet doors and eating the pet food inside the house. In one case, raccoons were entering the pet door, going through the kitchen, down the hallway, across the living room, into the parlor, and up on the piano to the cat food bowl. Amazing! Raccoons are primarily nocturnal, so most of this mischief happens at night.
Raccoons In The Attic: PLEASE do not try to trap and remove if you have raccoons in the attic. Nine times out of ten, there's baby raccoons up there! If you trap and remove the mother, you will have a BIG PROBLEM on your hands, and you will likely cause further house damage, noise, suffering of cute little raccoons, and a terrible odor as the babies die and decompose. This is not a job for homeowners! Call a pro!
Prevention: Now here's something anyone can do. Secure your garbage can and strap the lid down with bungee cords. If you want to get rid of raccoons in your yard, don't leave out pet food. Lock your doggie-doors. If you want to get rid of raccoons in your house, make sure your house is secure, with no holes or openings into the attic. If they are getting under the house or under the deck, you can install an exclusion barrier of steel mesh. And remove whatever is attracting the raccoons - if they're pooping in the pool, put a board with spikes on the steps. If they're tearing their way into your screened porch to swipe at your pet bird, bring the bird inside! Common sense.