Raccoons are common in urban and rural communities. They like deciduous trees and feeding near water, but are easily adaptable. While they can be fun to watch, they can also cause damage and become a nuisance. The number of raccoons in an area depends on the number of food sources and den sites available.

Raccoons can be expected within Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) conservation areas. When visiting our parks with your pets, remember to keep them on a leash of six feet or less at all times.


Raccoons can carry distemper, parvovirus, mange, fleas, and roundworm. The fox and skunk strain of rabies does not seriously affect our raccoon population. At this time, raccoon rabies is very, very rare in Ontario. Distemper, on the other hand, is very common.

Spotting a Raccoon

  • In a tree: If the raccoon is behaving normally, leave it alone for 24 to 48 hours. It should move providing there are no dogs to threaten its safety.
  • Sleeping on a deck: If it is behaving normally, leave the raccoon overnight. If it returns, frighten it away with a noise or water from a garden hose (summer only).
  • Out during the day: The raccoon may have been frightened from its hiding place. This is also normal behaviour during breeding season.

Abnormal Behaviour

A raccoon showing any of the following behaviours is not normal and should be avoided by people and pets:

  • staggering or appearing drunk; falling over, acting disoriented; paralysis of hind limbs
  • with mucous caked heavily around it eyes and nose
  • being over friendly or approaching pets or people
  • curled in a ball in an open area during daylight hours

Raccoons showing abnormal behaviour should be reported to your local Animal Services office. More information is available at:

If you or your pet are bitten, seek immediate medical attention or contact your local police or emergency services.

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Availability of this data and information does not constitute scientific publication. Data and/or information may contain errors or be incomplete. CVC and its employees make no representation or warranty, express or implied, including without limitation any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or warranties as to the identity or ownership of data or information, the quality, accuracy or completeness of data or information, or that the use of such data or information will not infringe any patent, intellectual property or proprietary rights of any party. CVC shall not be liable for any claim for any loss, harm, illness or other damage or injury arising from access to or use of data or information, including without limitation any direct, indirect, incidental, exemplary, special or consequential damages, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

In accordance with scientific standards, appropriate acknowledgment of CVC should be made in any publications or other disclosures concerning data or information made available by CVC.