Do Raccoons Come Out During The Day?

The simple answer to this question is yes. Raccoons can come out during the day if the food source is available or if they’re trying to flee from predators like dogs. Most individuals are amazed when they come across raccoons, whether during the day or at night. This is because raccoons are primarily nocturnal creatures and tend to spend a lot of their time during the night. Therefore, it is natural for people to be curious when they spot raccoons during the day.

Generally, raccoons can create dens near human settlements or other open spaces where they rest during the day. However, at times, they may venture out in search of food or for other reasons.

Today, we will discuss the question, ‘Do raccoons come out during the day?‘ and what to do when you see them.


Do Raccoons come out during the day?

Actually, raccoons are most active during the night, but they can also come out during the day, just like some mosquitoes come out during the day. Most people claim that when raccoons appear during the day, it’s not normal behavior for them.

This claim is generally true because why would a raccoon come out during the day when it’s usually asleep or taking care of its young? It’s not always necessary for a sick raccoon to come out during the day.

A healthy raccoon may also appear during daylight hours when food sources are limited at night. If other wildlife animals are present at night, then raccoons can emerge during the day.
Here are some possible reasons that encourage raccoons to venture out during the day:

  • Food Scarcity: If raccoons’ dens are located near human environments, then they rely on pet food as they consume some domestic pet food. If this food is unavailable at night, they can come out during the day as they have a good memory to remember the location of food sources.
  • Young Raccoons: Young raccoons or those who are inexperienced may not adhere strictly to nocturnal behavior and may be seen during daylight hours just out of curiosity.
  • Urbanization: In North Carolina, it is estimated that 1 million raccoons live. Therefore, there is a high chance that raccoons might be around for food sources at any time.
  • Maternal Duties: Mother raccoons may need to forage for extra food during the day to sustain themselves and their young, especially during the breeding season (January to June) or if food is short.
  • Threats: If a raccoon’s den is disturbed or feels threatened by predators or humans, they may emerge during the day seeking safer locations or alternative shelter.
  • Illness or Injury: Raccoons that are sick or injured tend to exhibit more abnormal behavior than healthy raccoons. They may be active during daylight hours as they search for a safer location.

Do pregnant raccoons come out during the day?

Pregnant raccoons are considered more aggressive, especially in the breeding season, than male raccoons, and their chances of coming out in daylight hours are higher. Female raccoons are typically pregnant for 63 days, during which they often search for suitable dens to give birth and raise their young.

Pregnant raccoons may also come out during the day in search of food if they are unable to find any at night. Typically, pregnant raccoons try to avoid male raccoons and look for new dens near residential areas.

When they find dens, they will give birth to 2 to 4 kits. Usually, female raccoons stay in one place with their young for the long term unless someone repels them.

Kits typically remain with their mother for one year. Once they reach the age of one, they often move on to find new dens and establish their own territories.

Do Raccoons Come Out in the Winter?

Fun fact

Raccoons that live in northern states, such as Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, and New York, tend to spend most of their time in their dens during the winter season, resulting in fewer sightings. During the winter, the temperature drops significantly in these states. As a result, raccoons, who do not have thick fur to protect them from the cold, tend to stay in their dens.

However, they don’t store food like other animals and will come out during the winter to fulfill their needs. They can also survive without food for a week. So, there’s no need to panic if raccoons don’t come out of their dens during winter.

If a raccoon is out during the day, does it have rabies?

No, not necessarily. While it’s true that seeing raccoons out during the day can sometimes be a sign of illness such as rabies, it doesn’t always mean that a daytime raccoon is infected with rabies.

Usually, a rabid raccoon can survive only 2 to 3 days with this virus. However, you can determine if a raccoon is rabid or not by observing the following symptoms:

  • Aggression: Rabid raccoons may display unusually aggressive behavior. A rabid raccoon may also attack humans without being provoked.
  • Disorientation: Rabies can cause disorientation in raccoons, which leads them to walk slowly or wander aimlessly, particularly during the day.
  • Unusual Vocalizations: A raccoon suffering from rabies might make strange sounds. However, raccoons can produce 200 different sounds, so it is difficult to distinguish between these sounds.
  • Foaming at the Mouth: Signs of rabies in raccoons may include foaming or drooling from the mouth, although this symptom is not always present.
  • Paralysis or Weakness: Raccoons infected with rabies may experience paralysis or weakness in their limbs, resulting in difficulty walking.

If you see a raccoon with any of these symptoms, stay away and call animal control. Don’t try to approach or handle it yourself.

What time of day do raccoons come out?

There is no specific clock that can tell us ‘it’s time for coming raccoons.’ However, according to raccoons’ behavior, they’re most active in dawn-dusk. Based on previous instances of raccoon attacks, it can be concluded that most of them occur during the day. Therefore, it is safe to assume that raccoons may come out during the day at any time.

However, raccoons can adjust their foraging schedule if they can’t find food at night.

Final Thoughts:

So, finally, raccoons are the most intelligent animals on Earth that can perform various tasks, and they can even come out during the day, while we know they are most active at night. If you spot a raccoon during the day, first observe their behavior before calling for raccoon removal services. Sometimes, they come out in search of food.

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