A little about raccoons:
Raccoons are found in all parts of Ohio, and are very common in suburbs and cities. They can live almost any place where there is food for them to eat and a den to serve as shelter. Litter sizes consist of 3 to 7 young (also called kits). Newborn raccoons have fur, and their eyes open after 19 days. After 6 or 7 weeks, the young are weaned and weigh about 1.5 pounds.
Young raccoons will stay with the mother through the fall with some staying with her during the winter as well. Raccoons are usually nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. However, mother raccoons will use every opportunity to forage for food when she has a litter, so she may be active during the daytime in the spring and summer. It is not uncommon to see baby raccoons alone while the mother is away. She will always reunite with them, especially at night when humans are scarce.
I found a baby raccoon, what do I do?
Leave it alone if:
It is seemingly healthy, with its eyes open. If it is away from its den, but not in immediate danger, watch from a distance to see if it goes back to its den or if the mother retrieves it. Unless the kit is still there after a few hours or overnight, it should be left alone.
If it is seemingly healthy, with its eyes closed. If it is away from its den, but not in immediate danger, wait to see if the mother retrieves it at night.
Put an upside-down laundry basket over the kit with a towel or heated sock filled with dry rice to keep it warm (and a light weight on top of the basket so it cannot push its way out). Monitor it until well into the nighttime hours. The mother will overturn the basket to take the kit.
You can also put the kit in a cardboard box with a towel or heated sock filled with dry rice to keep it warm. Tape the top of the box closed with newspaper. The mother will tear through the paper to get to her kit.
Even if you have touched the kits, the mother will return for them! Female raccoons are very dedicated parents.
If raccoons have taken up residence on your patio, or in your attic, eaves, or chimney, they can usually be forced to relocate by making the area less appealing to them. The mother will likely relocate the kits to another den site, carrying one kit at a time. This process may take multiple nights.