Love Them Or Hate Them, Raccoons Are Crafty Critters

Raccoons are one of the most common animals in Illinois. They are nocturnal, which means they are active at night. We don’t often see them during daylight.

A raccoon hanging out on a tree limb. (Photo via Shutterstock)

Some people love raccoons because of their appearance. For others, raccoons cause a lot of problems. This is often because they are good at getting into garbage cans and can make a big mess.


Whether you love them or dislike them, raccoons are a common sight in Will County. Here are some interesting facts about them.


Fun Facts

  • You probably know what a raccoon looks like because of its identifying characteristics. They are mostly brownish-gray. They are known for their masked faces, which make them look they are wearing a bandit-style mask. They also have long, ringed tails.

  • Raccoons will eat almost anything! They are omnivores, which means they eat plants and animals. Common foods include fruits, nuts, insects, frogs and rodents.

  • Their big appetite for all foods has earned raccoons a few fun but unusual nicknames. People sometimes call raccoons “trash bandits” or “trash pandas” because they will eat almost anything.

  • Raccoons are very good climbers, and they also know how to swim.

  • On average, raccoons weigh between 15 pounds and 20 pounds. In Illinois, raccoons in the northern part of the state are bigger than raccoons in the southern part. The average weight for a male raccoon is 19 pounds in the northern part of Illinois, compared with 14 pounds for males in southern Illinois.

  • Raccoons do not have a lot of predators. They are sometimes attacked by coyotes, cougars and bobcats. The biggest risks to raccoons in the wild are diseases and getting hit by cars.

  • Raccoons live across most of the United States, but you won’t find them in the Rocky Mountain region or in Arizona, Nevada and Utah.

  • Male raccoons are called boars, and females are sows. Baby raccoons are called kits.