Raccoons make unique noises that fall mainly into two categories: chatters and screams. Chatters are soft sounds that raccoons use to communicate with each other, while screams are used as a warning or defensive mechanism. Overall, raccoons can make over 200 types of sound, with each sound indicating a different meaning.
So Why Do Raccoons Scream?
One reason could be to startle predators and scare them away. Raccoons have also been known to scream when they are hurt, protecting their young, or just because they are scared.
Scientifically speaking, raccoons scream for the same reason most other animals do: to convey a message to one another. Raccoons often use chats and screams interchangeably to communicate about food, potential threats, other members of the family, or even mating rituals.
Despite these sounds being loud and startling, they are also comforting at times. Raccoons scream when they are alone to feel less distressed, just like humans do in moments of solitude.
These wild animals make different types of vocalizations, which can indicate that they are present on your property. Below are some of the unique sounds that raccoons make and the reasons for the sounds:
This is a sound made by mostly the young raccoons. This happens when a mother raccoon licks or holds a cub. The sound is an indication that the cub raccoon is interacting with its mother.
Additionally, a mother raccoon makes a purring sound to show affection to her baby. This sound is an indication of happiness, pleasure, joy, and satisfaction.
– Snarl, yelp, whine
When they are hurt or feeling threatened. This sound can also mean fear and submission.
Used as a warning during confrontations, especially by males to scare off other male suitors from their territory and females to warn off other females from their kits.
A call between a mother and her kits. Usually quiet and high pitched, used by nursing mothers to summon their young ones.
The most common chat sound that is made by raccoons as well as humans themselves to communicate with one another. Raccoons use these sounds to greet each other, express contentment, or convey interest in mating.
Heard throughout the year, but most prevalent during mating season, this chattering sound is loud and long, kind of like a series of chirps. Raccoons use these sounds to describe food sources so their family members will follow them to the bounty.
Young raccoons often chatter when they play. This playful chatter is usually low-pitched and includes a lot of purring, hissing, and clicking noises.
A gruff sound that raccoons make when they are caught between a rock and a hard place, either because of pain or threats from other animals. Often accompanied by growls and chattering as well as agitated body movements and jerking tails.
Female raccoons make this sound to ward off other females, while males make it as a mating call. It is a deep and loud roar that can be heard up to a mile away.
High pitched and bird-like, these noises are often made when kits are nursing from their mothers. Raccoons use squeaks to reassure their young that everything is okay.
Raccoons also tend to scream while they’re mating, although this may sound as if they are fighting. These types of noises occur between January and May, so you can be sure that you’re hearing raccoons mating. About 63 days later, the newborn raccoons make a lot of noises as they learn to communicate with their mother. They chatter and produce high-pitched screams to let her know where they are and that they’re hungry.
Also, a raccoon’s scream is a loud, high-pitched sound that can be used as a warning or defensive mechanism.
Raccoons scream when they are in pain, scared, or protecting their young. They may also scream when they are startled.
Screaming can also be a way for raccoons to communicate with each other over long distances. This is most often seen in mother raccoons calling their young over a great distance.
The frequency and the length of these vocalizations vary, but one thing is always certain: if you hear a raccoon scream, you’ll know it! Raccoon sounds are not only interesting to listen to but also helpful for scientists as they can determine a lot about the raccoon’s behavior and health by studying their vocalizations. So the next time you hear a raccoon scream, take a moment to appreciate their unique way of communicating!
Do Raccoons Make Noises At Night?
A lot of people believe that they do, but the truth is that no one is sure. All we know for certain is that raccoons are nocturnal and therefore active primarily in the dark of night and very early morning, so it would seem to be a reasonable assumption that they might vocalize during this time.
However, there has never been any scientific study to determine if raccoons make noises at night or not. So for now, the answer to that question is a mystery.
If you want your raccoon problem taken care of humanely and effectively, contact Wildlife Troopers today! We provide trapping and removal of unwanted nuisance wildlife such as raccoons from your South Florida property. Call us to learn more about our services or to request a free estimate and video consultation.