Raccoons are mainly nocturnal animals with furry black-banded tails and distinctive black masks across their face. They are noted for their dexterous front paws and their ability to adapt to a wide range of environments, in particular, the urban environment. The species living in Davis is known as the Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor). Like many college students, raccoons are frequently found digging in the trash. In addition to knocking over garbage cans, they also have a proclivity to eating cat and dog food, and to eating the fish from backyard koi ponds. These activities lead many people to view them as Pests.

Raccoons live throughout Davis and the town outskirts. If you haven't seen proof of one, you're probably not paying very close attention.

Raccoons are the primary vector of the rabies virus in the United States, although skunks are the primary vector of the rabies virus in California.

Ringtails are a relative of raccoons that also live in Davis.


One of the two raccoons seen on Radcliffe Drive on June 28th, 2010 So-called Blond Raccoon in West Davis Large Raccoon rear paw print



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2007-03-24 09:34:04   I've never heard of a raccoon in Davis. Opossums are fairly common. Unless the alleged raccoon was seen in plain view, I am going to bet it was a possum. If you are going to find raccoons they will probably be found hanging out around upper Putah Creek, closer to Winters. Although when my family and I would camp around Putah creek when I was a kid we would encounter possums, but I do not ever remember raccoons. -JimSchwab

2007-03-24 10:35:44   I have seen a raccoon on UCD campus, somewhere shortly west of the MU. It came out of a sewer and rummaged through a trashcan. When I tried to get closer, it ducked back into the sewer. It was definitely a raccoon, not an oppossum. —CarlMcCabe

2007-03-24 10:48:21   Finally! I was thinking of making a page on them critters this week. Two friends and I were out on the campus around 1 am and around Haring Hall, we saw two raccoons and I chased one down to the silo before I lost it in the bushes. —CarlosOverstreet

2007-03-24 11:57:35   Thats crazy awesome! From what I;ve read they like to stay near water, maybe the sewer or Putah Creek provides that. —JamesSchwab

2007-03-24 12:26:10   After looking at some pics on google, I'm pretty confident that it was indeed a raccoon. The tail was quite distinctive. —JosephBleckman

2007-03-24 12:50:28   Oh yeah, you were there Joseph! —CarlosOverstreet

2007-03-31 00:02:23   I've seen racoons peering out of storm drains in North Davis —StevenDaubert

2007-04-05 19:52:37   Me too, at one point they were a common sight, even venturing into my North Davis backyard a few times. Haven't seen one in at least a year though. —EdHenn

2007-04-11 17:06:40   I saw two full grown, Raccoons waltzing down Redwood Street over 3 years ago. They were coming from a nearby backyard. It was midafternoon, and they looked quite at home. —FredRansdell

2008-01-24 21:59:43   I saw one on Sunday, Jan. 20 2008 as I was exiting Kemper Hall around 9:55 p.m. It was prowling around the bushes near the front entrance of Kemper. I've seen many raccoons in my life and this one was quite big. About the size of a Jack Russel Terrier. —Maitl

2008-01-25 08:03:13   Yes, raccoons do exist in Davis. We have two raccoons that frequent our backyard. However, they are nocturnal creatures and they are not going to sit around for you to pet them (if you did notice them in the dark). —il

2008-01-25 13:07:23   About a month ago I saw two raccoons peeking out of a storm drain as I was turning left off Citadel. It was at night, so I saw the reflections from their eyes before I saw their unmistakeable masked faces and ringed tails. —EliseKane

2008-07-22 23:51:13   There's at least one I see pretty regularly near Pole Line and Donner, late at night. I never thought it might be coming out of the storm drain, but that's usually where I see it. One of my cats reacts aggressively when she sees the raccoon from the window, as if it were another cat. Luckily for her, she's an indoor cat...otherwise, she'd be in for a dangerous surprise if she charged the giant ring-tailed "cat"! —DukeMcAdow

2008-07-23 01:10:41   There's a few raccoons that live in the storm drain out in front of my house. I've seen them fairly regularly. —JoePomidor

2008-10-14 20:14:02   I have a regular visitor who eats the cat food left over outside. He has broken my fence several times from being so fat. Then one night I came out after I heard him munching away, and he was quite possibly the biggest racoon I have seen, at least 15 pounds I would estimate! Then he crawled up onto the fence and stared directly at me as I was charging him with my broom stick shouting loudly! HE JUST STARED AT ME! And about three months ago I was sleeping in bed and heard a very loud thud on my roof (live in a trailer) and I went outside and that fat bastard was sliding down my awning! He then crawled down the pole and ran off. —CarrieBishop

2010-07-24 17:17:28   We have found two dead raccoons, both "blond" in color, along the Greenbelt next to West Area Pond. One lay on the Greenbelt where it had died. We bagged it and gave it to the Wildlife Museum at UCD for their collection. The other was already decomposing in the Pond. Dear Neighbors: When you put out poison, can you really know who you're killing? -JER —JER

  • This is very sad. I wonder if they were trying to poison a raccoon or something else? I guess some people still think of them as "varmints" to be eradicated. —CovertProfessor

2010-08-27 13:53:53   Racoon came into my freakin' house last night to eat cat food, wasn't scared of me at all - instead it just licked itself like a cat while I was yelling at it - this little guy can stop by my house anytime - but no more cat food for you, sir. Saw 2 smaller ones a couple weeks back too up in the lattice just like that picture above, never have seen a single one before that. We are right off West 8th & Anderson, might be the same ones. —GarrettGallegos

2011-03-25 21:43:22   Tonight saw one! Olympic Dr across from Arroyo Park crossing the street and then a while later up on the back fence. It's been storming and cold all week — lots of water filling waterways and perhaps storm drains are full as other people seem to have mentioned sightings by drains. Quite wonderful looking; first time to see in Davis after over 10 years here. This one looked fairly young, perhaps a teen and about the size of a small-med dog, just bigger than a very large cat. The size of, well, an average raccoon you could say! —JasonBundy

2011-03-31 23:27:00   Spotted: 8th St and L running into the gutter. Middle of the afternoon too. —AlexMandel

2011-04-26 00:06:44   There are three raccoons up in a tree in my backyard right now! Pretty darn cute if you ask me. —MichellePalmer

2011-09-11 09:25:15   We have had several raccoon encounters recently. A while back (in the spring), my husband saw a raccoon messing with our cat door (which we lock at night). Obviously it knew that cat doors are worth investigating. About two months ago, a large one with two babies woke us up with their rustling outside our bedroom window; they were eating the barely-mature grapes on our grapevine. The three of them returned a week later to finish them off. Last night, around 4am I got up for a drink and heard our cat growling. There were four (!!) full-grown raccoons outside our sliding door. They gradually slunk off when I came up to look. I've also seen a raccoon face peeking out at me from a water drain on F Street as I drove by. We live in North Davis right near the Northstar Pond. —KateFitz

2011-09-29 19:48:33   I saw a raccoon crossing West 14th in front of the public library Tuesday, September 27th at about 8:30 to 9:00 P.M. It hid in the storm drain because I was watching. No doubt that it was a raccoon. —Richard-Bruce

2011-10-23 15:09:08   We have three in our backyard (B & 14th). They crawl on our roof and mess around in the grape vines. They growl at us if we try to chase them away. Last night one tried to break open our locked cat door. —striker

2011-10-24 16:07:18   On Sept. 27 I saw one raccoon, see above post. On October 23 I saw three raccoons just north of Covell, near the bicycle over pass. They were next to a storm drain. It was about 6:45 P.M. coming home from evening Mass I saw a bushy tail disappear down the same storm drain at about 8:30 P.M. This is three sittings in less than a month. —Richard-Bruce

2011-11-18 20:07:58   Just saw one climbing out of the storm drain at the edge of Alvarado Ave. inside Covell Commons. I'm definitely not a fan and just hope they don't get too cozy in my neighborhood. —NoelBruening

2012-01-16 18:57:13   I saw a family of raccoons hanging out near my patio where my chickens roost. they already killed one of my hens. Davis has a huge population of raccoons and they are everywhere because they live in the sewage drains and Putah creek. —MirandaRose

2013-12-19 03:28:56   Definitely saw about five raccoons coming out of the sewer near the parking lot behind kleiber during summer session. Although the sun was starting to set it was still pretty scary that so many of them came out during a pretty well lit part of the day. Good thing my friends and I were in the car. —keeemy

2013-12-19 09:25:19   @ keeemy Well then, consider yourself lucky, not scared. Beautiful animals, perfectly harmless and peaceful, supposed to bring protection too, so why the worries! —ConstantiaOomen