Physical Description & Traits With their stout bodies, short legs, and flat feet, raccoons look a little like small bears. The pests are also distinguished from similar backyard pests, such as opossums and skunks, by their broad heads, pointy noses, and rounded ears. Mostly active at night, raccoons have large, specialized eyes that allow them to see in low-light levels. However, perhaps the most common way they are identified is by their bushy, striped tails and the distinct, mask-like band of black fur under their eyes. The pests are usually gray in color with black and white markings. Common Habitats Raccoons are commonly found near water in wooded areas and backyards. Due to their bottomless stomachs and relentless curiosity, the pests often make their way into garages to rummage through trash bins while searching for food. Rather than hinder their existence, human population growth has helped raccoons to thrive and expand across most of the United States. These pests are also keen on picking up scraps left behind from patio picnics or outdoor grilling. Problems Caused by Raccoons The nimble hands of raccoons, combined with their keen ability to solve problems, often cause trouble for homeowners. These determined pests can turn doorknobs, open latches, and even swim to get to their desired destinations. With top running speeds of 10 miles an hour, raccoons can be difficult for homeowners to trap on their own. For these reasons, it's best to contact the professionals at Critter Control when the pests are encountered in and around the home. Their trained technicians know how to deter the presence of problematic pests and prevent future re-entry.