Raccoons are one of the most common wildlife pests that homeowners have to deal with. These pesky creatures are intelligent, resourceful, and can cause significant damage to your attic if left unchecked. If you’re keen on attempting to get rid of the raccoons yourself, there are several guidelines you can adhere to. Alternatively, you could eliminate any potential risks by hiring a comprehensive service company to manage the entire procedure for you.
Signs of Raccoons in Your Attic
Raccoons can be quite elusive, but there are several telltale signs that one might be living uninvited in your attic. These subtle clues can aid you in determining the existence and extent of a raccoon issue, as well as their potential entry points. The severity of these signs can help you gauge whether the raccoons are just passing through or have made themselves at home.
- Presence of feces in the attic or on the roof
- Sounds in the attic like footsteps, growling, gnawing, and scratching
- Soffit panels appearing displaced or torn apart
- Paw prints and scratch marks visible on your house’s wooden structures
- Frequent sightings of raccoons on your roof or in your yard
- Dusty footprints found in the attic
- Foundation vents showing signs of holes
- Random dirt smears on your home’s exterior
- Clear paths through the insulation in the attic
What Kind Of Damage Do Raccoons Cause?
Raccoons are opportunistic and will take advantage of any opportunity to set up residence in your attic. Since they are relatively large creatures, they can cause significant damage to the accessible areas inside your home. The most severe harm that raccoons inflict on attics is contamination through their feces and urine, which can lead to unpleasant odors, structural deterioration, and health concerns. They can also damage insulation, electrical wiring, ductwork, and air vents.
- Destruction of insulation resulting in poor energy efficiency
- Contamination causing unpleasant odors and potential health risks
- Costly repairs to damaged electrical wiring and air ducts
- Structural damage due to gnawing on wooden supports and beams
What to Do If You Find a Raccoon in Your Attic?
Discovering that raccoons have taken up residence in your home can be quite alarming. However, fret not! Here are some valuable tips on successfully evicting these pesky creatures from your attic.
Observe and Listen for Baby Raccoons
Typically, female raccoons seek refuge in your attic because it provides a secure, warm environment for childbirth. It’s essential in such cases to locate and evacuate the entire raccoon family.
You should try to identify the den and the litter of young ones. By remaining silent and motionless for a few minutes, you might be able to detect the babies when they stir or emit sounds. The chirping sounds made by baby raccoons are often confused with bird noises in the attic. The den is usually hidden in an inaccessible spot. Exercise caution as the mother raccoon might turn aggressive to protect her offspring. It’s advisable to wear safety gear like gloves, goggles, and boots for protection. Attempt to search for the babies when the mother is away, or if you’ve noticed her exit the attic.
2.Check your home for Entry Holes
Once you’ve identified the raccoon family’s whereabouts, determine their point of entry so it can be mended post-evacuation. Examine your home for any damages, compiling a comprehensive list of all required materials for repairs. Being prepared with these supplies post-raccoon removal will facilitate swift and efficient repair of the breached points.
3.Remove raccoons by implementing a trapping method
Initiate the raccoon removal process by first addressing the litter of pups. Safely and humanely trap the baby raccoons to extricate them from your attic. Use heavy gloves to pick up the pups and gently place them in a box or pillowcase, ensuring they are not harmed.
For the mother’s removal, it is advisable to use a raccoon trap with her pups as live bait. This will prompt the mother and her babies to communicate with each other. Positioning the pups at the back of a cage is an effective strategy, but it can be challenging without the assistance of a wildlife removal expert. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the state and local regulations concerning raccoon trapping; many jurisdictions strictly forbid the transportation and relocation of raccoons without the appropriate permits or licenses.
Despite seeming like a straightforward task, removing raccoons single-handedly can be complex and risky. Enlisting the help of a specialist to locate, remove, and clean up after the raccoons could be the quickest and safest solution to deal with unwanted visitors. Faircloth provides wildlife trapping services to assist in restoring your home to its normal state.
Try Other Removal Tactics
It’s unlikely that raccoons will abandon your attic voluntarily, however, there are several strategies that could encourage them to do so. Loud Sounds Playing loud music intermittently can provoke a raccoon dwelling in your attic to leave. Unexpected noise can be alarming and intimidating for raccoons, potentially causing the mother raccoon to gather her pups and vacate their den. Unfavorable Smell Alternatively, you can introduce a scent that is unpleasant to the raccoons (like raccoon eviction fluid) due to their sharp sense of smell. Consider dousing tennis balls in ammonia and scattering them around your attic. The strong odor could make the environment inhospitable. Regrettably, raccoons in urban and suburban regions are often desensitized to human activity, rendering these tactics largely ineffective.
5.Sanitize and Decontaminate
Once the raccoons have vacated the area, it might be tempting to take a breather. However, there’s still work to be done! Regardless of whether the raccoons occupied your attic for a single day or an entire week, they will have left a substantial mess behind. It’s crucial to promptly and safely clean up any raccoon droppings. Also, gather and dispose of torn attic insulation and other damaged materials while you’re at it. Donning protective gear such as gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator can minimize health risks associated with handling these materials.
After you’ve thoroughly cleared and cleaned the area, the next step is to decontaminate the attic, eliminate pathogens, and sterilize the space. This measure is an additional safeguard against hard-to-spot messes like urine. You should also consider treating the attic for any fleas, ticks, and other parasites that the raccoons might have introduced into your attic. Professional wildlife cleanup and sanitation services can take care of most of this task on your behalf.
Repair Damage in the Attic
Lastly, once the raccoons have vacated and the area is tidied up, it’s time to restore the attic to guarantee that the raccoons remain absent. Mend any entry points in the roof and rectify any other damage that the raccoons might have inflicted on your attic.
How to get rid of raccoons in attic? FAQs
Some people believe that mothballs can repel raccoons, but there is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, using mothballs can be harmful to both humans and animals due to the toxic chemicals they contain. It’s best to avoid using mothballs as a raccoon deterrent.
Ammonia is often touted as a home remedy for deterring raccoons, but it is not an effective method. Raccoons are not repelled by the smell of ammonia and may even become curious and investigate the source of the odor. Additionally, ammonia can be harmful to humans and animals if not used properly.
While some people believe that bright lights can deter raccoons, this is also not a proven method. Raccoons are nocturnal animals and can easily adapt to different levels of light. Installing bright lights in your attic may also attract other pests, such as insects or rodents.
Getting rid of raccoons can be a difficult and time-consuming process. It’s important to take a multi-step approach that includes trapping, exclusion, and cleanup to ensure that the raccoons are fully removed from your attic. Seeking professional help may also be necessary for severe infestations or if you are uncomfortable handling the situation on your own.
The duration for a raccoon to vacate your attic can vary depending on various factors such as the size of the infestation, availability of food and shelter, and the effectiveness of deterrents used. In general, it may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for raccoons to leave an area they have made their home. It’s important to continue monitoring the situation and taking steps to prevent re-entry until you are sure the raccoons have vacated.
The most effective and humane method to remove raccoons from your property is through trapping. However, it’s important to use proper trapping techniques and follow local regulations for handling and releasing wildlife. Additionally, it’s crucial to identify and seal any potential entry points in your home to prevent future infestations. Seeking professional help can ensure that the removal process is done safely and effectively. It’s also important to clean and disinfect the area after raccoons have been removed to eliminate any potential health risks from their feces and urine.