How to Remove Raccoons
How to Remove a Raccoon From Your Attic and Why it Got There in The First Place
Do you hear strange noises at night? Possible screeching, scratching, or tapping? Your kids might claim it’s a ghost, but more likely, you have a raccoon in your attic. Raccoons are looking for food and shelter, lucky for them your attic is the perfect spot. Unlucky for you, most are looking for a cozy place to birth their babies. Here are a few hints you may be dealing with a Raccoon infestation.
- You don’t lock your trash bins. Like bears, raccoons are looking for any food they can get and might be rummaging through your trash cans late at night. Youshould be taking necessary precautions by locking up your trash, just as you would in the woods. If you don’t lock trash bins, the raccoons will visit your house as much as possible and will likely stick around to sneak their way into your attic.
- You find scat near the drainpipe, in or around your pool, or in other peculiar areas. Unlike other animals, raccoons often leave their waste in the same spots. If you have a pet and assume that the scat is theirs, think twice. Though raccoon and dog poop are similar in size, raccoon poop has ammonia-like odor. It smells radically different, you should not take a whiff–because it is highly toxic. If you suspect you have encountered raccoon waste, keep your animals, children, and family away from it until you can find a professional to remove it for you.
- You have a large tree hanging over your rooftop. While a tree may look harmless to you, for a raccoon, it acts as a convenient elevator. Raccoons are agile creatures, and the tree provides easy access to your roof. Once atop your roof, the bushy-tailed creature can excavate its way into your home. It doesn’t need a hole or damage; a small crevice would do. The raccoon pecks and chews until it creates a hole large enough to squeeze through. Be sure to cut the hanging branches or leaves of the tree to keep these witty pests away.
- You leave pet food outside. Raccoons and other animals have a heightened sense of smell, so if you have outdoor pets, consider bringing them inside to eat. Leaving food out, especially overnight, will attract all kinds of critters. Raccoons will eat scraps and trash, but if you provide a gourmet meal for them, they won’t pass it up–and they’ll probably be back for seconds.
- There are footprints or smudges on the side of your house or in your attic, as I mentioned before raccoons can get into trash or dingy places, which makes them easy to spot their tracks. You will often find mud or dirt on the side of your house near your drainpipe; it can also be found on the walls of the attic. If you are unsure if you are dealing with a raccoon or another animal, raccoon prints look like a child’s hand but with long claws at the ends.
If you do suspect you are dealing with a raccoon infestation in your attic, here are a few safe ways to lure them away
- Unpleasant smells. Raccoons dislike the smell of ammonia, and you likely have household products containing the chemical. You may find the ammonia in bathroom cleaners, surface cleaners, some hair coloring solutions, and Windex. You can spray down your attic or create a homemade stink bomb by soaking and hanging towels in the chemical. If your household product only has a small amount of ammonia, you can buy a large bottle of it instead.
- Put lights in your attic. Raccoons are nocturnal and are attracted to dark spaces. Adding lights to your attic space will likely drive raccoons and other intruders away. You can use flashlights, motion sensor lights, or even a battery-powered lamp. Anything bright and chaotic will send those scamps running.
- Play loud music or Audio from a TV recording. Raccoons are afraid of humans; if they hear them, they will probably surrender their nesting area. Though, I doubt that you would want to stake out in your attic or your roof throughout the night to scare them away yourself. You can place speakers in your attic or by the drain pipe if that’s where you suspect they are entering. If you turn your attic into a tiny nightclub, it will rid the raccoons–they don’t like parties.
Repeat these steps for three to five days, be consistent to determine that the raccoon receives the message. If the raccoon fails to leave despite these steps, some sites will recommend setting a trap, but this is a mistake as raccoons are dangerous. If they have rabies just spitting on, you could allow you to contract the disease. Their feces are hazardous, too, as it contains roundworms. Roundworm lays eggs in the feces, and if inhaled by humans, it can cause severe symptoms. It is most effective to catch them early on, and rid them away quickly. Whether or not these methods work, for the safety of your family and home, it is in your best interest to contact a professional. They can take care of any toxic waste and confirm that the raccoon has left for good. With all these steps and precautions you should be able to rid your home of raccoons.
Raccoons in attics are common, but there are simple things you can do to keep them at bay. Keep your grass trimmed, trash cans locked, groom long hanging trees, apply metal sheets around the perimeter of your roof, and repair any holes you may have in your roof. If all of this seems too much for you, please hire a raccoon removal professional.