Raccoons are incredibly smart and nimble urban animals, but their opportunistic nature, high adaptability, and messy foraging style make them a pretty bad neighbor and an even worse housemate. If you’re seeing signs of raccoon presence in your attic, or if you straight up spotted a raccoon getting in and out of your attic, you should begin taking appropriate removal steps as soon as circumstances permit. Raccoons carry and can transmit diseases to both humans and other animals we like to keep around the house, and due to their size, weight and habits, they can cause serious damage in your attic, both reasons that should prompt homeowners to deal with a raccoon problem in a timely and effective manner.
Humane removal: The first thing you need to know is that if a raccoon has moved into your attic, it’s practically a sure thing that you have a female raccoon in there that’s preparing to give birth, or that has already given birth and is now raising its young. Separating a mother raccoon from its cubs would be a horrible thing to do, on top of it just leaving you with even more problems to deal with, i.e. rotting baby raccoon carcasses. The best on most humane course of action you can take is luring the mother raccoon in a live cage trap by using its babies as bait. This means searching for the nest in the attic, which may prove to be pretty tricky, so you have to be persistent and thorough. Once the nest is located, with protective gloves on, you should pick up the cubs one by one, and carefully put them in a pillow case or something similar. Then, you should put a couple of the baby raccoons as bait in a live cage trap with a divider, and go away. Baby raccoons are very vocal and will start crying for their mother that will shortly come to save its kits. Once the mother raccoon is in the cage, lift up the divider, and proceed with safe relocation according to the specific wildlife removal laws that are applicable in your area.
Home inspection, repair, decontamination, and prevention: Second step is to closely check your attic, both from the inside and from the outside in order to identify the access point the raccoon is using to get in your attic. The entry holes are usually quite on the nose when it comes to raccoons, so chances are that you’ll be able to quickly identify any tearing or missing shingles used by the animal. Once all access holes are identified, they need to be sealed with quality materials.
Proper attic decontamination needs to follow, meaning you should vacuum all the droppings, replace any damaged insulation, and pump the attic up with a good odor eliminator that can eat at any remaining bacteria. Proper protective gear should be used during the decontamination process, the whole plate, from HEPA filter mask to full biohazard suit.
To avoid any future raccoon infestations, make sure you’re not inviting the animals on your property not just by denying them access to your attic through home repairs, but also by denying them access to food. And be mindful of what methods you put in place in order to accomplish the latter, as raccoons are highly dexterous and can use their weight and body shape to easily outsmart all sorts of rudimentary obstacles we put in place if food is the prize, so be sure to go that extra mile when it comes to raccoon prevention. If in need, check out our Hire a Pro section for wildlife removers that will handle the situation humanely and professionally.
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