Is There a Raccoon in Your Attic?

racoons in atticRaccoons are agile and intelligent creatures that often make their nests inside attics. They gain access by climbing downspouts, scaling siding, and walking across overhanging tree branches. Unsecured vents, chimneys, and attic windows also aid in easy entrance. If raccoons are determined enough, they may even rip apart siding and bend open vent covers to enter attic spaces. The raccoons most likely to choose attics as nesting sites are females seeking warm, sheltered places to raise their young, which makes them very defensive and difficult to remove.

Signs of a Raccoon in the Attic

Thumping, rustling, and scratching sounds coming from the attic are clear indications of animal infestations. Raccoons are especially playful and like to tumble about, making loud noises that disturb residents. Young raccoons also like to chatter and chirp when calling for their mothers. Additionally, while raccoons generally dispose of waste away from nesting sites, they may let their droppings and urine collect in attics. The overwhelmingly foul smell quickly permeates houses.

Dangers of Disease & Damage

The problems raccoons in attics cause range from structural damage to the introduction of diseases and parasites. In addition to damaging entry points, such as vent covers and siding, raccoons tear up attic insulation and damage electrical cables. They are also known to transmit illnesses like leptospirosis and rabies. One of the most pressing dangers associated with raccoon presence is the raccoon roundworm parasite. This parasite is common in the pests and can be transmitted to humans who come in contact with raccoon feces. Raccoon roundworm can even be deadly to humans.

Removal

Inexperienced individuals should never attempt to confront wild raccoons in confined spaces such as attics. Residents with these problems should contact professional wildlife control specialists to remove raccoons in the attic. The pest removal specialists at Trutech assess the situation and take the appropriate actions to remove troublesome raccoons in the most effective and humane ways possible. They are also equipped to sanitize infested attics and safeguard the areas against future pest invasions.

Related: I Have Raccoons In My Attic/On My Roof

QUESTION:

We have caught one raccoon in a trap in our attic. Now, we have heard noises of babies and possibly the mother still in the attic. It’s in a remote area that is difficult to get to and we need some help getting these critters out.

-Tyler, TX

ANSWER:

We can solve the issue. Trutech will inspect the area and put together the best solution to solve your problem. If you removed the mother, we will find a way to access the babies (kits). In worst case scenarios, we will remove or take apart sections of drywall or flooring in order to access the kits. This is unfortunate, but these are the steps needed to take in order to remove the kits quickly and safely. This process may take several hours but usually is complete within the day.

If the mother raccoon is still present, we will apply raccoon eviction paste in the attic. Eviction paste portrays the scent of a male raccoon, which is a threat to the mother. In many cases, the male raccoon will return to the litter in an effort to harvest the young as a meal. Mother raccoons are very protective of their kits and will go through drastic measures to keep them safe. As a result, once we apply the eviction paste into the attic, the mother raccoon will most likely take her kits and leave the attic. This method is usually effective immediately, causing the mother and kits to be gone within 24 hours.

If neither method is effective, we will undergo a trapping session. Depending on how recently the mother raccoon had her kits, it may take a few days for her to be active enough to explore our traps. However, soon enough she will have to keep enough energy to nurse her kits and feed herself, so she will venture out for a meal. When she does, we will catch her, immediately remove her kits, and reunite them elsewhere away from your home.

QUESTION:

There are raccoons climbing in my roof and running around the neighborhood. The concerns are rabies and the safety of the elderly and children. These animals are tearing up my roof and ceiling.

-East Point, GA

ANSWER:

This scenario is pervasive throughout much of North America. Raccoons are extremely adaptive and their range is vast. They are very intelligent, capable, potentially aggressive, and carry zoonotic diseases (capable of transmission between species). They can also be particularly destructive when they get bored.

An entry point does not have to exist in order for them to gain entry into your attic. They are capable of locating weak areas and exploiting those weaknesses, ultimately resulting in a classic case of raccoon breaking and entering. Once inside. they contaminate insulation, rip up air ducts, break water lines, and can rip through the dry wall, gaining entry into your living space. Disease can be transmitted through direct contact with the animal as well as their feces.

A typical raccoon job will consist of trapping, sealing the entry points, reinforcing other weak areas, and restoring the attic. This will typically take 1-3 weeks, although sometimes with particularly troublesome individuals, it could take longer. The most important step that you can take to protect your home and health is to seek professional help and start the process as soon as possible.