If you are like most homeowners, having raccoons in your attic is a nightmare scenario. It’s only natural for you to want to get rid of raccoons in the attic before your raccoon problem gets out of hand.
Raccoons are nocturnal animals that are known for being crafty dumpster divers. They may seem comical or even cute, but not if they invade your home. Raccoons are considered pests for several reasons. They carry various diseases. Raccoons are messy creatures that scratch, shred and destroy almost everything they come into contact with.
But the question is: “How to get rid of raccoons in the attic?”
You can get rid of raccoons in the attic with Raccoon Eviction Fluid, traps, and repellents.
It’s important for you to know and be able to recognize the signs of a raccoon in the attic, so if one does gain access, you can call professionals to get rid of it asap!
How to get rid of Raccoons in the attic?
Raccoon prevention is a major factor in protecting your home and family from these critters and their diseases. However, the preventative measures you choose to take on can only be effective if you commit to the follow-through.
Don’t place a raccoon trap inside an attic. It’s not in the attic where you’ll catch raccoons. This is also true if a raccoon’s nest is in the attic.
In my opinion, you might not be able to find the young and then could have a disaster on your hands.
You must be mindful of trap placement if you want to get rid of raccoons in the attic. Raccoons will reach out of the cage and destroy everything they can reach, guaranteed. Be careful when you transport a caged raccoon.
They can do a lot of damage to your truck or car while inside a trap. If you are going to relocate raccoons, make sure to move them at least 10 miles from your home. Raccoons, like other rodents, are highly skilled at tracking their way back to home territory.
Keep raccoons out of the attic by eliminating food sources
- Store food in metal or heavy plastic containers. These tend to be rodent-proof. Especially be sure to store grains, pet food and birdseed properly.
- Store grass seed in sealed containers, and make sure to put away any uneaten pet food.
- Raccoon-proof your garbage cans with tight-fitting lids. You could even use rubber cords to fasten them down if necessary. Replace damaged garbage cans (cracks or holes.) with new ones.
- Clear your yard of any food, even fruit that may fall from trees in your yard.
- Walk around your home and look for holes (even small ones) around your foundation, eaves and soffits. Fill each hole with steel wool or fill each hole with caulk, plaster or cement. Cover a hole well with sheet metal if it can’t be filled.
Keep raccoons out of the attic by eliminating easy water access
- Including leaky pipes or runoff.
- Cover pools effectively.
Trim back tree branches, to keep raccoons off of your roof
Raccoons love the attic.
Daytime raccoon sightings, such as droppings and chewed holes or wires, are signs of a severe rodent problem. However, setting mouse traps or following DIY rodent extermination may not be enough. They may work for a short while but always come back without professional raccoon control and rodent prevention.
Raccoon control is definitely best left up to professionals to handle. Rats, mice, raccoons, squirrels and opossums are perfectly adapted to many parts of the country.
Rodent prevention and control techniques should be safe for your family and home.
Raccoon prevention could involve any of the following:
- Natural Raccoon Control
- Green, Environmentally Friendly Raccoon Control
- And No-Kill Options
What are the signs of raccoons in the attic?
Feces is a common sign of raccoons in the attic. Raccoons are also noisy. You will hear them roaming above when they are in your attic. Listen for chewing, scratching, snarls, and footsteps, all of which are signs of raccoons in the attic. When you have raccons living in the attic, you will find scratch marks and pawprints.
How to trap raccoons in the attic?
While there are some methods for removing raccoons from the attic without trapping them, it’s trapping if you are looking for the most effective way to get rid of raccoons from your attic.
How to get rid of baby raccoons in the attic?
The best raccoon removal method is to use the babies’ nest as “live bait” to trap the adult female raccoon. After you remove the raccoons, place them in the back of a cage trap with a trap divider.
It’s important to install barriers on both sides of the raccoon trap. The barriers will prevent the raccoon from reaching into trip your trap. You can relocate them together if you catch the entire raccoon family together.
If you keep the baby raccoons together with the mother, it will increase their chances of survival. If that pest control method doesn’t work for you, you can bring them to a raccoon rehabber.
You can also catch raccoons by mounting a trap directly over the attic entry or exit hole. The raccoon will have no choice but to use the available access point to the attic.
You could possibly trap her with a baited cage trap set outside, either mounted on the roof near the entry hole or on the ground near the climbing point. But beware, a ground trap will catch other small animals in the area, not just raccoons.
Tips and Information About Raccoon Trapping Outside the Attic
Even if you have raccoons in your attic, don’t set the trap inside the attic. If you catch the raccoon, it won’t be in your attic. Raccoons will not enter the trap inside your attic. This isn’t anything against your attic; it’s just part of raccoon behavior. To eliminate a raccoon, you should set the trap outside, not in your attic.
If you have a raccoon in your attic, there is a good chance there are also raccoon babies up there. Raccoon babies grow fast and are mobile after about six weeks. But young raccoons won’t leave the attic until 12 weeks old. The young raccoons will start accompanying the mother on nightly foraging excursions.
Trapping Raccoons in the Attic
If you catch a female raccoon with swollen nipples, you can rest assured there are young ones inside the attic. The young ones must be removed by hand.
The best way to catch raccoons is to use the baby raccoons as bait. Remove them from your attic and place them in the back of a cage trap. But don’t forget to use a trap divider. It may be difficult for you if you haven’t done this before.
It would be best to make sure the raccoon can’t trip the trap from the outside, trying to reach for the pups. If the mother trips the trap, you will have a desperate female who could injure or even kill her pups as she tries to get them out. To avoid this, install barriers on both sides of the trap so the raccoon can’t reach inside.
But, you may not be able to use young raccoons as bait. In that case, the best method is to set a cage trap mounted on the exit hole. In this setup, the raccoon has no choice but to enter the trap as it exits your attic. Use a heavy-duty steel screen to force the rodent into the raccoon trap. With this type of trap, no bait is required.
Another option to trap raccoons outside your attic is placing the trap on the roof. It’s not as effective as using the young raccoons for bait or mounting the trap on the attic exit hole.
Before you place the trap on the roof, place a steel screen below and around it. The steel screen will prevent the raccoon from destroying the shingles. If you see signs on the ground where the raccoons climb up, you can set a trap on the ground.
As always, the normal raccoon trapping rules apply:
- Use a steel raccoon trap
- Make sure the trap is the right size (no smaller than 30x30x12 inches)
- Set the trap in the shade
- Check the trap frequently
- Handle the caged animal with care
Relocate the trapped raccoons quickly. Captured wild animals will almost always injure themselves inside traps. They are frantically clawing and chewing for a way out. And if the trap is in a hot, sunny area, raccoons can succumb to heat stroke or death.
And if you don’t want the raccoons to return to your attic, relocate them at least 10 miles away. That may seem like a great distance, but raccoons will track their way back to your attic if you relocate them too close. Most importantly, relocate the adult raccoons with the pups. Traping the mother raccoon and taking her away from the cubs is inhumane.
What’s the worst time for raccoons in the attic?
Early spring is baby raccoon season. It peaks in early March, when raccoon mothers desperately seek a warm, isolated, safe space to protect their babies. The most likely part of the year in which raccoons will try very hard to access your attic. After baby raccoons are born, it takes approximately three months for them to be able to move around on their own. So the raccoons will probably hang out in your attic until the babies are ready to go out into the world independently. Have you seen an adult female raccoon hanging outside during spring? If so, it’s almost a guarantee that she has babies nearby. Or you might hear a high-pitched whining sound- that’s the raccoon babies crying for their mother. Don’t worry! If you’re reluctant to take action because you don’t want to hurt the babies, rodent and wildlife removal experts can safely remove baby raccoons without hurting them.
Are you noticing unusual or unexplained noises around the house lately? Don’t brush this off! Stop and take notice. Listen carefully and identify where the noises are coming from. Are they coming from the attic? Here’s a descriptive list of different types of noises that signal a raccoon is in the attic:
- Sounds like growls may be from an adult raccoon, and the babies make crying sounds. These sounds are unique to raccoons; other rodents like mice, squirrels, and rats do not make vocal sounds.
- Sound of scurrying is likely the raccoons moving around in the attic.
- Gnawing sounds signal the process of chewing or otherwise damaging wood or other items in the attic or on the outside of the house.
- Sounds like scratching and tunneling are made when the raccoons are constructing a nest. Raccoons often use attic insulation as nesting materials.
- Sounds of burrowing or tearing are made by a raccoon trying to enlarge an entry or exit location into the attic.
- Sounds of scraping or scurrying are often signs of raccoons walking on rooftops. This sound is more likely to occur at night.
Using a keen ear can be one of the best ways to identify if a raccoon has invaded your attic space. Their weight and size make their movement sounds more pronounced and easy to distinguish. If you recognize any of these noises, you need to check out the situation immediately.
As soon as a raccoon finds its way into your attic, it will begin to nest. Raccoons are crafty and smart animals. They are resourceful and will use any of the materials on hand in your attic to make a cozy nest. Most likely, they’ll bring in some scavenger things from the outdoors- leaves, twigs, and other debris. But they’ll mainly find and shred paper, cloth and attic insulation as the primary bedding materials for their nest.
Shredded cloth and paper can be messy but mostly harmless. Shredded insulation, however, is useless. Without proper insulation, your home will not be able to regulate a comfortable temperature, and you’ll waste energy and money. Another major concern is the structural support in your attic- the wooden beams are likely to be scratched or gnawed on by raccoons. If the integrity of the structural support becomes compromised, you have a very dangerous situation on your hands.
A raccoon can wreak havoc in the attic. The best preventative measure is to be alert and ready to take action if you recognize any of these warning signs. Contact your local pest control experts right away to remove the raccoon and minimize potential damage to your attic.
Raccoon diseases and symptoms
Raccoons are susceptible to many different infectious agents, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Several of these infectious diseases are zoonotic. As a result, veterinarians are faced with the diagnosis and treatment of wildlife, including raccoons. They need to be able to make the correct diagnosis and educate clients on the potential health hazards associated with exposure to raccoons.
Leptospirosis is a prevalent bacterial disease in raccoons caused by several different species of Leptospira. Transmission is thought to take place via urine contamination of water and feed. Antemortem diagnosis is derived from serology and dark field examination of urine. Histopathologic examination and fluorescent antibody testing of the liver and kidney are two postmortem procedures that can help further aid the diagnosis of leptospirosis. Further natural bacterial infections reported in raccoons are listeriosis, tularemia, yersiniosis, and pasteurellosis.
Can raccoons transmit diseases to humans?
Viral diseases of raccoons include rabies, pseudorabies, canine distemper, raccoon parvoviral enteritis, and infectious canine hepatitis. Rabies is a zoonotic disease endemic to raccoon populations in New England and Pennsylvania. Over the last several years, there has been a shift of rabies-infected raccoons westward into the state of Ohio.
Canine distemper virus infection is arguably the most prevalent viral disease in raccoon populations. The clinical signs and histopathologic and gross lesions in raccoons are similar to distemper in dogs. Neurologic symptoms due to distemper virus infection in raccoons are virtually indistinguishable from rabies-induced neurologic disease. Diagnosis is based upon histopathologic lesions in the brain, lung, spleen, and small intestine.
Intranuclear and intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies can be visualized in scores of, including epithelial cells in the respiratory epithelium, and transitional epithelium lining and gastric mucosa urinary bladder and the renal pelvis. Therefore, the best tissues for fluorescent antibody testing and virus isolation of canine distemper virus are the urinary bladder, lung, brain, stomach, small intestine, and kidney.
Parvoviral enteritis in raccoons is attributable to a unique raccoon parvovirus that is most antigenically similar to feline parvovirus. Clinical signs include bloody diarrhea, lethargy, inappetence, and loss of fear of humans. Raccoons do not develop the clinical disease while exposed to canine parvovirus. Diagnosis is based upon histopathologic lesions of necrotizing enteritis and confirmation of the virus by fluorescent antibody testing. The most typical method in which raccoons acquire pseudorabies virus infection is by ingesting virus-infected pig carcasses.
A critical parasitic disease of raccoons is toxoplasmosis. It is a protozoal disease caused by Toxoplasmagondii. Felids are the definitive host for T. gondii, and they excrete potentially infective oocysts in their feces. Toxoplasmosis in raccoons is commonly associated with immunosuppression from canine distemper virus infection. In addition, necrotizing encephalitis and pneumonitis are frequent lesions related to toxoplasmosis.
An additional parasite of importance in raccoons is Baylisascarisprocyonis. It is an intestinal roundworm found in raccoons. Baylisascaris is a well-known cause of ocular and visceral larval migrans and cerebral nematodiasis in humans and domestic and non-domestic animals. Transmission often occurs through the ingestion of infective eggs, which results in aberrant migration in hosts other than raccoons.
Trapping raccoons in the attic is a process you can master. If you want to eliminate the raccoons from the attic, do not set cage traps inside your attic. You can use the young raccoons to catch the adults. With the pups, you can catch the mother. You can also set a trap at the exit hole or on the roof. Once you’ve trapped the raccoons, you can relocate them far from your home.