Getting Rid Of Racoons In Attic
How to Get Rid of Raccoons
There are plenty of humane ways for how to get rid of raccoons. Here are some easy ways to get rid of raccoons.
It’s no secret that raccoons are a nuisance. On the hunt for food and a place to establish their den, they can show up in your yard, your attic, your chimney, rummaging through your garbage and more. While they’re not out to destroy your home sweet home, it is important to get them out and keep them out. Here’s how to get rid of raccoons.
If you see a raccoon nosing around in your neighbor’s trash, they would probably appreciate a heads-up. However, here’s a list of things your neighbor really wants you to STOP doing.
If you don’t have a raccoon problem yet, but you’ve seen them in your area, you’ll want to start with prevention. Keep food sources out of sight, with garbage well-secured in outdoor trash cans, using a thick lid and a weight or pressure straps on top. Also, be sure your pet’s food is kept indoors. Install a tray on bird feeder polls roughly six inches below the feed to catch any dropped seed, and be sure the feeder isn’t in a location near trees that the raccoon could use to jump from to get on the feeder. Also, be sure to cut trees back to six or eight feet from your home so raccoons can’t get to your roof and make their way into the attic to form their den.
How Do You Get Rid of Raccoons?
You can even deter raccoons from coming with cayenne pepper. These masked marauders hate the smell of the spice. Add one small canister of cayenne and one bottle of hot sauce to a gallon of water, then spray the solution all over your garden plants, bushes and shrubs, and reapply after a rainfall. There are various other repellents you can use as well, like Mint-X trash bags, which are specifically designed to repel raccoons. They’re all-natural trash bags that have a mint fragrance, which raccoons dislike. Motion-activated floodlights can also serve to deter raccoons.
If you have raccoons inside your home, the first thing you’ll need to do is figure out how they got in by inspecting your house thoroughly. Once you know how they’re getting in, determine if it’s a mother raccoon with young. If so, allow the babies to grow a few weeks, otherwise they will die without their mother. You can then use one-way doors to get raccoons out of attics or crawl spaces, or invest in the help of an animal control professional who can make sure that mothers and their litters are unharmed and not separated.
How Do You Get Rid of Raccoons? Try Loud Noises
If you’re just dealing with adult raccoons, you can DIY their removal by trying bright lights and loud noises (like a loud battery-operated radio in the attic or fireplace) to scare them out. Also, try placing a bowl of cider vinegar at the base of the chimney — it’s a smell raccoons find foul, so they’ll run from it. Once they’re all gone, be sure to make your home as unattractive to raccoons as possible.
Raccoons in the Attic — How to Get Rid of Them
Read the below tutorial with step-by-step photograph instructions for information about raccoons and how to get them out of an attic. It’s not always a simple task — it usually requires these 4 steps to get raccoons out of an attic:
- 1) Physical removal of the nest of baby raccoons
- 2) (Humane) trapping or exclusion of adult raccoons
- 3) Repairs to the entry points
- 4) Cleanup of raccoon feces and waste.
The following information, instructions, and tips should help you in the raccoon removal process. It is not easy, and I do not consider this a do-it-yourself task for amateurs. If you need raccoons removed from your attic in your hometown, we service over 500 USA locations! Click here to hire us in your town and check prices — updated for year 2020.
Raccoons often choose to make their home inside of people’s attics. An attic provides a safe shelter for a raccoon, and usually meets all of their living requirements: shelter from the elements, safety from predators, and oftentimes close proximity to food — such as garbage cans or pet food.
If you have a raccoon in the attic, take note of the time of year. If it is springtime, say Feb — June, then there’s a very good chance that the raccoon is actually a mother with a litter of young pups up in the attic. Female raccoons love to raise their young in a warm, safe attic. You CANNOT just trap the female outside if you don’t get the pups. They will suffer and starve to death, and then they will decay and create a large odor. And the desperate female, once relocated, will do anything to get back to the young, and possibly die in the process.
Most people first call me when they hear the noise the animals create. A large animal like a raccoon can cause quite a bit of racket climbing around and digging in the attic. A litter of young will also often squeal for their mom, making a loud noise. Some homes are less prone to sound, and the occupants learn about their raccoon problem when they physically spot the animal, a frequent occurrence with a busy mother raccoon.
Here we see the culprit — a female raccoon, on the roof near the hole in the soffit that it tore open. Raccoons have no problems climbing on to a roof, and once there, they can easily tear a hole open to gain access.
Sure enough, it crawls right inside.
Once inside the attic, I search for the adult. She usually hides down in the eaves, and I can’t catch her. Sometimes I’m able to use a snare pole and grab her and remove her, and sometimes I’m able to scare her out of the attic and into a waiting trap mounted at the hole, but sometimes she gets away and I have to use other methods.
I search until I find the litter of pups. In this case, down a column at the edge of the attic. Finding the young can often be very difficult, and it takes a lot of patience and hard work up in a hot attic. If they make noise, it’s easy. If mama racoon has stashed the baby raccoons down a wall and told them to be quiet, it can be very hard to find them, but it must be done.
I remove the young from the attic. It’s very hot in Florida attics! I carry them as their mom would, by the scruff of the neck. This keeps them quiet. Some baby raccoons can be very agressive, and will lunge and bite. Others are docile and easy. In the event that you wish to hire us, you may want to see how much does raccoon removal cost?
I set the juveniles in the back of traps, to try to catch the mom. This is the absolute best «bait» to use to trap a female raccoon. She will do anything to get to her babies, so even if she’s shy of a trap, she’ll still go in. It’s important to set this correctly. If the trap goes off, from the mother working the outside, or the baby setting it off, then the female will go crazy trying to get in, and will likely cause some damage, maybe to herself. This type of set takes a lot of experience. For more information read my raccoon trapping guide.
Sure enough, the mom raccoon enters the trap, lured in by its own baby. Even when faced with a larger animal like a human, the mother raccoon is always protective of its young first.
After I have the mom and all the babies out of the attic, I seal the entry points. This is a vital step in the process. If you leave the holes open, new wildlife will surely enter. No job is complete until all the holes are sealed shut.
I make sure to keep mom and all the young together. I then relocate them together to a nature preserve far outside the city. It may be hard for them to survive once evicted from their home, but mother raccoons are very resourcful. If the mother and babies cannot be kept together, I bring the young to a licensed wildlife rehabilitation specialist.
Raccoons can cause quite a bit of damage when they live in an attic. Please see my raccoon attic damage page for more photos of raccoon damage. Not only do they urinate and defecate in the attic, but they can bring in a host of parasites (fleas, ticks, mites, and lice) and diseases (raccoon roundworm, leptospirosis, etc). They often tear apart ductwork, rip insulation off of pipes, gnaw on wires, and trample down the insulation, lowering its R-value effectiveness. They also tear open holes to gain access to the attic in the first place. I highly recommend attic cleanup and decontamination services if you’ve had a raccoon living in your attic.
Summary of the 7 steps to get rid of raccoons in the attic:
- Before you start, be aware that when raccoons live in your attic, it is almost always a female raccoon with a litter of babies. Be sure to remove the babies as well as the adult.
- NEVER EVER simply set a trap outside. If you catch the mother raccoon and take her away, this will leave her babies up in the attic to starve to death, and cause an odor problem for you. This is very cruel.
- If you, or a trapping company, catches the mother outside, you MUST go in the attic to get her young. If your trapper is lazy and claims there are no young, that guy is a heartless asshole.
If you have raccoons in your attic, you really should hire a professional wildlife trapper to take care of the problem. It’s not easy to get rid of raccoons in the attic. There’s no magic spray or ultrasonic sound device or any gimmick that will make them leave. They need to be trapped and removed. It’s not work for amateurs or do-it-yourselfers. Many people will just buy a trap and set it on the ground and never catch anything, or catch stray cats, opossums, and other non-target animals. Or worse, some crummy companies or so-called handy homeowners will set a trap or two on the ground, and actually catch the mom raccoon, and get rid of her — only to leave the babies up in the attic to squeal and suffer and die and then decompose and stink. Please don’t try to do this yourself or hire a cut-rate lazy trapper who won’t go into the attic and get the young. The job has to be done right! Also, keep in mind that they sometimes live in the chimney as well. Read How to Remove a Wild Animal in the Chimney. I also have a story of a particular raccoon trapping job on my raccoon in house page.
Click for my raccoon removal photo gallery.
Over 60 photographs of actual raccoon trapping and removal jobs I’ve done.
Visit my awesome opossum trapping blog!
Over 25 examples of specific raccoon control jobs I’ve done. Get ideas!
Again, the removal of raccoons in the attic is complex, because of the presence of the baby raccoons. Please treat the raccoons with kindness and respect. If you wish for us to solve your problem for you, we are professionals with a great deal of experience, who can safely, humanely, and legally remove the raccoons in your attic for you.
How to Get Rid of Raccoons in the Attic, House, Yard
It is my goal to educate the public about raccoons and other wildlife, and provide tips for safe, effective, and responsible wildlife removal. Remember, to solve many raccoon problems, the best bet is prevention and sealing shut entry holes: inspect your house to find animal entry holes.
|HUMANE HINTS: In some cases you can resolve a raccoon problem without trapping the animal — for example, you can eliminate whatever is attracting the raccoon to your property — garbage, pet food, a decorative pond, etc. If you use a cage trap, be sure to set it in the shade and relocate the raccoon as soon as possible. Never attempt to poison raccoons. Unfortunately, there are no effective or registered raccoon repellents. If you have raccoons in the attic, be aware that there is almost certainly a nest of baby raccoons. Read below for how-to hints.|
Summary of Step-By-Step Instructions If OUTSIDE:
1) Purchase large cage traps — rated raccoon size, usually about 10″ x 12″ x 30″ or so.
2) Set traps in areas of high raccoon activity. Bait with marshmallows, or, if stray cats are not a problem in the area, cat food works as well. Make sure traps are scent-free and flush to the ground, and set in the shade.
3) Relocate any trapped raccoon at least 10 miles from capture site. Never relocate a female raccoon in spring with visible nipples (nursing a nest of baby raccoons nearby).
4) If you have raccoon living under a deck, shed, or other structure, install an exclusion barrier — steel mesh around the perimeter, and down at least 12 into the ground, with bottom of mesh sloping outward.
Summary of Step-By-Step Instructions If IN THE ATTIC:
1) Inspect the house to find out how they are getting inside — likely somewhere on the roof, or eaves.
2) Search inside the attic, and find the next of baby raccoons (there is a 90% chance of babies). You must find them. Remove them by hand, wearing thick gloves and a pillowcase for carry.
3) Use the baby raccoons as live «bait», in the back of large cage traps, using a trap divider. This is a difficult set to get right. Make sure the sides of the trap are blocked off to prevent reach in.
4) Once you’ve trapped the mother, relocate them all together, at least 10 miles from capture site.
5) Repair the entry hole and clean and decontaminate the raccoon feces out of the attic.
If you need raccoon help, click Nationwide List of Raccoon Removal Experts for a pro near you.
In the last few decades, raccoons have shifted from a wild animal to an urban animal, like rats or pigeons. They are generally strong, intelligent, and talented, and thus they are also commonly destructive. I believe that raccoons should be dealt with humanely, and also effectively.
How to get rid of Raccoons In the Attic — This is not an easy job. The animal is almost certainly a female with a litter of baby raccoon in the attic. That’s why most raccoons break into homes or on roofs. You have to remove the babies in addition to trapping and removing the adult female. It is a very difficult job with many variables, and takes a lot of experience. You can remove the litter by hand and use them as bait to trap the mom. Or you can remove them and exclude her, but if you don’t trap the adult, she’ll break back in, and if you don’t get the babies, they will claw at things, starve to death, rot and stink.
How to get rid of Raccoons In the Yard, Swimming Pool, Garbage Cans, etc. — You want to eliminate whatever is attracting them to the property. But once they have habituated to an area, you might need to trap and remove them. Read more information about raccoon trapping here, including tips on traps, sets, types of bait, techniques, etc.
Click below photos for raccoon removal examples by the pros:
Raccoons are one of the most recognizable and destructive critters in all of North America. These mammals once lived in meadows and wooded areas, but have realized that living alongside humans yields bigger food scores and now make their homes in rural and urban environments. If you have ever lived in a house or near a raccoon’s home then you have probably been paid a visit or two from these furry neighbors.
Once a raccoon has learned that you have food, they will pay you a visit often in search of food or shelter. They are not afraid of humans or domestic animals and will wander into your garage, tip over your garbage cans and find a way into your attic if they can. Raccoons will also eat up all of your fruit and vegetables if you have a garden. If you have ever had, or do have a raccoon problem, then you probably already know how hard it is to get rid of them. Now the question is how do you get rid of raccoons? There are several ways to get rid of raccoons in an effective and safe manner for both your family and the animal. Here are some that you can try:
- Keep the raccoon out of your trash. If you deny the raccoon access to your trash, then they have no other option but to move on to someone else’s house. You can do this several ways. You can get a trashcan that has locks on it or is very difficult to open, but raccoons are excellent problem solvers so you may as well be throwing your money away. The best thing that you can do to cut off the raccoon’s food supply is to lock up your trashcans in a shed or your garage and make sure that the garage and/or shed is secure at all times and only take the garbage cans out the morning that the trash truck comes.
- Keep the yard clean. Another thing that you can do to force the raccoon to move on is to keep any type of food out of your yard. Do not feed your dogs or cats outside and do not leave your left over food from picnics outside. Also if you have a fruit tree, make sure that you are cleaning up the felled apples, peaches, etc. on a regular basis. If you have an outside garden, construct a good fence around it, or even an electrical fence to keep the raccoons out. They will soon learn that they get an unpleasant shock every time they try to eat that food and will stop trying to get into it. However, this is not a fool-proof way of keeping them out because, again, raccoons are very smart and will probably figure out a way to get to the food. Read about how to keep raccoons away — prevention techniques.
- Scare it off. Probably one of the most effective ways to rid your yard of pesky raccoons is to get an automated/motion-activated sprinkler system to scare them off every time they come near your trash cans or gardens. There are many products on the market for this type of device and they really work because they were developed specifically to deal with this problem. The best part of these types of devices is that they work on other animals such as deer and stray dogs and cats as well.
- Trapping the raccoon. This is not a recommended way to get rid of your raccoons, but it may be the only option available to you. You can decide to do this yourself or hire an exterminator/animal control officer to set up the trap for you. You have to make sure that the trap is durable enough and safe enough to trap the raccoon and can be loaded with any type of food. Once you have caught the culprit, do not kill it, but instead take it to the nearest wooded area (at least 15 miles away from your house) and set it free.
More in-detail how-to raccoon removal articles:
Information about how to kill a raccoon — with poison or other methods.
Information about how to catch a raccoon — remove one stuck in the house.
Information about raccoon repellent — analysis of types and effectiveness.
Raccoon Information and Facts
Raccoon Appearance: Though weight may vary from eight to twenty pounds, raccoon species share the same distinctive black markings around the eyes, surrounded by lighter facial fur and often white bands. The dark fur around they eyes is considered an adaptation to increase the ability to see in the absence of daylight. A mixture of light and dark, longer hair comprises the body and consists of two layers, the inner lay of insulating fur and the outer layer of coarse hair that serves to repel water. Raccoons have a bushy tail with a contrasting ring pattern; the tail serving as a point of balance while climbing as well as an added layer of warmth while sleeping in cold weather. Primary senses for the raccoon include the sense of touch and smell, with the ability to see in the dark a close third. The paws of these animals are composed of sensitive tissue that makes it possible for the raccoon to identify an object by touch alone. They do not possess the thumbs of primates, so the ambidexterity of the species is limited.
Raccoon Habitat and Behavior: It was once assumed that raccoons were completely solitary creatures. That theory has been widely disproven, though raccoons are most often seen alone and not in groups. Females of the species will often commune together at appointed feeding locations or in a group area for sleeping. Male raccoons seem to only be social during the mating season, and this interaction with others is based mostly on breeding status and not companionship. Both male and female raccoons will share a living space if something exceptional—like an abandoned building—is located. Originally from woodland areas, the raccoon has adapted to life in or near cities as well, though ideally the creatures remain in a location where a vertical surface is conducive to climbing. Climbing trees is the staple for raccoon safety, and for that reason, you will not often find them in open spaces or too close to a sandy coast. Mating season for this animal occurs for approximately three months in the spring and early summer, with females mating with multiple males. The average litter size is three to five kits. Male raccoons tend to be hostile toward unknown young, and for this reason most females will become completely solitary while raising their offspring. At about sixteen weeks, the kits are old enough to be on their own, but the mother will often allow her brood to remain in the den until after the first year.
Raccoon Diet and Hunting: Raccoons have an impressive array of acceptable food sources, and it is not uncommon for the individual raccoon to have a personal inclination toward a specific item of the diet. Raccoons will eat insects, amphibians, berries, fruit, nuts, and even smaller mammals. They will scavenge for human garbage and will eat anything from potato chips to chicken wings with sauce. During the months when food is readily available, raccoons prefer acorns and berries over many meat sources, though they seem to enjoy fishing and catching amphibians. Buildup of fat is important to the raccoon. During the cold months, they will become less active, though the decrease in activity is not a true form of hibernation.
Raccoon Nuisance Concerns: Because of their high intelligence and problem solving skills, the ingenuity of the raccoon is often seen as a nuisance problem for humans. Raccoons are opportunistic feeders, and they can remember locations of food—and how to unlatch or open containers—for up to three years. This impressive memory recall makes raccoons repeat offenders when it comes to home invasion and garbage scavenging. The cleanup involved with a scavenging raccoon is less of a hassle than the cleanup involved with a raccoon that has ruined building materials in an attic or garage from creating a den site. These animals are disinclined to attack house pets, but will if the pet initiates the confrontation. Species squabbles raise the concern of rabies, a common virus found in wild raccoons. The most common issue we deal with is the scratching sounds in the attic or walls from raccoons.
Raccoon Diseases: Raccoons are the prime vector for rabies virus. For unknown reasons, though it is suspected that the large brain cavity of the raccoon is of primary influence, rabies virus thrives in this specific species. Because of this, raccoons are always suspect for the disease even if no symptoms are discernible. Raccoons are also known to carry leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that affects the kidneys of humans and other mammals. Lesser concerns center on the intestinal parasites spread by raccoons, some of which can be ingested by humans and can cause serious debilitations in young or elderly people. Raccoons are most frequently killed in nature by distemper virus, though this is not a disease that can be passed the humans.
Read more educational articles about raccoons. Learn how to keep a raccoon out of your swimming pool , and what to do if you find an Orphaned Baby Raccoon. Learn what kind of noises and sounds raccoons make, and all about their mating habits. Find out if homeowners insurance pay for raccoon damage and learn about Raccoon Eviction Fluid . Learn, too, about how to identify raccoon feces.
Learn if raccoons will attack cats, dogs and other pets?, and what to do if you are bitten by a raccoon. I can let you know if you should feed a baby raccoon, the symptoms of a sick raccoon, and what equipment is needed to trap raccoons. Find out if repellents will get a raccoon out of your chimney and just what kind of damage one can do in your attic. Learn if raccoons can climb fences, if they can swim or hibernate, how well they are able to jump, and just how smart they are. I can let you know how dangerous raccoons can be towards pets and why raccoons Die Inside Houses.
Learn if they burrow and dig holes and what kinds of diseases raccoons carry. I can let you know if raccoons can open doors or windows, and if they eat rats or mice. Learn about raccoon roundworm and what to do about a Raccoon under the porch. Read more about if it is legal for you to trap a raccoon, if raccoons live or sleep in trees, and how to identify raccoon tracks. Find out why raccoons tear up sod, if the city or county animal services, where to relocate a trapped raccoon. I can also let you know what wildlife rehabilitators do with raccoons and share my best advice on how to keep raccoons out from under your porch.
This site is intended to provide raccoon education and information, so that you can make an informed decision if you need to deal with a raccoon problem. This site provides many raccoon control articles and strategies, if you wish to attempt to solve the problem yourself. If you are unable to do so, which is likely with many cases of raccoon removal, please go to the home page and click the USA map, where I have wildlife removal experts listed in over 500 cites and towns, who can properly help you with your nuisance raccoon.