How To Get Raccoons Out Of Ceiling

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.

How to Get Rid of Raccoon in Ceiling

Smart, agile, and mischievous, raccoons are an industrious animal both in rural and urban settings. Truly adaptable, raccoons can survive in almost any environment. Even though they are talented at survival, like most other varmints that creep into our homes, raccoons would like to live a high quality of life without exerting a lot of effort.

If you have a raccoon in your ceiling, you can usually tell by the variety of noises you hear. An animal as large as a cat—and most often larger—will not be a quiet resident. Vocalizations are very common, especially if a raccoon is raising infants or preparing to mate. Loud sounds of travel, most likely at dawn and dusk, are indicators of a raccoon living in the ceiling. But why would a raccoon want to rip off a shingle and live overhead?

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The answer to the above question is pretty simple. Food and shelter, the basic necessities of life, are the drive behind most animal behaviors. Ceilings are excellent spots for any warm-blooded animal to make into a nest. Heat rises, making ceilings, attics, and crawlspaces exceptionally warm in the winter months. Superior construction also aids to the attraction of a house ceiling. Unlike a den in the forest, which likely has leaks and is susceptible to wind currents and predators, a home built for people is impressively stable and resilient.

Think about your ceiling. If you do not have an attic, or much of one to speak of, chances are the space between the drywall in your home ceiling and the shingles of your roof is a small, barren space, free from most pipes and wires. Chimneys that protrude through roofing structures are fantastic sources of warmth for raccoons. An animal that prefers close quarters will enjoy the tight squeeze required for ceiling living.

Getting your sneaky pest out of the ceiling requires some special knowledge. No animal wants to live in a place it does not feel is safe. If raccoons want quiet, warmth, and darkness, try to counteract these characteristics if possible. Because the raccoon is in your ceiling, you will probably not be able to place lights inside the space, nor will you be able to open the ceiling up to create space. Noise, however, is something that you can accomplish. Place a CD player in an area close to the ceiling. CD players work well because you can select a variety of tones and music. CDs that have predator noises, such as coyote or wolf howls, dogs barking, or growling will be a reasonable deterrent. Aromas are another useful tool against raccoons in the ceiling. Dog urine and other predatory scents will make a female raccoon think twice about raising her family in your roof. Most raccoon deterrents based on scent can be purchased—you do not have to collect and spread your own dog’s urine around your home.

If you cannot persuade a raccoon to leave on its own, calling a professional is your next reasonable option. Most raccoons in homes are female. Female raccoons usually have babies hidden somewhere. If you decided to trap your raccoon, and actually managed to do so, you would have to find, handle, and remove the babies as well. It is not humane to knowingly trap a mother raccoon and kill or remove her and leave her young to starve to death. Letting raccoon babies squeal and suffer will result in instant karma, in the form of an incredibly offensive odor that will linger in your home for days. Due to the potential for disease and injury to humans, it is often not legal to capture and transport a raccoon for relocation unless you are a licensed professional.

Go back to the How To Get Rid of Raccoons home page.

Raccoons in the Ceiling — Guide to Removal

What to do when there are baby raccoons in a very hard-to-reach area? What if there’s no attic space to crawl into? This type of work takes a lot of sleuthing and searching

The customer had been hearing a lot of heavy scurrying and scratching noise in the cathedral ceiling in this room. I saw a big hole in the roof, but there was no attic space for me to crawl in, because it was a cathedral ceiling (same slope as the roof, no real attic space). I always assume that there’s baby raccoons somewhere, which is true 80% of the time. Thus, I had to very carefully listen for any sign of baby raccoons, so that I could find them.

It would have been easy to simply set a trap and catch the female raccoon, like most raccoon removal companies would have done, but that would have left the baby raccoons inside the home to starve and die and cause an odor problem. I always work very hard to get the baby coons out of the attic, because I know that almost all of the time there’s an adult raccoon in an attic, it’s a female with a litter of babies.

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In this case, I heard no noise, so I started to very carefully feel around the ceiling until I hit a warm spot. I knew that the litter of baby raccoons must be there, so I cut a hole in the ceiling (upper left), stuck my head inside (upper right), saw the nest of baby raccoons (lower left), and removed them all (lower right). I then fixed the hole and used the babies as live bait to catch the mom, fixed the hole in the roof, and the job was complete. This type of work is not easy, and most wildlife removal companies will neglect to take care of a situation like this properly, and that’s too bad.

If you want to enlist the help of a professional, I believe that most of the wildlife control operators listed on this wildlife removal directory, which includes listings for 450 US cities and towns, do a competent job. I’ve also compiled a list of good raccoon experts in several major US cities, including Charlotte — Fort Lauderdale — Miami — Seattle — Portland — Oakland — Los Angeles — San Diego — Phoenix — Dallas — Houston — Denver — Cincinnati — Baltimore — Nassau County — Jacksonville — Orlando — Tampa — Boca Raton — Chicago. But before you hire anyone, be sure to read this guide and gain a good understanding of the matter at hand, and ask whoever you wish to hire the right questions, and be sure that they remove the baby raccoons as part of their wildlife control solution!

Can baby raccoons chew through ceiling — Baby raccoons can chew through a ceiling, but will they? Probably not. Rodents are the ones you need to really worry about when it comes to breaking through barriers in your home. Unlike a rat or a mouse, the raccoon has no need to be constantly chewing. Babies will want to chew as their teeth come in, but they are more likely to chew on vertical surfaces just for ease of access. A mother might inadvertently break through one of the surfaces of your home as she creates her nest. Again, this isn’t the most common thing with raccoons, but it’s not something you can rule out entirely. As soon as you know you have a litter overhead, you need to take steps to find them and remove them. Baby raccoons are usually easy to handle with just gloves. Once you find them and remove them from the home, you can place them in a cage trap out in the yard to lure in the mother. Now the entire family can be relocated together. Keep in mind that trapping raccoons without a license is prohibited in many states. Make sure you are obeying the law in you quest to get rid of pests.

Below is an email from a woman who is having a bad raccoon experience, and part of the problem is that she hired bad companies!

David: I just had another «sleepless» night listening to those heavy noises in my attic and finally realized maybe I could google my raccoon suspicions and get some advice — so here came your wonderful article — I quickly printed it out and I just got through reading it. Now I’m more worried than ever, of course!

I only bought my house 4 months ago and the house where I lived for 14 years is still on the market and I’ve only had a handful of lookers . it’s depressing and I’m already worried that I’ll be continuing to pay two lots of utility bills from now on and money is tight. I realize now that I made a big mistake moving before selling the other house first. I just turned 65 this month — got my medicare card — so exciting. And my first social security check in the bank. Then here comes the raccoon problem.

I don’t know a soul in this new area. I moved from Houston to outside of the city, near what they call The Woodlands area — a suburb of Houston — about 30 miles from my last house. thinking it would at least be a little closer to Dallas which is where I have a daughter but I realize, too late, that not even having close friends or neighbors now is a huge mistake.

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I’ve never been scared before, living alone. The first time I heard noises I thought a man was walking on my roof. The 2nd time I even called 911 for the Police because I was so sure it was a man. (I’ve never had to call 911 before). Of course, the two police officers couldn’t find anything and left, probably thinking I was crazy! Then after realizing it had to be an animal I started looking around the outside of the house and could clearly see that the screened holes in the sofit boards on the eves had been penetrated. I started routinely boarding up an opening, only to find another one next to it was then broken into. This went on 4 times. I then realized I should continue to leave one open so the creature can go in and out until it’s caught. I did call some professional companies but they all seemed to have different opinions and all were so expensive — I think just about all of them said they use cat food to bait the raccoons but your article ascribes not using a meat product. Anyway, I do know it’s a raccoon because its feet must have been really muddy the other night because he or she left incredibly well defined prints all over and around the area where they got into my attic. (an obviously very acrobatic raccoon).

You mentioned you found some competent and effective experts in some citities and Houston was one of them. Could you refer one to me by name? I’m at the point now where I don’t think I can continue to stay here at night, my nerves are absolutely shot. I’ve gone from one bedroom to another each night and now I hear then all over the house. When I went to a hardware store to buy some repellant (that I still haven’t used) and to buy heavy wire and staples to board up the open holes I found a worker who had a trap and offered to come out and bait and set the trap in my attic, which he did 5 days ago but as you will have guessed, the animal is not taking the bait in the trap and at 4 a.m. yesterday and today at 5.30 a.m I hear the creatures still in the attic, so I’m back to square one.

This man, as well as another guy who came out here 2 weeks ago to quote me on setting traps (who was much too expensive for me to use) both went up in the attic and neither of them could see any animal droppings. They both said there was too much insulation to get through and they couldn’t get to the area of the house where I had heard the most noise — but now, of course, I hear movement all over the house.

After reading your article I think I should try and noise and light in the attic plus the repellent and continue to board up all the other meshed soffit openings securely with the heavy duty wire that I bought (still leaving the one hole open, for now) — and remove the cat food bait and try and bread/marshmellow trail and bait idea maybe — but if you can recommend a «competent» Houston company to me then this will have to be my last resort and I would be so grateful if I didn’t have to go from one incompetent and expensive company to another without any good results.

Thanks for listening — I’m desperate for a solution. But it sounds like I’m going to be in financial despair regardless. I know you said insurance companies should cover attic damage, but unfortunately I have one of the highest deductibles, I think it’s 3% so I don’t think that will help me. Please reply if you have any words of wisdom. Thank you Feona

Article topics include:
How to get rid of raccoons in the ceiling.
Get raccoons out of the ceiling and keep them out.
How to remove raccoons from the ceiling.

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