How To Get Rid Of Raccoons In The 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.

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.

Raccoons in the Ceiling

10.25.2004 — This was a rare case of raccoon removal. There were raccoons in the house, which is not uncommon, but they were in an uncommon place. In almost every case that I’ve dealt with thus far, the raccoons are in the attic. However, in this case, all the noise was heard in between floors, above the first story ceiling and below the second story floor. There’s not a whole lot of room in that space. However, critters have a way of fitting in tight gaps.

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I thought that the animals would be rats, or maybe squirrels, based on the location. However the homeowners were hearing vocal chattering. When I did my imitation of a baby raccoon, they said, «Yes! That’s what we hear!» So I had to suspect raccoons.

I carefully listened and felt at the walls in the general area where the noises were heard. I was having trouble detecting anything, and I thought I heard noises coming from several places. I finally became confident enough to cut an opening in the ceiling. I was careful, in case I was right on baby raccoons. I used my inspection mirror and found three baby raccoons nearby my hole. It was a tight gap, but I was able to pull out the babies, as seen in the above photograph.

But I still heard some scratching noises. After another long investigation, I realized that one of the babies had crawled and fallen down a nearby wall. This is why I was confused about the noises coming from different directions. I cut a hole at the base of the wall and removed a fourth baby.

I used the babies in the back of a trap to catch the mother raccoon. She was going under the elevated home and she’d torn a hole in the floor and was crawling up an inner wall and nesting in the ceiling. After I removed her, I crawled under the house and patched the hole shut.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Raccoons page for tips and advice.
Get professional help: Visit my Nationwide Pro Directory of wildlife removal experts.

How to get rid of raccoon inside ceiling — Most of the time, the scratching and strange sounds you hear in the ceiling indicate a raccoon in the attic. Attics are the gateways into most other areas of the home. It’s not difficult for a raccoon to make its way down the gaps of the walls and eventually into a ceiling. Most of the time, if a raccoon is this far into the home, it’s because the critter is a female who has just found where she wants to have her litter. This is actually a good thing; remember where you hear the raccoon making noise. Once you have her trapped and removed from the home, you’ll need to locate the babies immediately to ensure they don’t starve to death. If you’re really talented, or if you find a good wildlife removal company, the babies can sometimes be removed before the female is out and used in a cage trap to lure the mother in. If it is time to remove the young kits, remember that getting to them might not be possible from the attic. You may very well need to cut a hole in the drywall of your ceiling. This should be done with utmost care; you don’t want to injure any of the young raccoons. Removal of babies is another reason why the help of a professional is needed for raccoon removal.

The raccoon (Procyon lotor), is a unique animal native to North America. It’s not closely related to any other animals, with distant relatives such as bears and weasels. Coons are easy to recognize, with a black mask and ringed tail. Raccoons tend to weigh between 10-20 pounds as adults. They are mostly nocturnal, and are omnivores. Racoons average a lifespan of about 5 years in the wild, and have a litter of 3-6 young each spring. They are very strong, excellent climbers, very intelligent, and they are very skilled with their hands. Raccoons have learned to thrive in urban areas, and live in very high densities in cities, where they eat garbage and pet food. They commonly break into homes and attics, where they cause considerable damage, and they also destroy other property, and thus racoons are considered pest animals by many people. Raccoon control and removal, especially from inside homes, is best left to a professional.

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