How To Get Rid Of Raccoons In The Walls
How to Get Rid of Raccoons in the Wall
Raccoons are known to live in human dwellings and mostly dwell in torn walls and the attic. These places provide a warm and safe place for them to live and offer close proximity to food. They feed on garbage food and any human-influenced food. Raccoons can cause a lot of damage and become a nuisance to humans. Once in the house, they will tear up pipes, walls and rip open ducts. They also scare your pets – sometimes they will even kill cats and other small pets — and tip over garbage cans, leaving you a nice smelly mess to clean up.
They can cause diseases to humans through their droppings and the parasites they carry. Rabies is one of the most common diseases a raccoon carries. Although they are cute little bandit looking creatures, they are not docile and can become extremely dangerous. They have very sharp claws and teeth and are not afraid to attack if they feel threatened in any way.
Causes for Raccoons in the Wall Raccoons are very intelligent and, just like most mothers, the mother raccoon will look for the safest place for her babies; which is usually your attic. The attic provides protection from the elements and other predators.
The little bandits are experts at getting into secured areas. They are very strong and have been known to rip off boards and other material to get inside attics and homes. Once inside, they will cause a lot of irritating noises as they scurry around looking for food sources while also damaging your home.
The Raccoon Menu: Pretty Much Everything in and Around Your Home. Raccoons aren’t picky when it comes to food; if it’s anywhere available, they’ll get to it. They really are little bandits and can get into places that you thought were secured. They will eat just about anything they can get their little hands on including fish in a pond, dog and cat food, garbage from your trash can, bird feed and so much more. They are experts at finding ways into your home and have been known to use pet doors to go inside and get food right out of your home.
So, how do I get Rid of My Raccoon Problem? This is a problem as raccoons are not easily gotten rid of without the expert help of professionals. There are traps, of course, that you can set up to help trap the critters; however, you will need to research this method carefully as you are likely to inadvertently capture a pet – yours or your neighbors.
Usually when there is a raccoon in the attic, it is a mother raccoon with babies. Just trapping the mother will not solve your problem as there are still babies to contend with. Also, trapping is not legal in all states, so before you go gung ho looking for traps, make sure that your state allows trapping them. If it is legal to trap in your state, then you will need to relocate the critters several miles from home, otherwise they will likely find their way right back to your attic.
Trapping the babies first to lure the mother is probably one of the best ways. Babies will need to be captured by hand, using protective gloves and a mask to prevent inhaling pathogens that can make you very sick. Once the babies are trapped, you can use them to lure the mother to them.
Traps should be located where other pets and non-targeted animals will not be travelling. This is another reason that a specialist should be called out to handle the raccoon problem. Say, for instance, you set a trap on the roof where you noticed the raccoon has made a doorway into your attic. You may catch the raccoon in the trap, but they have sharp claws on those little hands that can pick apart and destroy the shingles on your roof. You will need to put some extra protection under the cage to help prevent more damage.
There are so many variations in capturing and removing raccoons that can go wrong; catching the wrong animals, getting bit and/or scratched, not retrieving the babies and so on. Because these animals are highly intelligent and skilled, it is best to seek professional help for removal.
Let’s Talk Prevention: One of the best things you can do to help keep raccoons away is to take preventative measures. The most important, of course, is to remove their food source and abilities to get to it.
Make sure that your attic is secured without any holes or easy access for the raccoons to enter if you really want to know the best step for how to get rid of raccoons in the wall. Do not leave pet food bowls out and available. If you have a pet door, it might be wise to keep it sealed for a while until the raccoons decide it’s not worth the effort and stops trying to get into your home. Tightly secure your garbage cans so that they cannot get into them or tip them over to get to the goodies inside. Make sure your yard is clean and don’t leave food or bird feeders outside since it will attract the raccoons.
Go back to the How To Get Rid of Raccoons home page.
Raccoons in the Wall
Here are two photos of different situations involving raccoons in walls, and their removal.
In the above photo, I’ve cut a hole in the exterior wall of the home. I discovered the raccoons in the attic, and eventually found them down the wall. As you can imagine, there was no room to crawl at the tight edge of the attic, and there was certainly no space to remove them. I put a ladder in the area, and felt for the warm spot. The snare pole was used to remove it from a deep area — don’t worry, this doesn’t harm the little guy!
In the below photograph, it was easy to hear this small raccoon scratching in the wall cavity, and it was easy to remove.
How do you know if you have a raccoon in your wall? Of course, the first thing you’ll notice is the noise that they make. You’ll surely hear scratching at the base of the wall, or the base of where the wooden frame halts progress to the floor area, and you’ll also hear scratching and clawing as the animal climbs up and down the wall. It may be using a pipe to help it climb, or just the wall itself. But what differentiates the sound of raccoons from other animals that might live in the wall, such as squirrels, rats, or opossums? It’s the vocal noises. Well, that, and the fact that a coon is much larger than a small rodent, thus making the sounds louder, slower, and «heavier» or deeper in pitch. But the vocal sounds are the real giveaway. Raccoons, unlike rats, squirrels, or opossums, have a wide variety of vocal noises, and tend to emit them, whereas the other animals do not. Raccoons chatter, growl, and make a whole bunch of strange noises. But most telling of all is the call of the baby raccoons, a chattering cry that sounds like nothing else. The babies make this crying call quite a bit, when they are hungry or cold, so if you’ve got raccoons down your wall, there’s probably a nest of babies, and they’ll be making this chattering noise.
If you have raccoons in the wall, there’s a good chance that they’re coming down the wall from the attic, so you may want to read about how to get raccoons out of the attic.
How do you get a raccoon out of your wall? There are several approaches. First of all, see if the momma raccoon can be grabbed with a snare pole, from the top of the wall, in the attic, and dragged out — not a task for anyone but the most experienced of wildlife professionals! Then the babies can also be removed via the snare pole. If the mom isn’t present, just remove the babies and set them as «live bait» in the back of a trap to lure in the mother raccoon. But if the wall void is not accessible from the top of the attic, and about 75% of the time it will not be, then you’ll have to cut a hole in the wall, such as seen in the above two photos. The mom won’t stick around if you’re using a saw to cut a hole in the wall. Just be sure you know where you’re cutting first — don’t cut right on the raccoons, dummy, or you’ll hurt them! You have to listen and feel for the warmth of the raccoons against the wall, to identify EXACTLY where they are located, then you cut a hole next to, or most commonly ABOVE the raccoons. You can then use a thick glove or a snare pole, as seen above, and remove the young raccoons. Again, use the young to catch momma raccoon. A good wildlife pro will do the proper repair after removing raccoons from the wall.
NEED LOCAL HELP? We have wildlife removal professionals servicing 95% of the USA. Click here to hire a local raccoon removal expert in your home town. Updated 2018. But read the below advice first!
A reader wrote to me, expressing concern about the correct use of snare poles on raccoons (and other mammals). Here is what he wrote:
I am a wild animal rehabilitator and volunteer at the Kentucky Wildlife Center in Georgetown Kentucky www.kywildlife.org. I applaud your page’s content in regards to not harming the raccoons you find in walls. I do think that you should include in the body of the text the fact that you always have a snare pole around a leg and the neck of the raccoon, and not just the raccoons neck alone as you can easily break their neck with the rope around the neck alone. It appears you are using the snare correctly, but the photo is not clear and could seem like it is around the neck alone. — Ron
I do go around the neck and one of the front legs, in this case, the left front leg, even though you can’t see the snare loop. Thanks to Ron for pointing out this important advice. Of course, I do not suspect that anyone but a licensed wildlife operator will be using a snare pole, but if you are a wildlife operator reading this, be sure to use the snare pole correctly — around the neck and one front leg.
Article topics include:
How to get rid of raccoons in the wall.
Get raccoons out of the wall and keep them out.
How to remove raccoons from inside the wall.
Wildlife Education — Information, Advice, and Techniques for the Safe Removal of Raccoons from Walls
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 Wall of a Home — How to Remove
This page is about the removal of raccoons inside the wall of a home. As usual, it was a female raccoon with a litter of baby raccoon pups. They were making a LOT of noise, and the residents of the house could not sleep at night. They were actually nesting in the wall right over the bed and the heads of the people living in the house.
The mother raccoon tore a hole in the side of the house in order to get in. Raccoons are very strong, and can tear open a roof or wall if they want to get in. They’ll usually take an easier spot, like a soffit, but they’ll get in any way they can! This hole may not appear terribly large, but it never ceases to amaze me how wild animals squeeze through such tiny spots. Oh yeah — the customer tried to fix this hole, but momma raccoon tore it right open again the next night.
If you want to get rid of raccoons in the wall or attic, it’s best to call a professional. The people living in this house were do-it-yourself type people. They figured that they had squirrels in the wall, and they were trapping every squirrel in the neighborhood with cage traps, and (illegally) relocating them to property they did not have permission to release on. They had no trapping permits. Regardless, they were wrong. They in fact had raccoons. I took one look at the hole in the wall, and I told them that this was no squirrel! I solved their problem in under 24 hours, and now they get a good night’s sleep!
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For more raccoon trapping information, go back to the raccoon control page.
If you don’t live in Orlando FL, click here for the National Directory of Wildlife Trappers.
What to do when a raccoon is in the walls — Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to get the raccoons out of your home. An adult raccoon will probably have the run of the attic space, but she might just have a litter of kits hidden down in your wall. As these babies grow, theyвЂ™ll continue to live in the wall until itвЂ™s no longer practical. YouвЂ™ll know you have raccoons in a wall because of the scratching sounds around the baseboard. Sometimes you’ll hear them making vocal noises, almost like a sort of chirping sound. ItвЂ™s not always possible to retrieve the critters from the inside of the building. If youвЂ™re lucky, youвЂ™ll be able to pinpoint where they are inside and cut away your dry wall to fish them out. Sometimes the critters are in an exterior wall, and a professional will have to locate the heat source from their bodies and then make a precise cut into the exterior. If youвЂ™re paying someone to remove the raccoons, chances are that person will also be a skilled repairman. If there is interior access to the wall from the attic, it might be possible to use a snare pole to pull the raccoons up and out of the space. This isnвЂ™t the normal scenario, but sometimes you get lucky.
How to get raccoons out of the wall — Raccoons sometimes find shelter in the walls in most cases; they usually get stuck in the walls. You will know if a raccoon is stuck in the wall if you hear frequent scratching and high pitched noises. It is very tricky to remove raccoons out of the wall that is why the best option is to contact the professionals who will use the correct measures to ensure that they are safely removed from the walls. If it is impossible to get hold of the professionals, you can use the correct procedure that will remove the stuck raccoon out of the wall. If there are babies in the wall, then you have to be extra careful because they are a very delicate lot.
If they are not stuck in the walls, then there are high chances that they will come down from the wall into the attic. If the raccoon is stuck in the wall you can use one of the following techniques to get them out of the pole: You can lower a snare pole into the wall, if the raccoon is big enough, then it will be able to climb up using the pole and when it is at the highest point, you can grab it using your hand. If you are scared then you can use a box to trap the raccoon and thereafter release it away from your yard. If the raccoons are still young and have no clue of how to climb up the pole, you can cut a small hole slightly above the raccoons and you have to be very carefully to avoid harming the baby raccoons. When the hole is big enough to remove the raccoons, you can wear gloves and remove them from them from the wall and take them to their mother. You have to repair the walls after removing the raccoons to avoid them from returning into the wall. If you are incapable of repairing the wall, you can seek help from the experts.
Raccoons leaving in the walls — If they are not stuck but they are willingly using the wall as their habitat, you have to come up with the safest ways to get rid of them. They will definitely climb into the attic so that you can set your traps in the attic, at the entrance point into the wall. The best trap to use is a caged trap that will prevent from getting out once they are trapped. It is also the most effective technique because you will be sure when the raccoons have been trapped. You can also use repellents but they are not the most effective technique to remove the raccoons from the wall because they are likely to kill them especially if they are very lethal.