How To Keep Raccoons Out Of 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.
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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 and keep raccoons out of my attic in Pennsylvania | Raccoon
Pennsylvania > Animal is living inside my attic > Raccoon
How to get and keep raccoons out of my attic
To let raccoons escape an attic or building, place an exclusion gate like this over entrances where animals are entering.
Raccoons need only a 4-inch gap to enter a space. They find their way into attics at points where different building materials join, through attic vents, or by tearing off fascia or shingles. Raccoons can cause significant damage to homes and buildings by pulling apart vents, soffits, and roofing to get inside. Once they are in, they damage insulation, wires, and stored items and also contaminate insulation, ceilings, etc. with feces and urine. Due to the level of damage and associated safety hazards posed by raccoons living in and around homes, prompt removal is recommended.
Breeding season should be taken into consideration when planning removal so that young raccoons are not trapped away from their mothers. If it is a female with young, wait a few weeks. After the young are weaned the mother and cubs may well move out on their own.
Carefully inspect your house to determine all entry points; they will need to be repaired following removal of the problem raccoon(s).
Cage traps can be effective for raccoon removal. Place them near entry points and bait them with fresh fruit, cat food, canned fish, or professional paste baits and lures. Because raccoons can carry rabies, they should not be relocated. You are encouraged to release trapped raccoons on the property where they were caught.
Frightening methods may be effective. You may even be able to frighten them out by cautiously going into the attic or den area briefly presenting a threat like bright lights and/or loud noises at dusk just before their normal activity period.
Professionals get pre-exposure vaccination for rabies since the raccoon is a rabies carrier; you might want to consider using a professional rather than risking a bite yourself.
Mother raccoons will return for their young. You can carefully capture cubs with gloved hands or by using a capture pole/graspers. Place the young raccoons in a cardboard box, secured outside and near the entry hole, at dusk.
Once the raccoons are out, seal all entry points. Cover all openings with heavy material, such as wire mesh, sheet metal, or metal flashing.
Be sure to clean up any nesting debris and mess left by the raccoons. If you are dealing with raccoon feces, take care to avoid exposure to raccoon roundworm eggs. Raccoon roundworm can cause blindness, brain damage, and death. Ideally, hire a professional service to clean up raccoon waste.
If you do clean up the waste yourself, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends you take care to avoid contaminating your hands and clothes. Wear disposable gloves to help prevent cross contamination. Wear an N95-rated respirator if working in a confined space to prevent accidental ingestion of eggs or other harmful materials. Avoid stirring up dust and debris by using a spray bottle to lightly mist the area. Wear rubber boots that can be scrubbed or cover your shoes with disposable booties so that you do not bring eggs into your living space. Material contaminated with raccoon feces should be removed and burned, buried, or sent to a landfill. Treat feces-soiled surfaces with a damp (but not wet) sponge and wipe the area with hot soapy water. Rinse the sponge frequently. After you are finished, flush dirty water down the toilet. Place the sponge in a plastic bag for disposal. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm running water then take a shower and wash your hair. Clean/launder your clothes thoroughly with hot water and detergent.