What Noise Does A Raccoon Make At Night

What kind of noises and sounds do raccoons make?

When you hear noises in the attic during the night, the greatest chance is that there are wild animal/s living within and they may be scratching the roof. Raccoons are one kind of animal that you can find in the attic and there are some noises that will help you realize that there are actually raccoons in there.

Thumping: when you hear thumping within the attic, this tells you that there is a larger animal within. The greatest likelihood is that there is an opossum or a raccoon living within. They may be engaging in activities such as jumping from one place to the next within the attic. They may be doing this while actively destroying or shoving something. They can also cause thumping sounds as they drug something heavy within the attic.

Scratching: the other noise that a raccoon can make while in the attic is scratch. There are lots of other animals that scratch and you will have to actually determine whether it is a raccoon or not. When you hear scratching, the animal within is most likely nocturnal. With scratching, you may not be able to determine whether the animal is big or not. Also, there are many factors that can influence the volume of the scratching especially where there is background noise.

Vocal noises: raccoons also make some vocal noises. Squirrels, opossums, mice and rats don’t make vocal noises while in the attic. When you hear any kind of vocal noises, then there is likelihood that there is a raccoon or an entire family living within.

What you should note is the fact that sometimes you can make a determination of the animal in your house just by paying attention to the noise. Raccoons are large and so the noise will be heavy. You will hear thumping as well as walking. Since they are nocturnal, you may hear the noises at night especially after dusk as the animal prepares to leave and as it returns. Timing may not be the same and at times, the raccoons can stir at daytime.

The vocal sounds made by raccoons are very distinct and they can vary. You can hear cries, chirps and other kinds of growls amongst other noises. When there is a family of raccoons that consist of a female and its litter, then you may hear a very distinct whining and crying of the babies that is very unique. This tells you that there is indeed a raccoon within the home. Go back to the How to get rid of raccoons home page.

If you need raccoons help, click my Nationwide list of raccoons removal experts for a pro near you.


Noises in the Attic at Night

If you hear noises in your attic at night time, there’s a good chance that you have a wild animal or two living in your attic and maybe scratching on your roof. I’ll do a quick analysis of the types of noise you might hear in your attic or roof at night:

Thumping: If you hear thumping in your attic at night, it’s most likely a larger animal, such as a raccoon or opossum, engaged in jumping from one area of the attic to another, actively shoving or destroying something, or dragging something heavy.

Scratching: Most animals scratch in the attic, to clear out space for nesting, or maybe to bury food. Raccoons, rats, mice, and squirrels all scratch. You’re most likely dealing with a nocturnal animal since you hear noises at night, so it may not be squirrel. The size of the animal is hard to tell — many factors influence the volume of the noise. A little mouse scratching directly on the sheetrock right above your head in a quiet house will sound louder than a big raccoon scratching a wood beam somewhere far off in the attic, in a house with a lot of background noise.

Rolling ball noises: Likely squirrels or rats rolling nuts.

Vocal noises: Most likely raccoon. Rats, mice, opossums, and squirrels don’t make vocal noises in the attic. This is a good clue that you’ve got a raccoon or a family of coons. Read below for the details regarding raccoon noises.

Raccoon Noises: It’s often possible to determine the type of animal by the noises alone. Raccoons are the largest of these animals, so the sound is often “heavy” – more like thumping or walking than the light scurrying of a rat. Additionally, raccoons are primarily nocturnal, so the noises occur at night. Most of the noise might happen shortly after dusk, when the animal leaves the attic, and again sometime in the night when it returns. However, the timing of the noise may vary, and sometimes raccoons will stir during the daytime. In addition, raccoons are often vocal, and it’s possible to hear their various growls, chirps, cries, and other noises. If there’s a raccoon family, consisting of a female and a litter of baby raccoons, you will very often hear the very distinct and unique crying and whining of the babies, surefire evidence of raccoon presence.

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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!

Read my articles about raccoon removal tactics for: noises in the attic, or noises in the ceiling, or noises in the wall.

If you are hearing lighter, faster, pitter-patter noises, or scurrying up the wall, or daytime noises, and don’t think you have a raccoon, but maybe rats, squirrels, etc, this website has detailed information on every different species of pest wildlife that inhabit homes: www.wildlife-removal.com.

So, scratching sounds in the attic at night could be from a number of different nocturnal animals. It could even be from the heating/cooling system, or branches of a nearby tree scraping against the roof. But most of the time, it’s an animal, and it’s pretty easy to tell when the noises are coming from something living. The methods used to solve problems by a number of animals, such as squirrels or rats are similar to raccoons in some ways — find the openings, remove the animals, fix the openings, clean the mess — but in other important ways, different animals require different approaches. This website really only deals with raccoons, but I’ve written guides for several animals, so either click the above wildlife-removal site, or you can even email me if you have any questions.

What sound do baby raccoons make — The sound baby raccoons make is a complicated on, full of chitters, warbles, vibrations, and screeches. The chitter is the most characteristic sound, and people can often verify the presence of babies just from the noise alone. If this is the sound you are hearing inside your walls, remember where it is. To properly catch and remove the adult, finding the babies is important. You can use the babies in a partitioned trap to lure in the mother. This is one of the most effective trapping methods for catching live raccoons. Sometimes you have no choice but to catch the mother first. If this is the case, and the kits are hidden in an inaccessible wall, knowing where they are by sound will help you when you have to cut an opening in the exterior of the home. You have to remove the babies; there is no other choice. If you leave them in the building to starve, you will still need to find them later when they start to stink. The only way to get rid of the odor from a dead body is the remove the dead body. If you wait for it to go away, you’ll be waiting months.

If you do hear the noises of a raccoon nest of babies, you’ll probably notice that it’s coming from above, in the ceiling, from the attic space, or maybe the walls, but never below, like in the basement or crawlspace below a house. Females have an instinct to make the nest up high, and the same goes for many other animals, like squirrels.

Real reader Situation: David, I had a new roof put on last fall and just a few weeks ago I heard something on my roof (tri-level home) and I’m hearing noise in my attic at night. It was right by my bedroom wall. I went downstairs and looked out the front window and sure enough was a raccoon bending over the gutter. The next day I had my neighbor look in the garage ceiling (storage) he didn’t see any holes, than he looked in the ceiling of my other bedroom to look at the roof and no holes there. The raccoon came back last night but I couldn’t see him. I only have a few evergreens close to the house could he be climbing up those to get to the roof. I don’t know what to do. Should I ask the roofer to come back to the house and inspect my roof for any holes, would they try to climb through a vent, I really I’m starting to worry about this. I don’t want them coming into the house. Any suggestions? Thank you, Kathy

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Are those bumping and scratching sounds in the attic, or on the roof, or both? If it’s inside the house, then the animal already got in, of course. Sometimes raccoons can open holes that are surprisingly hard to find, such as vents or soffit covers that open and close. If you don’t have an animal inside, then just double check to make sure that everything is secure. If you do, you may want to hire a pro in your city to remove the animal(s).

Article topics include: hearing sounds at night in the attic, noise coming from the attic or ceiling, hearing noises in the attic at night, nocturnal sounds from animals in the attic, crawlspace, walls, or ceiling at nighttime.

Wildlife Education — Information, Advice, About Sounds in the Attic at Night


What Sounds Do Raccoons Make?

Raccoons have a relatively large vocabulary amounting to about 51 recognized sounds, including adult raccoon purrs, snarls, chatter, squeals, whinnies, growls, hisses and screams and young raccoon twitters, coos, cries and mews. Raccoon vocalizations may resemble other animal sounds; for example, fighting raccoons may sound similar to fighting domestic cats, and their screams may resemble the call of a screech owl. Baby raccoons, known as kits, have vocalizations that are separate from typical adult raccoon vocalizations, and these sounds may become more intense based on the amount of stress the animal is experiencing.

Listening to recordings of raccoon vocalizations may assist with identifying this animal’s noises. While raccoons can be identified by their vocalizations, the fact that some of their noises resemble the calls and cries of other animals may mean that other forms of identification are necessary. In addition to their tittering and growling noises, raccoons can be identified by their tracks, which feature hand-like prints featuring five distinct clawed digits on both front and back paws. Raccoon scat is typically tubular and may contain evidence of the raccoon’s diet, including fur, seeds, berries or feathers. These agile and clever nocturnal animals are mostly peaceful but can be aggressive if they feel threatened.


Identifying a Raccoon: Noises, Tracks and Appearance

Think there’s a raccoon on your property? There are three primary methods that can help you identify evidence of a raccoon: noises, tracks and appearance. However, additional information on each method is needed to correctly identify the presence of raccoons and differentiate them from other wildlife. Below is some information that could help you recognize evidence of raccoons on your property.


So, do raccoons make noises? Yes, in fact many people hear raccoon noises at night due to their nocturnal habits. Raccoons can make different noises depending on the situation. For example, raccoons may whistle like an owl when communicating with other raccoons. Raccoons also growl in defense when in the presence of danger. Other vocalizations may include a low grunt, loud purr or even a scream (when under stress), which can indicate their presence to homeowners. In urban, suburban environments, raccoons are found in home areas such as attics, chimneys, roofs and under decks/porches.

Raccoon noises may be confused with vocalizations of other wildlife. For example, raccoon communication may be misidentified with the whistle of a screech owl. As such, sounds alone generally cannot be used to identify raccoons. Consider consulting a wildlife professional to help determine the pest that may have taken up residence in your home or on your property.


One of the most defining features of raccoon tracks (footprints) is their gait. When walking or running, their back footsteps directly next to their front foot on the opposite side of their bodies. The distance between steps may differ depending on the speed at which the raccoon is moving. Other distinctive characteristics of raccoon tracks show their claws, which appear in front of their paws pads in the track. While raccoons have unique track features, they’re still confused with other wildlife. Without knowledge of claw shape, raccoon tracks can sometimes be misinterpreted for otter and/or opossum tracks. It may be best to consult a wildlife specialist to help identify the species associated with the tracks.

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One of the most distinctive features of a raccoon is the patterns of fur colors its face. Black colored fur indicates the appearance of a mask around the eyes of raccoons, hence, may look like thieves in the night as they travel between properties. While raccoons are usually grey, black and white, they may also be brown. So don’t just depend on the coloring of its fur to identify the species unless you spot the black mask on its face. In addition, adult raccoons usually range between 18-28 inches in length and tails with a distinctive, ringed color pattern. Raccoons have sensitive forefeet designed for grasping objects and climbing but do not have an opposable thumb as in most primates.

Professional Identification

If you think raccoons may be lurking around your property, schedule a wildlife inspection with Terminix®. Our trained technicians have knowledge of common species in your area and understand characteristics used in identification. Our specialists can use their knowledge of noise, track and appearance identification techniques to help you determine the potential intruder in your home or on your property. Technicians can help remove raccoons and other unwanted wildlife pests from your property so you finally get some peace-of-mind.

The Best Mouse Trap Method

Everyone has seen the cartoon mouse trap: A big wedge of cheese perched precariously on a small wooden rectangle, just waiting for an unsuspecting mouse to come along. Most modern mouse traps don’t use pieces of cheese, although they can still use food as bait. One of the most popular baits, believe it or not, is peanut butter. There are still versions of the snap trap from cartoons, but there are also other kinds like electronic traps. Because these traps usually mean dealing with dead mice, plenty of people wonder if there’s a way to help get rid of mice without classic mouse traps. Although mouse traps are the most effective in helping to get of mice, you can also try the following natural methods to see if they help remove these pesky rodents.

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Fruit flies are one of the most common household pests and they can be a huge nuisance for homeowners. Not only that, but researchers have found that fruit flies can “transfer bacteria from a contaminated source, food, or waste to surfaces or ready-to-eat food.

Control Yard Invasions: Gophers, Moles, and Voles

Any homeowner with a yard runs the risk of having their lawn terrorized by burrowing animals. Gophers and moles are animals that can cause extensive damage to a yard by digging complex networks of tunnels below ground. While these pests are most likely to be active in the spring and summer when the soil is most malleable, they remain active in the winter by burrowing even further into the ground to escape the colder temperatures. Voles can also cause lawn damage with their runways. Though it may be hard to tell these pests apart, knowing what each animal looks like and how they cause damage can help you practice the best gopher, mole and vole control methods and protect your home’s yard.

How to Naturally Get Rid of Bugs on Plants

Buying houseplants can put you at risk for harboring unwanted pest infestations. Before these bugs cause damage to your new plant, know how to take care of them using natural remedies.

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  • Luke R says:

    I remember smoking a blunt on the side of some woods in a field behind a school with some friends about 15 years ago at night (central NY). All of a sudden we heard these LOW, guttural growls coming from the woods next to use — then we saw the eyes, like 6 pairs, about 3-4 feet off the ground. We ran away naturally, it was scary and we were way high. Weren’t chased though. I’ve thought maybe deer, wild boar, coyotes before … Now I’m wondering if it was racoons

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