How To Remove Raccoons From Your Attic
Raccoons in the attic can be a major issue. They are drawn there for shelter, but they will quickly make it their permanent home if you don't remove them promptly.
1. Locate All Possible Entrances
Raccoons seldom depend on only one entrance to access an attic nest. They often first find their way in through a hole in the eaves, a vent, the chimney, or a damaged area of roofing. They may then tear out another entrance or exit. Raccoons are quite cunning and strong, so it's not uncommon for them to actually tear a hole in the roof. You may be able to find the entrance(s) by simply inspecting your roof. Another method is to watch your home near dusk or dawn and make note of where the raccoon leaves or enters the attic.
2. Determine the Family Size
You may be lucky enough to only have one raccoon in the attic, but all too often the intruder is a female with young. If the young aren't yet mobile, they will need to be trapped and removed along with the mother. If you only have one raccoon or the young are mobile enough to leave with their mother for nightly feedings, you may be able to use an exclusion method to bar them from your attic.
3. Seal Up Most Entrances
If you opt for the exclusion method, your first task is to seal up all but the main entrance that the raccoon is utilizing. Keep in mind that a lightweight patch won't work, as a raccoon can quickly tear it off. A proper repair of each entrance must be completed. If you do opt for a short term repair, make sure to use materials, like thick wood and screws, that are difficult for a raccoon to remove. The goal is to provide the raccoon with only one way out of the attic.
4. Exclude and Remove
The exclusion method is performed at night after the raccoon has vacated the attic to hunt for food. As soon as you are sure that the raccoon and any young have left, you must seal up the one remaining entrance so they can't make their way back in the morning. The other option is removal. A trap must be placed in the attic, preferably when the raccoon is out for the night. They will then take the bait once they return, and they will be trapped.
5. Perform a Final Sweep
Once the raccoon is out of the attic, do a final sweep for possible entrances and make all necessary permanent repairs. It's also a good idea to prune back trees and move items away from the house that the raccoon was using to gain easy access to the attic.
Raccoons can bite, scratch, and carry dangerous diseases like rabies. In most cases, it is best to hire a professional animal removal service. For more information about animal removal, contact a local pest control company.