If you are hearing noises in your attic such as running, crying and or growling you could have a raccoon or raccoons with babies in your attic or soffet area. If you do have raccoons in your home you will know it, they will drive you nuts! It is baby season for raccoons. There are humane ways remove Raccoons and their babies from your home.
First, let’s address the age old question.” How do I know if I have a raccoon problem?” There are many telltale signs to knowing that you have a raccoon in your home.
- You know the sound your dog makes when it scampers across your hardwood floors? Well put that noise above your head in your bedroom and that’s the sound a grown raccoon makes when he’s running through your attic. Now the problem is,is that you only start hearing that noise when the raccoon or raccoons have been there for a while and have stomped your insulation down enough that they are now walking on your rafters.
- Especially this time of year you will hear what sounds like a dog fight going on up there. This is because when the female raccoon is getting ready to have her young she kicks the male out. The reason being that the male has absolutely no attachment to the babies and will eat them. Some new females have been known to do the same. On the whole, female raccoons are very good moms and will do anything to protect their young. Anyway once the fight is over don’t think they are gone he is she’s not. She might go out for one more feed before she stays in for almost a week. In that time you could hear panting or moaning in the first night after that she will stay in nurse and keep them warm and safe as the male might still be lurking around she will clean the kitts (babies) and eat the placenta. One for nourishment, two as too not draw her male or any others to the blood and her babies. After a week of no water and crying babies she’s had enough. She’ll leave and you’ll hear her leave as she doesn’t care if you hear her any more. Like any woman after having a baby she needs a break and a drink. Problem being that till now YOU haven’t heard the babies crying. NOW YOU WILL AND THEY WON’T STOP TILL SHE COMES BACK AND NURSES THEM!!!!!! Believe me she takes her time coming back. Then she will leave them for a few hours every night while she goes hunting for food and they will cry the entire time. The other problem being that she usually picks the quietest part of your home to have them which is above your bedroom. So when she goes out you’ll stay up.
- You will see the male sitting on your roof or back porch just hanging around he is looking for a new place to live as he has lost his usefulness. He doesn’t like to work very hard. He’ll look to your shed, deck or neighbour’s house as a place to go.
- Where the female raccoons are sneaky and usually have more than one hole, one you can see and one or two escape holes. The male will simply go on your roof and rip your roof vent off and walk in.
- A raccoon’s favorite entry area is where the roof and the soffet meet. All they have to do is push on the siding and they are in. They then use it like a door.
- Raccoons will also be found in chimneys, especially in the older houses. This is because in the older houses they ruffed in fireplaces on each floor to let the main fireplace heat the rest of the home. This is the perfect apartment for a female raccoon. It’s a nice warm cubby-hole that is really hard for us to get at. That is until the babies start moving around. Then they all end up sitting on the flu. If you have noticed a dirty cat fishing smell in your fireplace area that’s why. DON’T START A FIRE AND THINK THAT, THAT IS GOING TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM! All that will do is make momma mad she will get as many of the babies up to the cubby space as she can and you won’t get her out. All you will have accomplished is smoking out your entire house with that wonderful dirty cat fishy smell. Your wife will end up kicking you out.
Trapping takes that raccoon away but doesn’t prevent other raccoons from moving in. The reason that fact is SO important is that female raccoons are very clean. They have their babies above your bedroom and they will do their business above your bathroom. That’s why when you turn on your bathroom fan you might also smell dirty fishy cat. When she is looking for a male she will do her business on the roof. She will draw any males that are near. Problem being that, that sent never goes away unless disinfected properly. So you can live trap all you want but it isn’t going to solve your problem in the long run. If you have known anyone that has had a raccoon problem and thought they solved it themselves by buying a trap. They’ll say “Yah trapped a couple of raccoons last year now I got them back again.”. They don’t have the same raccoons back. What they have are the males come looking for the females, or the babies that were born there coming to have their own babies.
Second question “How do I get rid of the Raccoons in my attic? The best most effective way to remove raccoons from your attic is the following:
- Make a one-way-door to fit the main hole of the raccoons layer. Use Plexiglas so that the raccoon can see out and will go out. Once she is out the heavy duty spring on the door will slam the door shut. Due to the way the door is made the raccoon won’t be able to open it to get back in.
- Properly seal up any other holes and or areas that she might get back in through.
- Cap your vents and chimneys. Which means secure your vents including plumbing stacks at the base with heavy gauge mesh that they can’t penetrate but still allows the vents and chimney to work properly.
- Once momma’s out go into the attic and find the babies if there are any. There are usually anywhere from 2 to 6. Then place them and their nest of insulation outside where she can take them to their new home. This all has to be done right. Don’t think that by reading this you can follow these instructions and do it yourself. Well you can but you will end up calling me to fix the job! If you don’t do it right she could get spooked and move the babies. The babies could fall down into the wall. You will then have at best three days to find those babies before they die in your walls. Then you want to see an angry animal watch out. Momma will rip the siding right off the side of your house to get at them!
- Once the raccoon and her babies are out you will access the damage that your unwanted tenants have caused. Problem being while the female is very clean. The male and babies aren’t. When momma goes out the babies will chew on whatever is available,wiring, rafters. They teethe just like real babies. They also poop like real babies, everywhere. So we check to make sure that your wiring is intact. That there is no structural damage and that the insulation hasn’t been to badly stomped.
- If everything checks out you will disinfect the attic area to remove the female scent and odour. So that you won’t have any other visitors.
- If insulation is damaged it will need to be removed, disinfected and replaced with blown in R75 insulation. The raccoons don’t like it. You will when you get your next heating bill.
I can’t stress enough to leave the entire process to the professionals. It isn’t as easy as it sounds and your always run the risk of another raccoon hiding in the rafters. Females will nest together. This will give you a guideline as to what a professional should do. So that you can make an informed discussion when hiring an Animal Removal Company to help you with your problem.