What To Do If You Find A Raccoon Family In Your Attic, Barn Or Outbuilding
There are few animals in North America that have adapted as well to the growth in human habitation in the country as well as the raccoon, and while it is extremely adaptable and a great survivor, the raccoon is not always the best neighbor. The attractions of buildings as potential homes can be quite significant for raccoons, with the the warmth, shelter and protection of a domestic building being amazingly attractive. They are also very clever and creative animals, and can show a tremendous amount of ingenuity when it comes to finding a way in to a dark and sheltered area of the building where they are often difficult to find.
Identifying Your Unwanted Guests As A Family Of Raccoons
When it comes to pest animals that can move into domestic properties or outbuildings, raccoons are one of many different animals that may be causing the noise in your attic or rooting through your garbage. A sign that can indicate that it is a family of raccoons that is present in your property is if there is a visible entry point fairly high up on the structure of the building. This will usually be made by pushing through a loose vent or clawing open loose or damaged soffits around the roof line, or in any badly sealed corners where the tiles of the roof join the edges of a dormer window.
Another sign worth looking for is whether any tiles have been pulled away from the roof itself, as the raccoons will often sense insects moving underneath the tiles, and will pull these away to try and get to the insects underneath. In the majority of cases, if a raccoon has moved into a building to make a den, it will be a female looking for somewhere to give birth, so if this happens between late March and July, then it is very possible that a family of raccoons may be your new neighbors.
Do You Need A Wildlife Removal Specialist?
When it comes to trying to deal with a raccoon problem, one of the most challenging aspects is that unless you encourage the raccoon to leave almost immediately after starting to create its den in an attic, barn or outbuilding, then it can be very difficult to get a raccoon to leave its nest. Trying to deal with a raccoon in close quarters is certainly not advisable either, as they can transmit a range of contagious and serious diseases to humans. Unless you have experience dealing with the removal of raccoons, then the best idea is to call an expert to help
resolve the problem and remove the raccoons permanently.
Dealing With Raccoons In The Attic
This is one of the most common problem that people can encounter when they find raccoons in or around their property, as raccoons are animals that naturally like to live in a den that is above ground level, while many people do not make use or regularly venture into their attic. The first step to take is to identify the point in the attic that the raccoons are using to get in and out of the attic, and then to look at laying traps in order to catch the raccoons. It is important not to repair the entry point to the attic with the raccoons inside, as they are likely to cause significantly more damage within the attic trying to find an alternative way out.
In order to deal with the family of raccoons effectively, what many trappers will do is to wait until they spot the mother leaving the attic, and then to go into the attic and to catch the kits, and then to use them to bait a large cage trap to catch the mother when she returns to the family. It is also possible to set traps around the point where the raccoon exits the attic, but many raccoons can be clever enough to avoid traps, as they are naturally cautious.
Dealing With Raccoons In Outbuildings And Barns
Because barns and outbuildings tend to be more open and have more entry and exit points, the approach in these buildings can be a little different. Some of the attractions of these buildings for raccoons is that they are often good sources of food, and they are also often darker and quieter than domestic buildings. Changing these facts can certainly make the buildings less welcoming, and in some cases leaving a bright light directed at the raccoon's nest or removing any pet or animal food can help to make it much less attractive.
When it comes to trapping and removing the raccoons from these buildings, it is important to look at the paths that the raccoons use to move around the area, and to set the traps around this area. While catching the young and using these to lure the mother into the trap, other bait such as cat food, marshmallows or any food with a scent can be effective.
Repairing The Damage And Preventing Recurrence
Once the raccoons have been successfully removed from the property, there will often be a fair amount of damage to repair, particularly if they have been in an attic, where they can tear at the insulation and gnaw wires. It is also wise to get a professional to carry out this work, or to purchase the right equipment yourself, as the area is likely to have salmonella, raccoon roundworm and leptospirosis that can be spread through the raccoon feces and urine. It is vital to ensure that any entry points to the attic or outbuilding are sealed to make sure animals cannot get back in.
The second step is to look at options that will make other raccoons less likely to return, including installing an electric fence, motion activated floodlights or even taking simple steps to secure garbage and pet food.