How To Prevent Raccoons From Getting In To Your House
One of the main problems that many people will experience with raccoons is that they do not make good neighbors, and these adaptable creatures can be talented and creative when it comes to finding a way into the snug and warm spaces of a domestic property. Raccoons are expert climbers, and one of their favorite spots in any property is the attic, although they are also fond of spaces under decking or even in chimneys where they will feel safe, and in the case of a female where she can give birth to and raise her young.
If you have already removed the raccoons from your house, or if you have seen a raccoon in the neighborhood and want to make sure it doesn't become a very near neighbor, there are several ways to ensure that the raccoons don't get into your house.
Securing The Attic Or Roof Space
This is one of the most difficult, and also one of the most important ways to make sure that raccoons can't get into your house, as they will generally prefer a den that is above ground level to add to their feeling of security. If you live in a house that is several floors high, or you don't have the right tools, it is important to hire a professional
for this work, otherwise it is possible to do more harm than good. The first step is to carry out a visual inspection of the exterior, paying particular attention to any vents, soffits or exposed areas in the wall that would be easy to push through. If you have access to the roof space, it is also worth having a look inside to see if there are any obvious holes or entry points visible.
From the exterior, make sure that any vents sit tightly in their place and do not give when pushed. If the vent is loose or damaged, make sure that it is secured and repaired, and if it is a fairly weak plastic vent then it may be worth covering it with a metal mesh to make it more secure. Make sure that the soffits are in a good state of repair and that they do not give or move when pushed, otherwise the raccoon may try to dig through this as a potential entry point. Pay particular attention to any areas where the roof tiles meet the masonry, such as dormer windows, and make sure that there are no holes that could be exposed. While raccoons are quite big animals, they can squeeze in through some fairly small holes.
Installing A Chimney Cap Or Cowl
Whether you regularly use your fireplace or not, the chimney is another of the weak points in many homes that raccoons can exploit in order to gain entry, and like a hollow tree the chimney is often used as a nesting place for the raccoons. If you already have a chimney cap or a cowl in place, make sure that it is in good repair and that it cannot be easily dislodged or pushed through. If you don't use your fireplace then installing a solid chimney cap can prevent any raccoons from getting into the chimney, while those who use their fireplaces regularly can also install a cowl which allows smoke to escape but also protects the chimney from being occupied by raccoons and other animals.
Protecting Ground Level Cavities
Raccoons will usually prefer to have a den that is above ground level if possible, but they will also adapt to what is easily available, and if there are any spaces at ground level then raccoons could move in there. Examine the exterior of the property looking for any potential weak spots such as wooden vents or loose soil that can reveal an access point into the property. Make sure that these are repaired and secured, and if there are any spaces or gaps ensure that these are either cemented or covered in mesh to ensure that the raccoons cannot get in.
For those with a cavity under the decking or beneath a property extension, then a metal mesh can play an important role in keeping out any unwanted visitors. If you already have mesh in place make sure that it is in good repair, and that it is firmly embedded a few inches into the ground, as raccoons are clever enough to dig under a mesh that only goes down to ground level. If these spaces don't have a mesh cover in place over these access points, then it is a smart precaution to install a mesh to make sure that these cavities don't become home to a family of raccoons.