HELP! I have raccoons in my attic. How can
I get rid of them?
Just chasing the animal out somehow and then sealing off the entry point
will, almost always, not work because the raccoon will return and force
its way back in again. At this point, it will cause more damage than it
before.. You need to convince the raccoon that this is not a place
it wants to be. And if you can do that without calling in a
pest removal service or trapper, not only will you save money, but you
will save the raccoon's life.
First, are there babies in the
If you hear mouse-like squeals, chances are they're coming from baby raccoons.
March through June is usually baby time, unless you live in Florida like
me, then it can be year round. If you know
that there are young in the attic, wait as long as possible before you
attempt eviction. Not only will relocation of the nest be easier on the
older cubs but mother coons generally move the babies on their own when
they are about 8 weeks of age.
Raccoons dislike bright lights, loud noises
and strong odors.
Place bright lights in the attic. Additionally,
place motion activated devices or bring flashing lights if you have them.
Place a radio in the attic. Tune it to a loud
rock or talk station, with the volume set as high as you can stand it.
Leave it playing all day long, to disrupt the raccoon's sleep.
Place rags soaked with dog urine or Ropel (predator urine
available at hunting supply stores) in the attic. Bags of naphtha flakes or moth balls may also be placed around the attic but NOT near the nesting area. Ammonia or
ammonia-soaked cotton rags should NOT be used. If there are baby raccoons in the chimney, concentrated ammonia vapors or other caustic mixtures can damage the infant raccoons' mucous membranes. They can also cause an adult raccoon to become extremely agitated while attempting to flee from the vapors and it may provoke an attack. It is advisable that ammonia ONLY be used in open spaces, such as in a yard or around garbage pails, where a raccoon can easily flee from the vapors.
To heighten your success (particularly if you live
in a very cold area), before evicting the raccoon, you might want to make
provisions for an enticing den for the raccoon away from your house (this
can be anything from a woodpile to a wooden box with a small opening, perhaps
lined with blankets). You may want to make a trail of dry dog kibble
leading to the den.
Keep pets inside, especially at night, while eviction
proceedings are under way. Mama raccoon might not move her babies
if your pets are outside. Make sure your pets are up to date on their
Some say you can scare them out just by making your presence known: going
into the attic a few times a day with a flashlight, shining the light on
them, and talking to them. I suggest the indirect approach to avoid a confrontation.
not attempt to capture it yourself. Because
of the danger of rabies and other diseases and just plain agitated wildlife,
avoid any confrontation with the raccoon itself. A mama raccoon might misinterprete
your intentions as a threat and attack in defense of her babies.
The threat of rabies,
even in a perfectly healthly looking animal, will mandate its death for
rabies testing if you are even possibly exposed.
If these methods fail, contact a wildlife rehabber
in your area and ask for help in having the raccoon trapped (using hav-a-heart
traps). You can find a list of animal rehabbers, grouped by state,
at the WRID
website, or perhaps in your phone book or through a local vet.
Unless it is one recommended by a rehabber, call
animal control or pest removal services as a last resort.
Very few relocate raccoons and while some may have a rehabber they bring
wildlife to, most have no alternative except to euthanize the raccoon.
Relocating raccoons is not really the answer anyway. It is far better
and easier to use one of the above methods to encourage the raccoons to
Eviction Fluid ??? This stuff is touted as being designed for use on
female raccoon and their young. While the testimonial for this product
for sale on this professional nuisance wildlife operators website is fascinating
reading, the raccoon eviction fluid sounds almost too good to be true.
Who knows. Might be worth a try.
Hit the road Jack, and don't come
back no more, no more.
When you think the raccoons have left, you
can sprinkle Cayenne pepper around the entrance area, if that is possible
or try a repellent, such as Ropel or predator urine, sprayed around the
entrance area or use 2 Tbs. of Tabasco sauce to 1 qt. of water, sprayed
or painted around the entrance area. Before sealing the entry, tack a sheet
of plastic over the entry and check to see if animals have broken through.
(If they have, the plastic sheet is cheaper than repairing the damage).
Be sure to leave the light and radio on until there is no sign of activity,
and then permanently seal the entry. Just sealing the entry does
not work if the raccoons still WANT to get back in - make it so they don't!
When you are sure the raccoons have left,
securely close up their
entry/exit point so they can't get back in.
Prune back any tree branches that might have helped
them gain access to the roof and attic.
If the raccoon was using the attic for a while, it
may have been urinating and defecating on the roof or in the attic. For
cleaning the feces, contact a reliable professional or wear rubber gloves
and a mask and clean up such waste promptly, burying or burning the feces.
feces can harbor organisms (such as the parasitic raccoon roundworm
known as Baylisascaris procyonis) and if left exposed pose a hazard to
humans and wildlife. One woman wrote that she had so many raccoons
living in her attic over the years, she had to have her insulation replaced
because of the amount of feces contamination.
HELP! I have raccoons under my porch.
How can I get rid of them?
Read the above, substituting "under the porch" for
the word "attic".
When you are sure the raccoons have left,
install skirting around your porch.