Suburban Raccoons

Raccoons Attic Removal

July 21st, 2014 ernie Posted in Raccoons in the Attic No Comments »

Raccoons Attic RemovalRaccoons attic removal can be a messy job as shown in the picture on the left, particularly if they have been in your attic for some time. They love attics because the attic is relatively warm compared to being outside, it is a protected place so no worry from enemies and it has lots of soft material to make a den for their babies. If you suspect that there are raccoons in your attic make sure you deal with the problem immediately to avoid a mess like this one. It can even ruin your homes value since the insulation is compromised and consumers just do not want to deal with this kind of issue. If you deal with the issue immediately, before they have babies you can minimize the amount of damage. Many companies will not remove adult raccoons when there are young raccoons involved until they can get around on their own. There is too much risk of further damage from the adults attempting to rescue their young.

Raccoons Attic Removal – Safety Concern

The scat from raccoons can contain round worms. They are very tiny and can be accidentally ingested if you are cleaning an attic unprotected. They can cause all kinds of health issues for humans. Make sure that you hire professionals that know what they are doing to clean up your attic. Many will consider this as an bio hazard and treat it accordingly. The feces and the urine soaked insulation must also be properly disposed of. If you suspect raccoons in the attic, get rid of them immediately.

Raccoons Attic Removal – How to Get Rid of Them

The best way to get rid of raccoons in the attic and keep them out is to install a one way trap door so that they can leave, but not get back into your attic. Once they are out, install heavy gauge chicken wire across all openings to keep them out and any other animals out as well.  Trapping them etc simply does not work since there are  other raccoon families that will simply take up residence and occupy the vacated den.

If they have babies in the den you are going to have to either wait until they are old enough to travel on their own or physically remove them once the parents are out. If you leave them in the den to die, the parents will rip your roof apart to try and rescue them plus you are going to have a very bad smell in your attic.

Once you are sure they are all out of the attic or whatever space they are occupying, replace the trap door and  install heavy gauge wire mesh over all openings. Be sure to apply caulking to the roof wherever nails or screw nails are used to avoid water damage of any kind. You really do not want to replace one problem with another.

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Remove Raccoons from Your Attic

July 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Raccoons in the Attic No Comments »

Remove RaccoonsThe picture on the left shows what can happen if you do not quickly remove raccoons from your attic. This is really a mess with all of the raccoon scat or feces that are shown here. What you do not see is the urine that must also be in the insulation as well. The insulation is flattened out and also soaked with urine and providing little or no insulation value in this particular home. We strongly urge consumers to deal with the issue of removing raccoons from your attic quickly so  that you can minimize the damage to your home and also avoid the major cleanup bill that is also required. In addition with so much feces and urine there also has to be a bad smell inside the house in addition to the attic.

Remove Raccoons from Your Attic – The right Way

If you have raccoons in your attic, hire a professional to remove them only if they use one way trap doors that will allow them to get out of your attic and not back in.If they tell you they will trap the raccoons and take them away, this will not solve the problem. Either these same raccoons will come back or others in the neighborhood will just move in. You must get them out and keep them out.

Once they are out consumers with this problem can install heavy gauge wire mesh over the opening after repairing any damage at the entry point. This will keep these raccoons and others in the area along with squirrels and other animals from taking up residence. Also make sure that if they have babies, these are also able to get out and away from your house. If they remain inside your attic and the parents are outside, the parents will do everything in their power to rescue their babies. this could mean literally tearing your roof apart to gain access.  It could mean a lot more damage and a lot more expense.  Even if you have to wait until they are mobile you might actually save some money if you wait until they are old enough to get out of the attic on their own.

Once they are out you can focus on cleanup and repair.

Remove Raccoons from Your Attic – Cleanup

We do not recommend that consumers do the cleanup themselves. This is a messy job and a potentially hazardous job due to potential health issues. You will need to hire a company who specializes in removal of this material and arranges for it to be properly disposed of.

Once it is removed including the insulation, new insulation can be installed to current levels in terms of R values. Although this will cost a great deal of money, consider that it will be impossible to sell your home unless it is repaired in this manner. A home inspector would pick this up quickly and most potential buyers would run once they became aware of a problem like this unless it is repaired. Also no one really wants to live in a home with no insulation value and knowing that all of this material is in your attic.

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Raccoons in Your Attic

May 21st, 2014 ernie Posted in Raccoons in the Attic No Comments »

Raccoons in your atticIf you have raccoons in your attic like this home owner does, then you already know how much damage they can cause. Not only has the soffit been ruined, they have destroyed the insulation and now there appears to be a a large icicle hanging from the roof which means there is a lot of heat and moisture escaping from his home. It is costing him more to heat his home and there is the possibility of water damage to his ceiling, walls and floors inside his house. Then there are the feces and urine from the raccoons in and on the insulation to deal with. Basically you need to replace all of the insulation and make all repairs. The cost of repairs once he gets rid of the raccoons in his attic could go well into the thousands of dollars.  Deal with the problem quickly so that you do not have this huge bill. Most of us cannot really afford to pay for these damage repairs even if you have insurance.

Raccoons in Your Attic?

If you detect that there are raccoons in your attic, do something about the problem immediately before they cause a great deal of damage like what has been shown in this picture. Once they have babies and are nursing them in your attic, it is pretty difficult to get them out without causing more damage.

The best approach is to install a one way trap door so that they can get out but not back into the den they have created in the attic. If this is done as soon as you notice them, there will be a great deal less damage done to your attic. Moth balls, loud noise and trapping them just do not work contrary to what you might find on other web sites.

Repairing damage Done by Raccoons in Your Attic

Aside from the obvious surface damage that is shown in this picture, consumers may have to consider removing all of the insulation in the attic if they have been there for some time. Urine and feces will be everywhere and this also can cause health issues for humans if not handled properly.

Wear proper protective clothing and a mask to prevent ingesting any floating particles into your lungs. This can cause severe health issues if you do not take the precautions. If there are babies in the attic, you will have to get them out or wait until they are old enough to travel on their own. While this may be frustrating, the parents will cause more damage as they try to create another entrance to the den in your attic to get to their babies. Either wait until they are old enough to travel on their own or go in and get them out yourself.

While it might be frustrating to wait, the alternatives can be even more expensive if the raccoons tear your roof apart trying to rescue their young pups or make another entrance somewhere else around your home. An alternative is to enter the attic once you are sure the parents are out and cannot get back in. Remove the young pups yourself by going into the attic and placing them outside somewhere where the parents can find them. Wear protective clothing a face mask and gloves if you decide to attempt this yourself.

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Raccoons in Attic

May 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Raccoons in the Attic No Comments »

Raccoons in AtticWhat a mess this raccoon has made when they got into this man’s attic? Raccoons in attic’s can cause a lot of damage in several different ways. First of all there is the damage to the exterior of your home as shown in this picture. Then there is the rain and snow if you live in areas were they get snow. Rain and snow can blow in and cause all kinds of water damage to the walls,  the ceiling and the flooring if a lot of moisture enters the home. This damage can penetrate all of the way into your living area of your home if the situation is not dealt with quickly.

What you cannot see is the damage that raccoons in attics do inside the attic. They will move the insulation around so that you now have cold spots in your ceiling. They will urinate and defecate in your attic leaving a terrible mess that is not only smelly, but it also poses a health issue as well. Worms in the feces can cause serious health issues for humans if accidentally ingested by breathing them in when you are in the attic cleaning up the mess. Always wear protective clothing and breathing material to prevent any possibility of this occurring. The worms are tiny and are carried in the air once the feces dry out in the hot air of the attic.

How Can You Get Rid of Raccoons in Attic’s

It is actually pretty easy if done in the right manner. First of all, loud noises do  not work, moth balls do not work and trapping raccoons does not work. They are for the most part too smart to enter a trap, especially the older ones. They have live around humans too long and are suspicious of anything that could enclose them.

The best way is to install a one way trap door over the opening so that raccoons in attic can get out but not back in. After you are sure they are out, repair the opening and block it with heavy gauge wire mesh so that they cannot get back into the den that they created in your attic. If you do not do this, the raccoons will just move back in to your home.

What About Young Raccoons in Attic

If they have babies inside your attic, you are going to have to do one of two things. Either install the one way trap door as described and then go into the attic and remove the babies from your attic. You can put them outside somewhere where the parents are sure to see them.

If you do not take the above step the raccoon parents will try to make another entrance to your attic to rescue the young baby raccoons, causing even more damage. The other approach is to wait until all of the raccoons in the attic are old enough to travel on their own and then install the one way trap door. You might have more of a mess, but this is the best approach by far since you will be sure they are all out and will not cause more damage.

Install wire mesh over all other potential openings to keep other raccoons out as well as birds and squirrels. While this may cost a bit more to implement, it is better to be safe than sorry.

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Raccoon attic

April 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Raccoons in the Attic No Comments »

Raccoon atticThe picture on the left is pretty typical of the damage that raccoons can do when they get into your attic and set up a home. In this case they have easy access from the roof and have just push anything they do not want out onto the roof!

They have easy access and so does the rain and snow which can cause more problems than just the raccoons. The rain and snow will cause water to get inside introducing mold and water damage to your walls and floors. A simple hole on the side of your home can transition into thousands of dollars in damages if you do not do something about it quickly.

The raccoons themselves have damage your house. They have torn the wall apart and they have torn some of the insulation out which is going to mean that your home is now not as well insulated. In addition they will leave feces and urine inside your home which over time is going to cause more problems such as a bad smell and also chances of infectious materials being left in your home.

Call a Professional Raccoon Removal Company

Forget about trapping them or trying to scare them away. Most urban raccoons have seen it all and are very careful of anything that could represent danger for them. In addition, even if you could trap them, unless you complete repairs properly another family is just going to make a new hole and set up shop.

The best way to get them out is to install a one way trap door over the opening so they can get out but not back in. Once they are out the company you hire can replace the one way trap door with a more permanent wire mesh covering so that they can never get back in at that particular spot.  You will want to make repairs first to the siding or the soffit before placing the wire mesh over the opening.

Make Sure the Pups are Old Enough

If there are baby raccoons inside your home, you have to wait until they are old enough to get out on their own, otherwise the parents once they are locked out will literally tear your roof apart to try to rescue their young. they are very protective and will do just about anything to rescue them.

The other approach is to make sure the parents are out and if you can gain access to the young pups get them out yourself. Be careful you do not cause more damage and wear a mask to avoid ingesting any spores and dust into your lungs which can cause serious health issues.

Hire Professionals who Know What they are Doing

If someone tries to tell you that they are going to trap them and remove the raccoons this way, tell them not to bother. First the raccoons are unlikely to enter the trap. Second, other raccoons in the area will eventually move into the now vacated den. You need to put the wire mesh over the opening anyway so you may as well do the job the right way the first time.

Lastly many local bylaws require that trapped animals be dropped off within a half mile of where they were caught. This is next to useless since they will just come back to your home the same night or perhaps the next night.

Finally, have the company you are working with cover all other areas that are potential entry points for raccoons, squirrels and birds. You may as well get the job done right the first time vs. needing to call them back some time later.

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Raccoon in attic

February 21st, 2014 ernie Posted in Raccoons in the Attic No Comments »

Raccoon in atticRaccoon in attic – We have written many posts on this website about raccoons in the attic, and decided to summarize the steps you need to take to do the best job of removing these raccoons from your attic. This is based on personal experience with raccoon in attic and also on having tried a number of approaches, none of which worked except for the one we recommend in this post.

Dealing with Raccoon In Attic

  • Forget about poison, forget about traps, forget about trying to discourage them with loud noise, music and even moth balls. These things just do not work over the long-term and some not at all. If you are lucky enough to trap a raccoon, you have to get rid of a snarling very unhappy animal. Where do you release it and what about other raccoons living in your area? They will just move into the vacated den in a month or two. this approach clearly does not work in the short-term and definitely not in the long-term.
  • Install a one-way trapdoor so that raccoons and their babies as long as they’re old enough to travel on their own, can get out the trap door but not back into your attic. You may have to wait until they are old enough to travel on their own. If they are left in the attic and the parents cannot get back in you risk dead raccoons in your attic or a wrecked roof from the raccoons trying to get back in or both. The damage could be extensive so make sure the babies can get out on their own.
  • Cover all other potential entrances with heavy gauge wire mesh so that no animals including raccoons can get into your attic. If you only focus on the entrance they have created into your attic, you could just force them to create or find another one. Try to cover all potential areas so that there are no more problems.
  • Be careful to seal all nail holes and screw nail holes in the roof with waterproof caulking to avoid water damage to the inside. Every time a nail or a screw goes through the shingles there is a possibility of water leakage when it rains. Sealing these nails etc with water proof caulking will ensure that no water gets into your home and causes more damage.
  • If you take these steps, you will never have any problems with animals of any kind inside your home or attic.

Raccoon in attic – Safety and Health Issues

If you decide that you must go in the attic, make sure you wear a breathing mask and avoid breathing any feces that have turned into dry powder in the hot attic. This can cause all kinds of unhealthy conditions in humans which you do not want to even think about. We have reviewed these health issues on other posts on this blog.

Raccoon feces are full of worms and bacteria that are not very nice. They are so small that they float as particles in the air when disturbed and can be ingested into your lungs which can cause irreparable damage to your lungs and even result in death if not treated properly. Take the precautions and avoid any future problems with raccoon feces. Depending on how badly the insulation is contaminated, you may need to remove all of the old insulation and have new insulation installed. Take appropriate precautions to avoid any health issues.

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My Neighbor Has Raccoons in the Attic

November 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Raccoons in the Attic No Comments »

Raccoons in the AtticMy neighbor found out one day that raccoons had pushed the soffit in at the roof line and made a hole to get inside his attic. They must have climbed up the fence and onto the roof and then into the attic via the soffits! This can be a major issue for many home owners. First there is the idea of animals in your home, secondly there is the mess they make and then you need to spend some time and money getting rid of them. If you do not believe that they can climb up the brick of your home, think again. They are very adept at climbing and they have incredible dexterity in their claws to manipulate a variety of things. They are very smart, have good memories and will get into many different homes with the same layout and design.

Raccoons in the Attic – What Did it Cost to Get Rid of Them?

Fortunately they were Only inside for a week and did not do much damage. He called an animal removal company who gave him a quote for $1250 which they eventually reduced to $1100! This is still a lot but what are you going to do? If you know what you are doing and not afraid to get on the roof, anyone can do this work themselves. If you are afraid of heights or you are not very handy, then the best solution is to hire someone. It is important to have this work done as soon as possible after they get into the attic, to reduce the amount of damage that they do to your attic.

They installed a one way trap door over the entrance area so the raccoons can get out but not back in. They also installed wire mesh over all other potential areas where the raccoons, birds or squirrels could get in. All told there were nine potential entrances that now have wire mesh over them. The one way trap door is very important. The raccoons can get out and not back in. it also has a flag that indicates that the raccoons have left the attic which is nice to know! Squirrels and birds are also blocked from getting in as well with all of these potential areas now blocked.

Removing the Trap Door

Once the raccoons are gone, the one way trap door is removed and replaced with a permanent solution that will prevent them from getting into the attic ever again. Basically it is heavy gauge wire mesh that is screw nailed to the roof. There is no way that they can get through that.

Good job but cost $1100! Some of the work he could have done himself and reduced the price but not all of it. Also this us still way cheaper than removing all of the insulation and feces if they had been there a long time. Don’t wait, dell with this problem as soon as you notice and go for a permanent solution. Even if you deal with the current residents, others will move in later if you do not seal off the attic.

If you need to have your roof replaced at some point the wire mesh will need to be removed so that the shingles underneath can be replaced. Once the new roof is on, replace the wire mesh to prevent any future raccoons from getting in. Whether you are aware of it or not they are always looking for a place to live and will be back if you do not prevent them from getting in. We had this same wire mesh installed and for two years we could see tracks on the roof of the raccoons trying to get in at the same location. Fortunately they could not enter our attic, with this wire mesh installed.

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Relocating Raccoons

September 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Raccoons in the Attic No Comments »

Relocating RaccoonsIf you have raccoons in the attic there is only one way to get rid of them and that is not trapping or poisoning them. Both solutions do work sometimes but then new families of raccoons are just going to move in, in a short time. There are many families of raccoons in a square mile around your area regardless of where you live and if there is a vacant den, they will just move into it. They are able to tell if a den is vacant or not and will take over from the previous tenants.

The other surprising thing is that they will have 4 or 5 dens that they move around to in the neighborhood. Just like your rich relatives they have a number of homes that they can move into that is close to a current food sources. They may take up residence for a little while in one and then move to the next one once the local food source becomes thinned out. You want to make sure that there are no sources of food around your home that they can get into. This includes your outdoor garbage cans, grubs in the lawn and so on. Make it unattractive for them to live in your area, otherwise they will hang around and there is no telling what mischief they will get into.

Not Relocating Raccoons

The best way to get rid of raccoons is to build a one way trap door so they can get out and not back in. The trap door is installed over the entrance of the den. All other areas that could be potential entrances should also be closed off.  Once they are gone you can change the one way trap door and replace it with a permanent heavy gauge wire mesh across the opening.

If they have babies make sure they are old enough to move on their own and get out. If they cannot get out, you risk the parents trying to rescue them and that means they will literally tear your roof apart trying to get to them. In addition, most people do not want the smell of a rotting carcass in their attic. It does not smell good and then there is the fact that these babies had to die in your attic. This is not something you would be proud of. If they have young babies in the attic, chances are you are just going to have to wait until they are old enough to get around by themselves.

Permanent Solution to Relocating Raccoons

Once they are gone , replace the trap door with a permanent heavy gauge wire mesh to keep them out on a permanent basis! Not only your raccoons but other raccoon families will be kept out, in addition to squirrels and birds. We did this and we could see tracks in the snow for months afterwords  on the roof leading to the spot where the entrance was. They could not get in and had to move to another location.

While you are covering the entrance, make sure that you also install this wire mesh at all other potential locations. This protection will also keep out squirrels and birds as well from getting in where they are not supposed to be. There are companies available who have the equipment and knowledge to install these trap doors properly. If you are uncomfortable doing this work yourself or do not want to get up on the roof, don’t hesitate call them immediately to avoid further damage to your attic and your roof.

If you need to screw nail the mesh into the roof, make sure that you fill the hole and cover the screw head with water proof caulking. This will prevent water from damaging your roof and causing other problems.

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Raccoons in the Attic

March 7th, 2012 ernie Posted in Raccoons in the Attic No Comments »

Are you wondering how raccoons could possibly get in your attic? Well there are numerous ways they can get to your roof and from there into your attic, were it is nice and warm and protected from the elements! We had a family of raccoons in our attic and we will tell you about how they found their way into ours. If you need information about getting rid of them, we have lots of articles and posts about dealing with this problem and some of the safety issues on our web site. Check out the categories and recent posts about raccoon issues that you will need to deal with. These include: getting rid of Raccoons, Dealing with Raccoon Scat and also once they are out, how do you keep them out.

How did Raccoons Get in the Attic

This post however is all about how they get into the attic. Our home is pretty typical. We have a brick front and the sides and back are clad with siding. There are tree’s in front and on the side, but they are not touching the house or the roof. so when we first found that raccoons were in our attic, we wonder how they got there. Well it turns out they are great climbers as the picture on the left shows.  This guy is on the 6th floor of an apartment building! They climbed right up the brick on the front of our home and then onto the roof over the garage!

Raccoons in the AtticOnce they were on the roof, it was a simple matter to get into the attic space over the living room. Our house has a roof that overlaps another roof . Where it overlaps there is a spot were the soffit ( that is the areas under the roof on the side of the house were your roof juts out, away from the side of the house usually or in this case over a lower roof) is easily accessed and they were able to push one of the metal flanges up and then crawl into the attic.

They had a grand time in there burrowing under the insulation and creating a little raccoon family home to have and raise their young.  Once I figured out that they were there and how they were getting in,  you might think that is a simple matter to get these raccoons out of our attic. Not so, due to the time of year and the age of their pups. It seems that if you block the access to the attic, they will try desperately to get back inside and may even tear your roof apart in order to get inside and back to their babies. There is a right way to stop them and there is also a right time to get them out as well.  We strongly suggest you read some of our other posts before you proceed with removal so that you do not waste your time and your money or just make the problem a lot worse.

Forget About Trapping Raccoons

If you think that you are going to trap these pesky critters, chances are your going to fail since they are really smart and urban raccoons are well versed in avoiding traps. If you are lucky enough to trap one, check with your local community on the bylaws concerning what you can and cannot do with raccoons. You may be surprised to learn that you are not allowed to take them very far away from your home.

Even if you can take them many miles away, you really have not solved the problem. Once your attic has become a den, families of raccoons can tell that first of all there is a den and secondly whether it is occupied or not. when one moves out for what ever reason another family is just going to move back in. The best way to get rid of raccoons is to install a one way trap door over the entrance to the den in your attic so they can get out but not back in. check out some of our other posts on this subject.

We have lots of posts about this subject and what to do on this web site so check out the posts that deal with getting rid of raccoons. Happy reading and good luck.


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Our Experience with Raccoons in the Attic

April 7th, 2011 ernie Posted in Raccoons in the Attic 4 Comments »

Raccoons in the AtticWe have had raccoons in our attic for 4 months this spring until I was able to trap the young raccoons and take them into the country.  This was actually something we were not supposed to do. Believe it or not there are restrictions about removing animals from their natural habitat (my attic) more than two blocks away. Moving raccoons in this case is actually useless, since they will come back and move right back into your home, if you do not take additional steps. Also other raccoon families will notice a vacant den and move in as well. There are many roving families of raccoons in a square mile and they are always on the lookout for a vacant den which in this case would be my attic. There is another better method to follow.

Raccoons in the Attic – What to Do

They are incredibly smart and will avoid entering traps, music in their dens does not bother them and certainly moth balls in the attic also do not work to get rid of them. They have experienced all of these things in suburbia and just ignore them The only way to remove them is to install a one way trap door at the entrance to their den so they can get out but not back in. There is a good time to do this and a bad time to install this one way trap door. It is very important to make sure that the babies can get out. They must be old enough to travel and if they are trapped inside your attic the parents literally will tear your roof apart to get back to their young.

Raccoons are very family oriented and pay a lot of attention to their pups until they are old enough to look after themselves. In addition you really do not want to have dead raccoons smelling up your attic. This odor will travel throughout the house eventually.

So wait until they are old enough to travel and then install a one way trap door.

Raccoons in the Attic – Damage to Your Home from Raccoons

The raccoons may also do some damage to your home while raising their young in your attic. At the very least they will compact the insulation which reduces the insulating value, which may make your home colder during the winter. There will be a certain amount of feces and urine that will also be left in the attic.

If you can get rid of them quick enough, then you can minimize the damage. Don’t procrastinate, hoping that they will leave on their own. They won’t. And if my some miracle they do leave, rest assured that another family will move right back in.

Once they are gone it is important to have your attic cleaned by professionals to avoid any lingering odor, areas lacking insulation etc. If you plan to do it yourself make sure you are wearing a breathing mask, since airborne particles can be very infectious.

Be Careful, They Can Make You Sick

Note that you can become very sick from breathing dried raccoon feces if they are disturbed. When these dried feces are disturbed, the particles travel in the air and you may breathe these particles into your lungs. Raccoons have small worms in them which if they are taken into the human body will cause organ damage and even death. So be careful if you plan to go into the attic.

Comments are welcome. Our readers really need help avoiding as well as getting rid of raccoons in homes as well as other areas. So if you have any ideas, let us know. Almost 50% of the homes in our area have had raccoons in their attics. They also routinely tear the garbage bags apart on garbage night so many people wait until the morning to put their garbage out. It means getting up early, but then it is better than having to clean up messy garbage spread across your driveway!

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