How Do I Get Raccoons Out of My Attic?
I really appreciate the effort you've put into your site, and even though I'm in Canada and can't use your services directly, I thought I'd ask you for some advice and clarify some questions we have.
Our problem is that I believe a raccoon has been or is currently in our attic, but the situation isn't covered by most of the scenarios I've read online or talked to pest control people about.
A few nights ago, I noticed a large raccoon in our back yard, and subsequently began to wake up every morning (thanks to the dog) when this same animal appeared like clockwork at 5:00 am. just outside the screendoor (I'm in British Columbia, and it's been incredibly hot and humid here for days now, so our doors are open at night). So a couple of mornings this repeated and I then heard some sounds, like skittering noises in the attic and began to wonder if there were baby raccoons in there and the adult I've been seeing was the mother, foraging. I knocked on the ceiling where I heard the noises and something definitely moved around up there, and I heard that chittering sound. I couldn't see anything when I poked my head up there, not even any feces or any obvious damage. It was at this point that I found your website. Then, one day, while outside and looking up at the roof, I saw a raccoon that was definitely smaller than the large one I'd already seen, and looked intimidated by me. I would have to say it looked more like a juvenile, although not a small baby. It was under the eaves, facing downroof and after freezing for a while, it backed up, turned around and went back into the roof via a hole we didn't know existed until then! So we know at least one juvenile has been in our attic for sure, and we know where it enters. However, I haven't heard anything since (night or day) and when I popped my head in today, the heat in that attic was intense. We're hitting high 30s and even 40 degree heat lately, and I'd say the attic had to be well into the 40s, perhaps even 50 degrees. The humidity makes it feel even hotter. Now, first, can a raccoon tolerate heat like that? And second, this is quite late in the summer and everything I've read says that they have their litters in the late spring/early summer, so if they were still in our roof, they would be juveniles not babies by now (which fits what we've witnessed so far). But that leads to another mystery: how come we've not heard them before now if indeed there was a litter up there since May or whenever? (That leads me to think there wasn't one, but I don't know that for sure.)
The thing is, we have pest control guys giving us their opinions and quoting some scary prices and yet we might only have one juvenile raccoon up there, for all we know. The guy who will trap and relocate is charging $175 (Canadian) per raccoon, which could add up if there were more than one, but would be reasonable if there were only one animal. Others will only put in a one-way door, chase the animal(s) out and fix the hole for a round price of $500. I mean, we could probably do that part ourselves, but the problem is, the animals will probably return next winter, and I gather they can be pretty persistent. Who do we trust out of these services?
I realise this is complicated, and may not be entirely clear, and that there are a lot of variables, but any advice you could give us would be greatly appreciated.
Oh, after looking in the attic today and seeing nothing obvious, and feeling that intense heat, we assumed there was nothing up there currently, during the day, so we shoved a roll of plastic into the hole we know that young raccoon was using, so we'll see if it's been disturbed tomorrow. That way, if it looks like nothing tried to get in, we can patch the hole, or if it looks disturbed but basically not moved, ditto. Only if it's pulled right out, will we know that the animal probably got in again.
I agree with you that these are amazing creatures and we don't want to hurt one, which is why we're putting so much thought into this.
I hope you can help in some way, with your experience.
Thanks in advance,
That is probably the most normal raccoon situation I've ever heard of. Most of the time there's lots of crazy variables. So a mother raccoon had some young in your attic this past spring and you didn't discover it until now. Very common. Sometimes noise doesn't filter through from the attic very well. Raccoons can easily live in scorching hot attics - I do all of my wildlife removal work in Florida, which is even hotter than Canada! They stay in the attic during the hot day, and go outside at night to look for food. The prices you've been quoted are pretty normal for professional wildlife removal. You can wait until night-time when all the young and the adult are likely out foraging, and seal up the hole then, but if they're not all out you'll have a big problem, and many do-it-yourself attempts like that don't work. Even if you do seal the hole when they are out, they may easily find another place to break in. If you feel that your home is secure, you can see if they remove the barrier, and then seal. You can also try raccoon eviction fluid. I really don't have anything to add to your question of How Do I Get Raccoons Out of My Attic, I wrote all I know in that guide, and your situation is very commonplace, with no strange variables.
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