How Do You Get Rid of Raccoons in The House?
Raccoons are intelligent creatures capable of living in many different environments and climates. This means, of course, they can easily adapt to living in your house. Raccoons can get inside through crevices or openings around attics, basements, or even inside walls. Once raccoons are inside, it can be difficult to get them to leave.
Why Do Raccoons Go Inside Your Home?
Raccoons like to go into houses because they make excellent food sources and den sites. The animals typically fight with one another over food and shelters because up to 15 and 25 raccoons can live within 1 square mile of one another.
Mother raccoons in particular enjoy houses because they are safe areas where they can have their babies. Raccoons avoid areas where humans frequently go, so they don’t nest in the living room or the kitchen. Instead, they will likely hide in low-traffic areas like attics and basements where they can sneak in and out with food.
What Do Raccoons Like to Eat?
Raccoons are omnivores, which means they eat meat and plants. Indeed, they will eat most things they can get their paws on, including bugs, fish, fruits, vegetables, and edibles from human trash bins like pizza crusts and crackers.
Does Raccoon Bait Work?
Raccoon bait is special, edible material designed to attract raccoons either to lure them into a trap or away from a certain area. It can be a liquid, paste, or kibble. Most are not poisonous and are highly effective in attracting raccoons through the use of scents like anise or animal musk. Raccoons, though very intelligent animals, can’t resist the scent of a gourmet meal and will normally dive headfirst into a delicious-smelling bait that’s set out for them.
How To Get Rid of Raccoons
Raccoons—the garbage-eaters we love to hate—are adorable from afar but problematic up close. These nuisance animals are universally recognized by their bandit-like faces and mischievous squeaks, but for those who don’t know, raccoons are small mammals that can grow up to 23 pounds.
Found ransacking trash piles throughout the United States, these scavengers enjoy a variety of environments. Right off the bat, most people recognize these little guys by their distinctive gray coat and black facial markings.
A raccoon usually lives for 2-3 years and can make a den almost anywhere. Unfortunately, these freewheeling creatures are opportunistic and love being around humans, who provide tons of food. This means that they’ll invade your backyard without a second thought, burrowing in your garden and nesting on your property in order to eat your scraps.
Where Do Raccoons Live?
Raccoons can live in almost every environment in the United States except the hot southwest and northern mountains. Colloquially called “trash pandas,” they are dumpster divers capable of living in urban regions like cities and neighborhoods. Many also enjoy the countryside where they can find crops, eggs, and even young chicks for food.
They are omnivores, which means they feast on a diet of both meat and plants. These hungry creatures love berries, eggs, rodents, frogs, fish, vegetables, and many other natural foods. When in urban areas, they will dig through the trash and eat things like pizza, cheese, vegetable peelings, and any other human food they find.
Raccoons are hefty omnivores: larger males can weigh up to 28 kg. These mammals adapt well to urban areas, because they eat just about anything: worms, spiders, frogs, eggs, fruit, nuts, corn… And they aren’t at all shy about going through garbage to get their paws on a meal.
Raccoons retire to their dens for the winter around mid-November. Males leave the den in late January; females follow in mid-March. They sometimes use spaces under porches, garden sheds and similar structures as living quarters. And since they are excellent climbers, they’re also attracted to hollow trees and roof structures. Raccoons are born in the spring and spend the next three seasons with their mother.
Are raccoons useful or bothersome?
A raccoon’s diet includes small rodents and insect pests.
Raccoons wreak havoc in garbage.
They lurk around homes and can become aggressive if you get in their way.
Like skunks, they can do damage to lawns while digging for white grubs.
Raccoons can get into attics, disturbing insulation and leaving droppings behind.
Raccoons can carry rabies. Keep your distance, especially if you come across one that doesn’t seem at all timid. Stay out of its reach and, ideally, make sure you have somewhere you can retreat to in case of danger
Tips for keeping raccoons away from your home
1. Keeping raccoons off your lawn and out of your garden
Make sure your lawn is treated for white grubs, to deprive raccoons of this source of food.
2. Keeping raccoons away from your garbage
Use a garbage can with a lid that is difficult to remove, or leave garbage bags in a bin equipped with a hinged lid that locks.
Clean the can and bin often to eliminate “attractive” odours.
Another strategy is to wait until the morning on garbage day to take out the garbage.
3. Keeping raccoons away from your house, shed or garage
Trim back any branches that could help a raccoon get at your house.
Make sure your roof soffits are secured, and screw metal screens over roof vent and chimney openings.
Block off any routes leading underneath the porch, deck or shed (using chicken wire, sheets of tin or cement). First make sure no adult or young raccoons are already inside.
How to trap a raccoon?
If, despite your efforts to deter them, raccoons (or other animals) are causing damage to your property, you can consider capturing and relocating them. You should know, however, that “evicting” a raccoon is no easy task—it’s even a dangerous one
Getting Rid of Raccoons
Many people think they can easily get rid of a raccoon once it’s nested in their attic or chimney. So, they use common sense approaches to getting rid of raccoons. For example: playing loud music where you think they may be. They like a peaceful and quiet environment. So, playing loud music can help make the raccoons leave.
But, these methods have their own drawbacks. Namely, raccoons running further into your house, or neighbors grumbling about the loud music at all hours
The safest technique to get rid of raccoons for good is to get in touch with a certified specialist to take care of your raccoon problem. Removal’s professional removal experts are trained to humanely catch and remove the troublesome raccoon from houses and attics.
How Do I Know If I Have A Raccoon Problem?
Just seeing a raccoon is not a sign of an issue. However, if you see a raccoon continuously or in combination with a scratching sound in your attic at night, in your crawlspace, or see noticeable damage such as missing siding, debris, insulation, uncommon smells, family pets showing signs of attack, and so on.
If they stick around they continue to cause carnage. In addition to raiding trash bins, they consume pet food (often entering into homes through dog or cat doors!), consume bird food out of your bird feeders, and destroy lawns going after beetle grubs and earthworms.
Getting raccoons out
Before evicting raccoons from your house, you need to figure out how they’re entering (that is, if you don’t want them coming right back in). Give your house a thorough inspection to find areas where raccoons could get in by viewing your house from the perspective of an animal looking for a den.
Is there anybody in there?
To determine if an opening is being used, block the hole loosely with wadded newspaper. Leave in place for two to three days. If the newspaper goes undisturbed, and the weather has not been particularly cold or stormy, no one is using it as an entryway. If the newspaper is pushed out of place, someone has moved in.
Once you know how they’re getting in, find out if your unwanted guests happen to be a mother raccoon with young. If so, the best thing to do is wait a few weeks until the babies grow old enough to leave with their mother—they won’t survive without her. Don’t try to trap and relocate the family yourself. It almost always leads to separation (and probably death) of the young raccoons, unless done by a professional who knows how to reunite mothers with their offspring. The reunion approach allows the mother move her young to another den site at her own pace.
Some professionals use a “one-way door” to get raccoons out of attics or crawl spaces. Once the animals have left, they’re unable to get back inside. Use of these doors is best left to professionals, who can make sure that mothers are not isolated from their litters. The young must be old enough and mobile enough to exit through the one-way door with their mother, and this can be very hard to assess.
Humane harassment to get them out
If you know that you are dealing solely with adults, you can start using humane techniques to get them to leave on their own.
Start small. Gentle techniques may be all you need. Try bright lights, loud noises (set a loud battery-operated radio in the attic or in the fireplace), and unpleasant smells (try a bowl of cider vinegar at the base of the chimney).
Combine techniques. Multisensory harassment works best: light, noise, and smell.
Choose the right time—at dusk, right before the mother’s normal activity period. Don’t drive raccoons out during the day. Raccoons are primarily nocturnal, so they may be confused in daylight, and they are certainly more vulnerable.