Raccoons are one of the most common wildlife home invaders in most parts of the U.S. They typically enter through soffits or other gaps in your home to den in attics and crawlspaces. Having a raccoon in your home can be a major nuisance. They can cause damage to your attic and pose several health and safety risks to you and your family.
Nicknamed “ring-tailed bandits,” raccoons have several well-known features — grayish-brown fur, a black mask around their eyes and a ringed, bushy tail. Full-grown raccoons are usually about 3 feet long from head to hindquarters, and they can weigh well over 20 lbs; the record is 52.5 lbs. They have human-like hands, each with five long toes that bend and act as fingers, making them excellent climbers.
In the wild, raccoons are omnivores that eat plants and small animals like insects, worms, rats, mice, birds and snakes. In urban and suburban environments, they will rummage through trash and eat anything they can get their hands on. They also enjoy birdseed and food left out for domesticated animals like cats and dogs.
Raccoons are generally nocturnal, meaning they are primarily active at night. Depending on the availability of food, some raccoons will venture out during the day as well; this is most common for mother raccoons in the spring and early summer. While male raccoons are generally solitary animals, babies — also known as kits — will stay with their mother for most of their first year.
Female raccoons birth 2-5 kits in late winter or early spring. At first, the kits will stay in their den while the mom forages for food. As they get older, they will begin to venture out with her. Raccoons are clever and great at solving problems. Most are smarter than dogs and cats, and they have excellent memories.
Raccoons will den anywhere they can find shelter. They like natural spots like hollow trees, ground burrows and rock crevices, as well as man-made structures like barns and abandoned buildings. A raccoon infestation in your home will likely be in your attic since raccoons are excellent climbers.
Raccoons can make more than 100 different noises, including purs, snarls, snorts and screams. If you have raccoons in your house, you’ll probably hear them moving around with heavy, slow motions and louder thumping sounds. The kits and mother will often make high-pitched sounds that many homeowners mistake for birds in their attic.
Listen to the sounds of baby raccoons.
When you have an animal in your home, you almost never see them. You have to identify the problem by noticing the signs they leave behind. If you suspect you may have a raccoon infestation in your attic, keep an eye out for the following indications:
- Nighttime noises: Raccoons are nocturnal, so you’ll mostly hear them at night.
- Damaged wiring: Look for signs of damage in your attic, like torn wiring, torn duct-work, and torn insulation.
- Latrines: Raccoons form latrines by repeatedly defecating in the same spot.
- Footprints: The distinct finger-like toes of raccoon paws make it easy to identify their prints in dust or mud.
- Large entry holes: Inspect the outside of your house for possible entry points. Raccoons will tear large holes to get into your home, but can also gain entry through openings as small as a deck of cards
Contact Urban Jungle for Raccoon Removal Services
Ready to get rid of your raccoons? Let us help! Our staff is thoroughly trained and educated in wildlife biology, so they understand exactly how to remove raccoons from your attic quickly and safely.
We want to help you get the raccoon out for good. That’s why we offer wildlife trapping and removal services to get the animals out, and exclusion and repair services to make sure they can’t come back in. Contact us today to get started!