How To Rid Your Attic or Crawlspace of a Raccoon
Raccoons may appear cute or even friendly. Indeed, they can be quite bold around humans and pets. However, they are wild animals and will behave like wild animals. The have sharp teeth, strong claws, are known to carry rabies and parasites. Never try to catch a raccoon by hand. Cornering a racoon, or any animal, may leave the animal with no choice but to attack you. If the methods below do not work for you, then you will likely need professional help to get rid of your raccoons. This article describes non-confrontational, non-lethal methods to eliminate raccoons from your home.
Raccoons are nocturnal, they are active in the twilight and after dark. Raccoons can be quite noisy. They can also be fairly destructive, they can pull off siding and tear openings to get into your home. Raccoons are omnivores, they will eat whatever they can find, and they can find plenty in your trash cans.
Your community may have specific rules about what you can do in regard to ridding your home of wildlife. In my community, you may not trap, kill or relocate a raccoon and the local authorities will not assist in removal. That is why we came up with these methods.
Raccoons may live around humans, but they do not like humans. The sound of a human voice is known to drive away raccoons. Place a radio, set to a talk radio station, in the vicinity of their nest. It doesn’t have to be loud, start with a low volume level. If it doesn’t get results, try increasing the volume. Leave the radio on day and night.
Raccoons prefer dark places for their nests. If you can light up your attic or crawlspace, this will disturb the raccoons, possibly enough to make them move out.
Raccoons are clean animals, in fact they often wash their food before eating. Because of this habit of cleanliness, they do not foul their nests. Ammonia, a chemical found in urine, is an offensive odor for raccoons. Soak rags in ammonia and place them as near to their nest as safely possible. You may also want to place soaked rags near all possible entrances. If you have difficulty reaching the nest, you might be able to apply ammonia in the vicinity with a squirt bottle. Periodically retreat the area with ammonia.
Keeping the Raccoons Out After They Have Gone
Once the raccoons are out, you must seal their access to your home. If you aren’t certain if they are out, seal all but one exit. Once you think they are out, seal the last exit. You don’t want to trap them in your home, the will die of thirst, decay and emit a foul odor for days or even weeks. Furthermore, the mother may leave the nest, to return later, leaving a litter of baby raccoons behind. Sealing out the mother is both inhumane, and if litter perishes they will emit a foul odor in your home.
Adult raccoons can fit through and opening about 3 or 4 inches in diameter. Inspect under your eaves, especially where valleys occur. Raccoons are strong and have dexterous fingers. They can tear off siding and screens. Repair holes and openings with heavy wire cloth, steel flashing or solid wood. Secure with several screws or nails to a solid substrate.
Finally, remove food from the environment. Raccoons are clever and agile, they can open trash cans and other containers. Use metal trash cans, always use the lid and weight the lid with something heavy, like a brick. When throwing away choice foods, like meat, double bag it, to reduce the scent that leaks from your trash. Add a splash of ammonia to your trash cans too. If you have fruit or berries growing in your yard, regularly clean up fallen fruit. It is hard to keep raccoons out of the trees and bushes, but there is no sense in leaving a buffet for them on the ground.