If you have one or more raccoons in your attic, you will want to get them out as soon as possible. In addition to making a fair amount of noise and creating a bad smell, raccoons are also destructive and can damage your walls, insulation, cables, or any other part of your attic. The easiest way to get a raccoon out of your attic would be to hire a professional to help you, but it is also possible to do the job yourself, provided you have the right materials and a bit of time. Here are the basic steps you will need to follow.
- 1. Remove Temptation
- 2. Check For Young
- 3. Limit Access Points
- 4. Encourage Them To Leave
- 5. Trap And Release
- 6. Seal Final Holes
Each of these steps requires a bit more detail to fully understand how they work and successfully remove the raccoon from your home.
The very first step to getting a raccoon out of your attic is to take steps to make the environment less appealing for them. Things don't necessarily have to be within the attic to attract the raccoons; even items around the home may do so as the attic will give the animal ready access to the food source. This means that you should take the time to clean up garbage, fallen berries and other fruit, and pet food that is by your home. Make sure your garbage cans are tightly secured so the raccoons can't use them as a food source.
Check For Young
Before you start the actual process of removing the raccoon, you need to check for babies. Depending on the time of the year, there is a chance of up to 90 percent that you will find a litter including three to five baby raccoons. Take the time to go up to your attic and look for them. If you don't initially see the litter, sit still for a few minutes (up to a half hour) and wait to see if you hear or see them. It is possible to get raccoons out of your attic yourself when babies are involved, but it becomes more complicated as you will need to physically remove all the young yourself. This process will involve catching them while wearing thick gloves and avoiding the mother. As such, many people will simply hire a professional to complete the raccoon eviction if they find babies.
Limit Access Points
Next you will want to try to figure out how the raccoons are getting into your attic in the first place. Take the time to find their entry points and seal up most of them. If you can, try to figure out which is the main entrance for the raccoons, and select that one to leave open. At this point, if there are no baby raccoons present or the young are old enough to easily move by themselves, you can try an exclusion device, also known as a one-way door. These doors are designed to let wild animals out, but not back in so the next time the raccoon leaves, it will be gone for good. You should only use one-way doors, however, if there are no babies present or you are positive they are old enough. Because of this, many experts recommend that you leave exclusion devices to the professionals if baby raccoons are involved.
Encourage Them To Leave
Although you will see varying results with this step, you can try to humanely encourage the raccoons to leave your attic. Always pick a type of friendly harassment, beginning with smaller techniques. This can include using bright lights or loud noises or even unpleasant smells. While this step is worth a try, it will not always work as most raccoons won't leave a comfortable home because of a minor annoyance.
Trap And Release
If humanely encouraging the raccoons to leave or one-way doors don't work, you will want to try trapping and releasing the animals. Remember that if there are babies present, you will have to physically catch each one. After that, you can use a live cage trap to catch the mother raccoon; many experts even suggest placing the babies inside the cage as bait since the mother will never leave them alone. You can then move the raccoons from your attic and release them somewhere else. If you have already sealed up all the entry points, you can release them on your property; otherwise you may need to go further. Always check your local laws concerning trapping and releasing raccoons before doing this step.
Seal Final Holes
Once you are positive there are no raccoons in your attic, you want to double check that every possible entry point is sealed. This will prevent the raccoons from returning and stop other ones from taking their place. Never skip this step unless you are willing to deal with a repeat raccoon problem.
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