Pest & Wildlife Animal Information

Raccoons

Raccoons are nocturnal animals found mostly in wooded eastern regions of North America. These creatures are very clever with nimble hands making it possible for them to open latches, turn door knobs, climb just about anything, swim, and come up with intelligent solutions to the problems they face. Due to state and local laws, handling and relocating raccoons must be conducted a certain way. Hiring a raccoon trapping and removal service is the best way to ensure the animal is removed from the property and all laws are abided by.

Raccoon food and habitats

Raccoons like to live in wooded areas near a water source, such as streams, marshes, and rivers. The animal’s food supply consists mostly of aquatic invertebrates, clams, turtles, snails, and crayfish. Plant based foods raccoons eat include acorns, fruit, veggies, and nuts.

Raccoons seek shelter in wooded areas, where they nest in tree cavities, create underground burrows, and if available, take over the abandoned dens of other animals. Over time, raccoons have adapted to living in urban areas and suburbs near humans. In these communities raccoons scavenge food from garbage cans, gardens, and crops. In urban areas and suburbs, raccoons seek shelter wherever it is available. This includes unoccupied buildings and areas of homes that are not often used, such as garages, attics and sheds.

Identifying a raccoon problem

The most common method of identifying if there is a raccoon problem in a home is hearing the animal rummaging around. Sounds of movement, scratching, and other noises coming from the walls, attic, and remote areas of the home are just a few signs a raccoon may have invaded the home. Other signs include seeing raccoon droppings, seeing teeth marks on wood, trash tossed around, and seeing a raccoon enter the home. Actually seeing where the raccoon enters the home will greatly help when trying to locate where the animal’s nest is.

Raccoon diseases

Raccoons are a common carrier of rabies which can be transmitted to humans, domesticated animals, and other wild animals via a raccoon’s bite. The feces of a raccoon can contain roundworms. The roundworm spores are easily airborne which can infect humans upon inhalation. To stay safe from any raccoon diseases, it is best to stay away from these animals and if necessary call a raccoon trapping and removal service to come out and help.

Raccoon damage

Raccoons cause damage to homes and yards when seeking shelter or food. When seeking shelter these animals may tear up roof tiles, damage wire coverings or destroy anything in their way. In the garden, raccoons uproot fruits and veggies, sometimes devastating farms by eating sweet corn and other grains. Raccoons will dig up dirt in yards and gardens to access vegetables, grubs, earthworms, and other insects to eat. Chicken coops are often targeted by raccoons because they are capable of opening the latch. Once inside, raccoons destroy the chicken nests, kill the chickens, and eat the eggs.

The damage caused by raccoon urine and feces is irreversible, especially when it gets on insulation. Tainted insulation must be removed and replaced. In addition to replacing insulation, any other surfaces in contact with raccoon urine or feces must be cleaned and disinfected.

Raccoon control

The best way to prevent raccoons from coming onto a property and invading the home is to eliminate any potential food sources. It’s best to secure trash in bins with tight, heavy lids, clean up grilling areas, and do not leave any pet food sitting out overnight. Secure any entry points into the home and seal up any gaps along exterior walls, especially along the attic walls. Home gardens secured with tall fences that open outward are best for keeping raccoons out.

Keeping raccoons away

Raccoons are not scared away by much. There are no noise machines that can be used to keep them away. Even motion sensored lights do not bother them. In the end, making it difficult for raccoons to enter a home or property is key to keeping them away.

Exclusion repairs are the best method to keep raccoons away and prevent them from entering the home. These repairs include sealing up any holes giving raccoons access to the inside of the home. Removing any type of food or access to food is another step in exclusion repairs.  Other exclusion repairs include installing special fencing to prevent climbing, sealing garbage cans, and removing bird seed feeders. Clean up the property, eliminating anything that may lure raccoons.

Raccoon removal

In most states, raccoons are protected as game animals and the removal must be handled a certain way. Certified wildlife specialists and licensed trappers are the only ones who legally can capture and remove raccoons. Hiring a raccoon trapping and removal service is the best way to ensure the animals are treated humanely and removed according to all local and state laws.

Homeowners insurance

Raccoons can cause a lot of damage in a very short period of time. When they invade a home, they saturate everything with urine, feces, afterbirth, and more. When living in attics, crawl spaces, garages and other hidden, hard-to-access areas they create both a nest and an area to use the bathroom. Most homeowners insurance policies cover raccoon damage. In cases where raccoons have invaded the home causing damage, policies cover the damage, which is classified under rodent and/or vermin damage. Check with the insurance company to see if any of the damage incurred by raccoons is covered and how to file a claim for it.

Clean up

Raccoons leave behind a mess, including damaged property, dug up yards, and urine soaked materials. Once these critters have been removed from the home, it is important to not only repair damage to prevent them from returning, but to also sanitize the area for the health and safety of humans. The clean up process includes vacuuming up any hair, feces or debris. It also requires the removal of urine soaked materials and the sanitation of surfaces that have been contaminated by the raccoon.

Homeowners struggling with issues associated with raccoons in their home and invading their property need to take action immediately. Cleaning up the yard, securing trash bins, and sealing up any entry points into the home is just the beginning. Hiring a raccoon trapping and removal company to help is the most efficient, humane, and legal way to deal with these animals.

 

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