Getting rid of raccoons is not easy. There are lots of deterrents on the internet that supposedly will tell you how to get rid of raccoons. Very few of them if any actually work. For example moth balls do not work , nor does the urine of dogs, wolves or other animals. In fact all that they do is smell up your house even more than the raccoons do. We tried all of these solutions when we had raccoons in our attic and believe me they did not work! We have an entire raccoon web site devoted to this issue. Check it out once you have read this post.
Raccoons in Suburbia
Do not buy all of the things that are advertised on the internet or even in the hardware stores. In fact, traps are not even worthwhile investing in. Most urban raccoons have seen it all. They have lots of enemies ( Humans) and have learned to avoid traps. We tried for a week and were only successful in providing them with food. Somehow they were able to get the food out without getting trapped in the humane trap. They are smart! In addition in some cities, you are only allowed to take the raccoons less than one half mile away. They would be back the next night! This is why most pest removal companies ( at least the good ones) will recommend that traps are not the solution to your problems with raccoons.
Raccoons are used to urban smells and so urine from other animals, loud music and moth balls just do not work. They totally ignore these things and you are just wasting your time and money.
If you catch a raccoon in a humane trap and take it 10 miles away, another family is ready to move in. There are from 20 to 50 raccoon families per square mile in urban areas. Some areas have even more than that and they are always looking for a vacated den. Raccoons can tell whether a den is occupied or not. They are a social group, traveling in families from one den to another and typically will have 4 or 5 dens to choose from. Your house is just one home of many in the area.
How to Get Rid of Raccoons
So how to get rid of raccoons? The experts will tell you that first you must wait until the young ones are ready to travel outside the den. Mature raccoons are very loyal their young. In fact the young will stay with the parents until the next set of pups come along and then they are pushed out on their own. If you block the entrance to the den in some manner, the parent raccoons will do just about anything to rescue their young including tearing your roof apart trying to get back to their young. Even if you are successful in blocking the parents and they do not find or create another entrance, you will be faced with the decomposing bodies of the young pups which will only increase the bad smell in and around your house.
Wait Until the Pups are Older
The correct approach as much as you may not like it, is to wait until the young pups are mobile and leaving the den on a nightly basis.
Once the young ones are ready to move outside of the den, install a one way trap door with heavy gauge wire that is strong enough to block any raccoon. This is the best and permanent method to get rid of raccoons from your home. Pest control companies will be able to properly install a one way trap door.
Once you are sure they are gone, remove the one way trap door and replace it with the same heavy gauge wire mesh. Screw nail it into the roof and the joists so their is no way for them to get in. Also block all other potential entrances so there is no chance for the raccoons to get in from some other entry point. Use the same heavy gauge chicken wire to block these other entrances.
Caution About Repairing Raccoon Damage
Once you have figured out how to get rid of the raccoons, be very careful with repairing any damage caused by raccoons. You will need to inspect the attic to assess how much damage has been done to the insulation and attic vents. Breathing the dust from dry feces can cause organ damage and death. The attic can be very hot, especially in the summer. The heat dries out anything that might be in the attic including raccoon feces or raccoon scat. In the dry air of your attic, these feces will break down. They turn into floating dust particles when disturbed and float in the air for you to breath. Always wear a mask to prevent any exposure to these particles.
If you are uncomfortable doing this work yourself for obvious reasons, hire professionals to clean up the attic. Make sure they are aware of the situation so that they can protect themselves with the appropriate equipment. It may cost a bit more, but at least you will be safe and healthy. Be prepared replace the insulation and the air vents over the soffits if there is a lot of damage. For more information about raccoons, click here.