There are a couple of indicators that can let you know if you have child raccoons in your attic. Visual sightings, if you see an adult raccoon entering and exiting your attic, it’s more than probably a female raccoon that is either preparing to have a litter or nursing a litter in a nest she made there. The female raccoon will emerge from the attic after dusk to go forage for food, and she will return at some point during the night. You could be dealing with a male raccoon, as they search for shelter in more northern locations during wintertime, and might set shop in your attic. If it’s spring, the chances of it being a male and not a female are extremely little. In southern areas, female raccoons are known to reproduce throughout the year, not only in spring.
Protruding nipples. If you trap a female raccoon that’s been living in your attic or have the ability to see her from up-close, a clear sign of children is if you can detect the raccoon’s nipples. If her nipples are sticking out, there’s likewise a litter up there.
A lot of attic animal scratches and thumps, and as the raccoon is the biggest of the animals that den in our attics, you can easily differentiate their rather heavy scratching and thumping from the noises smaller animals such as squirrels or rats make. Once again, if you have a raccoon in your attic, it’s most likely a female with children.
Baby raccoons make a distinct chitter noise. The sound child raccoons make is quite complicated, a combination of vibrations, screeches, warbles, and chitters. And it’s very much their own specific noise, extremely different from the one baby squirrels or other animals make. Their cry and twittering noise are one of the best baby raccoon identifiers, aside from direct visual contact.
Originally, raccoons denned in hollow trees, as far up from the ground as they could get. Completely adapting to our modern structures, raccoons began imitating their natural conditions by nursing and raising their litter up in chimneys and attics. Our attics supply them with all the perfect conditions, even easing them of tasks such as developing a nest with branches and twigs, as attic insulation will do just fine. And while cold winters are an element that will likewise bring male raccoons into our attics, the female raccoon population is the one that typically ends up in our attics. So, if you have a raccoon in your attic, you might as well expect it to be a woman with young, and treat the problem appropriately.
What to Do If a Raccoon Is Living in the Attic.
Be Patient With a Mother Raccoon in the Attic
Your first option is to do nothing at all. Raccoons generally live in attic dens for brief periods. Raccoon infants are independent by the end of summer when they leave the den and disperse from their family groups. Raccoon moms commonly move their babies in between den sites throughout the nesting season, so she might leave on her own. If you wait till the children are grown and/or have left, then you can block the access point avoid other raccoons from using the attic as a den in the future.
The mom raccoon is residing in the attic because it’s a dark, peaceful, safe place for her and her infants. If you make the attic not dark, not peaceful, and not safe (using light, noise, and odor) the raccoon can usually be persuaded to leave your attic and take her children with her. All harassment strategies should be put as close as possible to the den entryway, so the mom raccoon can’t ignore them when she comes and goes.
Make sure it’s fire-safe. Raccoons are nocturnal and don’t like intense lights in their homes.
Tune a radio to a talk station and put it near the den entryway. Music doesn’t mean anything to raccoons, but the sound of human voices is threatening to them. The radio needs to be as loud as you can stand it without annoying your neighbors.
You can us dirty kitty litter in a plastic bag with holes in it. Scent deterrents are least effective with raccoons but can assist when used in combination with light and sound methods.
Patience and Persistence
Keep all of the above going at least 3 days and 3 nights. You’ve got to be persistent to persuade the raccoon to leave.
When you think the raccoon is gone, before closing the hole, do a paper test. Cover the entryway with a piece of paper and If the paper is still in place, and you don’t hear anything in the attic, the raccoons are probably gone!
What Not to Do
Trapping and moving a raccoon may seem like the “humane” alternative, but it isn’t. Relocated raccoons don’t tend to survive when they’re moved off of their territory. Transferred mother raccoons leave babies who will die without a mother to look after them. A mother raccoon relocated with her children will be so frightened she will desert them when faced with a brand-new, unknown area. In some areas, it is illegal to move any wild animal more than 2 miles from where it was found.
Between January and September, one-way doors can exclude the mom raccoon and leave small baby raccoons caught inside. Separated from her babies, a mother raccoon will cause significant damage to property as she attempts desperately to get back to them. Make sure the infant raccoons are old enough to be mobile and following their mother before setting up a one-way door.
Animal Removal Companies
Sometimes the very best and easiest way to get a raccoon out of an attic is to employ a business to do it for you. Wildlife removal companies are not well monitored, so it is up to you to ask questions about a company’s practices before hiring them.
Raccoons In Attic Damage