The most important step in keeping your house raccoon-free is securing it from future invasions. The best place to begin is by carrying out a total inspection of your house’s exterior, consisting of the roof. Raccoons, like many wild animals, are opportunists capable of taking advantage of even the smallest structural weakness to chew, scratch, and squeeze their way inside.
Raccoons are clever, strong, and incredibly determined when it comes to discovering a den site. Every house is not alike another and that’s why it’s important to have your house inspected by an expert.
Here’s a list of some of the most common places a raccoon can use to get into your home:
A Roof-Soffit Intersection, or RSI, is an area on your roof where the soffit sits simply above a section of the roof. These areas are typically located where an upper and lower roof meet and creates an ideal raccoon entry point. While using the roof for leverage, raccoons utilize their shoulders to open lightweight soffits made from thin aluminum or plastic. As soon as the soffit is opened, they can easily gain access to the whole attic.
The vents on your roof are made to allow correct air circulation in your attic. Unfortunately, raccoons can feel the air leaving from your attic, and that destroying the vent cover will provide access to the warmth inside. Once again, plastic or aluminum vent covers are no match for raccoons.
The edge of your roof, where the eavestrough makes contact with the house, is a particularly vulnerable area for raccoon intrusion. By design, all rain and melted snow on the roof should pass this section on the way to the eavestrough. High amounts of wetness, along with continuous freezing and thawing deteriorate this area of the roof faster than anywhere else. Opportunistic raccoons easily chew and tear away any decayed wood to get to the attic.
The bottom of your chimney is an ideal location for a mom raccoon to nurse her babies. Once inside, raccoons will make their house on top of your fireplace’s damper. The chimney caps you can buy at hardware stores do little to stop raccoons from getting inside.
The round vents on your roof connect to your plumbing system and are used to exhaust sewer gases. When installing a pipes vent, a hole is cut through the roof to extend the pipe exterior. To make it easier to run the pipes the hole in the roof is typically cut much larger than the pipe. The open space is then covered with a rubber matting. Raccoons will frequently pull and tear at that rubber mat to squeeze themselves into the attic through the hole underneath.
Raccoons in the Basement of Your House
This is not awfully common, however it can take place. Like any part of a home, a basement is a decent place to live, since it’s enclosed and secured from the weather. Even if the basement is cold and moist, it’s likely warmer and dryer than the outside, particularly during the night. And obviously, mother raccoons want a safe place to raise their young. You can in fact set traps in the basement, however, you’ll have much better luck trapping outside, near the entry hole.
Raccoons in the Crawl Space of a House
I’ve seen raccoons residing in the crawlspace under a house lot of times. If a home is raised, with a crawl space underneath, and there’s a simple opening, it’s an open invitation for raccoons, cats, opossums, and other animals to live under there, much like under a deck or shed. The key, as usual, is to find the opening(s) and seal them shut, either when the animal is out, or when it’s been caught or eliminated.
Raccoons in the Living Space of a House
If you are unlucky enough to have a raccoon in your home, inside the living space, such as the kitchen or living room, be careful. Raccoons aren’t always aggressive, however, they are relatively brave, and they will defend themselves. It’s not common for a raccoon to get in your home, but it does occur.
The four most common methods are:
- Through an open pet door – to prevent this, do not leave appealing family pet food out all the time.
- Through an open fireplace and chimney damper, if they went into the chimney.
- Falling or chewing through the ceiling or wall, if they were residing in the attic or walls.
- Simply through an open door or window.
If a raccoon does get in your home, leave it alone! Any attempt to fight it may result in injury! Keep your family pets away! Open every window and door that you can find, and let the animal find its own way. Or call a pro, and they will have the ability to come and get it safely, with a snare pole.
What to Do If You Have a Raccoon in Your Home
There are two kinds of raccoons in a home, the ones that are in there by accident and the ones that wish to make your house their home. If you have a raccoon that wandered in through the pet door or an open window, your best tactic is to open your door and then guide the animal outside. A lot of raccoons will be just as terrified to be within your home as you are to have them there. Shooing the animal out with a broom most likely won’t be too hard. If for some reason, the raccoon decides to hide in your restroom, lodged behind your toilet, you must call a wildlife removal company to come and get it. You should never run the risk of contending a raccoon. If it isn’t quickly coaxed to the door, do not try to bother it or annoy it. The raccoon that is living in your attic is a different matter. This raccoon needs to be trapped and removed, and the house needs to be repaired. A lot of states need raccoon trapping to be done by a professional with a unique license. Using a professional will also ensure no babies are left behind somewhere in the structure.
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