Many of us have been there-you are lying in bed at night trying to go to sleep, and you hear a thump in the attic, followed by the scamper of little feet. It can even sometimes sound like an entire herd of elephants running around in your attic. “What is that?”, you wonder. Is it aliens in your attic? While it is probably not aliens in your attic, it sure sounds like it sometimes. The most likely culprit for the noises in your attic are raccoons, and they can cause extensive damage if you don’t get rid of them, and fast.
Raccoons are notorious for finding their way into areas which are dark, woody, and with a lot of places to hide. Your attic can be the ideal location for raccoons to bed down, create nests, and even deliver litters of baby raccoons. They can often get in directly through damage in your roof, or they can find places in your eaves, vents, or chimney to get into the attic. Once they have made their home in your attic, they can cause extensive damage. Raccoons are mischief makers by nature, and will figure out ways to open latches, shred fabric, and urinate and defecate everywhere.
The most effective means of removing raccoons from the attic is prevention. Make sure all attic windows are closed and locked, inspect yearly for weak spots in your roof and holes in your eaves. Check to make sure there are no cracks, holes, or any other places for raccoons to get in and take up residence in your attic. If they are already there, there are a number of ways of removing raccoons from the attic.
The best way to remove raccoons from the attic inexpensively is to set traps. You can contact your local animal control agency and ask them for “have a heart” traps. These are small cages, which you can bait and trap a raccoon in without injuring it. Once you have caught the raccoon (or raccoons), contact animal control to have them removed from your attic safely. Animal control will most likely relocate the raccoons to a place where they are unlikely to find their ways back into your attic.
If there are too many raccoons, or you can’t seem to capture them with the traps, you may want to consider contacting a professional exterminator. They will come into your home, assess the situation, and find a way to remove the animals in the most humane way possible.
Once all of the raccoons are removed from your attic, you will need to do repair and maintenance work. You will need to make sure there are no other ways for the raccoons to re-enter your home, and do regular inspections to keep your home pest-free.