If you think you have raccoons in the attic, don’t panic. Here’s how to identify whether it’s raccoons rather than another type of pest, the kind of damage they can do, and how to get rid of raccoons in the attic.
How Raccoons Enter Your Attic In The First Place
Like many other pests, raccoons in your attic usually enter from spaces in the roof, chimneys or vents.
A relatively weak material like plywood or chicken wire is no match for a raccoon, who can tear it off, or bend it out of the way. This means when you have cracks or gaps in your roof it’s vital to get them fixed ASAP.
How Small Of A Hole Can A Raccoon Crawl Through?
You’d be surprised.
Considering the size of a raccoon, they only need 4 inches to get through. And as we’ll talk about below, they’re more than capable of making a smaller hole larger. A lot of what you’re looking at with a raccoon is fur, so their bodies are smaller than you’d think.
Are Raccoons In The Attic Dangerous?
Yes, raccoons are more dangerous than they look. They can carry a number of diseases that can be deadly to humans and pets, most famously rabies.
Their feces can also seriously contaminate your indoor air. In fact, coming into contact with the feces of raccoons in the attic can give you salmonella or roundworm.
Identifying Raccoon Waste
Raccoons are large, and so, unfortunately, are their droppings. They’re tube-shaped and tend to be dark colored. If they’ve eaten berries or seeds these will be visible, as they pass through undigested.
Raccoons in your attic designate one area as their bathroom. This will be away from where they eat and sleep, so all their droppings will be piled up together.
Not all homeowners relish the idea of inspecting racoon droppings themselves. If you’d rather Atticare took a closer look at this for you, simply get in touch!
What Does A Raccoon Sound Like In The Attic?
Adult raccoons can weigh between 10 and 20 pounds. So you’ll know from their footsteps that it’s raccoons in your attic and not just mice or squirrels up there.
They’re more active at night and are generally slow walkers unless they’re worked up over territory or they want to mate. Sometimes you’ll even hear sliding rather than walking.
Raccoons may have entered your attic by destroying part of the structure of your building. So if you hear banging or thudding, it could be a raccoon trying to gain entry. Whatever you do, don’t ignore it because they could be planning to have their young inside your attic.
Can Raccoons Fall Through The Ceiling?
Raccoons in the attic are quite heavy and can’t always detect which areas are weak. As they will be urinating in one patch above the ceiling, that part is likely to be damp and weak.
The Damage Raccoons Can Do To Your Attic
It’s perfectly possible for raccoons in the attic to cost homeowners thousands of dollars. Or even more, if they cause an electrical fire.
They’re strong with sharp claws and will persevere in making small holes into big ones. Raccoons are also good climbers so getting onto your roof in the first place is easy.
Raccoons love chewing, and will even chew on electrical wires. This is obviously a huge fire hazard.
Raccoons can tear off roof shingles, especially if they are old, damaged and easy to remove. These opportunist bandits will identify and target the weak points.
Soffit panels cover the underneath of the part of your roof that overhangs. You need them intact in order to keep out pests and dampness. So if raccoons damage them you’ll need to get them fixed promptly.
Ducts And Vents
Raccoons are unfortunately pretty good at taking apart small components of ducts or vents in order to create large openings.
If they build a nest inside a duct or vent they can block the air circulation and ruin your air quality with their droppings.
Raccoons can stain drywall with their urine, the accumulated weight of which over time can even cause it to collapse.
Insulation only works if it’s intact, and dry. So if raccoons are using your insulation as a toilet it just won’t keep your home the temperature you like.
Attic insulation also needs to be even in order to do its job. This means that if raccoons have ripped it up there will be uninsulated patches.
Dampness And Mold
All these raccoon-made entry points also ruin the energy efficiency of your attic, and your ability to control indoor humidity.
Bear in mind also that raccoons using your attic as a bathroom will make the area humid even if the weather is dry.
How To Get Rid Of Raccoons In The Attic
The best thing to do if you suspect you have raccoons in your attic is to call Atticare so we can send our trained team out to take a look.
And if you do have raccoons in the attic we’ll get rid of them and seal off their entrances to your home. Our professionals will leave your attic clean, raccoon-free and with no way for them to get back in again.
Our method is totally humane and doesn’t rely on traps or poison. This means the raccoons will be gone, and you’ll never have to get rid of dead raccoons from your property.
Will Raccoons Leave The Attic On Their Own?
No, once you have raccoons they’ll stay however long they want. This could be after they’ve done thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home, or even caused an electrical fire.