It’s not uncommon for certain wildlife species to set up nests inside your home, particularly during these cold winter months, when living in the wild gets that much more difficult. So a question we get a lot from homeowners is what should I do when that happens? For instance, what do you do about a family of raccoons living inside your attic?
Well, the answer will vary from person to person, but our general advice is to stick to a rule of thumb of kindness and humanity in whatever you do. Traps and lethal solutions are not only unkind and inhumane, but also largely inefficient, so why do them at all?
In this article, we’ll talk about humanely removing raccoons from your property, as well as discuss some prevention methods to keep them away in the future.
How to humanely remove raccoons from your attic
By far the best humane wildlife removal method known at the moment involves live trapping. As the name suggests, live trapping is similar to lethal trapping in the sense that it also involves bait and a cage. Unlike traditional trapping, however, a live trap will secure the raccoon without actually harming it.
You can purchase a live trap from a specialty wildlife removal store, and set it up along the raccoon’s natural path in the attic. Once the live trap is set, we recommend that you check on it regularly, so as not to let the animal be trapped and scared for more time than necessary. That also falls under inhumane.
Once the raccoon is trapped, you can use the live trap to safely transport it to a new location, far away from your property, where it won’t be able to bother you, in the future. If unsure how you can do this exactly, you can read more at critterpro.com, as well as get other raccoon removal and prevention tips.
What about babies?
It’s important, once you’ve found an adult raccoon living in your attic, to also check for baby raccoons. These can make the removal operation trickier, since you will want to keep the mother raccoon with its babies. It’s also worth checking for baby raccoons before you try anything, since a mother raccoon can be quite protective and territorial, and thus attempt to attack you if it feels its babies are threatened.
Baby raccoon nests (or dens) will usually be hidden out of sight, in a spot of the attic that is difficult to reach, so as to keep them safe from danger. Baby raccoons can be tracked by the distinctive noises they make, similar to bird chirps.
What should you do if you discover baby raccoons on your property?
Well, ideally you will want to call a wildlife removal specialist, as this next part can be quite tricky. If you’ve got a raccoon mother and litter of pups in your attic, you could use the pups themselves as bait, by placing them inside a cage. You can then rely on the pups and the mother to call out to each other, thus resolving your problem for good.
However, doing this without prior experience can be quite unpleasant and dangerous, so that’s why you should probably leave it to a professional.
Invest in future prevention.
Once the raccoons are safely off your property, the next step to consider is raccoon-proofing your home for the future. The first thing you’ll need to do is inspect your property (especially the walls, roof and vents) for entry points. It’s paramount to figure out where the raccoon entered your property, and seal that hole ASAP, so as to prevent future invasions.
In sealing the hole, you’ll want to use a material like chicken wire mesh, or something similar that is difficult to chew or claw through. This will also prevent smaller animals, like rodents, from entering your home.
You will also want to clean the attic after a raccoon was in residence. We recommend that you wear protective gear while doing so, because raccoon fur, droppings, and other remnants might carry vicious bacteria. After you’ve sealed the entry points and cleaned the attic, you should also consider open food and water sources that might be appealing to wildlife.