Discovering a raccoon in your attic can be a challenging and unsettling situation. Raccoons are resourceful creatures that can cause damage and create health risks if left unchecked. In this blog post, we'll provide guidance on what you can do if you find a raccoon in your attic, emphasizing safe and humane methods of removal.
**1. Stay Calm and Safe
The first and most crucial step is to remain calm. Raccoons are typically not aggressive unless they feel threatened. Do not attempt to handle the raccoon yourself, as they may bite or scratch when cornered. Ensure the safety of yourself, your family, and any pets by keeping a safe distance.
**2. Identify Entry and Exit Points
Try to determine how the raccoon gained access to your attic. Raccoons are skilled climbers and can enter through damaged roof vents, holes, or gaps in your home's exterior. Identifying these entry points will be important for preventing their return after removal.
**3. Don't Block Their Exit
If you suspect that the raccoon is currently outside, do not seal off the entry point while they are away. Raccoons are known to forage for food and may leave your attic temporarily. Blocking their exit could trap them inside, leading to more significant problems.
**4. Use Bright Lights and Noise
Raccoons prefer dark and quiet spaces. You can encourage the raccoon to leave by placing bright lights and playing loud noises (such as a radio) in the attic. This can make the attic less appealing to them and encourage them to seek shelter elsewhere.
**5. Consider DIY Eviction Devices
There are humane eviction devices available that allow raccoons to leave the attic but not re-enter. These devices include one-way doors or tunnels placed over the entry point. Once the raccoon leaves the attic, they won't be able to return. However, ensure all raccoons have left before sealing the entry point.
**6. Seek Professional Help
Dealing with raccoons in your attic can be challenging, and DIY methods are not always effective. It's often best to consult with a professional wildlife removal service. These experts have the experience, knowledge, and equipment to safely and humanely remove raccoons from your attic.
**7. Do Not Use Poison or Harmful Traps
Using poison or inhumane traps to remove raccoons is not only cruel but also illegal in many places. It can also lead to more significant problems if a raccoon dies inside your attic, creating a foul odor and attracting other pests.
**8. Prevent Future Infestations
After successfully removing the raccoons from your attic, it's crucial to take steps to prevent future infestations. Seal all potential entry points with sturdy materials, such as steel mesh or plywood. Regularly inspect your home's exterior for any new openings.
**9. Clean and Disinfect the Attic
Raccoons can leave behind feces and urine, which can carry diseases and produce foul odors. Once the raccoons are gone, thoroughly clean and disinfect your attic. Replace any contaminated insulation, and consider installing new insulation as needed.
Discovering a raccoon in your attic can be a daunting experience, but with the right approach, you can safely and humanely remove them from your home. Remember to prioritize safety, avoid handling raccoons, and seek professional assistance when necessary. Taking preventive measures to secure your home against future infestations will help ensure a raccoon-free attic and a more peaceful living environment.