Why Do Raccoons Invade My Home in the Fall, and Is It Dangerous?

As autumn sets in, you might find unwanted visitors seeking shelter in your home – raccoons. These crafty creatures are known for their resourcefulness, and the fall season often prompts them to look for cozy spots to spend the winter. In this blog post, we'll explore the reasons behind raccoons invading homes in the fall and whether or not it poses dangers to you and your property.

Why Do Raccoons Invade Homes in the Fall?

  1. Protection from the Cold: Raccoons are not true hibernators, but they do enter a state of torpor during the winter. They become less active and conserve energy by seeking shelter in warm and protected spaces. Your home provides an ideal refuge from the chilly fall and winter weather.
  2. Nesting for Babies: Female raccoons, or sows, often look for safe and secluded spots to give birth and raise their young, known as kits. Your attic, chimney, or crawl spaces offer a secure location to nest and rear their offspring.
  3. Abundant Food Supply: Fall is a season of plenty for raccoons. With crops ripe for picking and trash cans brimming with discarded food, raccoons may be drawn to residential areas in search of easy meals.

Is It Dangerous?

The invasion of raccoons into your home during the fall can pose several potential dangers:

  1. Structural Damage: Raccoons are known for their dexterous paws and strong claws, which they use to tear through roofing materials, insulation, and wood. Their nesting habits can lead to significant structural damage to your home.
  2. Health Hazards: Raccoons can carry diseases like rabies, distemper, and raccoon roundworm. Their feces and urine can contaminate your home, posing health risks to you and your family. If you encounter a raccoon in your home, avoid contact and seek professional removal.
  3. Noise and Odor: Raccoons can be noisy houseguests, especially during the night when they are most active. They can also create unpleasant odors due to their waste and nesting habits.
  4. Damage to Personal Property: Raccoons may rummage through your belongings in search of food or nesting material, potentially causing damage to personal property.

Preventing Raccoon Invasions:

To prevent raccoons from invading your home in the fall, consider the following preventive measures:

  1. Secure Trash Bins: Use raccoon-proof trash containers with secure lids to prevent access to discarded food.
  2. Seal Entry Points: Inspect your home for potential entry points, such as holes or gaps in the roof, walls, or foundation. Seal these openings with sturdy materials.
  3. Trim Trees and Branches: Raccoons are skilled climbers. Trim tree branches and limbs that provide easy access to your roof or attic.
  4. Secure Pet Food: If you have outdoor pets, don't leave their food outside overnight. Remove pet food dishes to prevent raccoons from being attracted to your property.
  5. Install Motion-Activated Lights: Install motion-activated lights in areas where raccoons may frequent, as they dislike bright lights.
  6. Use Ammonia Soaked Rags: Raccoons are sensitive to strong odors like ammonia. Placing ammonia-soaked rags in areas prone to raccoon activity may deter them.

Professional Removal:

If raccoons have already invaded your home, it's essential to seek professional removal services. Attempting to remove raccoons on your own can be dangerous and ineffective. Professionals have the experience, tools, and techniques to safely and humanely remove raccoons from your property. Once removed, call STOP Restoration services of Spokane for a free inspection of the area for potential health risks from waste in the nesting area.


While raccoons seeking shelter in your home during the fall might seem like a nuisance, it's crucial to take their presence seriously. Their entry can result in structural damage, health hazards, and other problems. Preventive measures and professional removal services are key to keeping your home raccoon-free and safe for you and your family.