Raccoons are incredibly destructive and one of the most common carriers of rabies in the U.S. In recent times, they have discovered living with humans is a better source of food than living in the woods. They have moved into urban neighborhoods, causing damage to homes and roofs. They are very intelligent creatures who love solving puzzles. If your home is the target of a raccoon family, it is time to take action immediately.
The first step to any home invasion is inspection. If you suspect a furry intruder, take a careful look around your home and attic. About 90% of the time, a raccoon invading your home is a mother looking for a safe place to nest. Check the attic for a nest of baby raccoons and feces. Raccoons can cause large amounts of damage in a short time.
Damage to Your Roof
If there is not an entry point to your attic, raccoons will create one. They are not shy about it and can rip holes in your roof to gain access. Here are a few common ways raccoons may attempt to gain access:
• Broken soffit vent. Raccoons will use their paws to tear the soffit vents right off of your home, creating a direct access door to your attic.
• Open vent hole. Check ventilation panels for mesh covering. This allows the air to still flow through the roof but does not allow intruders to gain access to your home.
• Open eaves. A lot of times your house may seem secure, but all it takes is one small opening for a raccoon to stick in a paw and make the hole bigger. They will tear into molding in the eaves and trim to find a warm, safe place to have their babies.
• Tear through shingles. If you have a traditional roof, raccoons may target the weak spots and rip right through the shingles. They can cause massive holes in your roof leading to water damage, electrical damage and more. Replacing traditional shingles with metal roofing in an area prone to raccoons may help you prevent reentry.
Clean Up the Yard
Raccoons arrive in search of food. Do not leave pet food outside, clean up after family picnics and tell your children not to leave food lying around. Raccoons are famous for breaking into garbage cans. The smell of food scraps is overwhelming to the masked bandit, and they will most likely rummage through your trash in search of something good to eat. Lock up trash cans in a shed or your garage. Be sure to keep the lid on tight to hide the smell of food. A locking garbage can may seem like a good idea, but raccoons love a good puzzle and can often figure out how to unlock it.
Remove any tree limbs making a bridge to your roof. Raccoons are good climbers and use trees to gain access to your roof. Once in, it is hard to extract them from your attic. Most pest control experts recommend removing the nest of babies by hand in a pillowcase and then using them for bait outside the home to catch the mother. Because of their cunning nature and large size, it might be best to call in a pest control professional to handle the problem.