Raccoons in the attic!!

freygirlMay 2, 2007

I have raccoons in my attic and they are so far back in there that you can't even see them. They came through a doggie door in the garage. How do I get them to leave? They are destroying everything! Also, do you know if home insurance will cover any of the damages?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would call Animal Services and seek advice from them. Is it a mother with her babies?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 7:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok this doesnt help, but I just had to ask if you have seen Grey Gardens documentary? They had a racoon in the attic long term ;)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 10:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh no.. you have my sympathy. We went through that for a couple different summers and the damage was immense. Insurance will NOT pay for the damage either. We ended up hiring a trapper who was not able to get the momma and her babies out of the attic and got angrier by the day as she kept outsmarting him. We kept making the environment inhospitable for her and that is what finally got rid of her then we were able to get the babies out and to a shelter.
First put bright lights in the attic, along with a radio, mothballs (lots of them). Try setting a live trap but most likely she will shake the tuna you need to put in it out and eat it but its worth a try ( she might be a dumb raccoon). She will leave the nest to go forage for food so while she is out you need to figure out where she was getting in at. In your case the doggie door and secure it. If you can every 15 min of the day or as frequently as you can go to the entrance of the attic and pop your head up in there and make a lot of noise.. yell at the kids, sing with the radio you put up there.. I know this sounds dumb but it takes a lot of perseverance but you want her to feel as unsafe as you can and leave. If that does not work then you have some other options. Feed her a mixture of peanutbutter and concrete mix to kill her or if you are in a rural area get a neighbor with a rifle to shoot her and remove. I know this sounds cruel but our raccoon, destroyed insulation, damaged electrical wiring by chewing on it and defecated in the attic. It was a horrendous mess. Good luck. Please keep us posted.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 12:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Run your weedwacker up there. Seriously the noise and smoke from the two-stroke engine will drive them out. Cut the line short, place a tie wrap on the throttle, go out for lunch.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 5:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for everyone's responses and advice. I don't know if it is a mother and her babies. Lorie, sounds like you know exactly what we are dealing with. I know each day that he/she is in our attic, more damage is being done. I'm even afraid that it could start a fire if it does indeed chew on the electrical wiring. We are doing the mothballs, radio and light right now, but still no success. I will keep you all posted.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 12:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had someone tell me that I was very cruel and dark person because I said the only good raccoon was a dead raccoon. lol Oh well I will forgive them their ignorance.
Bushleague I think you could be on to something there! Maybe run a shop vac up there?
One other thing I forgot was we put the cat up there one year. You just have to make sure its not too hot in the attic.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 10:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Live trap with tuna fish bait...

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 11:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do whatever it takes to get the raccoon family out NOW! My next door neighbor had several raccoons (mama & babies) die in her attic, and she has spent many months and thousands of dollars getting the smell out of her house and the damage repaired.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am SO HAPPY to report that we are now on our 5th consecutive day WITHOUT raccoons!!! Ours must have been "sensitive" because they left with just moth balls, lights and loud music. HURRAY!!! Needless to say, we have now covered our doggie door. Thanks for all the good tips.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 3:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

freygirl, Good for you.. You have no idea how many times you have crossed my thoughts wondering how it was going. Congrats on you life w/o raccoons!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 6:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thank you, lostnca! whoever you are... you gave great advice. i heard the bugger in the dead of night, making lots of racket and then i saw him/her in the eaves of the house, on the insulation, chilling out. it was 3 a.m. and i ran to my computer and, after a search, your answer impressed me. this was something i could do right now! so, grabbed the radio from the guest room, a few clip in lights from the office, another radio from the basement and set up the interrogation room. i heard it rattle around some more and the next morning saw that the raccoon had torn off the gable of the house! that's how it'd gotten in; the weathwer vane was crooked,leaning sideways. i nailed it shut and set up a trap by the downspout that it had used to climb up. nothing! happily, no raccoon and no babies. thank you for that excellent post!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 9:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They love peanut butter with rat poison mixed in.

Usually clean up the box completely.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 6:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just woke up to the patter of feet in the attic---will be buying mothballs soon. Had them last year and we got them out and boarded up their entrance. They stayed in a small area, this time it sounds like the whole attic. Husband and dog are sleeping through it!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 8:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A couple weeks ago we heard a racket outside our bedroom and a raccoon had ripped off a soffit vent and proceeded to set up house in my attic. Next day I called a couple of animal removal experts out for an assessment and quote.

The first animal removal expert told me my vents on top the roof "had been compromised" and he would cut me a deal and secure all four and the soffit for $495. Caveat emptor - there are many crooks in this business...and their websites are FULL of scare tactics and false information so you think you need the professionals. Many of the website will tell you that music and lights won't work. Don't believe them.

The second company was highly recommended on Angie's List so I felt more at ease listening to him. His first attempts were not very successful but they helped us determine what was going on. He installed a "one-way" cage door on soffit so when the raccoon left to feed at night, it wouldn't be able to get back in. The raccoon went nuts! Chattering and running around and trying to tear off the cage door. Well, that was not good news because that meant the coon was a "she" and were little ones inside she was desperate to get back to. So we opened the door again the next day...we want her to move the litter on her own.

People always ask "Why don't you just shoot her" and this illustrates exactly why...imagine the smell when 3-4 kits die and rot somewhere in the attic. They are much better alive because they will reveal themselves if you get close to them.

So I started hearing noises in the ceiling in one corner of the house and this turned out to be the most secluded corner in the attic tucked away between intersecting low roofing beams...nearly impossible for a human to get to.

So I read above to try music and lights. I installed a very bright CFL light shining into the corner and got a CD player and started blasting the worst heavy metal (I'm talking screaming) I could find into the corner. I just knew that old CD would come in handy for something some day LOL.

Turns out she wasn't much of a heavy metal fan. She picked up the litter and moved to the other end of the house right next to the soffit vent she tore off - in the recess of the chimney. A few minutes later and I had moved the coon entertainment center to the new location to convince her that my attic was a noisy unsafe place for her litter.

The removal company has installed a night-vision motion sensor camera outside just beside the soffit...we are waiting now to see if we can catch her moving the litter out. If we can get proof positive that the family has vacated, we will board up and secure the premises to prevent future infestations.

As a matter of prevention, I'm also going to install very bright motion-sensor lights around my house and next to the pool. I read they like to be near water to wash their food, and bright lights that suddenly turn on is a good deterrent for any would-be future residents.

Getting live footage of her is kind of exciting...the only cool thing I can say about the whole experience.

I'll post again in the next few days with developments. :)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a great recounting of your 'coon capers! Especially the heavy metal CD. We have a lot of raccoons circulating around the house and I'm always afraid they're going to get in. At least I feel armed with the knowledge that you can win if you really try! Thanks for sharing that.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 5:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, I have a follow-up now...turns out this was a really stubborn coon! The lights and music would make her move but she would just find another spot in the attic. In the course of three days she moved them six times every time I moved the lights. In hindsight, if I had flooded the entire attic with bright lights and several radios then she would not have had any place to go...if you choose to do "psychological warfare" keep that in mind. :)

The guy I hired to help me said he had never seen one this hard to evict. So today he decided to go get the little kits and put them in a "reunion box" on the roof. Once she goes out of the one-way door tonight, she'll find them them and take them to an alternate site (fingers crossed). The guy said raccoon moms always have a backup site somewhere. At least she wasn't aggressive when we were getting her kits and fortunately she only had two so we didn't have many to find...she even moved one of the little fellers while we were in the process of getting the first one! Not to fear though, you can always depend on the kits to squeal and let you know where they are.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
toxcrusadr Clay Soil

I was reading up on a species of roundworm that many raccoons are infected with. It's related to dog worms and it can infect humans. There are thousands of tiny eggs in their feces.

If you are cleaning up raccoon feces, wear a good effective mask (not cheap hardware store paper ones but a rubber mask with a HEPA filter cartridge). Wear a disposable tyvek coverall if you can, or at least, take off your outer clothes outside, bag up and wash them in hot water and bleach.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 5:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you are looking to get raccoons removed from your attic contact DQ Pest Control. They are professional licensed nuisance wildlife control operators.
They also remove raccoon feces from attics.

Here is a link that might be useful: Raccoon feces removal

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 12:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"I was reading up on a species of roundworm that many raccoons are infected with. "

Roundworms are the least of your worries.

They carry rabies also.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 3:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm in southern Ontario, a couple of blocks from a creek, and Lake Ontario. We have messy fishermen who leave salmon guts etc., so even though we keep our own garbage secure, the raccoons love our neighbourhood. My hubby was away (go figure), and a female raccoon pried down soffit (split level) and got in. She had pups. I could hear them overhead in the spare bedroom. One quick look with a flashlight up in our attic hatch confirmed it. We tried the boombox, strobe lights, but what made her take her babies and run was a sound. Hubs downloaded a sound generator onto his iphone, and a tone around 6000-8000 khz made the pups chirp loudly when he held it up in the attic. We plugged it into the iphone/ipod dock on the boom box, cranked up the volume, and she was gone overnight, with all her pups! We did the right thing and taped paper over the hole and monitored it for two days..no activity so it's now boarded over until we can make a prettier repair. Just thought you might want to know.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 11:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have raccoons in our attic. A large vent made from composite material was chewed and I assume it is a mother and babies. I contacted a few companies yesterday and at minimum, the cost will be $500. That will not include cleanup. I am wondering if we should try the loud music and mothballs. I bought a new vent from Home Depot and along it was $130. I plant to install hardware cloth behind the vent and also on the surface of the vent when we get her out. (not sure how to install the hardware cloth on the outside of the vent but we will try). I just don't want to put a new one in and have it all chewed up again. Damn coons!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 5:51PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
The strangest, persistent odour
Hello all. This is a serious mystery. About a month...
Strange 'fishy' smell
Hello all - My parents are having an issue with a somewhat...
How to deal with post-snow water damage?
Recent northeast snow storm has caused some water leakages...
Neighbor's yard is full of junk
We live in a quiet, middle class neighborhood. Neighbors...
What would you do if...
1. You hired a contractor to remodel your kitchen (custom...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™