Pest Away Tips

6 Tips to Prevent Raccoons from Invading Your Home

Raccoons in the Attic: Understanding Their Habits and Behaviors

If you hear unusual noises in your attic at night, it’s highly possible that you’ve got some guests who have moved in uninvited – and they are most likely raccoons. Although they are cute and playful creatures in the wild, these masked bandits can cause significant damage to your attic, insulation, and duct work.

Moreover, their feces and urine can pose a serious health hazard to you and your family. In this article, we’ll examine the reasons why raccoons enter attics and signs of infestation, as well as how you can prevent them from coming back.

Attractiveness of Attics as a Den

Raccoons typically seek out places to nest that are safe, dry, and warm. Unfortunately, this charisma often leads them to human dwellings where they will enter through loose shingles, vents, or other entry points.

Once inside your attic, they will make themselves at home quite comfortably. Although there are many other places where raccoons can nest, such as tree hollows, abandoned buildings, and underground burrows, attic spaces are particularly attractive to them because they provide some unique benefits.

For instance, attics provide excellent protection from weather elements which include wind, rain, snow, and heat from the sun. Attics are also dry, which is essential for raccoons with newborn babies, who are particularly vulnerable in damp environments.

Lastly, attics are warm – a crucial requirement for the survival of raccoons living in regions that experience harsh winter and spring months.

Seasonal Habits of Raccoons

Raccoon behavior can vary between seasons. During the breeding season (usually in late winter or early spring), female raccoons seek safe and warm places to give birth and raise their offspring.

This often coincides with the onset of warm weather and longer days. During the winter months, raccoons stop being active and enter into a state of torpor – a deep sleep that helps them conserve energy and survive the harsh winter months.

During the summer months, raccoons tend to be more active and search for food to build up energy reserves. By fall, they begin to prepare for the winter months by feeding more regularly and finding suitable shelters.

When the winter months arrive, raccoons will seek out the warmth provided by attics and other warm sheltered places.

Signs of Raccoon Infestation in Attics

If you suspect that raccoons have taken up residence in your attic, there are several signs to look out for. One of the most evident signs is noise.

Raccoons can be quite noisy, especially when they’re active during the night. You may hear thuds, scratching, clawing, and chittering noises coming from your attic.

Other visual cues that point to raccoon infestation include torn insulation, feces, urine stains, and a nest made of twigs, grass, and other materials brought in from outside. Raccoon droppings are usually smaller than dog droppings, and they are slightly curved and may contain undigested bits of food.

Preventing Raccoon Infestation

The best way to prevent raccoon infestation in your attic is by ensuring that the entry points are sealed off. You can do this by checking your roof and insulating material for any cracks or holes.

Seal off any openings with metal mesh or hardware cloth and make sure to double-check that all areas have been closed off. Be mindful of tree branches that may overhang your house, and trim them back.

Raccoons can use tree branches and other vertical structures to climb up onto your roof and gain entry into your attic.

Conclusion

Raccoons are fascinating creatures that often pose a significant challenge when they take up residence in your attic. We hope that the tips and information provided in this article are helpful in identifying the signs of infestation and preventing them from ever setting up residence in your attic.

Remember always to be cautious when dealing with raccoons and perhaps vigilant if there are infants involved. When in doubt, contact a professional to help.

Testing for Raccoons in Attics: The Paper Test

If you’ve noticed signs of raccoon activity in your attic, such as noises, droppings, or torn insulation, you may want to do a simple test to confirm their presence before taking more extensive measures. One of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to test for raccoons in attics is to use the paper test method.

In this article, we’ll explain how the paper test works and its validity as a testing method.

The Paper Test Method

The paper test method is a simple way to detect whether there are any raccoons in your attic or not. The first step is to close up all entrances or exits to your attic.

This includes sealing the attic door, vents, windows, and any other openings that you may have identified as potential entry or exit points for raccoons. Next, cut two long strips of paper around four inches wide and make a square out of them.

Tape this square to the floor of your attic, in the area where you suspect there is raccoon activity. Use heavy-duty tape, so the paper does not shift around.

After you have set up the strip, wait for a few days and monitor the activity around the square. If you see little footprints or any disturbance on the paper, it’s a good sign that raccoons are present in your attic.

By setting up the paper strips, you can tell if raccoons are coming and going by which side the raccoons stepped on to leave or enter the paper square.

The validity of the Test

The paper test method is widely used because it is a simple and effective way to test whether there are raccoons in your attic. However, its validity is not absolute and certain factors can affect how accurate the test results are.

The paper test is most effective when it is done during good weather conditions, and when there are no high winds or storms. Strong winds could cause the paper strip to wrinkle or move around, and this movement could lead to the paper test strips producing false results.

Similarly, rain or snow can also affect the testing method. The water from precipitation could make it difficult to see footprints left by raccoons.

There are several factors you need to consider when performing the paper test, and you should use it in conjunction with other methods to determine whether there are raccoons in your attic or not.

Ways Raccoons Enter Attics

Once you’ve established that there are raccoons in your attic, the next step is to determine how they’re getting in. Identifying the raccoons’ entry points is essential because it can help you to take appropriate actions to prevent future infestations.

Here are some of the common ways raccoons enter attics.

Through the Roof

One way raccoons get into attics is through the roof. They can climb onto your roof using tree branches, utility poles, and other vertical structures near your house.

Once they are on the roof, they look for vulnerable spots, such as loose shingles or holes in the roof, to gain entry to your attic.

Through Vents

Another way raccoons get into attics is through vents. Like with the roof, raccoons can climb up to your roof and tear through the flimsy screens that protect your attic from ventilation points.

They will then push other flaps or covers aside to get in.

Chewing through Cheap Siding

Cheap siding of a house can also be an entry point for raccoons. Structural issues provide entry points for raccoons like trimming boards, dormer junctions, and other weak spots.

Racccoons are opportunistic animals and will find weak spots to gain access.

Conclusion

Identifying and removing raccoons from your attic is essential to avoid significant damage to your property. By using the paper test, you can confirm the presence of raccoons in your attic before taking more extensive measures.

Remember, the paper test can be a useful tool to identify raccoon activity, but it should only be used in conjunction with other methods to confirm whether there are raccoons in your attic or not. If you’ve identified entry points that raccoons have been using, taking steps to seal them and deter the animals from entering again will prevent future raccoon infestations.

Preventing Raccoons from Entering Your Home: Tips and Tricks

Raccoons are intelligent, opportunistic creatures that can quickly take over an area if given the chance. When it comes to invading your home, their strength, agility, and resourcefulness make them a challenging opponent.

To prevent raccoons from entering your home, you need to take some preventive measures. In this article, we’ll provide you with tips and tricks on how to prevent raccoons from entering your home.

Seal All Entry Points

One of the most effective ways to prevent raccoons from entering your home is by blocking all possible entry points. Raccoons can enter homes through holes or openings in roofs, walls, and vents, so it’s crucial to seal off all these areas.

This not only applies to your attic but also chimneys, eaves, and exterior walls. Start by inspecting your home and searching for potential entry points.

Once you have identified them, use materials such as hardware cloth, thick mesh wire, or metal sheets to seal them off. It’s recommended to seal off all potential entry points, even if they don’t look like a potential entry point to a raccoon.

Secure Your Garbage

Raccoons are attracted to easily accessible food sources, and garbage cans are one of their biggest trampolines. To prevent raccoons from rummaging through your trash, use garbage cans with tight-fitting lids, and secure them in an enclosed area such as a garage or shed.

The use of garbage cans will reduce the likelihood of raccoons actually finding a way into your house. You can also reduce the amount of food waste by wrapping or storing food scraps like meat, fish in the freezer until garbage day.

Trim Your Trees

Raccoons are skillful climbers, and trees provide an easy way for raccoons to gain access to your roof or second-floor windows. To prevent this, trim branches that overhang your roof and make sure there are no tree branches next or even near to your house as well.

If that’s not possible, surrounding the trunk with metal sheeting will prevent raccoons from using the trunk as a ladder.

Install Proper Screen Meshes

Raccoons often target areas that are not well protected, like the ventilation slits near the roofline. Using proper screen meshes with metal sheet covers will make it difficult for raccoons to penetrate through vents.

A good screen mesh is galvanized hardware cloth with a gauge thickness of 16 to 18.

Pet Doors

One popular entrance for raccoons is pet doors. Raccoons can easily slide through most pet doors, even with minimal space.

To prevent raccoons from entering your home through pet doors, install pet doors with locking mechanisms that can only be operated by your pets wearing collars with special sensors.

Humane Trapping

If you have already tried all these preventive measures and have failed in stopping the raccoons from getting inside, trapping may be a good option. Trapping should only be done in a humane environment that doesn’t cause unnecessary harm to the animal.

A humane trap could be a box-type trap that allows trapping without injuring the raccoon. Once you trap the raccoon safely, release them in the woods or far away from homes and residential areas.

Conclusion

Raccoons can cause significant damage to your home if they manage to invade it. There are a few preventive measures that you can take to stop a raccoon invasion.

First, cover all potential entry points and use hardware cloth to prevent raccoons from scrapping through garbage cans. Second, trim down the trees that can be a pathway to your roof.

Thirdly, ensure that ventilation has proper mesh screening. Fourthly, install a locking mechanism to prevent raccoons from gaining entry through pet doors Lastly, if needed, you can humane trap raccoons and release them far away from your house.

By following these preventive measures, you can keep raccoons away from your home and avoid potential damage. In conclusion, preventing raccoon infestation and entry is an essential step that homeowners need to take to avoid significant property damage.

Raccoons are intelligent and opportunistic animals, meaning that they are perpetual and remain in your attic once they have settled. Identifying potential entry points and implementing preventive measures like sealing all entry points, securing garbage, trimming trees, installing proper screen meshes, and humane trapping are effective ways to prevent raccoons from entering your home.

By taking action to prevent raccoon infestation in your home, you can avoid the costly damage that raccoons can cause. It’s essential to always remember that raccoons are wild creatures and can cause physical harm if provoked, so it’s best to contact a professional if you’re unsure of how to proceed.

Popular Posts