Raccoons are notorious for being pesky little thieves who will raid your garbage can or steal your pet's food if the bowl is left outside. Even worse, sometimes these annoying critters will actually invade your house and make themselves at home. If you ever have the misfortune of having to put up with a raccoon in the house, here is some key information you will need to know.
Raccoons are most likely to set up shop in out-of-the-way locations in the home, such as an attic or chimney. They may also look to ensconce themselves behind your walls, in the ductwork, and in crawl spaces.
Raccoons often enter houses because the home gives them access to a food source. If you are leaving food items out overnight, for example, raccoons may find this an irresistible temptation. Another reason a raccoon might find your home attractive is that they want to make a den for their young. Female raccoons may find an attic that provides protection for their young is the perfect spot to make a nest.
Some of the signs to look for if you think a raccoon is present include noises in your attic or walls that you can't identify. You might hear the sounds of footsteps or scratching if there is raccoon activity in your attic, for example. Other signs of raccoons are droppings that resemble the poop of a small dog, scratches on your porch or deck posts, and open holes around your home's foundation. Also, look for any nesting materials in your attic or crawl spaces, such as twigs, leaves, torn paper, and bits of cloth.
If notice signs of raccoon activity or spot one in the house, there are some things you can do to mitigate the problem. Make certain you do not leave any food items out in the open and that the trash has a tight lid. Keep your pet's food bowl inside the house. Also, close any holes or openings in your home's foundation, under the eaves, or on the roof. If you have a chimney, make sure it has a cap.
Even if you take steps to keep your home from becoming attractive to raccoons they might still be very difficult to remove once they have established a presence in the house. One thing you definitely do not want to do is try and remove them yourself, as raccoons can carry serious diseases, including rabies. Contact an animal removal expert for assistance.