Richard Ward

 Tags: Home Inspection

The chances of raccoons entering your attic increase drastically as the cold weather approaches. Though raccoons typically live outdoors, they’ll seek out a safe, warm, and quiet place away from danger to spend the cold winter months. also, it is during these months that they mate and have their litters, which also require a safe and warm space. And that space might just end up being in your home or cottage.

Now is the time to know how to tell if raccoons are in the attic (or trying to get in) and what steps you should take if you determine you do indeed have a serious issue to contend with.

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Loud Noises

Raccoons aren’t small and don’t have a light step. They’re big, they’re heavy, and they’re loud. As late December / early January set in and mating season begins, they’ll be even louder. It literally sounds like they are fighting to the death when in fact they are procreating. Suffice it to say, it will not go unnoticed.

It’ll be quite easy to determine whether or not raccoons are in your attic simply by the level of noise coming from up above. While smaller animals like mice and squirrels will create more of a scratching, knawing or scurrying sound and bats usually will make no sound at all. But raccoons will thrash and thump around due to their weight and size. It will actually sound like a small person up there rummaging around.  Heavy footsteps in your attic are one of the sure-fire signs you have unwanted, uninvited raccoon guests up thereRaccoons are mostly nocturnal, so you will only hear them at night when they’re most active.

Raccoons have their kits in the springtime, once the babies are born both the mother and the babies will become very vocal. Not unlike our babies, raccoons babies will cry a lot the first few weeks. also, the other will be rather vocal with her little ones. So keep an ear out for crying or squealing sounds.

Have a listen below to get an idea of what raccoons sound like:





If you’re often away from home or are a heavy sleeper, there are others ways to determine if you have raccoons living in your home. One telltale sign of their presence is evidence of debris in the attic. If your attic is accessible and you have the ability to take a quick look up there, it will be pretty obvious if raccoons are living in the space. They will most likely have made a bit of a mess entering and exiting the attic. They are known to gentle houseguests. They will often rummage around your attic to find nesting materials in prepration for mating season.  Furthermore, raccoons will typically use only one area of their living quarters as a latrine, so as unpleasant as it is to consider, you will most likely smell or see proof they are living up there.

Lastly, they’re messy eaters. You’ll likely find old food like bones all over the place. And as the raccoons will use materials to build their nests, you’ll likely find twigs, leaves, or insulation lying around your attic.

Roof Damage

While a mouse, bat, or squirrel will only need a tiny opening the size of a dime to get into your home, a raccoon will need a much larger opening to get in. Because of their size and less than subtle approach; it is often possible to observe their entry point from ground level. They will often tare off a roof vent or bend back siding to gain access. If you suspect you may have a raccoon in your attic, do a quick walk around of the property and keep an eye out for any evidence of entry.

It's sometimes difficult to see all your roof vents from up close, perhaps venturing onto a neighbors property to get a better view of your roof will help. Chances are if you have raccoons in your attic, there will be some evidence of their entry observable to the naked eye, it's just a question of taking the time and getting a little creative. Mabe a pair of binoculars f you have some handy?

What to Do Next

If you’ve determined you have raccoons living in your attic, the next step to take is to call humane animal removal experts right away. Raccoons are smart and, thus, DIY removal tactics rarely work to get rid of them. Many DIY methods are also cruel and inhumane, including traps and poisons. Raccoons are also a rabies-vector species and can be vicious—it can be dangerous to attempt to handle the situation on your own.

A wildlife removal company will inspect your home, set up one-way traps to safely and humanely evict the raccoons, and will hand-remove babies if they are present and reunite them with their mother. Only professionals should deal with raccoon removal.

Its specialists will also determine where the animals got in and will repair damage and seal off entry points to ensure that they cannot get back in. They will also work to clean and decontaminate your attic and restore it to proper conditions.

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Richard Ward

With four years of experience as a wildlife technician, Richard has worked for All Wildlife Removal Inc. as a technician since 2015 and is now the Operations Manager.