Why Do Raccoons Love Your Attic?

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I was laying in bed about to crack open the book I am currently reading when I heard it. The attic space above my head was full of activity as if my kids were up there wrestling. The paintings on the wall were shaking, and I could almost see the ceiling moving up and down! Is there a trampoline up there?

Then I heard a heavy-footed sound of walking and it was at that point I realized there was something big, alive and energetic having some fun a few feet above my head. It was terrifying and intriguing all at the same time. What could this clodhopper be?

summit pest control headerBecause I do have trees in my yard and a heavily wooded creek that runs past my property, I knew it had to be wildlife of some sort. Maybe an elephant?

I called Summit Environmental Solutions on 17-North and spoke with a lovely sounding girl named Rebecca. I explained to her the ruckus I was hearing above my head and she did not seem surprised at all. Matter-of-factly, she said, “It’s mating season for raccoons and other wildlife, and they love cozy attics for nesting.” After picking my jaw up from the floor in complete and utter disbelief of the fact I could have a real, living and breathing, MATING raccoon living amongst me and my family! She offered to have a wildlife technician come investigate and provide a free estimate for its removal and clean up.

summit pest control headerDuring this entire experience of ‘raccoon exclusion,’ I have learned more than one needs to know about raccoons and the damage they can do if hunkered down in your attic. Raccoons have a very strong maternal instinct and once she has made up her mind to nest in a particular attic, getting the raccoon out of there is quite the task!

I live in Virginia, which means, I was not allowed to trap the raccoon myself… legally. Not that I wanted to, believe me.

They are highly intelligent animals, and if they’ve been caught in a trap, they will NEVER go for the bait again during its lifetime.

They can gain access to your attic through the teeniest of openings. This was very surprising information as I saw the grandiosity of my resident raccoon.

They have hand-like paws and are excellent climbers and, in my case, they climbed the lattice of Wysteria growing on the side of the house.

Finally, the biggest thing I learned is they can make a GINORMOUS mess in your home.

So, the wildlife technician from Summit installed a humane animal trap and baited it with an open can of cat food, believe it or not. My raccoon family apparently did not like cat food and the capture was futile. After the sun had set that evening, I heard the raccoons making their way to the exit they created for a fun night of rummaging through garbage cans, and just before my alarm, very early in the morning, they’d come home to reconvene in the attic. The trap, unfortunately, remained empty, except for the disgusting cat food. I could almost hear the raccoons laughing at me with the familiar chattering.

After a week, one of the raccoons fell for the bait and got captured! Score! The trapper from Summit promptly came out and reset the trap for its mate.

Next, the trapper installed a one-way door and placed it in the hole the raccoons created and had it exiting out of the attic and onto my front porch roof. After two days of the one-way door, I noticed raccoon number two sitting on the porch roof pondering how she or he will be getting back in the attic. She definitely got out and just couldn’t re-enter — exactly the point and whole idea behind the one-way door! YES! Success!

The final stage of my raccoon ordeal went very smoothly and something like this; Summit sent a team who pulled out all of the insulation that was soiled by my roommates, disinfected and deodorized the entire attic space, they fixed the holes and wrapped the soffit line with metal, and then replaced the insulation! Of course, since this happened unexpectedly, I was able to procure financing through GreenSky to cover the costs associated with the invasion.

My homeowner’s insurance did not cover a penny of the cost and this is my fault, actually. Without having properly maintained the attic vent in my house made it easier for the raccoon couple to move in. If I have learned just one thing, is to keep up with ALL of the home maintenance I was putting off for a rainy day.

To save you time and money, make sure that your attic windows are closed and the chimney is capped securely. According to the experts at Summit, no matter what you do, raccoons are resourceful and like little thieves. If they truly want to get into your home, they will certainly find a way!

Call Summit immediately if you hear noises or a wrestling match above your head. The longer you wait, the worse it will be I can assure you of this fact. And in case you are wondering, no, the city or county will not remove wild animals from your attic. Don’t even waste your time. Make sure you read what other customers are saying about the company you choose.

 

To learn more about raccoons and their escapades, visit National Geographic.

To schedule an appointment with Summit Environmental Solutions for a FREE inspection and estimate, visit Summit and fill out the contact form.

To watch a few amusing videos of raccoons, click below

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