HOW DO WE ELIMINATE RACCOONS FROM YOUR ATTIC?
Toronto Pest Control Services can help you eliminate raccoons from your attic. We send a technician out to your home to provide you with a quote for raccoon removal. The technician will first do a thorough inspection of your roof and will locate the hole the raccoon has made to enter your attic. We then attach a one way door to this hole, which will allow the raccoon to come out, but when it returns it will not be able to reenter. The raccoon will search your roof for other vulnerable areas where it can break back through to enter your attic. For this reason, the technician will also inspect for any other areas where a raccoon could possibly break through to get into your attic, and will recommend securing those areas to ensure that once they are out of the one way door, they will not be able to reenter your attic again. Raccoons can be very persistent and properly securing your roof is always recommended.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How can a raccoon gain entry to my house?
The most common place in your home to have a raccoon problem is in your attic. Raccoons are excellent climbers and once on your roof, will search for vulnerable areas where they can rip their way into your attic. There are multiple locations on your home where raccoons are able to break through to gain entry to your attic. The most common area is where the soffit meets your roof as the raccoon is able to push up the soffit and is able to get into your attic. The next most common area for a raccoon to gain entry into your attic is through an attic vent or plumbing matt. Attic vents are made of either plastic or aluminum and almost every house has some sort of attic vent that allows the house to “breath.” The raccoon will rip at the plastic or aluminum attic vent and once it is ripped off, or open enough for them to get in they will enter your attic. Plumbing mats are another area for raccoons to gain entry. Raccoons will resort to ripping up the rubber seal of the plumbing matt and then tear at the plywood until they make a large hole in the roof. This is a particularly bad area as it may cause serious water damage to your attic. Another common area for raccoons to gain entry to your house is through the chimney. Many brick chimneys do not have a wildlife cap or any sort of covering protecting it from animal entries, so the raccoon will enter the chimney and make a den site on top of the damper. In some cases, where the fascia is made of wood that may have been softened by age or rotting, raccoons are able to rip their way through the rotted wood in the fascia to gain entry. In this case the technician would advise you that you should have the fascia and gutters replaced with aluminum to avoid the animal being able to re-enter your attic space. Raccoons due to their exceptional sense of smell are able to sniff out rotten wood underneath shingles on a roof, and will rip at the shingles and rip through the rotten wood to gain entry. If this is the case the technician would recommend that you replace your roof in the immediate future to ensure the animal is unable to re-enter its den site once Toronto Pest Control Services has removed it.
What happens if a raccoon has babies in my attic?
Raccoons start to have their litters around the 8th of March. After this time, when a raccoon has entered your attic, Toronto Pest Control Services will conduct an attic inspection to search for babies. Raccoon babies can sometimes be identified by their loud “churring” sounds, which sound similar to birds chirping.The technician will conduct a thorough search of your attic for babies. If the technician finds babies he will remove them by hand and place them into a heated incubator. This heated incubator is then placed outside near the one way door, so when the mother leaves through the door she is able to find her babies and take them away. If babies are not removed from your house, the raccoon with persistently try to regain access to your attic to retrieve her babies and may cause serious damage to your house. This is why it is so important that during baby season, that an attic inspection is conducted when a job is being completed.
Where else will a raccoon reside besides in my attic?
While the most common place for raccoons to reside in a residence is in the attic, they may also make den sites in garages, sheds, under decks, porches or patios. Raccoons prefer to be high off the ground and have excellent climbing skills which are why we find them more often in attics then under decks. Raccoons will gain entry to garages or sheds usually through the roof but will sometimes enter through an open door or window. On the occasion that a raccoon does make a den site under a deck, porch or patio, Toronto Pest Control Services will send a technician out to provide you with a quote for removal. To remove a raccoon from under a deck, porch or patio, we use a one-way door that will allow the raccoon to come out, but when it returns it is unable to open the door and will be locked out. Raccoons will always try to get back into their den site and that is why prevention is always necessary. To ensure that the raccoon will not gain re-entry under your deck, porch or patio, the technician will dig a shallow trench and bury screen around the structure. After the raccoon leaves through the one way door it will not be able to reenter anywhere else.
What are the disease risks of raccoons?
About 80% of raccoons in Ontario are infected with Baylisascarisprocyonis which is a type of roundworm. This parasite is found in raccoon feces and can be fatal to humans.
Raccoons pose other risks for diseases. There are three diseases that raccoons carry in North America: rabies, distemper and mange. Rabies and distemper are both viral diseases. Rabies is very rare in raccoons in southern Ontario can be transmitted to humans, pets and livestock who have not been immunized. Rabies is usually transmitted by exposure to saliva from an infected animal. Rabies in humans is a very serious illness and if not immediately treated is always fatal. Distemper is a serious viral disease in raccoons however it cannot be transmitted to humans. Pets that have been immunized are also immune. Distemper is transmitted through contact with excretions of infected raccoons. Mange is not as common as distemper in raccoons across North America. Mange can be transmitted to humans and pets and is caused by a mite. A symptom that you might have mange, is an itching red rash.
Raccoons can also carry parasites and other diseases that can be infections to humans, domestic animals and other species of wildlife. These diseases/parasites include Leptospirosis and parvovirus. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection. It can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected urine, blood or water. Parvovirus can be transmitted to pets that have not been immunized.
Raccoons and other animals with these diseases may show symptoms like staggering or falling over, and may not be fearful of humans or pets. The animal may also show weight loss and have poor coat condition. The animal may appear to be disoriented, have paralyzed hind links, and could have mucous caked around the nose and eyes.
How can I prevent raccoons from coming around my house?
There are a few ways you can discourage raccoons from coming around your home. Food sources for raccoons should be made inaccessible whenever possible. Removal of bird feeders may help keep raccoons away as they will feed on bird food if left readily available. Pet food dishes should be brought inside at night. Trash cans or bins containing any food garbage should have their lids secured. You can cross two bungee cords from the can handles across the lid to help prevent raccoons from gaining access to the food inside. Trash cans should be placed in racks or anchored to prevent raccoons from being able to topple the cans. You may also consider putting your garbage out in the morning instead of at night. However, once a raccoon has broken into your attic, under your deck, porch or patio, exclusion is the only way to ensure they will not gain entry again. While making food sources inaccessible will help to discourage raccoons from your property, once it has made a den site, other animals are able to smell it and you are 10 times more likely to have another animal gain entry to your home than your neighbor who has never had a raccoon problem.
What kind of damage can a raccoon do to my house?
Raccoons can cause a lot of damage to your attic especially if they have occupied your attic for a length of time. Raccoons can leave feces, urine, fleas and mites and can often damage or destroy attic insulation. Raccoons can damage wiring, do structural damage and vapor barrier damage to your attic. They can also leave debris behind. Toronto Pest Control Services can help restore your attic back to its original state. A technician will come out to your home and do a very thorough inspection of your attic. He will look for urine, feces, damaged insulation, damaged wiring, structural damage and vapor barrier damage. The technician may also recommend a micro ban fogging which will disinfect your attic. The technician will write up a report and give you a quote to put your attic back to its original state.
Raccoons can also do damage on the outside of your house. Raccoons can do damage to your lawns and other grounds that are landscaped due to “grubbing” behavior. Raccoons will dig for scarab beetle larvae, June beetle larva and Japanese chafer beetle larva on which to feed. There can be multiple large areas of sod in a lawn turned up in one night as a result of grubbing.
Is trapping an option for removal of raccoons?
Trapping raccoonsis a very ineffective method of control. At Toronto Pest Control Services we almost never recommend it. Raccoons are very wary of traps and may simply decide not to enter. They may reach through the bars to remove the food without ever going inside. There may be more than 1 raccoon. How do you know there isn’t still a raccoon in your attic? You might catch a squirrel instead or a skunk or your neighbours cat. The bait may go rancid or something may just set off the trap. Sometimes neighbours can become very upset with live trapping animals.All these problems cost time and in 2 months you may well still have a raccoon in your attic. It may also become very expensive. Exclusion works immediately and you can have your house back in 24 hours or less.
Raccoons have grayish-black fur and they have a distinctive black mask around their eyes. Raccoons also have black rings on their tail. Raccoons range in size from 60-95 cm long (excluding the length of tail and will weigh anywhere from 5-35 pounds. Raccoons can usually be easily scared away by humans, however if they are cornered, they can be fierce fighters.
Raccoons are nocturnal and are usually only active at night. Male raccoons will range much farther than females often covering 3-20 sq miles. Male raccoons are less likely to break into your attic than a female. Males are solitaryand will be the ones you find asleep on your roof during the day and who leave when it is night time. Female raccoons readily invade attics or un-capped chimneys because these are ideal places for them to give birth and to wean their pups. Raccoon’s diet includes: meats, fish, pet food, seeds, insects, fruits and vegetables. Raccoon densities in rural areas can vary from four to 20 to 100 animals per square kilometer in southern Ontario. Raccoons prefer dark quiet areas that are close to a food source for their den sites.
Raccoons live an average of four years in the wild, but can live as long as 13 to 14 years. Most male raccoons mature at two years while females can mature as early as one year. Breeding usually occurs in January to March with females giving birth 60 to 73 days later. In southern Ontario the first litter of the season can be born as early as March 8. Raccoons will have 1 litter per year with approximately 2-8 young, the average is usually 4-5 young. The young are weaned anywhere from 8 to 15 weeks and will continue to stay with their mother usually until fall or winter. When and if the mother becomes pregnant she will usually drive her young out. Occasionally the young will spend the first winter with their mother and then disperse come late spring.