A. Wild animals, including raccoons, pick a house by its exterior first. If you have food available, like bird feeders, garbage, gardens, lawn grubs or pet food, the raccoons consider this great curb appeal.
Once they see a good place to eat, the next check is for a good place to sleep and raise their young. Raccoons can squeeze through any opening that their head will fit through, or about a 4" hole. Anything that gives them access to the interior of the building (like loose fascia), or to the chimney makes your house their home.
Q. Why do raccoons want to live in my attic?
A. Raccoons seek a safe place to live and to raise their babies. As human populations spread, construction and development destroys natural raccoon homes. Manmade structures are very similar to the natural habitat of a hollow tree, with the extra bonus of climate control and very few predators. Attics, chimneys and crawl spaces or even wall cavities make great nurseries.
Q. Why do I need to get rid of raccoons?
A. Raccoons do not make good roommates-they never pay rent and they leave the place a mess. You want to get them out as soon as possible or suffer from noise, attic damage, chimney blockage, tipped garbage cans, missing pet food, alarmed pets and possible disease. Once raccoons are accustomed to your home they return year after year-scratching, mating, fighting, growling and generally tearing up the place. Raccoons can weigh up to 50 pounds and make a mess that seems much bigger than that. They also create holes that give access to other animals, such as bats. Their messes attract even more animals, like mice and rats. We recommend you get them out of your building as soon as possible.
Q. When are raccoons a problem?
A. Raccoons in homes are always a problem. They have a well-deserved reputation for mischief. The very name "raccoon" comes from an Algonquian word meaning "he who scratches with his hands." That gives you a good idea of the problems raccoons cause. They are also intelligent, omnivorous (will eat nearly anything), and strong. When they enter the human world they damage property, scare people, injure pets, threaten your physical and mental health and keep you up at night.
Q. When do raccoons come into houses?
A. Raccoons most commonly enter homes and other buildings between April and September, depending on location, but we get calls year-round from people with animals in their attics, chimneys and crawl spaces. Raccoons seek shelter or a place to birth and raise their young. Females hide from the male raccoons (boars), which hunt and kill young raccoons.
Q. When is the best time to get rid of raccoons?
A. As soon as you know they are in your home. We can remove raccoons, even with litters of young, any time of the year. The longer you wait the more damage they cause and the harder it is to keep them from returning. If you know there are raccoons in your area or have heard that your neighbors have had raccoon problems, quickly put preventative measures in place or you may be next.
Q. Where do raccoons live?
A. Raccoons are found in much of North America from Florida to Quebec. In nature they like to live near water in hollow trees, ground burrows or caves. They are also very adaptable and are more and more often found in suburban and urban areas. Attics, chimneys, crawl spaces and walls of buildings provide an environment similar to their original, natural habitat and are favorite homes for raccoons. They are in no way a threatened species and in some areas are considered over-abundant.
Q. Where do raccoons usually enter a building?
A. A raccoon can enter your building anywhere she finds or can make a 4-inch hole. That's right, if her head fits, she can squeeze her body through! Favorite access spots are chimneys, weak soffits, dormers, and under eaves. Unfinished areas, such as under decks, are also favorite doors, as are locations where two types of material meet (brick to wood or siding to stucco).
Q. How do I know if I have raccoons in my attic?
A. Don't ignore the probability that an animal is there. 99% of the time when people call me with a possible animal problem, they are right! With raccoons, you usually don't really have to wonder because they are not sneaky.
Walk around your home and look for raccoon activity: bent or broken vents and mud or scratch marks near corners and downspouts. Raccoons tear holes with their strong and clever hands. Listen for chirping sounds in your fireplace or screaming and crying (raccoon mating noise) in your attic. You will commonly hear a lot of walking, thumping and wrestling noises, almost like two boys in a fight. Late night and early morning are very noisy times as the raccoons wake up and leave and then return to den in the morning.
Raccoons leave droppings similar in size and smell to a dog and have a strong body odor as well. You may also see animals occasionally during the day. Be cautious. Raccoons are primary nocturnal and activity during the day can mean rabies. It can also just mean the animal is unusually stressed or seeking food.
Q. Where can I get help with my raccoon problem?
A. Call us. We are professional raccoon removers and have trained technicians who can help you get rid of the raccoons, keep them out, and clean up the mess.
Q. What are the health risks of having raccoons in my residential or commercial building?
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A. Raccoons bring a number of health risks with them when they occupy your property, outside or inside. Rabies is a well-known risk, but certainly not the only one. Raccoons can transmit a parasite called roundworm (baylis ascaris procyonis) to humans via their waste. Humans come in contact with it when storage items are brought down from infested attics, or when small children pick up or eat raccoon waste they find on the ground.
Pets, especially dogs, can also contract Canine Distemper, a fatal disease, or Mange.
Raccoons also host a number of bugs such as mites, ticks, fleas and, if you happen to have a dead raccoon, maggots. Sudden infestations of these insects are common in homes and businesses occupied by raccoons.
It is not enough to remove the raccoons to remove the health risk. Complete clean-up and decontamination is necessary or your home will be full of fleas, mites and other unwanted pests.
Q. Will the raccoons attack me?
A. While raccoons do not routinely attack people, they will when cornered, as will any wild animal in a strange or stressful situation.
Q. Who is responsible for this raccoon problem?
A. The property owner is responsible. Cities, counties, states or federal government agencies will assist with problem domestic animals (like dogs) or big game (like deer, elk or cougars), but not nuisance wild animals like raccoons. Wild animal removal is best performed by trained professionals like us who specialize in nuisance animal removal. We are ready and able to help you with your animal problems.
Q. Which poisons do you recommend to kill raccoons?
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A. There are no poisons available which are approved for raccoons. Some people try concocting their own home-brew versions, which we do not recommend. Even if it works, the result will likely be a dead raccoon in the walls and a bigger problem than what was started with. We do not recommend poison. Relocation and exclusion are much safer and more effective methods.
Q. Which raccoon repellents are the best?
A. There are some effective repellents available. For more information see our Pricing Page.
Q. Which methods do you use to exterminate raccoons?
A. We relocate animals whenever possible, depending on local and state regulations. Raccoons are considered game or furbearing animals in many places and are subject to regulation. If extermination is necessary, we prefer euthanasia in a CO Chamber, with trapping or shooting as alternatives.
Q. Which methods do you use to get rid of raccoons?
A. We specialize in raccoon removal from attics, chimneys, and walls. Using special infrared cameras we can "see" the animals in hard-to-reach places. We lower the cameras on cables or extend them on poles. The raccoons have a hard time hiding from this. After the animals are located we use a variety of trapping methods to remove them. Depending on city, county, state and federal regulations, we will either relocate or euthanize the animal. The animals are treated humanely.
Q. Who should I call for help?
A. Call Allstate Animal Control 1-888-488-7720. We have helped many people get rid of the raccoons in their chimneys, attics, crawl spaces and many other interesting locations. We are quick and effective and have the experience and expertise you need.
Q. Why should I hire a professional to get rid of raccoons?
A. Getting rid of raccoons requires special skill, knowledge, tools, materials and methods. Raccoons are strong and intelligent and can outwit a novice. It is also important to know about special situations, such as mother raccoons with a nest of babies. Each animal removal is a unique situation and professionals have the experience necessary to customize the job and ensure success.
A. Raccoons cause both structural and contamination damage-they tear open siding, break louver vents, rip off shingles, gnaw on wiring, bite water lines and tear loose drains and gutters. Their waste destroys insulation and urine soaks into ceilings and walls. Raccoons tear down birdfeeders and eat all the fish out of ponds. They kill pets and other wanted animals. They are sometimes destructive for no apparent reason and will tear loose wiring just to suit their own decorating taste. Raccoons tear up lawns and golf courses, devastate vegetable gardens, and steal fruit off trees.
If a raccoon is trapped in a building, it will go berserk. The most severe raccoon damages I have ever seen are from when one has been loose in a living room, tearing up drapes, carpet, walls, everything it can reach. A raccoon is a very dangerous animal to have in your home or business.
Q. What is this going to do to my property value?
A. Raccoon damage can reduce property value by 5-10%, and makes a property very difficult to sell due to smell and damage. In most states you are required by law to get rid of raccoons before trying to sell a property.
Q. What will a wildlife removal technician do about the raccoons in my building?
A. We help many methods. We get rid of raccoons using traps, vents, repellents and block out. We will clean up the mess and stop them from getting back in by performing basic structural repairs and maintenance. If necessary, we remove dead raccoons and properly dispose of the carcass. Our professional, humane methods will leave your home or other building safe for family, visitors and workers. Each project is different because every building and animal infestation is unique. We will provide an analysis of your problem over the phone if you send digital pictures.
Q. How do raccoons get in my building?
A. Raccoons will get in through any hole they can squeeze through. While raccoons can weigh up to 50 pounds, they can access a building through a 4-inch hole. If they find a small hole and sense a desirable nesting site behind it, they will tear their way into a building and take up residence.
Q. How can I get the raccoons out?
A. Hire a wildlife solution expert like us for on-site removal, or try our over-the-phone raccoon removal coaching service .
Q. How can a wildlife removal technician help me get rid of the raccoons?
A. Wildlife removal technicians specialize in removal of raccoons from attics, chimneys, walls, crawl spaces and other hard-to-reach locations. If raccoons are destroying your landscaping, ponds or birdfeeders, we can help. If you have a dead raccoon, inside or outside your building, we can locate and dispose of the carcass. We clean up the mess and perform maintenance and repairs to your building so they can't get back in. We humanely relocate the animal if allowed by law, or euthanize, if necessary.
Back to Top Q. What does it cost for an initial on-site raccoon inspection?
A. Inspections start at $150-250, depending on your location. For specific information, see our Pricing Page.
Q. What does it cost for an initial over-the-phone raccoon control consultation?
A. FREE! Send 5-10 pictures via e-mail and we will review them and call you to recommend a solution and give you an estimate. Pictures should include possible raccoon entrances, all four sides of the building, attic, or other areas you think might be important.
Q. Who pays for my raccoon problem?
A. Raccoon infestations are the responsibility of the property owner. Typically raccoon removal starts with an inspection and evaluation which costs $150-250, depending on your location. You may want to contact your property insurance carrier; your policy may include coverage for removal and clean up of pest animals. For specific information, see our Pricing Page.
Q. What FREE raccoon control services does your company offer to the public?
A. If you find an animal problem on your property, take 5-10 digital pictures and e-mail them to us (use the Contact Us page). We will call you on the phone and discuss your situation for a few minutes and suggest a plan of action, as time allows.
Q. How much will it cost to get rid of the raccoons?
A. Prices vary depending on your location, number of animals and severity of the problem. I can give you a FREE estimate over the phone using digital pictures you e-mail me. For additional information, see our Pricing Page.
Raccoons are wild animals. They are not pets. Even when raised from babies they commonly bite their keepers. Raccoons are best suited to life in the wild. Besides, it is illegal in many states to keep wild animals as pets, including raccoons.