Category Archives: Raccoons

Anything to do with raccoons

Raccoon Problems

Raccoons in an attic
Raccoons in an attic.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

Dear Mr. Atwell,

I am very sorry to inform you that I will need to break my lease due to the severe raccoon problem I have been dealing with for the last few weeks.  I know this puts you in a difficult position, since you are out of the country, and it will make it hard for you to find another tenant.  I just can’t deal with this anymore.

We have been hearing bumps, chittering and squeaks coming from the ceiling and our neighbor told me he saw a couple of raccoons on our roof the other night.  The noise is bad enough.  It wakes up the whole family, and my dog just goes crazy, barking at the ceiling and whining.  I’m afraid to put the dog outside at night, because I’ve heard raccoons can attack pets or give them diseases.

But, it’s not just the noise we’re dealing with.  I’ve repaired the rain gutters and fascia a few times now, but they just keep finding other ways inside.  Would you be willing to repay me for the cost of materials and my time for the repairs I’ve made?

I strongly suggest you have a property management company to make further repairs and inspect the attic once we’ve moved out.  They’ve made a hole all the way through the ceiling in the master bedroom.  Last night, I woke up to see a snout and then a paw come through the hole almost right above my head.  I am sure the insulation is soiled.

I’m not allowing the kids or our dog to play in the backyard, because I found a whole bunch of raccoon droppings by the back fence and also under the back stairs.  I understand that my children or our dog could actually get raccoon roundworm if they touch something that had raccoon droppings on it, and I just don’t want to take the risk.

Mr. Rodriguez, I really don’t want to break our lease, but I have to think of our health and our safety first.  I am sure you understand.

Yours sincerely,

John Mackey

Dear Mr. Mackey,

Thank you for informing me of the raccoon problem.  Please allow me time to find a good nuisance wildlife removal company to take care of the issue before breaking your lease.  I will find a company that will remove the raccoons, repair the damage and sanitize the attic.  Please believe me when I say I want this problem taken care of quickly.  You have been an excellent tenant and I am sure you do not want to move.  I assure you this will be taken care of in the next couple of days.

Arturo Rodriguez


By the time I opened your email, the wildlife control company had already called me to set up an appointment for raccoon removal and to assess the damage.  I’m really impressed!  They’re coming this afternoon and I’ll let you know what happens.  Hopefully it’s all taken care of soon, because we really do want to stay.  Thanks!


How To Get Rid of Raccoons

Raccoon climbing chimney
Raccoon climbing a chimney to get inside a home.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

If you want to know how to get rid of raccoons, I suggest you do NOT do what we did!

Our backyard is absolutely lovely.  It’s spacious, half of it is wooded and, at the back, it abuts a small creek.  We have a shed with a woodpile next to it, a garden area, a lot of green lawn and even enough room to have a swing set with a slide for the kids to play on.  We have a dog, so we keep the dog food outside for him.  In short, it’s an idyllic backyard . . . for us and apparently for raccoons.

It didn’t occur to us we’d have to figure out how to get rid of raccoons when we moved in, but now it’s something I think about all the time.  I worry about our dog outside at night; I worry about my children when they’re outside playing.  What if there is a rabid raccoon?  I worry about my house.  What if they decide to claw a hole and get in?  What if they build a raccoon nest in my attic?

Raccoons are opportunistic and will eat almost anything.  So, our backyard provides a literal smorgasbord for the family of raccoons that live in the woods out behind our house, and I’m afraid they’ll start seeing my home as their home.  The woodpile apparently houses little rodents, which raccoons eat.  Our dog has a big bowl of dog food, which raccoons eat.  Our garden vegetables are just ripening, which raccoons eat.  The birds are nesting and laying their eggs, which raccoons eat.  The creek out back provides a perfect water source for them, and lets them wash their food, as they like to do.

We’ve seen them clawing and tearing at our storage shed, and it’s just a matter of time before they get in.  I dread the day they decide to tear into our home and have babies in our attic.  The holes they make are a pain to repair, but we have to get them repaired or they’ll just let other animals in, like squirrels, chipmunks, mice, rats or snakes.

So, if you want to know how to get rid of raccoons, call a professional to have them removed off of your property and out of your home, and then don’t provide them free board and lodging like we did.

Of course, there is a little bit of entertainment value.  I caught the family of raccoons out back one night, playing on the swing set.  They had climbed to the very top, were jumping up to move the swings, and one of them even slid down the slide.  They had a great time and the kids and I laughed watching them.  They’re really cute, from a distance, but a real nuisance to your home and property.

Raccoon Trapping

“Okay, Martha, you ready for an evening full of fun and raccoon trapping?”  Max was sixty-eight, newly retired, and bored out of his mind with all the free time he’d had on his hands.  He admitted to himself he was probably driving Martha crazy, with all the new projects he’d started and then left unfinished.  He just wasn’t ready for retirement, and Martha wasn’t ready for him to be retired, hanging around the house all day long, banging away at something and then leaving it for another project.

“Sure, Max.”  Martha sighed.

They were both curled up on the couch, lights off and video camera running.  A couple of raccoons had been hanging around their house for a few nights, and they’d even noticed their cats’ food was disappearing each night.  Max was sure the raccoons were coming into the house through the cat door, and decided to try his hand at raccoon trapping himself.

Martha had suggested just getting a lock for the cat door, but Max didn’t want the hassle.  He knew if they got a locking cat door, they’d just end up having to get up throughout the night to let a cat in or out, and he was enjoying his long nights of sleep, after years of waking too early to an alarm clock.

Martha propped her feet up on the coffee table.  Max’s excitement hadn’t quite infected her yet.  As far as she was concerned, raccoon trapping was just another of Max’s projects.

But, before too long, the cat door swung open a little, and a human-like hand, a raccoon paw, came reaching through the opening.  “Shh, shhh, it’s happening!” Max exclaimed, even though Martha hadn’t made a sound.

Max had set up a raccoon trap with the cat food inside of it.  Martha wasn’t so sure that was the best way to go about it, but she’d learned years ago that it was easier just to let Max pursue his own things, and let him come to his own conclusions.

The raccoon paw came through the cat door again, groping around.  Max wondered if it was looking for any sign of a cat, but had no idea why the raccoon didn’t just come through the door all the way yet.  He refocused the video camera and waited to see what would happen next.

What happened next is not what either Max or Martha expected.  That raccoon felt around until its paw landed on the small rug in front of the door.  It grabbed up the rug, tugged it back out of the opening in the cat door, and ran off into the night with its prize.

Both Max and Martha were stunned.  Why would the raccoon want the rug, they wondered.  Martha’s eyes drifted over to the cat food, and she sighed.  Was this effort at raccoon trapping just another failed project, soon to be abandoned, or would Max want to try it again tomorrow night.  She wasn’t sure which she wanted more, but she looked at Max reviewing the video on the camera and realized it didn’t matter.  He was happy.

Removing Raccoons

Raccoons in attic
Raccoons in your attic.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

Who would think of removing raccoonsfirst thing in the morning??

The comforting smell of fresh brewed coffee makes it way through the house in the early hours of the morning.  Alarms are softly buzzing in different bedrooms.  Everyone is sluggishly moving about their morning routines, getting ready for the hustle and bustle of a normal day.  Someone turns on the TV while Mom is scrambling eggs.  Talk centers around homework, after school activities and what the general schedule is for the day.

Suddenly, someone says, “Shhhh, shhhhh!  Listen!”  Everyone stops talking and looks awkwardly at each other while trying to figure out what they’re listening for.  “What . . . “ Dad says, but he’s quickly shushed.  There, softly, everyone hears it.  A quiet scrabbling coming from right above their heads.  Then, a small squeak.             Someone volunteers to run outside and see if there’s anything on the roof, but nothing is spotted.  The scrabbling reoccurs.  Dad sighs.  “Must be something in the crawl space.”

Suddenly the day isn’t normal anymore.

Dad gets out the ladder, grabs a flashlight and climbs up into the small hole in the ceiling.  He shines the flashlight around every corner, and almost misses it, but there!  A shiny flash of eyes staring back at him from above the kitchen.  One set of eyes?  No, more.

Dad comes back down the ladder where everyone else is watching expectantly.  “We’re going to have to get help.  I think there’s raccoons up there.”

Everyone bursts into exclamations.  “How did they get up there?”  “Why our house?”  “Come on, Dad, you can get ‘em!”  But, Mom walks over to the computer, gets the number for removing raccoons, and calls.

When the raccoon removalserviceman arrives, he verifies there’s a mother raccoon and her pups up in the attic.  They’re nesting on the opposite end of the house, far away from the crawlspace access, so he suggests the best way to remove the raccoons is to cut a small hole in the ceiling close to their nest.  He’s going to reach in and remove them one by one.

Mom’s worried about the mess.  Dad’s worried about having to patch up the hole afterward.  But, they decide messes can be cleaned up, holes can be patched, but those raccoons must be removed.  The small hole is cut.

The brave serviceman climbs up a ladder, wearing heavy gloves and armed with nothing more than a mirror.  The mirror lets him see where the raccoons are.  He looks, retracts the mirror, and sticks his arm up into the hole.  A short time later, one pup is removed.

“AWWWWW!” says everyone, including Dad.

One by one, the adorable raccoon pups are removed and placed carefully into a bag.  Soon, the bag is wriggling and squeaking.  Although these are pests that have invaded their home, the family can’t get over how cute they are.  Still, they’re happy to have them out of the house.

Removing mamma raccoonisn’t as easy.  It requires a specially devised noose, but she’s removed, spitting and growling and unhurt.  She’s carefully loaded into the truck, along with her pups.

All of a sudden, the house is quiet again and the family goes back to their routine activities.  They still love talking about their little raccoon family!

Get Rid of Raccoons

get rid of raccoons
I’ve been working to come up with the best way to get rid of raccoons so my cat Nikita Kitty can eat her food in peace.  My second-grade teacher says that I’m “spunky” and “extremely creative”, even though I think sometimes she doesn’t mean that in a good way.  So, I’m sure I can come up with some great master plan to keep Nikita safe.

            The first thing I thought of was I’d build a big rocket, and then I’d put the bestest cat food in there.  That greedy raccoon wouldn’t be able to resist, and would come right over to steal the food.  Blast off!  I’d shoot the rocket ship right up into space, all the way to the moon!  That raccoon would be like, “Oh, no!  I don’t have my space helmet!” Then, it’d just steal one from another space ship, because they’re good at stealing stuff, and it would just live the rest of its life on the moon.  And every night, Nikita and I would just look up at the sky and laugh and laugh, thinking of that raccoon stealing food from the space animals that live on the moon.

            But, then I realized I didn’t know how to build a rocket ship, so I thought I’d dig a booby trap in the backyard instead.  That’d be a great way to get rid of raccoons.  I’d dig and dig a huge hole, all the way down to the center of the earth.  And then, I’d take pieces of the cat food and make a trail all the way from our porch to the hole and throw the rest of the food in, so the raccoon could smell it and want to go in the hole.  It’d go in the hole thinking it wasn’t that deep, that it could get back out again, but nope!  It’d just fall right on through to the center of the whole earth, and it wouldn’t be able to climb back out ever again.

            I had to throw that plan away, just because Mom doesn’t even like it when I dig holes to bury my broccoli, so I doubt she’d be okay with a hole that big.

            Guns and super missiles wouldn’t work either.  If I blew up the raccoon, I’d probably end up blowing up the house n’ stuff, and I KNOW Mom would be mad then.

            Do raccoons swim?  Because I could throw a big net down on top of it, and then throw it onto an island in the middle of the ocean.  Course, I’d have to get a helicopter to take me out there, just so I could make sure it landed on the island and didn’t drown.  But, I’m kind of afraid of being up too high, so I don’t think I’d be real happy way up high in a helicopter over the ocean.

            Sigh.  I think I’m going to have to turn this problem over to Mom and Dad.  I’m sure they’ll need me to consult with them, though, on how to get rid of raccoons.  I’m too little to do some of that stuff, but maybe Mom or Dad would be willing to fly on a helicopter, or maybe they could build a rocket ship.

Raccoon Removal

raccoon removal
She thought she’d found a place safe from anyone attempting a raccoon removal.  Quiet, warm, free from predators such as bobcats, cougars or coyotes, the attic she found would protect her babies while giving them the best shelter she could find.  It was certainly better than the small hole in the rotten tree outside where it was freezing cold and wet from the slushy rain that had been almost nonstop. 

            Digging a small depression in the attic’s insulation, she gave birth to her four cubs.  At night, she would slink out for a short time, forage for food, and go straight back to her nest. 

It was a perfect life.  Warm, protected, with plenty of food, she was prepared to hole up in this soft place with her cubs for a couple of months.

Everything was just fine for a few weeks, until . . .

            Scratch, Thump!  A form appeared from the floor, and then, threw something onto the wooden beams and foamy insulation with a muted clang.  A bright light swung around the warm, dark space, catching her eyes and making them gleam in the darkness.  This was it, this was the thing she feared.  Raccoon removal. 

            There were at least two of them, great big men armed with a shovel and heavy gloves, growling incomprehensibly at each other.  Reacting quickly, she snapped up the nearest cub in her teeth and ran to the far end of the attic, hoping to get back to the nest in time to snatch up another one.  No such luck, the men were faster.  There they stood by her babies, hunched over, huge, shining that awful light into her eyes and muttering.  All she could do was growl and bare her teeth, hoping that would be enough to frighten them away from the nest.  She would charge them if she had to, but she desperately hoped it wouldn’t be necessary. 

            All four of her babies, including the one she had next to her, shivered with small, weak chitters, crying out for her, crying out for life to return to the safe haven they had known until now.  She paced angrily, nervously, never once taking her eyes off these men who had come for raccoon removal. 

            No!  One of the men reached down and scooped up two of her cubs in one hand, placing them gently in a bag.  Anguished, she watched the last of the remaining cubs in the nest disappear into the bag as well.  She was not going to let them get her final cub, safely curled at her feet.  A shovel landed near her, but she didn’t even flinch.  She was not going to make raccoon removal an easy thing for these men to do.

            She feared for her own life, as well as that of her cubs as she was dragged out of that attic, shoved into a cage and hauled outside to be placed on a large truck.  Her fears quickly turned to relief when she was quickly reunited with all four of her cubs and taken to another warm shelter.  Nothing would ever be as warm or as comfortable and free as that soft den in the attic, though.

Raccoon Trapping

raccoon traps too small
It was too gorgeous a day to think about something as distant as raccoon trapping, but how quickly things change.

Thwack, bang, bang, thwack!  Little Ryan was playing with his plastic bowling pin set out in the yard, pounding on the ground with the pins and laughing as he enjoyed the freedom of playing outside.  His family lived in a nice, safe, wooded neighborhood, behind a high school.  Their yard was lush and green, and the day was bright and sunny.  Mommy was just inside the house, looking out the window from time to time to make sure everything was all right, and smiling to herself as she listened to her son play.

Thwack, bam, bang!  Plastic bowling pins make the best sounds when you hit them together!  It’s why Ryan didn’t hear the rustling sounds coming from the woods just on the edge of his yard.  He looked up from his play, just in time to see a raccoon walking straight at him.

Raccoons are so cute, so sweet-looking with their big eyes rimmed in black, their little forepaws make them look like they’re begging for love.  Someone had taught Ryan well, though, and he knew this was a wild animal and it was not normal for it to walk right up to a human.

He jumped up and started running towards the house.  When he looked behind him, he was terrified to see the animal chasing after him.  His little four-year-old heart beat even faster as he struggled across the lawn to get into his house, to his mother, to safety.  But, the raccoon didn’t care that Ryan felt safe in his home.  It followed him inside and grabbed a hold of his tiny ankle, little sharp teeth sinking into the boy’s skin.

Ryan’s mother heard the screams and came tearing into the front room.  She reacted without hesitation, kicking the wild creature off of her son, grabbing it and throwing it out of the house.  Scooping up her son, she calmed his terrified screams and then took him to the hospital.

The poor little boy’s ordeal was not over yet.  The panicked moments fleeing the raccoon was over in seconds.  He now faced a series of rabies shots in a quiet sterile, room of a hospital.  Once the initial series of shots was done, he would have to go back, and get even more shots.  To the mind of a four-year-old, the anticipation of each shot would be almost as terrible as the fight with the rabid animal.

And the worries of Ryan’s mother, and those of every other parent in the neighborhood, were just beginning.  The raccoon was back in the wild, free to attack someone else.  Ryan’s mother was told to try raccoon trapping, but the only traps available to her were designed for squirrels, not raccoons. Raccoons are known to bend the hinges of traps too small for them and break free.  So, somewhere in the woods between her neighborhood and a high school, a rabid raccoon was roaming around, sick and wild.

But, to Ryan, his mother is a hero.  She battled the creature that had chased and hurt him and made him safe again.  It may be a while before he feels completely safe playing outside in his own backyard, but at least he knows his mother’s there.