Tag Archives: raccoon damage

Raccoons in the Eaves

Raccoon (6)           It’s time to serve an eviction notice to the raccoons in the eaves.  They’re squatters.  They just moved in one day, without signing any contracts, no move-in deposit, no rent for the three months they’ve lived there.  Sure, we have a tree overhanging the roof, but that’s not to say we have an open-door policy.  I’m about ready to get all medieval on their furry, thieving little butts.

Those raccoons climb up the tree, drop down on the roof, and have now ripped all the material, covering the eaves and some of the rain gutters, making themselves at home on top of my home.  They just sit on the rain gutter or the roof, and then climb down into the eaves they’ve accessed by ripping my house apart.  I’ve looked around, and it doesn’t look like they even have the decency to use some sort of raccoon out-house, so where are they going to the bathroom?  Inside the walls of my house!  These are the worst tenants EVER!

So, I’m imagining that, if they’re peeing and crapping in the eaves, and probably also bringing in food, they’re also attracting all kinds of bugs and flies and microscopic yuckies that then make themselves free to live in my home, too.  It’s getting out of control.

Now, they’re violating noise ordinances, because they’ve started to fight.  Have you heard a raccoon fight?  It’s not like some kind of minor domestic dispute from upstairs neighbors.  No, this is a special, growling, screeching, banging noise.  These raccoons in the eaves are destroying my home, they’re probably going to make me sick, and now they’re keeping me up at night and waking me up early in the morning with their noise.  They have GOT to go.

I’ve tried to evict them myself.  I put out traps.  I just caught squirrels.  Squirrels never bothered me, so I feel bad about trapping them.  But, now I’m wondering, if I get rid of the raccoons in the eaves, will squirrels just move in?  Will rats or mice be attracted to whatever food the raccoons have cached away, if any?

So, not only do I need someone to trap them and remove the raccoons from the eaves, but I also want repairs to be done.  Ew, and some kind of clean-up, too.  I think I’d want everything cleaned out and sanitized before we closed it back up again, just so we don’t get a bug problem or mouse problem on top of raccoons in the eaves.  Then, we’d need to put the siding or soffit up again and repair the rain gutters.  And, we’d need to do this before the rainy season, too, because I don’t want major water damage to the house.

So much to worry about and take care of, now I’ve got to evict the raccoons in the eaves.  I definitely never signed up to be a property manager for animal tenants!

Raccoon Control

I knew I had a raccoon control problem, but it wasn’t until I actually witnessed my cat versus the raccoon that I finally decided to do something about it.

My house has felt pretty empty since my husband passed away three years ago.  My children all live out of state with their families, and although they all visit at least once a year, I miss them terribly.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not one of those old fogies that sits around in her house all day, dusting a dustless house and watching reruns of “Matlock” and “Murder, She Wrote”.  I’m on a bowling team, I volunteer at an elementary school teaching children how to read, I swim laps every day, and I run the neighborhood watch program.  As busy as I am, there are times when the house seems pretty empty.  So, I have become somewhat of a cliché, the old woman with a house full of cats.  Okay, it’s only two cats, but, still.

My cats are both indoor and outdoor cats.  I let them spend a few hours outside each day and then call them in at night.  Their food bowls are outside on my back deck, and I enjoy watching them play and hunt and climb.  A few weeks ago, I started noticing that their food bowls got empty faster than normal.  Instead of refilling their food dishes once every couple of days, I was replenishing their food supply twice a day.  At first, I thought we had feral cats in the neighborhood that were taking advantage of free food.  Then, I realized I had a raccoon control problem.

Raccoons carry all kinds of diseases that can infect my cats, so I was really worried.  Then, one day, in broad daylight, I saw a raccoon on my deck, about three feet from one of my cats and her food dish.  I was sure it was a rabid raccoon, and called a raccoon control service immediately.  But, after watching it interact with my cat, I realized it probably wasn’t rabid, it was just hungry.

My cat would jab and bat its head anytime the raccoon got near its food dish, but the raccoon just dodged the blows and scooped up tiny handfuls.  It would then retreat back down a couple of steps, eat the cat food, and go back for more, dodging even more cat jabs.  If it was rabid, it would have attacked my cat, but instead it avoided the swipes my cat took at its head and helped itself to the cat food.  No wonder I was buying more cat food than normal these days.  I was feeding at least one raccoon in addition to my two pets, and there were probably more raccoons that came under cover of darkness.

So, when the man arrived from the raccoon control company, I told him what was going on and let him trap the raccoon.  He even set out a couple of other traps, in case there were more in the area.  While I was fairly certain my cats weren’t going to get rabies, I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t get roundworm or any of the other nasty diseases raccoons carry.  Now, I could go off to bowling practice reassured that my cats would be much safer now that I’d handled the raccoon control problem.

Overpopulation of Raccoons

Normally, our Home Owners Association meetings are kind of boring, but the turnout for last night was astounding, considering we were discussing the overpopulation of raccoons in our neighborhood.  Everyone had a story to tell.  Raccoons defecating in someone’s backyard pool and someone else’s koi pond.  Raccoons getting into crawlspaces and making noises that keep homeowners awake all night.  Raccoons crawling down into chimneys and having babies there.  Raccoons tearing through siding, roofing materials, and fascia to get into attics.  Raccoons blocking vents.  Raccoons chewing through wiring.  Raccoons stealing pet food.  Raccoons attacking pets.  The list went on and on.

After everyone had a chance to vent a little about all the raccoon damage their property had suffered, the discussion got a little dicey.  Some people wanted to blame neighbors for causing this sudden overpopulation of raccoons.  People got blamed for pet food left outside for their animals.  People were accused of deliberately planting nut trees and fruit trees, which attract the raccoons.  Other people were called out for not securing their garbage cans securely enough.  Still others were told their wood piles attracted mice and rats, which then attracted the raccoons.

The Home Owners Association leaders had a real problem on their hand as things quickly got out of control.  When people have to pay out a lot of money to repair the damage raccoons cause, or when their children’s health is at risk, or their beloved pets are threatened, they tend to get pretty upset.  One big guy was finally able to calm everyone down when he remarked that we were all to blame.  Fact is, raccoons are drawn to our neighborhoods for all those reasons and more, and we should stop trying to find someone to blame and start seeking a solution.  It did make sense, and people calmed down for the most part.  I think a few hotheads will still hold a grudge against some of last night’s attendees, though.

So, instead of tallying up the damage, the discussion turned to whether each individual household should handle their raccoon problem individually, or if the Homeowners Association should contact a professional wildlife removal company to handle the problem for the entire neighborhood.  Of course, everyone would have to pay for the cost one way or another, either directly to the wildlife removal company or to the homeowners association.  Discussion lasted another hour or so before the inevitable committee was formed to research cost and put together a couple of different proposals to be announced at the next meeting.

I personally would be interested to find out why we’re dealing with an overpopulation of raccoons all of a sudden, and whether it had to do with some natural factor outside of my neighbor’s activities.  But, I don’t want to risk anyone pointing the finger at me and trying to get me to cover the cost of removing raccoons out of their attic just because I spoke up.  Perhaps I’ll research it anyway, but keep the findings to myself.

Raccoon Control

I thought we just needed to get the water leak fixed, but I had no idea that would mean getting raccoon control specialists out to our house first.

I can’t believe we didn’t notice the wild animal living in our attic.  I suppose it went in and out while we were sleeping, or when the television was on, or when our family was just loudly playing games together or talking or fighting.  For whatever reason, we didn’t notice we needed raccoon control until after I noticed the water leak damage.

This spring, when it really started raining, I would sometimes hear the sound of water dripping in the middle of the night.  It drove me crazy, because I’d get up to investigate, but found nothing.  I stumbled around, in the dark house, fumbling from bathroom to bathroom and checking all the faucets and listening to the toilet, but never did find the source of the dripping noise.  Come to think of it, I would sometimes hear a rustling in the middle of the night, but I assumed it was our cat playing somewhere else in the house.  It must have been the raccoon.  I hate to think of that animal living in our home and all the nasty little bugs it brought in with it.

When the obnoxious dripping noise ended up as a slightly sagging ceiling in the upstairs hallway, we finally thought to investigate the attic area.  We grabbed a small ladder, pushed up the small piece of painted drywall separating our upstairs ceiling from the attic space, and my husband climbed on up.  He waited at the top of the ladder, the upper half of his body in the ceiling, to let his eyes adjust to the dim lighting conditions.  I handed him a flashlight, and he brought it up, clicked it on, and turned slightly.  Then, he gasped and told me there was a huge hole through which he could see sky, and that there was a raccoon growling at him from the other end of the attic.

Apparently, the raccoon decided to build a den out of the spring rain by tearing under some shingles, and ripping a wider hole around a pipe.  That left our house completely exposed to the raccoon’s activities, any other wild animal that cared to come in, and the weather.  We thought we’d have to get a raccoon control service as well as a roofer to come out, but it turns out that Allstate Animal Control does both – removes raccoons and repairs the damage they caused.  We had them clean out and sanitize our attic while they were at it.  What a mess.  I hate to admit it, but I was grateful we had a water leak so we could find out we needed raccoon control.