06.08.2004 - This was a very interesting job. I got a phone call from one of the apartment complexes here in Orlando that I regularly service. They usually have
problems with squirrels getting into the attics of the buildings. Thus, when I got yet another call for noises in the attic, I went prepared to do a squirrel removal job.
When I got on the roof of the 3-story building to inspect, I saw this! There was a large hole torn into the wall of the apartment at roof level, with a big wooden board
missing. A tenacious female raccoon had climbed 3 stories onto the roof of the apartment - that's a tough climb with no trees handy! And it just ripped its way
right inside the attic. Not only that, but when I started nosing around the hole to inspect, it just came right up and stuck its head out of the hole! I took a few
good photos. This raccoon certainly had no fear!
I checked the attic for young raccoons, but there were none. This is rare, but the attics in these apartments are very simple, and it was easy to see 100% of the space, and there were no young. I set a trap right at the hole with no other way out. Sure enough, I quickly caught the raccoon. I have an account of the job, with four photos, on this page: Raccoon In Apartment
Raccoons cause a lot of damage to homes and especially inside the attic. They tear up ductwork, wires, and defecate. I have several photos of attic damage on this page: Raccoon Damage in an Attic. If you have raccoons in the attic, it's best to have them removed as soon as possible, before they cause serious destruction.
The raccoon (Procyon lotor), is a unique animal native to North America. It's not closely related to any other animals, with distant relatives such as bears and weasels. Coons are easy to recognize, with a black mask and ringed tail. Raccoons tend to weigh between 10-20 pounds as adults. They are mostly nocturnal, and are omnivores. Racoons average a lifespan of about 5 years in the wild, and have a litter of 3-6 young each spring. They are very strong, excellent climbers, very intelligent, and they are very skilled with their hands. Raccoons have learned to thrive in urban areas, and live in very high densities in cities, where they eat garbage and pet food. They commonly break into homes and attics, where they cause considerable damage, and they also destroy other property, and thus racoons are considered pest animals by many people. Raccoon control and removal, especially from inside homes, is best left to a professional.
Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Raccoons page for tips and advice.
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Raccoons, though cute, are wild animals that destroy property wherever they go, and your house is no exception. Most houses built with modern construction styles have a gap between their interior and external walls. This design is to help soundproof the house and insulate it but unfortunately, this design also creates problems with pests such as raccoons.
The small space between the two walls serve as a potential den for these raccoons, with the female raccoon birthing and raising her babies there. The raccoons gain access to the wall through the attic, vents, or external holes. It is important to find out how they are getting into your wall so it can be sealed.
Raccoons in your wall pose a serious threat to your home in various ways:
Raccoons are bigger and heavier animals than most pests and their claws are wickedly sharp. This makes their moving around within your walls very dangerous. They scratch and scrape the walls, causing serious damage to it. If a raccoon is trapped in the wall, its scratching becomes more frantic and they can succeed in creating a hole right through the wall.
Vents and Ductwork
Damaged vents are common occurrences when a raccoon makes its way into a house. They destroy ductwork and cost you money to have them repaired.
Raccoons in walls pose a serious threat to a fire outbreak as the most essential electrical wiring are in the wall. Raccoons claw and chew wires, causing electrical damage to your house. These pests could unwittingly start sparks when messing with your wiring within the wall, and ultimately cause a fire outbreak in your house.
Raccoons destroy insulation when building a den either in the attic or in the wall. This damage affects the cooling and heating of the house, creating problems for the residents. Repairing insulation and paying additional heating and cooling bills are enough to make anyone decide to get the raccoons out immediately.
Getting raccoons out from your wall is a job best left to experts. However, there are some ways to get the job done by yourself - with some luck.
Firstly, you will need to pinpoint the exact location of the raccoon in the wall. Then determine if the raccoon is mobile or if it is trapped. If it is mobile, you can scare it away by using loud noise from a radio and banging on the spot with a stick. If it is not mobile, you will have to find an opening most likely in the attic, and peer down to see if it is a trapped baby or adult raccoon, or if it is a den with 3 - 5 baby raccoons. Afterward, you have to create a hole in the wall above or beside where the raccoon is located, then reach in with a snare pole and bring it out.
Raccoon problems in your house aren't limited to physical damage around your property, they also create noise pollution with their chattering, cries, and general restlessness. Their presence in the walls often deprives human residents of a good night sleep. More so, they pollute the air with the stench from their urine and feces.