Colour: Black mask on face, reddish brown above, grayish below.
Size: Length – 24-38” long. Weight – 12-49 lbs.
Common den sites: Attics, chimneys, under decks/sheds.
Common areas of entry: Roof vents, roof exhausts, soffit intersections, fascia board, garage, and under decks/sheds/porches.
Sounds that may be heard: Walking, dragging, and scratching. Although big they are not the loudest pest heard while in attic. Raccoons are nocturnal and therefore not heard much during the day. Most commonly heard while entering and exiting area of entry, which tends to be between 10pm-6am. Noises are usually heard in ceiling areas of roof.
Access points to roof include: Downspouts, tall trees, bushes, fences and sometimes staggered brick.
Signs of entry may include: Missing or broken soffit, missing shingles, feces, chewing, rub marks, footprints and hairs. Also frequent raccoon sightings around property and noises heard in roof areas.
Reason for entry: Less and less natural habitat, food (like improperly secured garbage bins which will attract them to possible areas of entry), shelter, easy accessibility and to have their young. Raccoons are also excellent climbers and very strong. Raccoons are well adapted to survive in cities.
Solution for humane removal of raccoon in attic: Once area of entry is located a one way door system will be set up within screening method allowing raccoon(s) to leave but not enter. Also all other common areas on roof should be screened to prevent further re-entry.
PREVENTION AND EXCLUSION METHODS CAN INCLUDE:
Roof Vents: Screening around perimeter of roof vent to prevent pull off or gnaw through of roof vent cap(s).
Roof Exhaust: Screening around exhaust pipe matt to prevent entry(s) through exhaust pipe matt cover and pipe cutout.
Roof Line Gap (where roof board meets fascia board): Screening of roof line gap consists of securing screening to cover any gaps that may exist throughout roof line areas.
Roof Valleys: Screening of roof valley by securing area under roof valley where valley meets the fascia board.
Roof Soffit Intersection (where soffit runs into roof): Securing roof soffit to roof by screening area with “L” bracket cutouts. Each roof soffit intersection is custom fit.
Chimneys: Raccoons will sometimes get into and down chimneys. Raccoon(s) can – every now and then – be removed from chimney areas onsite. In most cases a one way door set up will occur, and once raccoon is out, door is removed and permanent cap (screening) is put on.
Also highly accessible areas: Decks and sheds. Remove of raccoons from these areas humanely usually consists of a one way door set up plus additional trench and screening work which is done to prevent any re-entry. This work will usually consists of digging, removing shrubs, bushes, and fences and or drilling into foundation to secure screening. Trenching around deck or shed area and laying an “L” skirt piece (90 degree angle) of hardware cloth around perimeter is optimal. Raccoons that have entered living spaces and common areas can usually be removed by snaring or live trapping.
Baby season: Raccoon litters can consist of 1-8 young. In most cases there are 4-6, in Spring. Once one way door system is set up and all other possible common entries have been secured an attic search must be done to obtain and remove any and all young. In some cases, babies may fall or get into wall voids and will need to be removed by cutting a hole in drywall. Once babies are removed they are to be placed and secured in an incubator (box) near area of entry and are then usually picked up by their mother the same night of removal. Babies are usually mobile around 7 weeks old and become harder to catch and remove from attic spaces at that point. So a baby door is set allowing babies to vacate once mommy has called for them (baby door is usually set in same area as adult point of entry).
Hazards: Raccoons can chew on wiring causing a potential fire hazard. They are also capable of causing major damage to your roof and soffit areas. Raccoons will leave urine and fecal matter in areas traveled and several different raccoons may defecate in the same communal latrine. Raccoons may carry several different diseases such as Salmonella, Giardia Lamblia, Rickettsia Rickettsii, Trypanosome Cruzi, Leptospirosis. Rabies and Canine Distemper – although rare – can also be a concern.
Diet: Raccoons are omnivores, feeding on small mammals, fish, frogs, snakes, birds and their eggs, fruits and small grains. Although they will also eat garbage from un secure garbage bins.