Introduction

Raccoons have become more common in urban and suburban areas than out in the country. They have adapted well to feeding out of trash cans, dumpsters, and pet dishes while denning in attics, chimneys, sewers, and abandoned buildings. Fortunately, in the Richmond area we see fewer problems with raccoons than in many other parts of the country. When we do face them though, they prove to be formidable foes.

Raccoons in Attic

Finding out there is a wild animal in your home can be frightening. Especially if it is a raccoon. Raccoons are curious, strong and mighty destructive. If you have a raccoon in your house, chances are there is plenty of damage too. Damaged ductwork, soiled insulation and chewed on wires are all potential hazards.

Critter Control of Richmond has trained professionals that can safely and humanely remove raccoons in the attic, raccons in the crawl space, raccons in the yard. We thoroughly inspect your home to detrmine points of entry and can seal holes and repair damage. Call our office today to schedule an inspection!

Biology and Habits

Raccoons breed in late winter or early spring. Young are born from April through June. Only the mother raises the young, which typically number from 3-6. Young are kept in the den and nursed until they are 8-12 weeks old. At that age, they will begin to follow their mothers on nightly foraging trips. By the end of summer they are old enough to be on their own. The family may split up in fall or may remain together during the winter, and then disperse in early spring. Some yearling females will mate, but most wait another year. Older females tend to have larger, healthier litters. Mother raccoons will typically have a backup den site to move young to if something goes wrong at the main den, however, young females may neglect to plan this far ahead. Male raccoons and females without young typically live alone, although there is sometimes some communal denning during the winter.

Damage and Hazards

Raccoons will enter buildings to use them for dens. Most commonly they use their great strength to tear up loose or rotted boards, roofing, or vents to enter attics. Raccoons can easily climb in and out of chimneys and will use them as dens. Occasionally they also live in crawl spaces under houses. Most of the raccoons that den in buildings will be females which enter in the spring to raise young.

Raccoons are fond of raiding trash cans to look for a meal, often tipping cans over and strewing trash around. Once this begins it often continues nightly. Raccoons love pet food and will readily eat any left out at night. They will also enter pet doors to reach food inside. Raccoons sometimes wade into small garden ponds to hunt the fish in them. They will roll back newly laid sod to snack on worms under the sod and will sometimes tear up established lawns to get at grubs and worms. Raccoons are a carrier of rabies, and while unprovoked attacks are rare, they do happen. Raccoons can also transmit raccoon round worm to humans. The eggs of this parasite are shed in the raccoon’s feces, and to be infected, a person would need to eat something contaminated by the feces. This is sometimes a problem with small children. (For more information on possible health risks contact your local health department, or the Center for Disease Control).

Control

Raccoons are most commonly controlled by trapping the offending animal(s). This is done by placing baited cage traps at the damage site. In cases of raccoons entering buildings, the traps are placed on the outside, at the entry hole. Some raccoons, due to past bad experiences, or simply natural caution, will simply refuse to enter cage traps. In the case of a raccoon entering a building, a kill trap can be mounted over the hole to catch the offender. In the case of raccoons causing problems outside (raiding trash cans, rolling sod, etc.) it may not be possible to catch every raccoon in every situation. State law requires that captured raccoons be euthanized.

Mother raccoons with young babies denning in buildings pose a real challenge. While the mother raccoon can be trapped at the entry hole, the young are likely to be hidden away in some unreachable, unknown location. Without the mother to care for them, they will die and rot. In these cases we try to convince the mother raccoon to take her young and abandon the building. This is primarily accomplished by applying a predator scent (bobcat or coyote) to the area being used as a den to try to convince the mother that a predator has invaded the den and that her young are in jeopardy. Most mother raccoons react to this by moving their babies out within 48 hours. Some require further harassment before leaving. Some are extremely stubborn and refuse to leave. In these rare cases the mother raccoon may need to be trapped, and babies then searched out, a process which can be very difficult.

Management

Once raccoons have been removed, steps need to be taken to discourage future problems. All reasonable efforts should be made to prevent raccoons from taking advantage of loose, rotted, building materials or other easy entry opportunities. All chimneys should be outfitted with quality chimney caps. In cases of chronic problems with raccoons raiding trash cans, consider placing trash cans inside sheds or garages, or inside a cage built specifically to hold them. Do not leave pet food out, especially at night. Do not feed pets in the room the pet door leads directly into, and do not leave food out at night. If raccoons are stealing fish from a small pond, give the fish someplace to hide, such as by sinking 3 or 4 cinder blocks, with the holes lined up such that it creates a cave.

Testimonials

Marilyn
6/15/2021
Brendan is always good and he is friendly.thank you
Richard
6/11/2021
Y’all were responsive & personable… & caught 4 critters that were doing damage digging up our lawn. Thanks.
Sally
6/11/2021
Thanks for taking care of our "critters" so quickly and efficiently. It's not a job I want any part of, but I'm glad you are good at it!
Bill
6/11/2021
They did a really good job, very professional and courteous.
Lee
6/10/2021
Terrance showed up when he said he would and did a great job. Thank you for the help.
SMK Trust
6/10/2021
Excellent work. Kept us informed throughout and helped us control the problem.
Marshall
6/10/2021
Chris is great , courteous and professional
Bob
6/10/2021
Prompt service,very nice on phone.Glad to know about Crittercontrol.
Mica
6/10/2021
My whole interaction with Critter Control was very satisfying from making the appointment to Chris' 2 visits. He diagnosed the issue and returned several days later to finish the job with a creative solution. Many thanks!
Nancy
6/10/2021
Chris is excellent! He eliminated the flying squirrels and bats from our new home. He’s always professional and polite.
Brian
6/10/2021
Terry did a great job with the initial bird removal and covering up the hole where the birds had nested afterwards. He was also very polite and explained everything that he was doing. I couldn't ask for a better experience.
Bethany
6/10/2021
Great crew and service!
Phyllis
6/9/2021
Critter Control was EXCELLENT in helping us get an iguana out of our attic! The technician was polite, friendly and very responsible! He explained what he was doing and what had to be done to ensure success in removing the iguana. I would hire Critter Control again without hesitation. Thanks Critter Control for helping us!
Heather
6/3/2021
Thank you!..always on top of it!
Robert
6/2/2021
Great service to secure our home. We had a new roof installed but they never did Rescreen the vents to keep the critters out of the house. Nice job Brandon.
Daryl
6/2/2021
Thanks
Laura
6/2/2021
Chris is amazing!
Paul
6/2/2021
Great job on the screening and thank you for checking on the traps daily!
Michael
6/2/2021
Service Tech was excellent.
Olga
6/2/2021
Thank you very much!
Joann
6/2/2021
I appreciated the help from the men who came to take care of my raccoon problem. They both were friendly and professional. Thank you! Jo Ann Rayner
SMK Trust
6/2/2021
Very professional and kept us informed throughout the process.
Teri
5/21/2021
Dependable, good job!
Bill
5/19/2021
I was very satisfied with there service. They quickly responded to my request and captured the animal that was destroying my garden. Totally professional.
Renee
5/18/2021
you are the best NO RATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bert
5/11/2021
CC did a very good job.
Erik
5/4/2021
Professional and friendly
Sara
5/4/2021
Excellent customer service! Last week we realized a family of cute birds were nesting in our roof soffit. The nest was right above our deck, and they were getting aggressive with our dogs and us. A super friendly service coordinator answered the phone right away. She was able to get us scheduled for the next day. The tech showed up on time, in a freak April snowstorm! He quickly addressed the issue, thoroughly explained what he did and when he would be back. He showed up right on time again, made sure our squatting birds were gone for good and completed the permanent fix where they were accessing the soffit. Probably one of the easiest service calls we’ve ever had! Thank you!
Dawn
5/4/2021
We had a nuisance woodpecker driving us insane drumming on the metal chimney cap. We called Brittni and she provided detailed information over the phone as to estimated costs and methods used. She promptly followed up everything with a detailed email. Scheduling was easy. Terrance was on-time and very pleasant to work with. He inspected the chimney for damage and for evidence of nests = none found! He installed two deterrents and wa on his way! Highly recommend!
Mark
5/1/2021
Very professional service, wonderful people, pricey
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