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

Mara
9/15/2021
Excellent communications, execution and friendly. I highly recommend this company!
Ellen
9/10/2021
The Critter Control team went above and beyond to make sure that NO CRITTERS could get into my home. We thought we had conquered the problem, but we still heard squirrels getting in, so they returned to reassess and finish the job. They actually pulled up our deck boards and found that the critters were getting in because of a rotted board underneat the cantilever. They replaced the insulation, rotted boards, and put a metal sheeting over everything so NO squirrels or critters could chew their way in! If you need critter control - you need to contact them. They stand behind their work 100%.... Thank you Rodney & Team!! Great Job. Ellen R. Haslett, MI
Joy
9/9/2021
Eric was grate,give him 5 stars and much thanks.
Flo
9/3/2021
Everyone is awesome!! Thank you!
Jan B.
8/28/2021
If you are in the market for this service, having Michelle and George take a look is a must! Unlike some other vendors, the people who come to the house and assess the job are the ones that will actually do the work, so you get to meet the people who will actually perform the work - no new people or subcontractors. Michelle and George are highly experienced, professional, and friendly - a pleasure to work with. They always came within the promised window, and were accessible by phone or text for any questions. Sincerely, highly recommend.
Kay's Dairy Bar
8/26/2021
Great job
Bilal
8/24/2021
Terrance was very professional. He was very thorough. I would definitely order this service again.
Pam
8/18/2021
Brandon from Critter Control was professional, courteous, thorough, and knowledgeable. We are very pleased with our service.
Ray
8/9/2021
Great job as always!
Ashley
8/9/2021
technician was great--explained everything well.
Sriram
8/8/2021
We had a great experience working with the crew from Critter Control San Jose. They patiently listened to our observations, we came up with strategies and ended up fixing suspect areas, trapping a couple of rats. Problem seems to have been solved and hope we don't need to call them again
Pam
7/30/2021
Brandon was extremely thorough and knowledgeable. He was able to figure out where our mystery smell was coming from, removed the carcass, and cleaned/deodorized the entire area. We are very pleased with the job performed and the professionalism shown. Highly recommend!
David
7/22/2021
The job was handled very professionally and done in a timely matter was very pleased with the removal of the critters that were beneath my home I would recommend you to my friend thank you.
STACY
7/14/2021
Great family company. I've used this company for many years and will continue to do so.
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
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