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).


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.


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.

Critter Control Reviews

Kirk D.
It has been very effective at reducing the number of mice, lizard, and snake sightings. During one visit Edgar removed a rattlesnake he came across. We may see a snake maybe two to three times during the spring and summer months, but it has been far less than before.

Serivces: Wildlife & Rodent Control in San Diego
Robert B.
Full service. Excellent job of extracting raccoon, cleaning all animal waste, sanitizing, and spraying anti-parasitic substance. They closed all potential ports of entry, though the work did not match the vinyl, and it looks kind of tacky. They added blown insulation, which added a lot to the cost. They provide a one year warranty against animal intrusion, with an option to extend the warranty at the end of each one- year period. They were willing to work with me one the price. I will probably extend my warranty, and will definitely use them it the future.
Gene F.
I was really impressed by these guys. Got a call within a few hours of making an inquiry. Had a rep out to inspect the situation by the end of the week, and when they laid out the timeline they kept if not exceeded listed times.

Rob, Travis, and Jim were all professional, polite, and courteous and after months of hearing squirrels in my ceiling they are gone and the repair to my flashing looks excellent. Can't recommend these guys enough.
Bob I.

Jeff was incredibly professional and helpful. I'll use them again and would recommend them to anyone.
-Detroit, MI
Richard L.

Critter Control did a great job of evaluating our house for sites of entry after we found bats and a squirrel in our attic. They completed their work promptly and professionally.
-Seattle, WA
Kenneth H.
We heard some noise from the corner of our house. Concerned that it could be inside we called for an inspection. Jessy arrived as scheduled and conducted a complete inspection of our home. Based on a recording we made he determined we had a tree frog on our roof. I was pleased that we didn’t have any rodent in our house. And his inspection could a few spots I can tighten up around my house. I am very happy with the outcome.
-New Hampshire
Lee F.
We have a vacation home in Western Mass and haven’t been there much during the pandemic as we live and work in Atlanta, GA. On our most recent visit we noticed that we had some rodent intrusion as well as some un-welcomed wildlife who decided to make our vacation home their home.

We contacted Critter Control and Mr. Cahoon was quick to set up an appointment as we wouldn’t be in town very long. He came out and assessed our issues. He informed us of our options to both eradicate and control future intrusions. Keeping in mind that wildlife is wildlife! He quickly got to work eradicating the rodents and wildlife from our home and addressing the intrusion issues. We feel much better leaving our vacation home for periods at a time knowing that Mr. Cahoon and Critter Control did their job and did it right! Thanks again!
Mary L.
We bought an old cabin last spring , it was used for years as a summer vacation cabin, therefore maintenance wasn’t a priority. After our project to remodel started, we found evidence of mice droppings.

We immediately called Critter Control and they came and gave us a reasonable estimate to remove all remnants and insulation. They sanitized and replaced with new insulation and sealing up points of entry .

Seeing their professional work made us feel confident and secure that the problem was solved ! Everyone we worked with continued to show professional and respectful work. Highly recommend this company! We continue to use critter control monthly to be sure we are mice and bug free!
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