It is a crisp, clear summer night. A full moon hangs bright white in the sky, and the stars seem to align just right, as you get ready to go to bed.
Just as you’re cozying up, suddenly, you hear the sound of a scratching noise coming somewhere from the attic.
Feeling uneasy, you head toward the unfamiliar noise with a flashlight. And after a few minutes, meet with two neon-studded eyes of a raccoon glaring back at you.
What are your next steps?
How Raccoons May Enter Your Home
In recent years, more raccoons than ever are flocking to densely populated towns and cities. The lack of natural predators, the never-ending food supply, and the safety of our homes provide them with everything they need in order to survive.
The raccoon population has enjoyed an “astonishing” surge over the past 80 years, according to zoologist Sam Zeveloff
. They’re apparently at highest density in the suburbs, but they appear to be also growing in cities.
They are urban animals—making your Houston home located in the city or a suburb a resting place to live or breed.
Raccoons may at first look furry and cute, but don't let their exterior fool you. They are smart, curious, and extremely determined to do anything to make your house their den site.
There are many ways a raccoon can break into your home. Here are a few.
Why Raccoon Intrusion is Dangerous
- Tore open soffit
- Open vent hole
- Tore open walls
- Roof vents
- Roof edge
- Crawl Spaces
- Open doors and windows
- Pet doors
Raccoons are pesky critters that can wreak havoc on your healthy living space and environment.
If spotted in your home, it is best to avoid interacting with them at all costs. You may want to contact a professional wildlife removal company like Critter Control
To protect your family from diseases and other parasites raccoons often come with, it's important to be aware of some of the risks and signs to watch out for.
Below are a few of the health risks associated with raccoons.
- Raccoons are known to be carriers of zoonotic diseases such as leptospirosis and rabies.
- Their feces can contain roundworm eggs that can be spread to humans or pets.
- Once inside your home, raccoons can breed and spread more harmful diseases.
Furthermore, in the very little time they are in your house, raccoons are capable of destroying your insulation and scavenging on just about anything they find. Attics, chimneys, and sheds offer them the warmth and shelter, making it an ideal place to mate, raise families and keeping out of the cold.
Tips to Prevent Raccoon Intrusion
Similar to humans and most other animals, raccoons have three basic needs for survival: food, water, and shelter. Your home provides many opportunities for each.
Here are a few factors that make your home attractive to raccoons:
- Food: Easily accessible food through feeders, fallen fruits, and trash cans
- Shelter: Woodland environments are their natural and preferable shelters because they mimic their natural environments.
- Mating: During Springtime, female raccoons look for a safe space (warm and dark areas) to raise her young.
Ultimately, the best way to protect your property is through prevention. Here are a few measures you can take to keep raccoons away.
Install Chimney Caps
Chimneys are a standard route of entry for raccoons. Raccoons are naturally attracted to nesting spots that are warm, safe, and secluded for protection. If your home has a chimney, installing a chimney cap can help prevent raccoons from entering.
Landscape Your Yard
Raccoons are infamous nightcrawlers that target suburb roofs. Your roof is more accessible to raccoons with lots of overhanging trees and branches. Trimming or removing these kinds of trees can make it harder for raccoons to climb onto your roof and enter or damage your attic.
Protect Your Trash
Raccoons can’t resist trash, so you’ll need multiple strategies in this area. Secure non-locking trash can lids with bungee cords or cinder blocks. Double-bag waste meat items to reduce the odor. If possible, keep trash in your garage at night, and bring it out for pick-up only.
Fence the Garden
Since raccoons are skilled climbers, the most effective fence to install is electric. Use a 2-wire electric fence, placing wires 6 and 12 inches above ground. Set the fence on a timer set to run only after dark.
Just like most pets, raccoons can't resist the smell of nearby food. Gather any rotten produce or fallen fruit in veggie gardens or laying in the grass. Bring bird feeders indoors at night or hang them in a spot that isn’t accessible to raccoons.
Keep Pets Secured
Speaking of food, place pet food inside overnight as well as your pets. Raccoons carry rabies and other diseases that can be passed along to your furry friend. Make sure to routinely give your pets their shots to help protect them from the parasite's raccoons pass.
When it comes to raccoons, you first have to get them out to keep them out. If you're worried about the dangers of raccoons near you, call Critter Control today for a free inspection.
Critter Control near me