How Do Raccoons Get Into Your House?

Summertime is prime time for most people to get outside and enjoy their outdoor space with their family and friends. Unfortunately, however, it is also prime time for raccoons to do the same. With their fuzzy dark masked faces and furry tails, they might look cute and innocent critters - but looks can be quite misleading sometimes.

In reality, raccoons can be pretty messy and cause a tremendous amount of damage to your property. They are quite destructive by nature and can destroy just about everything in your house. In addition to causing a lot of property damage, they are also harmful to your health

Raccoons do not make the best house guests. Due to their size, a family of raccoons can quickly fill your living space or attic with harmful and odorous urine and feces, making it difficult for you to even breathe. If you want to keep your house raccoon-free, it is necessary to know the answers to, “How do raccoons get into houses?” and prevent them from causing any damage to you, your family, or your property.

How Do Raccoons Get Into Houses?

Raccoons are wild animals, and like most wild animals, they are great opportunists taking advantage of even the most minor structural damage to chew, scratch, and squeeze their way into your house.

Some of the weak points in your home that raccoons can take advantage of are: 

Roof-Soffit Intersections:

A roof-soffit intersection is any area on your roof where the soffit is placed just above the roof section. When built to code, builders leave a small gap between the roofing material (shingles, tile, etc.) and the soffit board so that water does not transfer from the roof to the soffit and cause the material to rot. Although beneficial in preserving your soffit boards, those gaps let air from your attic out, inviting rodents in. If the builders did not leave a sufficient gap, it is only a matter of time before the soffit rots out, allowing easy entrance for raccoons known for their strength. 

When soffit isn’t made from a material that can easily rot, it is usually made of thin plastic or aluminum, neither of which are reliable deterrents for raccoons. Once the soffit is opened, raccoons can easily access the entire attic.

Chimneys

Another ideal entry point for raccoons is the bottom part of the chimneys, as it is the best place for the mother raccoon to nurse her babies. Mostly adult raccoons use chimneys for their shelter and protection.

Once inside the chimney, raccoons can easily make their home on top of your fireplace damper. Unfortunately, they will often find a way to access the inside of your home, causing great structural damage to your property.

Roof Vents

The purpose of these roof vents is to allow proper air circulation in your attic. However, these vents can also give raccoons easy access to the inside of your home. These plastic or aluminum vent covers are no match for powerful raccoons.

Pet Door

Another common way raccoons get into your house is through your pet door, especially if a food bowl is placed near it. Raccoons have a strong sense of smell and are pretty fearless wild animals, so the food's smell is enough for them to push their way through the pet door and get inside the house.

Signs You May Have a Raccoon in Your House

If you suspect you have a raccoon infestation, we recommend you look out for the following signs before they cause a great amount of structural damage to your house:

A Lot of Noise in Your Attic:

Raccoons are one of the largest wild animals you will encounter in an urban setting. Because of their huge size and heavy weight, they make a lot of noise. If you hear thumping noise continuously, it indicates the presence of raccoons in the house.

Scattered Leaves or Other Nesting Materials:

If you suspect that a raccoon has entered inside your property, take a look around for any signs of nesting materials. Once raccoons have gotten inside your property, they will immediately start building their nests by using almost anything.

If you notice leaves scattered about or shredded cloth and paper throughout the space, it is one of the most evident signs of a raccoon infestation.

Urine and Feces

Once raccoons have gained entry to your property, they will use it as a giant litter box. The amount of urine and feces produced by a single raccoon is enough to cause serious health problems. 

Their feces has roundworms which can cause some severe health problems such as Baylisascaris, E.Coli, Leptospirosis, Salmonella, and many others. 

How Do You Get Rid of a Raccoon Infestation?

Getting rid of wild animals like raccoons can be anything but easy. They are quite dangerous animals and may attack humans if they feel threatened. However, some of the effective ways that you can get rid of raccoons are:

Trapping and Removing

Due to their large size, cage traps are usually the best ways to get rid of a raccoon if you try to do the work yourself. These traps should be placed near areas where raccoons are active with a portion of highly aromatic food to attract them, such as wet cat food.

Once you have successfully trapped the raccoon, examine it carefully to see if it has visible nipples. If it does, then you will need to look for baby raccoons and remove their nests.

Relocating

After trapping the raccoon and removing their nests, you will have to relocate the wild animals somewhere safe. It is important that you check your local and state guidelines when relocating raccoons, and / or contact your local parks and wildlife office for guidance. 

Repairing

Unfortunately, trapping and relocating your raccoon visitors only temporarily solves your problem. It is critical to carry out an inspection both internally and externally to find all the weak points raccoons could use to get in and out of your house. 

It is important to note that raccoons are rarely the first animal in your home. What often happens is mice or rats get into a home or commercial building first. It is then the smaller rodents’ smell that attracts larger animals, such as squirrels and raccoons. As such, if you want to prevent future raccoon visitors, you must seal all entry points from even small rodent intrusions.  

Calling Professional Raccoon Removal Company 

The best method to get rid of raccoons permanently is to get help from a professional raccoon removal company such as Critter Stop, as they are well equipped and trained for the job. Getting help from professional raccoon removal services will help ensure you address the problem as quickly as possible and prevent the situation from becoming worse.

How to Prevent Raccoons From Entering Your Property?

Even if you have successfully removed raccoons from your property, you still need to take some preventive measures to keep your property safe from any future raccoon infestation. Some of them are:

Regular Repairs and Clean Up

To protect your property against any future raccoon infestation, it is necessary to keep it clean and free from nooks, holes, or sheltered places, which can later become perfect hiding spots for raccoons in your house. 

Removing Food Sources:

Raccoons are strongly attracted to nice and sweet-smelling foods, so in order to keep them away from the property, make sure your garbage cans are tightly closed and never left open. Unfortunately, with each passing year, wildlife has continued to adapt and raccoons are particularly infamous for learning how to open lightly-sealed garbage cans. Investing in a heavy lid for your garbage can can be a good idea, as they make it harder for wild animals to gain access to the food sources inside. 

Pet bowls are one of the most common food and water sources that raccoons are attracted to, so be cognizant of how much food and water are left in your pets’ bowls overnight and throughout the day.

Trim Your Trees Regularly:

If a tree in your backyard has long branches, it can become an easy pathway for wild animals to have access to the roof of your house. Therefore, it is essential to keep your tree branches trimmed and away from the roof, making roof access more difficult for wild animals. 

A nut or a fruit tree can also leave food sources around the roof that could be drawing many unwanted animal visitors, especially raccoons, toward your property.

Use Sprinklers:

Motion-activated water sprinklers are becoming one of the most effective ways to keep raccoons and other critters away from your property. It sprays high-pressure water on the critters attempting to sneak into your house. They do not cause any harm to the animals but are effective in scaring and discouraging the raccoons from coming back.

Install Motion-Activated Lights:

Another effective way to scare away raccoons and keep them from entering your house is by installing motion-activated floodlights near trees or garden beds. These lights have proven to be quite effective in keeping raccoons away from the house.

Conclusion:

Raccoons may appear cute and harmless, but they can cause serious health problems if not taken care of immediately. They are still wild animals, so are pretty aggressive and at risk of carrying rabies. It is not safe to get raccoons out of your house by yourself as they can bite you and get you infected. If you suspect you may have a raccoon infestation in your home, it is better to request the services of a company that can provide raccoon removal services. 

Critter Stop is one of the most reliable raccoon removal service companies in the state of Texas. Our trained technicians can evaluate your home or commercial building and find the root cause of your problems. We will also provide the best possible solution to help you get rid of them. Our expert team will humanely remove the raccoons from your house and ensure no babies are left behind. Not only will we help you in raccoon removal from your property, but we also provide advice on how to avoid the same problem in the future. These recommendations will help you avoid any future attacks from wild animals like raccoons. 

It may be tempting to try and resolve the issue yourself or through some cheaper methods, but you do not have time for trial and error when it comes to protecting your home and yourself against raccoons. Contact us, and let us take the critter away! 


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Awesome, professional experience. The inspection was fast and thorough. The exclusion process was done quickly and correctly, the crew cleaned up behind themselves. The traps caught 4 mice and I haven't heard anything since.

Jay Angel Latigo