RACCOON REMOVAL – RACCOON IN ATTIC
Raccoon removal in the Richmond and Charlottesville areas of Central Virginia should be left to our local raccoon removal experts. Raccoons are usually classified as a nuisance pest species due to their habits of living in homes and wrecking attics. The most common complaints we receive in the Richmond VA area of Central Virginia include the following:
- Raccoons living in the attic
- Raccoons living in the chimney
- Getting into trash cans and tipping over garbage
- Raccoons eating my pet’s food or bird seed
- Raccoons damaged the vents on my home
- Raccoons damaged the soffit on my home
- Raccoons in the crawlspace
- Raccoons killing chickens
- Sick, potentially rabid raccoons
- Presence is alarming dogs/pets
- Eating pet food left outside
- Baby raccoons in walls
- Raccoons living in the garage
- Raccoons digging up newly sodded lawns
For these reasons, many people in the Henrico area wish to have this nuisance animal trapped and removed as quickly as possible.
Since raccoons are a common problem in Richmond VA and can be quite dangerous, I never recommend that a do-it-yourselfer (DIY) try to do this type of animal removal. A raccoon in your attic or house is almost certainly a female with a litter of young. The job is often complex, and the worst thing you can do is simply set down a cage trap to catch the mother raccoon. This results in orphaned baby raccoons that are often difficult to reach and capture. Without the mother raccoon to care for them, they end of dying and creating odor problems and bugs are attracted to the rotting carcass.
NUISANCE RACCOON CONCERNS
Raccoons are one of the most commonly dealt with nuisance animals in Richmond and Charlottesville VA. They have adapted well to living with humans. They have learned that garbage cans and dumpsters are excellent sources of food, and that Richmond homes are excellent places to live. A mother raccoon will often tear a hole in a roof to access an attic, where they will make a huge mess and make a lot of noise. If you have a raccoon in the attic, it’s going to destroy insulation and duct work, and leave a lot of raccoon feces (droppings).
They are very strong animals, and once inside an attic, they often tear off insulation paper, rip open ducts, tear insulation off pipes, and destroy attic vents. They will adept at finding available food sources, and are fond of tipping over trash cans, raiding dumpsters, and stealing pet food. They will enter pet doors and often break into screened-in porches to get pet food. It’s common for raccoons to poop in attics, on roofs and inside chimneys. They are carriers of numerous parasites and diseases that are transferable to people and pets.
Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are easy to recognize with their distinctive black mask and ringed tail. Adults range from 10 lbs and up, with some reaching over 40 lbs. They can live up to 12 years in the wild, though the average life span is closer to 5 – 6 years. Raccoons in the Richmond and Charlottesville VA areas mate in the winter, around December, and the females give birth to an average of 3 – 5 young in the Spring time. A mother raccoon is very protective of her litter. Like many mammals, they are primarily nocturnal, though some people spot them during the day, often when in search of food. Just because you see a raccoon during the day does not mean it is rabid. They are omnivores, and will eat almost anything they find.
They are very common wild animals, particularly in urban areas like Henrico, Hanover and Albemarle Counties. They are well adapted for survival in cities like Richmond and Charlottesville VA. They are excellent climbers, and they have very nimble hands. They are also very strong, and will destroy homes in search of food and shelter. They like to den in trees, but they love to den in attics in Central Virginia.
Raccoons are a common carrier of rabies, a potentially fatal disease for humans. They also carry canine distemper, which can kill your dog. Their feces (raccoon poop) may contain raccoon roundworm, the spores of which can spread diseases to humans. This is why it is important to have raccoons living in your home captured and removed by a professional wildlife removal company. NOTE: May do-it-yourself types will often buy a raccoon trap to deal with the problem themselves. If they are lucky enough to catch the raccoon they transport it somewhere else and release it. BE ADVISED – THIS IS AGAINST THE LAW IN VIRGINIA. An unlicensed person cannot transport wildlife and NO ONE (us included) can relocate wildlife.
HOW DO I GET RID OF RACCOONS?
The only real way of getting rid of raccoons is through trapping and removal of the animals, and performing exclusion repairs to keep them out for good. If you’ve got raccoons in your attic, it’s important that the Richmond Virginia wildlife control technician search for a litter of baby raccoons, and remove them by hand before trapping and removing the female raccoon. If it’s just raccoons outside causing trouble, they can be trapped and removed, but beware, they’ll often dig and grab anything within a few inches of the cage trap. Also, feces and urine contaminated traps can spread disease. There are some lethal type raccoon traps on the market, but they’re dangerous and may be illegal to use in some circumstances.
ARE RACCOON REPELLENTS EFFECTIVE?
There is no registered or effective raccoon repellent available. Many raccoon repellents on the market are mothball-based or urine-based repellents and NONE have been proven effective. Try them if you must and you’ll find that they don’t work and you’ve just wasted your hard-earned money. As for those high-pitch noisemakers, also called ultrasonic sound emitters, they do not work either. There is no quick and easy fix when it comes to raccoon removal and control in Richmond and Charlottesville VA. It’s best to have a professional trap and remove the animals properly.
HOW TO KEEP RACCOONS AWAY FROM PROPERTY?
It’s hard to keep raccoons from accessing your property, but certain things can be done proactively to make raccoon entry much more difficult. As mentioned earlier, there are no machines or devices that can keep them away – products such as flashing lights, sound machines, water sprinklers, and repellents have proven ineffective. The truth is that raccoons on your property or in your yard are not really a problem.
The problem starts when they’re getting into your garbage, or eating your birdseed, or living under your shed or porch, or tearing up your new sod, or pooping in your pool, or eating your crops, or killing your decorative koi fish, or threating your cat, and just making your ability to enjoy your home nearly impossible. The best way to keep raccoons away is by eliminating what may be attracting raccoons to your property, or by making it inaccessible. If they are getting into your house, seal all possible entry holes! If they are eating your pet’s food, bring the pet food indoors.
Raccoon Removal Question From A Richmond VA homeowner: Good morning, I have a raccoon with young raccoons living in my attic of my Richmond Virginia home. I am thinking about trapping the raccoon or sealing the entry hole she has made when she goes out at night. What do you think of my approach to getting rid of the raccoons? Your help is appreciated. –Rich P.
My Response: DON’T DO IT! There’s a lot to consider when removing raccoons. A mother raccoon can be dangerous, especially if there are baby raccoons present. If you trap the mother, what are you going to do with her? In Virginia, it is against the law for you to transport and relocate animals. If you catch the mother raccoon, the baby raccoons may be in an area that you can’t get too. Orphaned raccoons may end of dying from starvation, and once they die the odor from a bunch of dead raccoons will be unbelievable. The decaying bodies will also attract flies and other bugs.
It you happen to just seal the raccoon out, in all likelihood it will create additional damage trying to get back in. We have also seen people seal animals inside of structures. This can also result in additional damage as the raccoon tries to create a new exit point or is unable to get out and just dies. The best approach for getting rid of raccoons is to hire a professional animal removal company. The best raccoon removal company in the Richmond and Charlottesville areas of Central Virginia is Virginia Professional Wildlife Removal Services, LLC. Give them a call at (804) 729-0046. You can also find additional information on raccoons in attics and how to get rid of raccoons by clicking here.