5 Ways to Get Rid of Raccoons
They may look furry and cute, but raccoons can be very problematic. Know how to spot signs of a raccoon infestation so that you can move swiftly with a treatment to eliminate it.
These dark-colored mammals are found throughout most of the United States, and are rarely seen during the day. But when they come out at night they can cause major problems if they infest your home or your property.
How Do I Identify Raccoons?
Raccoons are difficult to miss. They are mid-sized animals about 2 – 3 feet in length, and their stocky bodies have grey and black fur. They are best known for the rings of black around their eyes, and tail.
Raccoons tend to live in forested areas near water sources, and are more common in agricultural areas. They build dens in places such as ground burrows, brush piles, hollow trees, and abandoned buildings. They are also known to build their homes in parts of homes like the chimney and attic.
That being said, raccoons don’t exclusively live in rural areas, and have begun to populate urban dwellings as well. These critters wreak havoc upon garbage cans, properties, and public health.
Raccoons will eat almost everything from plants to other animals including fruit, frogs, insects, rabbits, eggs, and turtles, among others. Raccoons can live as long as twelve years in the wild, and longer indoors. Under optimal conditions it can be very difficult to eliminate them if they have taken up residence in your home.
Why Are Raccoons a Problem?
Raccoons carry a number of dangerous diseases including roundworm which is an intestinal parasite. This parasite is transmitted through the accidental ingestion of an invisible roundworm egg. You might become infected with this parasite without even realizing you have a raccoon problem.
Raccoons can also transmit rabies, a serious threat to both you, and to your pets.
While most don’t have rabies, raccoons are one of the most common carriers of the disease in the eastern part of the U.S.
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Many people incorrectly believe a raccoon wandering about in broad daylight is infecting with the rabies virus. However, this is not true. A raccoon that is truly sick will have difficulty walking, wet hair, aggression, and be disoriented. The sick raccoon may also foam at the mouth.
Signs of a Raccoon Infestation
Unlike most other household pests, it’s fairly easy to determine if you have a raccoon infestation. You may notice damage to your home’s insulation or your shingles out of place. Any structural damage can indicate a raccoon trying to get into your home. You might also notice droppings or urine stains, and accumulated materials that raccoons use to build their nest.
But more often than not you will notice signs of raccoons invading your trash cans. If you notice trash dispersed around your property or even paw prints in the yard then it’s more than likely a raccoon may be to blame.
Another sign to look for raccoons infesting your property is if you have a garden. They will go after any and all produce they can get their furry mitts on.
Finally, if you hear loud thuds or noises in your home, especially around your attic or chimney. Unexplained noises are often one of the first signs of a raccoon infestation.
How to Get Rid of Raccoons
Once you’ve detected a raccoon infestation you have to figure out how to get them out of your home or off of your property. The best thing you can do to prevent a raccoon infestation is to keep them from coming into your home in the first place.
An ounce is prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this is especially true in the case of pest control.
Here are a few easy tips you can follow to keep raccoons away:
- Make sure you regularly inspect your home for any
openings,and seal up any potential points of entry. The can get in via broken vents, uncapped chimneys or other similarly-sized holes.
- Don’t be fooled by thinking that due to their large size, raccoons can’t slip through loose siding or shingles. You should install a cap over your chimney as well as other exposed openings to completely prevent entry.
- Keep trash out of the reach of raccoons. Preferably in a garage or a closed shed. They are incredibly smart
creatures,and can open garbage bins even if they are tightly closed. You can also purchase animal-proof lids to help keep these critters out.
- Having a lot of debris around your home, like firewood or brush piles, can be problematic too. These piles can serve as potential habitats for raccoons. Consider storing firewood at least thirty feet from the house, and be sure you clean up any piles of debris.
- Some people choose to use repellents to get rid of raccoons. Some popular DIY treatments include “taste” raccoon repellents, odor repellants, and electronic repellants.
While you can trap a raccoon yourself using a technology like a Hav-a-Hart trap, it’s always recommended that you contact a licensed pest control professional like Organic Pest Control NYC to do it for you. This is because raccoons can carry a number of dangerous, and potentially fatal diseases, such as rabies or roundworm.
Pest control professionals are skilled, and experienced in dealing with these types of infestations. They will know what is the most effective, and safest way to get rid of the raccoons from your home and property.