How Can A Raccoon Get Into Your House?

There are many ways that raccoons can get into your house. Raccoons may look cute and cuddly, but it becomes an issue when raccoons decide to invade your house. It can cause damage to your home and health issues for both you and your family once the raccoons get into your house.

Raccoons can be a concern no matter where you live. Raccoons enjoy both rural and urban environments. The drive for food or a place for a raccoon’s babies can draw them into your house. 

The first way that a raccoon can get into your house is through a pet door. Raccoons can smell your pet’s food, and so they come inside in search of where the scent is coming from. Food is a driving force for raccoons as well as curiosity. If a raccoon finds out that the door is an easy way to get food, it will continue to return over and over until it is removed by a wildlife professional. It is almost never intentional for a raccoon to walk into your actual living space. Raccoons much prefer walls or attics.

The more common place to find raccoons is your attic. Raccoons get into your attic in a few different ways. Any holes in the exterior walls can be used. Damaged vents or pieces of roofing that the raccoon has torn open provide easy access to the attic. 

A majority of the time, if a raccoon is in your attic, it is a mother with a litter of pups. Warm temperatures and a solitary space make this the perfect place for baby raccoons to live. Insulation is used as nesting material and, as the mother raccoon prepares for the pups, noise will becomes another issue.

Raccoons can also get into your house through the chimney if the cap has been harmed by weather or tree branches. Mother raccoons will take advantage of the quiet, dark environment, especially when it comes time for them to have their babies. A lot of the time they will bring nesting material down the chimney to the damper, which creates disturbances, and once the pups are born, they will begin to chatter. If you hear noises be careful before using the chimney, or you might have raccoons fall into the fireplace.

You do not want to try to catch a mother raccoon or her babies by yourself. You could injure the pups, or the mother could become violent when you try to remove them. The best thing that you can do if raccoons have gotten into your house is call a wildlife professional!

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The Dangers of Having Raccoons In Your House

Raccoons in your house can be a very hazardous and destructive issue. The presence of raccoons in your house can cause both health problems and expensive structural concerns.

There are several health concerns that can occur if you have raccoons in your house. You, your family, and your pets can all be in danger. Their droppings can carry raccoon roundworm eggs, a parasite that is potentially fatal to humans, Giardiasis, and salmonella. Raccoon’s urine can also pass along leptospirosis, a bacterial infection. A bite or scratch from a raccoon can spread rabies.

When it comes to the destruction of your house, raccoons can do this in a variety of different ways. The animals leave behind their droppings, urine, and can chew through insulation and wiring in the attic. Raccoons can tear through walls and the shingles on your roof. They bring nesting materials into the house for their pups which can be a fire hazard. The odor from the urine and droppings can become overwhelming as well.

The raccoon droppings can also be a place for mold to begin to accumulate. The mold then can spread, causing respiratory infections and destroying the walls of your home. 

When it is time for raccoon mothers to give birth, they can get into your attic or chimney and burrow into or chew through the insulation. This will add to your repair costs once the raccoons have been removed.

Wiring is another thing can that be destroyed when you have raccoons in your house. Raccoons can chew through the wiring of your house and attic, which can become a fire hazard and cause devastating damage. 

Raccoons can also make cracks and gaps in your roof, shingles, and walls much worse. Raccoon’s urine can weaken the structure of both the roof and walls, which can be a large expense to repair. As the raccoons enter and exit, they can do further damage to your chimney and roof, also an expensive fix.

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The Difficulty of Raccoon Removal

By the time you notice that there are raccoons in your house, it is generally too late to do anything yourself. The problem can be overwhelming with the amount of droppings, urine, and damage that will be found in your house. 

The health concerns with raccoon removal are very serious. The droppings can carry eggs that can lead to parasites in humans and animals, and if they are handled they can crumble to dust that can make you ill if it is breathed in. Droppings can also be a place for mold to flourish, which can cause respiratory problems if inhaled. Contact with urine from the raccoons while you are going through the removal process also has a possibility of infecting you with bacterial illness. 

The destruction of insulation in your attic, one of the most common locations of infestation by raccoons, can lead to skin irritation, eye irritation, and respiratory issues if you attempt the removal on your own. 

If wiring has been chewed on in your attic, a normal activity for raccoons, there is always the chance that you will be shocked or electrocuted. Exposed wires can spark, and the electricity can jump to your skin as you move around in the attic space. It could also ignite the insulation or wood structure around you with possibly fatal results.

Raccoons can be very dangerous if you surprise them during the removal process. A bite or scratch from a raccoon that is infected with rabies is a serious concern. If a raccoon feels cornered, or if a mother feels that her pups are being threatened, it will attack, and your injuries can be severe. In a confined space like an attic, the more agile raccoon will have the advantage.

A professional will have the necessary knowledge of the raccoons to be certain that the removal is done safely and thoroughly. Without any experience in wildlife removal, taking care of getting the raccoons out of your house yourself can be dangerous. Removal is a lengthy task that is best left to a professional. 

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The Problems With Cleanup After Removal

Alright, so the professional has successfully gotten all of the raccoons out of your house and fixed things up to exclude them from returning! What’s next? 

Next is the cleanup, which can be just as dangerous and unpleasant as the raccoon removal itself. Many of the same concerns remain when the process reaches this stage and more are added.

The first step for cleanup is the removal of the raccoon droppings. If a mother has given birth, there are up to six raccoons that have left piles of waste behind. Now, even though the raccoons are gone, the health concerns of the droppings are still there.

Droppings must be very carefully removed, making certain to avoid spreading the toxins that can be contained in them. Urine must also carefully be cleaned up to prevent the bacteria that it can carry. 

The second step is the removal of any damaged and destroyed insulation from the attic. The soiled, filthy insulation must be taken out of the house to prevent the spread of odor and disease. Again, contact with the insulation, with live wiring, or the droppings and urine are problems to be concerned about.

An inspection must be done to see if any structural damage in the attic has occurred due to the raccoon droppings and urine, such as rotting in the wood or corrosion of the metal. In rare cases, the raccoons have been in the attic so long that the droppings can be in the process of buckling the ceilings below!

Any roofing or walls that have been torn open will need to be inspected to find out what repairs can and should be made. If these are not made, raccoons can easily return again to the house and attic.

Once those things are complete, attic restoration can be done. Attic restoration is an involved process with the use of hazardous chemicals and expertise is highly recommended. Luckily, the same professional that handled getting the raccoons out of the house can handle all of these processes as well.