Identifying signs of a raccoon infestation in homes

Estimated read time 4 min read

Identifying Signs of a Raccoon Infestation in Homes

Have you ever wondered if those strange noises in your attic or the mess in your garbage cans could be signs of a raccoon infestation? Raccoons are intelligent creatures that are known for their adaptability and resourcefulness. While they may appear cute and harmless, raccoons can cause significant damage to your property and pose health risks to you and your family. In this article, we will explore the signs that indicate a raccoon infestation in homes, allowing you to take prompt action to solve the issue.

1. Noises and Vocalizations

One of the first signs of a raccoon infestation is the presence of strange noises in your home, especially during the night. Raccoons are nocturnal animals, so their activity is more noticeable after dark. You may hear thumping, scratching, or scurrying sounds in your attic, walls, or crawl spaces. Additionally, raccoons are known for their distinctive vocalizations. If you hear high-pitched cries, chattering, or growling sounds coming from your home, it is highly likely that raccoons have made themselves comfortable there.

2. Damage to Property

Raccoons are notorious for their destructive behavior. They have sharp claws and strong jaws, which they use to gain access to your home. Look for signs of damage around your property, such as torn shingles, ripped vents, or broken screens. Raccoons are skilled climbers, so they can easily scale trees or downspouts to reach your roof. Once inside, they may tear insulation, damage wires, or create nests using materials found in your attic. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to investigate further for a potential raccoon infestation.

3. Fecal Matter

Raccoons leave behind telltale signs of their presence in the form of droppings or fecal matter. Raccoon droppings are dark in color, similar to dog droppings, but with a distinct tubular shape and strong odor. You might find these droppings in your attic, chimney, or around your garbage cans. It is important to note that raccoon feces can carry parasites and diseases, so it is crucial to avoid direct contact and seek professional help for cleanup.

4. Tracks and Footprints

If you suspect raccoons have invaded your property, look for their tracks and footprints. Raccoons have distinct paw prints with five toes and long fingers, resembling tiny human hands. These tracks can be found in muddy areas, around garbage cans, or near entry points to your home. By identifying these footprints, you can confirm the presence of raccoons and determine their movement patterns.

5. Garbage Can Raids

Raccoons are opportunistic eaters and are attracted to readily available food sources, such as garbage cans. If you find your trash scattered across your yard or notice signs of tampering with the lids or sides of the cans, it is a clear indication of raccoon activity. Raccoons have dexterous paws that allow them to open lids, so securing your garbage cans tightly can help deter them.

6. Entry Points

Raccoons are excellent climbers and can squeeze through surprisingly small openings. Inspect your home for potential entry points, such as loose or broken vents, gaps in the roofline, or unsecured crawl space doors. Raccoons may also utilize overhanging tree branches to gain access to your home. Identifying these entry points will help you take the necessary steps to prevent further infestation.

While it may be tempting to attempt DIY solutions to get rid of raccoons, it is important to remember that wildlife control is best left to professionals. Raccoons are intelligent and adaptable creatures, and attempts to repel them using home remedies or deterrents are often ineffective. Hiring a professional wildlife control service ensures safe and humane removal of raccoons, preventing further damage to your property and minimizing health risks. So don’t delay, seek professional help if you suspect a raccoon infestation in your home.

Paul R. Krausman

Paul Krausman is a wildlife biologist and researcher with a focus on wildlife management. He has a PhD in wildlife ecology and has worked in both academic and field settings. Krausman has published numerous articles and books on topics like big game management, habitat conservation, and human-wildlife conflict. He has also served on various wildlife management committees and advisory boards. With decades of experience, Krausman is considered an expert in his field and is often consulted for his insights on wildlife issues. He has also received awards recognizing his contributions to the field.

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