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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – RACCOONS
Over the years we have been asked a lot of questions regarding raccoons and how to control them. We thought we would address them so that everyone can benefit. We hope you find these reader-requested Q&A beneficial.
Where can I buy raccoon repellent?
Unfortunately there is no such thing as an effective repellent. People try moth balls, ammonia, critter rid, loud radio, ultrasonic sound machine, etc. They are completely ineffective and fraudulent. You can try them yourself. There is one exception though….
Raccoon Predator Scent – This is the one repellant that works, but only on a pregnant or nursing female raccoon in the attic. It’s the scent of a a predator, who kills any young, so it intimidates the female into leaving the attic and taking her babies with her. It must be applied just right, and this is a hit-or-miss tactic.
Will rat poison kill a raccoon?
Yes it can, if a high enough dose is ingested. But, using poisons on wildlife is illegal and inhumane so please do not attempt this.
Will racoons leave on their own?
They will not, or should I say not right away. When raccoons have made your home theirs, by taking up residency in the attic and nesting, it generally takes 8-9 months for the young to grow up and be able to forage on their own.
If a raccoon has gotten into my attic will it find it’s way out?
Of course. Raccoons are creatures of habit and know where they are going. They are not stuck in the attic, they will come and go for food and water daily.
Will raccoons abandon their babies?
This does not generally happen. Female raccoons are excellent mothers and are very protective of their young. The only way a female raccoon would not return for her young is if she was harmed or injured and could not make it back to the nest.
Will raccoons move young to safer location ?
Yes, if the mother raccoon feels that her babies are in danger she will move them out one by one to a safer location.
Will noise scare a raccoon out of your attic ?
Noise will not make a raccoon leave. It is possible, that when someone goes into the attic to inspect, that the mother raccoon may get “spooked” and heads out, but it will not keep her out, she usually comes right back in. Playing a loud radio or ultra sonic devices have been proven ineffective as well.
Will baby raccoon still chatter when it’s with mother ?
Yes, they will chatter a little bit but not near as much as when the mom is not close by. If the mom is present they are generally nursing.
Will antifreeze kill a raccoon ?
Yes, If a high enough dose is ingested. But, this is not only illegal it is beyond inhumane and if caught you would be facing animal cruelty charges. the other thing to think about as well is that a neighbors cat or dog could come in contact with it and again you would be charged with animal cruelty. It is always best to have the animal trapped and removed/relocated to a more suitable place.
Will a relocated raccoon find it’s way back home?
Yes, If you think you are just going to move it down the street or a mile away, it will most definitely come right back. Raccoons have to be relocated at least 10 miles away for it to be effective.
Will a raccoon return to it’s former nesting site if not trapped and relocated?
Yes, they are creatures of habit and will return to the same nesting location year after year. I
Will a mother raccoon stay quiet when a baby is crying?
Yes, the adults are generally quiet in general unless disturbed and then you may hear some hissing or growling.
Is it important to clean up raccoon feces that was left behind in my attic?
Yes, it is very important, but should only be done by a professional with the proper protection following the proper protocol.
Who do I call to remove a raccoon from my attic ?
A licensed and insured wildlife control professional, NOT a regular pest control company.
Where can I go to release a raccoon?
You can not go anywhere, it is illegal to transport and relocate wildlife without the proper licensing.
What are typical raccoon entry points?
Raccoons are very ingenious when it comes to finding a place to nest. The most common entry points are- eaves, loose soffits, and vents, but we have seen them go down chimneys and chew thru rotten areas of a roof.
I saw a raccoon in the middle of the day, doesn’t that mean it has rabies?
It does not mean it has rabies. It is normal and it is probably in a heavily populated neighborhood where the food supply is constant and they have gotten used to the human scent.
When is the raccoon mating season?
Living in Florida we generally see raccoons being born year round. This is partially due to the fact that we really do not have seasons per say.
How many babies does a raccoon have?
They can have between 3-8 young but we typically see 3-5 babies when we encounter a nest in the attic.
When are baby raccoons most active?
When the young are first born they tend to act like human babies and nurse and sleep a lot. Generally, 4-6weeks in you might start to hear their chattering (crying) at night, because this is when the mother raccoon has gone out to forage.
What kind of trap do you use to capture raccoons?
We use a commercial grade live trap. We feel this is the most humane approach and allows for the animal to be relocated.
Is there a health risk associated with not cleaning up your attic after a raccoon has been living there?
Unfortunately, yes. The primary concern is “raccoon roundworm” which is left behind in their feces. The other issue is that they generally leave fleas behind and without a host, the fleas will find their way into your living space.
What damage can raccoons do to an attic?
Oh, where should I begin… Lots! They defecate and urinate in the insulation, tear holes into the heating and cooling duct work, chew wires and on occasion have been known to chew holes into ceilings.
What attracts raccoons to your neighborhood or houses?
This is a great question and one that everyone should ask and be educated about.
They are in constant search of food and shelter. Unfortunately, most people do not realize that they are even providing one or the other on a daily basis. For example, feeding the birds. Bird feeders are one of the main things that keep us in business. The average homeowner does not realize that they are attracting more than just the pretty birds, raccoons are also attracted to the seed and you can not have a bird feeder without a bird bath, so now they have food and water…why wouldn’t they want to take up residence? Now that they know they can be fed, they’ll start searching the home for entry points. You may have had a piece of soffit blow out during a storm, edor a vent that was repaired but never got re-sealed, and now they can pry their way into a safe, cozy and warm new home! The other things that attract raccoons is pet food, most people see a stray cat or it may even be a raccoon and they think that it is a good idea to put food out, WRONG! Now, you are definitely setting yourself up for issues. The other thing that attracts raccoons is garbage. Be sure when you set your trash out that it is secured. Raccoons actually have opposing thumbs like we do and that is how they are able to pry almost anything open.