Simply put, raccoons are professional urban home invaders. They are able to climb virtually anything and can easily manipulate things with there front paws. Those combined with the fact they can problem solve, allows the raccoon to easily gain entry into attics. Raccoons are active at night so they are often heard leaving their den around dusk and return before dawn. They can have up to six den sites in a residential area. They do not hibernate but will “den up” for a couple of days to a couple of weeks in the dead of winter. Raccoons breed once a year, giving birth to a litter of 1-8 (on average 4-6 babies) between the months of March-May.
Common concerns with raccoons are the accumulation and odour of droppings and urine in the attic, chewing on wiring or structural wood and the compaction of insulation causing considerable heat loss. Raccoons living in your attic will also keep you up at night especially during baby season when you can have upwards of nine of them.
Raccoon removal and control
In urban environments like London and Grand Bend, raccoons no longer live in trees. They now prefer to reside with us in our homes. The majority of raccoons live in attics and chimneys, or under a deck/shed.
When removing a raccoon from an attic, roof or chimney, we install a one-way door in front of the entry hole which allows all of the raccoons to leave through it at night when they go out to feed and then keeps shutting behind each animal to prevent re-entry. We then return once all of the animals have left to repair the entry point to prevent this from ever happening again.
Removing raccoons from under a shed or deck is the same except we also dig a trench around the perimeter of the structure and install a heavy gauge welded wire which is then buried. This buried screen is what prevents any animal from ever digging back underneath.
During baby season, we do a thorough inspection of the attic or den to locate any young. If present, they are removed and placed in a heated release box on the outside by the one-way door. This entices the mom to leave through the one-way door, and she relocates her young to another den.