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Safely Removing Raccoons from your Attic

Raccoons have a reputation for their incredibly destructive habits and mischievous curiosity making them one of the biggest residential wildlife nuisances. Most homeowners, at one time or another, will have to deal with raccoons prowling around their property. They are known to knock over garbage cans, steal pet food, destroy landscaping, burrow under decks, and get into attics and chimneys. No animal can cause more damage to an attic than a raccoon. Creature Control can trap and remove raccoons from your home or business and guide you through the restoration process.

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Raccoon Problems & Risks

Raccoons are adaptive to their surroundings and human neighbors. They have learned that garbage cans and dumpsters are excellent sources of food, and that attics and chimneys make an excellent habitat. Raccoons have narrow hips and flexible rib cages that allow them to enter holes only 4.5 inches in diameter; enabling them to breach your home or building through soffits, roof vents, attic fans, roof boards, and utility lines. A mother raccoon will often tear a hole in a roof to access an attic, where she and her litter will cause quite a lot of damage and make a lot of noise. Raccoons are also very strong animals; tearing insulation off pipes, destroying ductwork, breaking screen doors to access pet food, and they can use their thin, nimble hands to manipulate a variety of items, including turning handles, opening cans, untying knots and unwrapping objects.

Raccoons are common carriers of rabies and leptospirosis, a bacterial disease caused from contaminated water, food, or soil containing feces or urine from infected animals. They also can carry canine distemper, which can harm or kill your dog. Raccoon feces may also contain roundworm, which, if the spores are inhaled by humans, can cause serious infection or in rare cases death. Raccoons have been known to occasionally contaminate swimming pools by defecating and urinating in them. Even if a particular raccoon is not carrying any of these diseases, there is always the possibility of getting scratched or bitten. When it comes to raccoons, it is best to leave it to the professionals for safe removal and exclusion.

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Raccoon Removal and Prevention

A few indicators of the presence of raccoons are “walking” noises on the roof or in the attic, smudge marks and footprints on downspouts, pillars, trees, gutters or any other vertical structure that may serve as entry points, and, of course, tipped over and scattered trash cans. Creature Control uses a combination of humane removal and prevention techniques to solve your raccoon troubles. We have the tools and experience to humanely remove raccoons and keep them out.

Depending on where and how raccoons are getting into your house and whether or not they have established a den in your home will determine our process in removing the pest. If the raccoon has gotten into an attic or crawl space through a certain entry point, a one-way trap can be set up at this entry point which will allow the raccoon to come out into the trap but not back into its den. After removing the raccoon, our technicians can provide a quote for repairing and sealing off the entry point permanently. In situations where there is no one entry point, such as a raccoon burrowing under a deck or prowling around the garbage at night, our technicians may set up humane traps for the raccoon(s) and provide recommendations for changing your surrounding environment to discourage raccoon activity in the future.

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What's That Noise? What's that noise?
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Scratching during the day may indicate the presence of a bat, but this is uncommon.

More common sources of scratching or clawing during the day is a squirrel or a yellowjacket hive in the drywall, if it is summer.

A scratching sound coming from the attic is a good indication of the presence of a bat. The scratching may be constant or intermittent and may occur at day or night, though with a bat, this scratching will usually be heard at night. This is the sounds of the claws on the bat's wings as it moves around.

It may also indicate the presence of mice, however. An inspection is necessary to more directly pinpoint the source of the sound.

Gnawing sounds during the day are almost always due to the presence of a rodent, such a mouse, squirrel, chipmunk, or sometimes a rat. Rodents are characterized by their large incisor teeth, which continually grow and must be worn down by constant gnawing. Rodents will gnaw on wires, insulation and anything else they can find in an attic. Many house fires due to electrical problems are caused by damaged wires due to squirrel gnawing.

If you are hearing gnawing or chewing sounds at night, it may indicate the presence of a raccoon. Usually this will be accompanied by other noises, such as heavy walking. If you do not hear this, it may be a flying squirrel or some other rodent.

A "rolling" sound is usually due to the presence of a red squirrel bringing in nuts or other debris and rolling it around up in the attic, as squirrels will use attics to hoard food. If you hear this sound during the day, it is certainly a red squirrel, since red squirrels are the only mammals that commonly get into attics that are active during the day (flying squirrels get into attics as well but they are nocturnal). The "rolling" sound associated with a squirrel is sometimes described as the sound of marbles rolling.

If it is not a squirrel, there's a possibility a rolling sound could be made by birds moving around in a tight space.

Rolling sounds at night can be caused by flying squirrels, which are nocturnal. It is made by the squirrel bringing nuts or other debris into the attic or wall.

Raccoons may also make a rolling sound, though this is less common.

Scampering or scurrying during the day is almost always attributable to a squirrel, as most other scurrying animals (such as mice) are nocturnal.

A scurrying or scampering sound at night is usually due to mice moving through the walls, ceiling, or along the floor.

Nocturnal flying squirrels may make this noise as well; peak periods of activity for flying squirrels are just before dawn and shortly after sunset. Their scurrying is light and fast.

Raccoons may also make this sort of noise, but with a raccoon it will be more of a "walking" sound, a bit heavier than a squirrel, and not as fast.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

If you can clearly hear the sound of flapping during the day, it is definitely a bird.

If you hear flapping at night, it is either a trapped bird or a bat. Nuisance birds are generally not active at night, so if you hear flapping it may be a bird that has become trapped. The flapping of a bat's wings is very soft, almost like a dull whirring. If you hear a very faint, soft whirring, it may mean a bat is flying around nearby in the dark.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall. It is not as common at night, but certainly can happen then as well if the hive is big enough.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by the presence of a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.