Raccoons In The Attic

Raccoons are one of nature’s cuter animals.  They look soft and cuddly.  They have been in countless cartoons, movies, and more.  But, as always, there is a dark side to the raccoon.  They can be very destructive, and will eat just about anything.  Some bacterial diseases which affect raccoons are leptospirosis, listeriosis, tetanus, and tularemia.  They can get ring worm, rabies, and all sorts of nasty stuff.  They can also be very dangerous.  If you ever see a raccoon in the wild most likely it will run from you.  But if for any reason it thinks it’s cornered and can’t get away, they will fight and they will win.  They have very sharp teeth and claws and will tear you up.

I got a call a few days ago; they had a raccoon in their attic and said it has torn up their AC ducts.  Later that day, I went over there and realized pretty quickly that they were not exaggerating.  It had completely destroyed their entire duct system.  Guess he thought he needed some free AC too.

He was getting up into the attic through a small opening where the man had installed a roof over his porch.     It was an afternoon in the beginning of summer so of course it was 140 degrees in the attic, but that’s one of the perks of being pest control guy.  I thought the raccoon had done me a favor by tearing up the ac vents, but they had closed off one of the few vents left so that they were no long cooling the attic, alas it was hot.

But I set three traps up there and said I would be back in two days.  And if they heard anything before then, to give me a call.  The next day I got a call, the raccoon was caught in a trap over one of the ceiling vents and was proceeding to rip it out of the ceiling.  When any animal gets caught in a trap, they tend to grab anything they can and pull it in the trap with them.  When I got to the trap a few hours later, he had it full of insulation, parts of ac ducts, any whatever else he could reach.

I got my dad to go with me so that he could help me get him out of the attic.  It wasn’t a very big attic and was hard to maneuver around in.  They did have attic stairs so it wasn’t too bad.  Well, we got him outside and the customer’s dogs went nuts. I am sure they terrified the poor raccoon.

I got him to the release site; it has a stream and a lot of trees and then talked to him about the dangers of an attic and why they shouldn’t be his home.  I think the entire experience for him was enough to keep him out of people’s attics.  It was a good release, he darted out like a shotgun blast, ran down the hill into the stream, and back up the hill.  Then we lost him.  Hopefully, he will adapt to life in the wild and make new raccoon friends.

That was part one of the raccoon job.  The client had said that they thought there was more than one of them.  I didn’t think this was true, but to be sure, I left two traps up there just to see.  It turns out, what I caught was the mama.  She had a little litter up there.

I went back two days later and had three more of the little guys.  They were too young to be released into the wild, so I found a rehabilitator that was willing to finish the job of the mother so that they would have a chance to survive.  Cost a little more money on my part, pretty much all of my profit, but that’s OK.

I left one trap just to see if I could catch another one.  But alas, the problem was solved.  We had closed off the hole that they were getting into and they had no more raccoons.  They had even had time to fix the torn up AC ducts.

All and all, it was a pretty successful job.  Even though we didn’t make a profit on this one, the client is happy and so am I. I know that we gave the little guys a chance.  It’s always a good idea to check your attic for holes so that critter’s don’t have access.

Till next time,

Shane Young

Operations Manager

For more pictures of the damage and raccoons visit: https://www.facebook.com/TheBugsEnd?ref=tn_tnmn