Do You Have Raccoons In Your Attic?

Find Out If You Have Raccoons In Your Attic? 

A raccoon in your attic is not something that will quickly go away on its own.  They usually invade your attic or crawlspace to seek warmth, comfort, and shelter in a place where they can  breed and raise their young (called kits).  Sounds that may indicate a raccoon(s) may be present include hearing strange movements or vocal sounds, such as “coos” or “chirps.”  If not handled quickly and properly, their presence will become a bigger problem over time.  Once inside, they can damage and soil the insulation, tear up wires and create all kinds of havoc. They can also bring lice, fleas and ringworm with them when they set up house. The longer they’re there, the worse the damage tends to be.   If a raccoon is present for very long in an attic, it is common to see a stain on the ceiling where they have been using a spot away from their bedding as a latrine. 

Raccoons are great climbers and have few problems entering an attic. A home with holes or open areas is easily accessible. Trees adjacent to homes also make it easy for raccoons to climb up and get in. They can climb almost any surface and don’t need much to grab on to. They’re also very strong and can rip through shingles and wooden roofs. Other common access points are soffits, vents, and anywhere an eave meets up with the roof. They’re also known to climb down chimneys.  If you have heard any noises coming from your attic, see changes in your roof and gables, or see signs such as mud tracks on gutters or scratch marks on trees, it would be a good time to have a professional take a look and see if you have any raccoons.  They may look like innocent animals but the destruction they can cause in the attic could become very costly.  Luckily Nuisance Wildlife Removal will come out to your property for free and take a full extensive look in your attic to let you know what kind of issue you are dealing with. 

Once they’re in, raccoons will start to destroy your home. There is really no limit to the damage these large and strong animals can do.  Here’s destruction we have seen in the past.   Once in an attic they will crush your insulation by walking on it.  Raccoons will also move the insulation around and make comfortable sleeping places for bedding areas.  A big drawback when this happens is it will reduce the efficiency of your insulation which could over time resulting in a poorly insulated home that could drive your energy bill up.  It doesn’t stop with just the insulation, raccoons will start to chew through electrical wiring which creates a serious fire hazard and results in costly repairs.  As the raccoons become more comfortable in your attic they may begin to tear apart your heating and cooling ducts which will reduce the effectiveness of your HVAC system.  Speaking of HVAC systems, there are obvious dangers and smell caused by circulating air with urine and feces present. 

Raccoons bring in serious health risks to your family and pets.  Rabies is the most commonly cited disease associated with raccoons. Never approach a raccoon that looks sick, confused, or that is moving awkwardly. Rabid raccoons may be either lethargic or walking erratically, perhaps in circles. It’s also common for the hind legs to become paralyzed in the later stages, or paralytic stages.  A raccoon might also exhibit aggression or foaming at the mouth during the excitative stage.  Raccoons don’t go about carrying rabies all the time and transmitting them to everyone, as many people seem to think.  They can only pass on rabies during the last week of life, when actual symptoms are present.

Canine Distemper is an even more common raccoon disease, it’s fatal to raccoons, and some symptoms are very similar to rabies. Pets, such as dogs, are very vulnerable to this disease, so be careful to prevent your pets from encountering a raccoon. 

One disease that raccoons have is from their droppings which is called raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis & B. columnaris). This parasitic worm can and does infect humans. The egg spores in the raccoon droppings are light and can become airborne, and people can breathe them in and become infected. Infection of humans can lead to larval parasite migration to the central nervous system. These egg spores can live for years as dry pods. This is very dangerous to humans, especially children, and a much more important and realistic threat than rabies.  Your wildlife professional will  

Raccoons also carry Giardia lamblia, a protozoan causing diarrhea associated with ingesting food or water contaminated by raccoon excrement. Trypanosoma cruzi is associated with raccoon excrement as are Rickettsia rickettsii, Leptospirosis, and Salmonella. They are also host to a number of parasites, such as lice and fleas. Many times people with raccoons in the attic will notice that their pets (and in a few cases themselves) suddenly have fleas that they never had before. I often get fleas on me when I enter attics that hold raccoons.

Raccoons may seem harmless, but if they do get into your attic, they can become a nuisance for your home and family.  If you think you have a raccoon problem or raccoons in your attic, give Nuisance Wildlife Removal a call today and we can come out immediately to take a look and give you a free estimate on their removal.  

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