What To Do – And What Not To Do – When A Raccoon Moves Into Your Attic

Raccoons may be cute and curious, but when they move into your attic, they instantly become annoying and a threat. These animals carry rabies, and they can also tear apart your attic insulation and other structural elements within days. There's no question that you need to get rid of them. But in the process, you need to adhere to a few dos and don'ts for your own safety and success.

Do: Keep your dogs and cats away from the area.

If you have other pets, make sure you keep them far from any area that the raccoons can access. You not only have to worry about rabies if your pet is bitten, but also about other diseases like leptospirosis. Raccoons also carry fleas, roundworms, and other parasites that could be transferred to your pets. If you need to keep your dog or cat in the basement or send them to a friend's house until the raccoons are gone, so be it!

Don't: Chase or threaten the raccoons.

Raccoons won't approach you aggressively, but they can turn quite nasty if they feel they're being threatened. Do not try to chase the raccoon from your home. He or she may already think of your home as his or her home -- and this may lead to some defensive behavior. The best thing to do if you actually see the raccoon is to just back away.

Do: Try to trap the raccoons.

The best way to get rid of the animals is with live traps. You can borrow some from a wildlife control agency in your area. Make sure you use traps intended for live animals so you're able to pick up and carry them safety with the animals inside. Let the raccoons out a few miles from your home in a wooded area. 

Don't: Forget to repair your home.

Once the raccoons are gone, make sure you repair your home to keep them from coming in again. Clean any areas they were in contact with, using bleach to ensure you kill any bacteria and other pathogens present. Fill any cracks or crevices through which they may have entered.

Getting rid of raccoons is not always easy. If you run into trouble, do not hesitate to call a residential wildlife removal and control expert. This is generally the safest way to get rid of raccoons as wildlife control workers have been vaccinated for rabies and know how to handle raccoons without injury.