How to Get a Raccoon Out of Your House
Removal of raccoons from a home is not as simple as just setting a cage trap or two outside. In fact, that can be one of the worst things you can do. If there are raccoons
living somewhere in a house, such as the attic, ceiling, walls, or under the home, there is most likely a litter of baby raccoons inside, and they must be dealt with before
you remove any adults. Also, it's very important to identify and seal the entry holes into the house as part of the job.
After you read the below information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does raccoon removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of raccoons - my main raccoon removal info guide.
Example raccoon trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Raccoon blog - learn from great examples of raccoon jobs I've done.
Below is an email that I got from a person in northern New Jersey, which I then forwarded to a wildlife trapper in that area. He then wrote back about what happened with this situation involving a raccoon in the house.
ORIGINAL EMAIL: I am convinced based on your excellent web site that I have a Mother and babies in the
attic/wall of my house. I am sure we can get the mother, not sure we can get the babies. I have gotten quotes, and I think they will just do the lazy way capture and remove the mom leaving me with the problem.
I need someone in northern NJ. I am not sure where you are located. Do you have any recommendations.
Thank you for the website.
THE STORY OF THE JOB, BY THE JERSEY RACCOON TRAPPER:
Thank you David,
Funny story if you have a moment to read this.
The customer that wrote you did in fact call me Last Wed and yes he had spoken to several companies that would trap or exclude the mother raccoon but could care less about the babies and he did not want them left behind to smell out his house. I explained our services and he was happy and I made an appointment to inspect his house the following morning. On the phone he was a bit, how do I say, "Jersey City" type, lots of cursing, hated the raccoon and its young, wanted to make sure I killed them after I removed them etc etc. He also thought my inspection fee of $150 was excessive ($150 JUST TO LOOK ?) but finally agreed if I would arrive extra early so he could get to work on time. (note, he is as far away as I travel in my service area, about an hours ride one way)
(just got our taxes done and we owe 10 grand this year, the income this past year was not the best we have done since we lost all our bat work, etc, but we did not have a lot of write offs either (No big medical bills LOL !!) so oh well, surprise!!, so, cant turn down work from jerk customers or our of area calls right now.
I was there at 7 am on Thursday. I was wrong about him being the Jersey city type. The house is a gated mega mansion, 6 car garage (Escalade, Beemer and two Harleys which look like they have never once been ridden). The house is 3 stories high with an extra story of the roof (where the entry is of course) and in about 8 sections like a maze.
He was not there, his wife was (nice huh?), and a decent friendly lady. She had to lock up the guard dogs so I could work (huge foreign breed, cant even spell what they are).
In "the third" of the 5 attics I found an arsenal of rifles, well over 100, and said well, wow ! She explained that her husbands father was a big time hunter who traveled the world hunting and when he died he had left the guns to him. He never used them, but did use one that he purchased himself last year on business trip overseas, a high power pellet gun with a scope that he shoots the squirrels with on the estate.
I found nothing in the attics, no evidence of raccoons. She took me to a room on the top floor where they said they heard the noises the most (the room is a massage room, tables and everything all set up, nice to be rich). I had a raccoon caller with me and played the chirping of raccoon babies to see if I got a response, she said that was the exact sound they had been hearing all week behind one of the walls in that room. The room was totally hard wood paneled. I found one of the panels was a door, and it led to closet. She had no idea that closet existed there at all. I opened the door and found huge paw prints in the dust on the floor, wow. But looking closer, those were not raccoon prints, they were dog prints. She said oh, her husband must have put one of the dogs in there to try and scare out the raccoon (which I believe was nesting above the ceiling of the closet, of course not attic space there). She said he has been on a quest to get rid of the raccoon and bringing the dogs out every night to try and kill it.
I used the caller several times, nothing, no sounds. She said it was weird, they heard her moving around and the babies crying every night except for the last night.
I did the outside inspection, I found the entry in a spot though the roof next to the chimney at the very peak of the house. My 28' just made it to gutter line and I had to install two sets of roof brackets and boards to make stairs on the steep roof just to get close enough to the entry hole. While there I noticed something odd, never seen before. There was what looked like small drilled out holes, a hundred or more of them all around the entry hole, in the roof shingles and wood trim.
Ahhh, I figured it out.
I went back down and asked the woman, by any chance, has your husband been using his high power pellet rifle on the raccoon. She admitted he had been, he was sitting out there every night for the last week trying to shoot it. The dogs were used to keep it from coming off the roof while he shot at it.
I told her, well, the reason your not hearing anything now is one of two reasons, either he shot it so many times it finally died up there, or it said enough of this and moved her and the pups out of there. I told her best I could do was install some light screen over the hole to see if the raccoon pushes it out so I know if its still coming and going or not (soft block).
As I am getting on this roof now for the second time she walks out and shouts up that one of her kids forgot his lunch and she had to bring it to the school and would be back in five minutes and away she goes.
I got the screen installed and packed up my gear and ladders and then waited a half hour for her, she did not return. I left a note on the door to call me and left, unpaid, no signed paperwork etc. That was Thursday.
This afternoon, Saturday the husband calls and tells me that the screen is not disturbed and they think they have a smell in that room now. I explained the only thing to do now was to open the ceiling in that room and take a look. He says....IS THERE EXTRA CHARGE FOR THAT, JUST TO LOOK ?
OH my o my o my did he get an earful, LOL ! and yes there is a charge for that, service call plus time to open the ceiling. What I did not quote was what it would cost to remove that carcass if I do find it. I think Ill surprise him with that when it happens. Also, I have our first NJ NWCOA chapter meeting tomorrow, so he has to wait until Monday for me. I guarantee I wont hear back from him, he will probably have one of those "other companies" he called last week for that service tomorrow.
Looking forward to seeing what will happen with my initial inspection bill. Should be easy to collect I'm sure, considering none the guns in his attic are registered and I know about them.
Always in all ways, the best to you and your family.
PS, have to tell you this man to man. Thank you again and again for our listings on your sites, seriously, with all the pest control companies now in our business competing for work, and so many folks out of work and the economy, and our bats totally wiped out which is a big hit, if it were not for you and the calls we get from your site for raccoons and squirrels I think I would be working as a security guard at night again and my wife working on the school bus in the mornings again, and living in a tenement. I am forever in your debt my friend. Someday Ill figure out a way to repay you for your generosity. I'm trying to make a go of doing training events and selling more lures. If that goes big perhaps that will be the ticket to our future !
Sorry that this email didn't really contain any how-to information for how to deal with a problem with a raccoon in house. For excellent how-to information, please visit my how to get rid of raccoons page or my
get rid of raccoons in the attic page, or my raccoon trapping page.