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Raccoon Holes Leading Into Attic

06.03.2008 - Here are a couple of classic raccoon entry points.  This house has wooden soffits.  Oftentimes, homes such as these have vent holes in the soffits.  These vent holes are a standard size and shape, about a food long by four inches wide, with round ends.  This hole may not look very large, but animals can squeeze through very small areas.  While it's easy to imagine a rat or squirrel running through these types of holes - and they do - a full sized raccoon can also easily slide through these openings.  Yes, a big fat raccoon.

In the above photos you can see a lot of muddy footprints on the wall below these vents.  That's classic raccoon sign.  Raccoons often forage near water and have muddy feet, and they don't bother to wipe them before coming home.  In the photos on the right, the raccoon easily climbed up the downspout, or climbed onto the roof from a nearby tree and used the downspout for support.  In the photo to the right, the raccoon was able to swing over the edge of the roof and the screen to the right, and grab onto the edge of the hole and get in.  In the process, it tore the hole up a bit, into a larger hole.  Raccoons are very strong, and they are amazing climbers.

Why are these holes wide open, you might ask?  Well, they originally had vent covers.  If you go to a home supply store such as Lowe's or Home Depot, you'll see them for sale, in the standard shape and size.  This home had them installed.  The problem is that they attach with little plastic clips, and a raccoon has no problem ripping these vent covers out in order to get into the attic.

Raccoons like to live in attics for safety, or just to have a warm, dry place to live.  I trapped and removed the raccoon living in this attic, and after I was sure that there was no more wildlife living inside, I fixed these entry holes.  However, I didn't buy the cheap plastic snap-in kind.  I bought these metal vents, which I bolted into the soffit.  These are much sturdier.  If you have a problem with wildlife, I often recommend that these types of vents are installed across the entire house in place of the cheap plastic vents.

Remember, the most important step in a total wildlife control solution is to stop the source of the problem - if you have wild critters in your attic or home, the only way to permanently solve the problem is to close all the entry points! This is a special skill, and it requires extensive knowledge of both architecture and animal behavior. Being a skilled repairman also helps. All repairs should be done in such a way that keeps animals out for good - this often means sealing with steel, and sealing openings so that they are airtight, with no trace of airflow for animals to detect. Remember, rodents can gnaw through almost anything, and raccoons can tear through almost anything. While it's important to trap and remove animals, and clean up the waste they leave behind, the most important step in solving the critter problem and in keeping animals out forever is to identify and repair every last critter access point into the building. Without this crucial step, the job isn't complete.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Raccoons page for tips and advice.
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