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Raccoon in the Soffit or Eave



09.26.2007 - Here's a photo that I took yesterday of a raccoon just as it was about to re-enter this house.  You can see that it's torn open a hole in the soffit.  This is a very common entry point for raccoons.  The eaves of the homes often meet other parts of the roof, and the soffit is right there.  It's usually made of flimsy aluminum or vinyl, and it's a cinch for raccoons to tear it open.  This hole leads right into the attic of the home, where the raccoon has set up a nest.  Sometimes the raccoons live in the soffits or eaves themselves, or make their nest down in the soffit, where it's secluded and safe, and a bit cooler, particularly in hot Florida weather.  I have removed many baby raccoons from inside soffits.  I usually listen very carefully until I hear them scratching or cooing in the soffit, then I simply take it apart, just like the raccoon has done above, and remove the babies.

If you see an area like this torn open on your roof, you can be certain that an animal, most likely a raccoon, has done it.  It may or may not be up there, but there's a good chance that it is.  At this job, I removed a litter of four baby raccoons from the attic, and caught the mother (seen above) this morning.  After they were all out, I fixed this eave with a new piece, and I bolted it in so that it's tight.  I also bolted the other soffit areas for good measure.

Home builders and construction workers build homes with concepts such as ventilation and water drainage in mind, but they don't build homes that are raccoon-proof.  Raccoon-proofing is my job.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Raccoons page for tips and advice.
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The raccoon (Procyon lotor), is a unique animal native to North America. It's not closely related to any other animals, with distant relatives such as bears and weasels. Coons are easy to recognize, with a black mask and ringed tail. Raccoons tend to weigh between 10-20 pounds as adults. They are mostly nocturnal, and are omnivores. Racoons average a lifespan of about 5 years in the wild, and have a litter of 3-6 young each spring. They are very strong, excellent climbers, very intelligent, and they are very skilled with their hands. Raccoons have learned to thrive in urban areas, and live in very high densities in cities, where they eat garbage and pet food. They commonly break into homes and attics, where they cause considerable damage, and they also destroy other property, and thus racoons are considered pest animals by many people. Raccoon control and removal, especially from inside homes, is best left to a professional.

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