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Raccoons frequently inhabit attics. They love to live in attics because attics provide a warm, dry, safe shelter to live in. Raccoons will often pry open areas under soffits, vents, and other areas in order to gain access to the attic. Once inside, they consider it their home (and toilet). They leave behind urine and droppings, not to mention a number of parasites. I have been in several attics with raccoons and emerged covered with fleas. They can damage ductwork and limit the R-value (effectiveness) of the insulation. Here are some photos of damage caused by raccoons living in an attic, all taken from one attic. Keep in mind that this damage is widespread, with evidence of raccoon usage throughout the attic.
Raccoons tore up this ductwork.
The insulation gets trampled down and pooped on.
Here is a regular raccoon toilet, filled with droppings.
Raccoons have to urinate too, just like all animals.
The attic was filled with pathways and tunnels (pictured) in the insulation.
They tore the insulation off of pipes in several areas.
This photo was taken from a different attic. Note the raccoon tracks in the background. I have observed wire chewing in several attics with raccoons. I don't know why they do it, they're not rodents, but they do.
If you have raccoons in the attic, you have a bigger problem than just the unsettling noise that they make. Raccoons can, and almost always do, damage an attic. If they tear open ductwork, you lose your heating/cooling airflow. If they rip the insulation off of pipes, you don't preserve temperatures. If they trample insulation, your heating/cooling bills will rise. If they chew wires, they create a fire hazard. If they tear open holes in the roof you get leaks, and any hole can let new animals in. They create a potential fire hazard, threaten pets, and if they poop and pee enough, they will stink up the place. If they are allowed to stay, they will stay for most of the year, and will return to the same area year after year. This is not a problem to ignore.
For more raccoon control information, go back to the raccoon removal page.
You can also check out examples of my raccoon removal work on my Raccoon Job Blog
If you want to fix the damage raccoons have caused in your attic, you need attic restoration or environmental damage services. Most homeowner's insurance will cover this restoration in the case of raccoons. Attic restoration means that damage is repaired, contaminated insulation is vacuumed out (evacuated), and new insulation blown in. A good company will also decontaminate the entire area.
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David, My family is extremely sick and the doctors have not been able to figure out everything that is wrong with us. We live in a rural area, Boyce, Virginia. We have parasites and several secondary infections due to parasites. We are being treated but continue to be sick. The doctors are missing something and it may be related to the family of raccoons that lives in and around our house. The raccoons are huge, have lived in our house (front porch and attic) and are in our trash every night. I know that they carry diseases and can be dangerous. Our cat has gotten into fights with the raccoons and has ticks and fleas which would carry the diseases. What can we do? How would we be able to figure out what diseases these raccoons have and if we have a disease(s) from the family of raccoons? If there is any way that you could assist us, we would be grateful. Respectfully, Susa
My response: Are you infected with raccoon roundworm? That's the only serious disease I know of associated with raccoons. I'm not a doctor though, of course.
I don't know for sure. We have tapeworm, but i don't know which one. It is very possible that it is the raccoon tapeworm. The physicians in our area cannot figure out everything that we have. We are all sick and can't get any help.