Did you know that raccoons are responsible for causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to homes each year? These mischievous creatures may look cute, but once they’ve made their way into your attic, they can wreak havoc on your property and pose risks to your health and safety. Whether you’re dealing with a single raccoon or a whole family of them, knowing how to safely and effectively remove them from your attic is essential. Here, we’ll walk you through step-by-step methods and natural remedies to get raccoons out of your attic for good.

From understanding the habits of raccoons to implementing exclusion methods and using natural repellents, we’ll cover everything you need to know to regain control of your attic space.  You’ll be equipped with the knowledge and strategies to tackle any raccoon invasion safely and effectively.

Understanding Your Attic Invaders: Habits of Raccoons

Raccoons are common nocturnal creatures that often seek shelter in attics and crawl spaces. By understanding their habits, you can effectively address raccoon infestations and prevent future occurrences. We will explore the three crucial aspects of raccoon behavior: their nocturnal activity, omnivorous diet, and impressive climbing and nesting abilities.

Raccoons are highly active during the night, making them nocturnal creatures. Their activity can cause significant disturbances, resulting in sleepless nights for homeowners. These mammals search for food, mate, and even raise their young exclusively during the darkness. Their nighttime behavior, characterized by scurrying, scratching, and vocalizations, can be bothersome and disrupts the tranquility of your home.

Raccoons have a highly adaptable diet, earning them the title of omnivores. These creatures consume a wide range of food items, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, insects, small mammals, bird eggs, and even garbage. Their ability to thrive on various food sources allows them to easily find sustenance in suburban areas, making attics an attractive option due to the abundance of shelter, warmth, and potential food sources. Raccoons possess incredible climbing skills, allowing them to scale trees, fences, and even the sides of buildings with ease. These agile creatures use their sharp claws and strong hind legs to navigate vertical surfaces effortlessly. Once they gain access to your attic, they exhibit exceptional nesting abilities. Raccoons will create intricate nests using available materials like leaves, grass, and paper, providing a comfortable and safe environment for breeding and raising their young.

Attic Invaders

10 Natural Remedies to Get Raccoons Out of Your Attic

If you want to get raccoons out of your attic without causing harm, the exclusion method with a one-way door is an effective solution. This method allows raccoons to exit the attic but prevents them from re-entering. The one-way door should be placed over the main entry point, ensuring that it opens outward. As raccoons leave the attic to forage, they will be unable to return, effectively resolving your raccoon problem.

1. Bright Lights

Another effective method to repel raccoons from your attic is by using bright lights. Raccoons are predominantly nocturnal creatures, and they prefer dark and secluded spaces for nesting and shelter. Bright lights can disrupt their activities and make your attic an unappealing environment for them to inhabit.

When raccoons encounter bright lights, they are often startled and seek darker areas to avoid exposure. The sudden change in lighting conditions can be highly effective in deterring them from your attic.

Bright Lights

Bright lights can be a significant deterrent for raccoons due to their sensitive eyes. When exposed to intense light, raccoons become disoriented and uncomfortable, leading them to search for darker and safer areas. The brightness can create an unsettling atmosphere for the raccoons, making them less likely to return to your attic.

Best Locations for Installing Bright Lights

Installing bright lights strategically in your attic is essential for maximum effectiveness. The key is to target areas where raccoons commonly nest or access your attic. Here are some recommended locations for installing bright lights:

  1. Place bright lights near entry points such as vents and gaps in the roof to discourage raccoons from entering.
  2.  If you’ve identified specific nesting spots, position bright lights in those areas to discourage raccoons from settling down. Throughout the attic: Distribute bright lights evenly throughout the attic space to ensure comprehensive coverage and deterrence.

By installing bright lights in strategic locations, you can increase your chances of repelling raccoons and preventing their return to your attic.

2. Loud Noises

When dealing with raccoon invasions in your attic, loud noises can be an effective deterrent to drive them away. Raccoons are sensitive to loud sounds and find them threatening, causing them to flee from the area.

The loud noises disrupt the raccoons’ sense of security and comfort, making them feel threatened. Raccoons are naturally cautious creatures and prefer quiet, undisturbed areas for nesting. The sudden, loud noises in the attic disrupt their sense of safety, making them anxious and prompting them to search for an alternative habitat. Loud noises also mimic the presence of humans or larger predators, which raccoons instinctively avoid. This further reinforces their instinct to leave the area and find a safer location for shelter. There are various loud noises that can be used to scare away raccoons from your attic. Here are some examples:

  1. Ultrasonic deterrents demit high-frequency sounds that are inaudible to humans but discomforting to raccoons. They can be effective in keeping raccoons away from your attic.
  2. Loud, sudden noises such as whistling or clapping can startle raccoons and make them feel threatened. These noises can be easily produced to deter raccoons.
  3. Leaving a radio or TV on in the attic can create continuous noise that disturbs the raccoons’ peace. The sound of human voices or music can make them uncomfortable and encourage them to leave.
  4.  Creating loud noises by banging pots and pans together can frighten raccoons and prompt them to seek a quieter environment.

Using a combination of these loud noises can help increase their effectiveness in repelling raccoons from your attic.

Loud Noises

3. Ammonia

Ammonia is an effective natural repellent against raccoons due to its strong odor. These nocturnal creatures have a keen sense of smell, and the pungent scent of ammonia is highly unpleasant for them. It is reminiscent of urine, indicating the presence of predators, and raccoons instinctively avoid areas that could potentially pose a threat. By utilizing ammonia as a raccoon deterrent, you can create an inhospitable environment in your attic, encouraging them to seek shelter elsewhere.

How to Use Ammonia as a Raccoon Repellent

To utilize ammonia as a raccoon repellent, follow these simple steps:

  1. Identify the entry points and areas where raccoons are active in your attic.
  2. Fill disposable cups or bowls with ammonia.
  3. Place the cups or bowls near the entry points and in the areas frequented by raccoons.
  4. Replenish the ammonia regularly to maintain its potency.

Ammonia can be an effective repellent on its own, but for maximum effectiveness, it is recommended to combine it with other natural remedies such as bright lights, loud noises, and exclusion methods. These multi-pronged approaches will create an inhospitable environment for raccoons, encouraging them to leave your attic and seek shelter elsewhere.

4. Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is a highly effective repellent to deter raccoons from invading your attic. Its strong capsaicin content, derived from hot peppers, irritates the raccoons’ sensitive nasal passages and eyes, causing them discomfort and discouraging them from returning.

When raccoons encounter pepper spray, they experience a burning sensation and difficulty breathing, prompting them to seek a different location. The pungent smell and potent irritants in pepper spray make it an excellent choice for repelling raccoons.

Homemade Pepper Spray Recipe

Making your own pepper spray is a cost-effective and natural solution. Follow this simple recipe to create a homemade raccoon repellent:

  1. Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon of dish soap
  • 1 quart of water

Instructions:

  • Mix the cayenne pepper powder, chopped yellow onion, minced garlic clove, and dish soap in a container.
  • Boil the water and pour it over the mixture.
  • Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Allow the mixture to steep for 24 hours.
  • Strain the liquid into a spray bottle.

When using the homemade pepper spray, ensure you apply it to areas where raccoons frequently enter or nest in your attic. Reapply the spray every few days or after rainfall to maintain its effectiveness.

5. Mothballs

Mothballs are a commonly used household item that can help repel raccoons from your attic. Mothballs contain a strong odor due to the active ingredient, naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. The pungent smell of mothballs acts as a deterrent and can effectively keep raccoons away.

Placing Mothballs in Attic to Repel Raccoons

To use mothballs as a raccoon deterrent, you should follow these steps:

  1. Identify the areas in your attic where raccoons are active or have established their nests.
  2. Make sure the attic is well ventilated to allow the smell of the mothballs to permeate the space.
  3. Place mothballs strategically in the identified areas, ensuring they are out of reach of children and pets.
  4. Spread the mothballs evenly, considering the size of the attic and the severity of the raccoon infestation.
  5. Replace the mothballs periodically to maintain their effectiveness as the smell diminishes over time.

Remember to handle mothballs with caution, as they contain toxic substances. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep them away from direct contact with your skin or eyes. It’s important to note that while mothballs can help deter raccoons, they may not be a foolproof solution and should be used in combination with other methods for more effective results.

Advantages Disadvantages
Mothballs are readily available and affordable The strong odor of mothballs can be unpleasant for humans
Mothballs can be easily placed in specific areas of the attic Over time, the smell of mothballs may fade, reducing their effectiveness
Mothballs can deter raccoons from returning to the attic Mothballs may need to be replenished periodically to maintain their efficacy

6. Predator Urine

Predator urine can be an effective natural deterrent to keep raccoons away from your attic. The scent of predator urine triggers the raccoon’s survival instincts, signaling potential danger and causing them to avoid the area. The presence of predator urine creates a hostile environment for raccoons, deterring them from nesting or seeking shelter in your attic.

Raccoons are intelligent animals with keen senses of smell. When they detect the scent of a predator, such as a coyote or fox, they perceive it as a threat and are more likely to stay away. The smell of predator urine indicates the presence of a potential predator, causing raccoons to seek safer locations away from your property.

By strategically placing predator urine in and around your attic, you can create an unfriendly environment that discourages raccoons from approaching or entering the space. The odor of predator urine sends a clear message to raccoons that your attic is not a safe place for them to nest or forage for food.

7. Seal Entry Points

Before you can effectively seal off your attic from raccoons, you need to locate and identify the entry points they’re using to gain access. Raccoons are incredibly resourceful and can squeeze through small openings, so it’s important to thoroughly inspect your attic for any potential entry points. Common areas where raccoons may enter include:

  • Chimneys
  • Vents
  • Gaps in the roofline
  • Uncapped pipes
  • Cracks in the foundation
  • Loose or damaged siding

Once you’ve identified these entry points, make note of their locations for the next step.

Steps to Seal Entry Points

Now that you’re aware of where raccoons are getting into your attic, it’s time to seal off those entry points to prevent their return. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Close off chimneys and vents with sturdy screens or mesh that allows for proper ventilation but blocks raccoon access.
  2. Seal gaps in the roofline with roofing cement or weather-resistant sealant.
  3. Use steel wool or expanding foam to fill in small cracks and gaps in the foundation or walls.
  4. Repair or replace any loose or damaged siding to eliminate potential entry points.
  5. Install caps on uncapped pipes to deny raccoons entry.
  6. Trim back tree branches that hang over or near the roof, as raccoons can use them as a bridge to access the attic.

By following these steps and properly sealing off the entry points, you can effectively prevent raccoons from reentering your attic and causing further damage.

8. Remove Attractants

To effectively get raccoons out of your attic and prevent future infestations, it is crucial to remove any potential food sources that may attract these clever critters. Raccoons are opportunistic feeders and are attracted to easily accessible food.

Here are some steps you can take to eliminate food sources:

  1. Secure your garbage bins with tight-fitting lids or invest in raccoon-proof containers. Ensure that your bins are stored in a secure area, such as a locked shed or garage, until collection day.
  2. Clean up any fallen fruits or vegetables in your yard regularly. Raccoons are known to feast on these natural food sources.
  3. If you have a bird feeder, consider using a squirrel guard or placing the feeder in an area that is inaccessible to raccoons. Raccoons are skilled climbers and can easily raid bird feeders.
  4. Avoid leaving pet food outside overnight. Instead, feed your pets indoors or only put out their food during supervised mealtimes.
  5. Keep your grill clean and free of food residue. Raccoons are attracted to the smell of grease and leftover food.

By removing these attractants, you are reducing the chances of raccoons finding their way into your attic and causing further damage.

9. Proper Garbage and Pet Food Storage

Properly storing your garbage and pet food is crucial in preventing raccoon infestations. Here are some tips to help you keep these attractants secure:

  • Double-bag your garbage to reduce odors that may attract raccoons.
  • Ensure that your garbage cans have tightly fitting lids and are securely fastened or stored in a raccoon-proof enclosure.
  • Consider using a bungee cord or strap to secure the lid of your garbage can.
  • If you store pet food outside, make sure it is in a sealed, sturdy container to prevent raccoons from accessing it.
  • Do not leave pet food bowls outside overnight, as raccoons may be attracted to the smell.

By implementing these measures, you can create a raccoon-free environment and protect your home from further intrusions.

10. One-Way Exclusion Devices

One-way exclusion devices are an effective and humane method to remove raccoons from your attic. These devices work by allowing raccoons to exit the attic but prevent them from reentering. Essentially, they create a one-way door for the raccoons, ensuring they can leave but not come back in. Proper installation of one-way exclusion devices is crucial to ensure their effectiveness. These devices should be placed over the main entry and exit points that raccoons use to access your attic. It’s important to carefully identify these entry points to ensure you target the right areas.

Once the devices are correctly installed, regularly check for any signs of raccoon activity. Once you are certain that there is no more raccoon presence in your attic, it’s time to remove the exclusion devices. This step is important to prevent any unintended entrapment or harm to the raccoons. To safely remove the one-way exclusion devices, close off any other access points to your attic to prevent the raccoons from finding alternative entries. Carefully remove the devices, ensuring that there are no raccoons trapped inside. Finally, seal up the entry points to prevent any future infestations.

FAQs on how to get racoons out of attic

What scent will keep raccoons away?

Raccoons are deterred by certain scents, such as ammonia and predator urine. These smells mimic the presence of predators and signal danger to raccoons, prompting them to stay away. Other repellent scents include pepper spray and the strong odor of mothballs. Consider using these scents strategically in areas where raccoons are active to discourage them from lingering.

How to lure raccoons out of hiding?

Luring raccoons out of hiding can be challenging, but there are a few methods you can try. One approach is to use food as bait. Place a trail of food leading out of the hiding spot and towards an exit point, such as an open door or window. Another technique is to create noise or disturbances near the hiding spot to make raccoons feel uncomfortable and encourage them to leave. It’s important to exercise caution and avoid direct contact with raccoons, as they can be aggressive.

How to get rid of raccoons permanently?

While it can be difficult to eliminate raccoons permanently, there are steps you can take to minimize their presence and reduce the likelihood of recurrence. Start by sealing all entry points to prevent raccoons from re-entering your attic. Remove any attractants, such as food sources and shelter opportunities. Regularly inspect your property for signs of raccoon activity and address any issues promptly. Consider consulting with a wildlife professional for additional guidance in managing raccoon infestations.

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