Raccoons in the roof update #2

time for my closeupWell…

As some of you might remember from my original raccoon post and my first update, we live in a row of attached homes here in the city and during the winter, a couple (maybe 3) raccoons went house-hopping, taking up residence each night in one of our attic crawlspaces. We would hear their footsteps crunching overhead and worry they might fall through our ceilings. Fortunately, that has not happened.

Here in the city, the law is that raccoons cannot be trapped and transported. Rabies is the concern. That means all licensed trappers MUST trap and kill these poor creatures. I know some people view them only as vermin, but I’m sorry, I just will not pay someone to climb on my roof and set a trap that will slowly strangle an animal to death.

I researched and found humane ways to rid attics and other areas of raccoons. Murder is not the only way.

For those interested, here are some proven methods of HUMANE animal evictions –

~~It is best to leave them alone until mom moves the babies out.

~~Scare them out. Use caution! Just making your presence known will usually do it. Go into the attic a few times a day with a flashlight. Shine the light on them and talk to them. But if touched or threatened, by being cornered or feeling boxed in, they will defend themselves and they are quite adept at doing so.

~~If there are babies, give the mother 1 or 2 nights to relocate the family.

~~Roll some rags into a tight ball and tie with twine to keep them tight. Soak the rag balls in ammonia. Toss them into the area of the attic where the raccoon is located.

~~If you can, sprinkle Cayenne pepper or Repel® granules, a commercial dog and cat repellent, around the entry hole, both inside and out, if this is possible.

~~During the day, place a radio in the attic tuned to an all talk station.

~~Use floodlights to keep the area where they are living well lit.

~~Once the raccoon has moved out, secure their entry point. Use hardware cloth or welded wire.

~~They usually won’t come back. If you want to use a repellent, then you can either Sprinkle Repel® granules or Cayenne pepper around the entrance area, if that is possible; or use a repellent, such as Ropel®, sprayed around the entrance area.

Check out the Urban Wildlife Rescue website for more HUMANE tips!

Havahart Live Animal Trap

In our case, one neighbor bought a Havahart trap and set it on his roof. He caught one – a VERY large one – then sealed up his roof and released the raccoon back into our attached yards. Poor creature ran off terrified – but at least s/he was alive.  Since then, not one of us has heard the pitter-patter of furry feet overhead. And ALL of us have, or are in the process of, sealing up our vents so neither we nor the raccoons will be in danger of experiencing this same situation next year.

Alls well that ends well. 🙂

*no animals were hurt in the making of this blog.


11 Responses to Raccoons in the roof update #2

  • I now know more about racoons than I hope I ever need. LOL. They don’t live in my neck of the woods and this story makes me glad they don’t. Though you have to admit there is something cute about them.


  • Debbie, those babies raccoons are precious. I love the bandit markings and their hand-paws. When we lived in New Jersey (a wooded lake area– Pines Lake in Wayne, NJ) we had raccoons in the garbage on garbage day and worried about cats and dogs. Nothing happened to ours, but adult raccoons are said to be vicious. My husband bought a trap like the one above and did what he called his raccoon relocation project. He let them go in a state park with a river, and that was a place they could find food. Raccoons are good at catching fish.

  • Linda,
    There is indeed something cute about them. They’re just minding their business doing their thing, you know. The areas are so built up now that there’s no room for these animals. So… they’re trying to move in with us. LOL.

    The adults can be vicious indeed. And if they have rabies, well, we know what that’s about. But this is a family that’s been living on the rail tracks. I’ve been in this house for 17 years and this is the first time they’ve entered our space so completely. Our yards are theirs at night but never – until now – our homes. I hope removing that one keeps the others away. Surely the trauma of the trap will remain with this family. I hope.


  • Debbie-
    That’s great! I’m glad you were able to resolve the problem without having to hurt the little creatures. They are really cute and it’s a shame more people don’t recognize that we have invaded their territory not the other way around. Good for you!

  • Debbie, glad you were able to solve the problem humanely. We have raccoons in parts of the county and we’ve seen their footprints in the yard at San Clemente, but I’ve never seen one up close. Too bad they can’t be domesticated; they are so cute.


  • Beth,
    You’re so right about US invading THEIR space. I, too, wish more people would realize that.

    Trust me, if you do see one, watch it from afar. It’s safer… and quite entertaining. I used to feed stray cats in my yard until one evening when I saw this raccoon – a monster of a raccoon – at the bowl. He was scooping up the dry cat food with his hand and tossing it into his mouth like he was noshing on beer nuts at a bar. He stopped mid-chew and just looked at me with a real NY attitude. I swear, if he could talk, he’d have said, “Whadda you looking at?” LOL.


  • Debbie, I’m glad to hear the problem with the raccoon mother and her racoonettes has been resolved. Linda, you are so right about humans invading the space meant for wildlife.

  • We had a prob with skunks under our house. We threw down moth balls, then waited, with boards and nails and a drill, until they wandered out to the sidewalk. The sec they were across the street, we boarded up their entryway.

  • I’m glad the uninvited guests are gone. What a relief!

  • Next time I have a raccoon on the roof, I’ll give some of these solutions a try. On the advice of our pest control man, I’m cutting back the trees and shrubs from the house. Apparently that’s how the raccoons climb up there.

  • True about cutting back the trees. I’d heard that as well. One thing you should know though… I actually watched one of the larger raccoons climb up my drain pipe – as if it were a rope in gym class. So, I’ve a feeling if they want up, they’re getting up. Good luck to you though! I hope some of these solutions work for you! I’d love to hear it if they do.


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