Raccoons in the Roof – update

Well this sucks. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned we have a family of raccoons living in our attic crawl space. We’re in a row of attached homes, and this family has taken over each house’s crawl space. We called someone who said he would trap them, relocate them, then seal up the vents so nothing/no one could get back inside.

That’s not exactly what he intended to do.

We live in an area where rabies is high. It is illegal to relocate these animals. Instead, the trapper would use traps that kill.

I am an animal lover to my core and cannot reconcile with this. I’ve called… I don’t know how many different people… hoping SOMEONE would offer another option. My thought was, they could simply ‘evict’ this family somehow, then seal up every possible entry. Unfortunately, the experts tell me the raccoons will tear apart the roof if they really want to get back in.

Part of me wants to give them until the spring – after their babies are born and are old enough to get out on their own – and seal the holes then. But, how do we know they’ll leave at that time? We don’t. Simple.

Only one person said he can trap them without killing them. He said, his traps would hold them until all of them are out and the vents are sealed, and then he’d release them near the tracks (where we know they came from). Problem is, he said it’s a bloody mess because they will fight until they either free themselves or die.

I’m sorry this is such a downer, but I’m really in a bad spot now and have no idea what to do. Some of the neighbors involved are fine with the traps that kill, others are as distraught as I am. How can you kill an entire family of raccoons on the off-chance they have rabies? Someone said to drop mothballs into the vents. Apparently raccoons don’t like the smell of them (who does?) and might leave on their own. Thing is… how will we know they’re all out? Yuck. Messy and difficult situation.

I’ll keep you posted.

7 Responses to Raccoons in the Roof – update

  • Debbie, I admire your concern for wild animals. Some can be pretty tough on domestic backyard dogs. When we lived in New Jersey, my husband had those relocation traps. He moved raccoons to the woods, but it didn’t cut down on the raccoon population that appeared for garbage day. Here in California, we have a serious rat problem because of the dwindled coyote population that ate rats. I know I wouldn’t want raccoons in my attic crawl space. They can tear through just about any structure.

  • Oh no. Talk about a situation going from bad to worse. Have you talked to anyone from your state’s department of environmental protection? Do they have any suggestions?

  • I did call the local EPA. Unfortunately, the policy in my area is to trap and kill since rabies are rampant here. I do see a glimmer of hope here, though. A Colorado-based website lists several methods of evicting the raccoons. Not one is fatal and in fact all are more likely to make the raccoons pack in the middle of the night on their own and not come back. I’m hoping one or a combination of those ideas will work for us. I have not given up! I don’t want blood shed. I’ll post soon about the options and let you all know how it goes.
    Cross your fingers!

  • wow. I never had that problem, so I don’t have any advise. Good luck.

  • There has to be a solution to your problem with all of the animal rights groups out there. I can’t imagine that this is the first time something like this has happened. Good luck!

  • You could probably find a humane trap and release them yourselves. Not sure if that’s an option you want to consider but it is an option.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

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