Tag Archives: raccoons in attic

What Do Raccoons Do in Winter?

What Raccoons Do in Winter

When the cold winter weather and snow arrive, you may be wondering what happens to the raccoons. What do they do during the winter months?

In this post, we discuss the winter habits of raccoons so you can better understand their behavior.

Do raccoons hibernate in winter?

Raccoons do not hibernate in winter, contrary to what many believe. They do not migrate to warmer places either.

raccoon in tree in winterRaccoons are not true hibernators. They may, however, go into an extended period of rest and sleep called “torpor”. It is not hibernation because their heart rate will not slow and their metabolism and body temperature does not change.

Related: Do raccoons hibernate?

They will have fattened up during summer so they have a reserve of fat for the cold winter months.

 

Do raccoons migrate before winter?

Raccoons do not migrate before winter. You may be wondering what happened to them all because you don’t often see them during the cold winter months.

Raccoons do not hibernate either. They find a nice shelter to hide out from the worst weather and when the cold and snow occur, they will go into a deep state of sleep referred to as Torpor.

 

Raccoon torpor

raccoon in homeAs the weather begins getting colder, raccoons will seek out a good den for the winter months. During the first major snowfall or when temperatures dip below 25 degrees, raccoons will go to sleep in their den until the coldest and snowiest periods’ end.

Since they are not actually hibernating, raccoons will rise from their dens anytime the weather gets warmer. They will go in search of food to help them through the remainder of the winter.

The problem for you is when these raccoons decide that living under your deck, inside your chimney or moving into your attic is the best place to spend the winter.

Related: Keep animals out of your chimney with a chimney cap

 

Raccoons in your attic

You might be able to tolerate them temporarily under your deck, but you definitely don’t want them in your attic. Raccoons may carry diseases and so can the feces they leave behind. They may also chew wires and tear up other things they find.

It’s worth taking preventive measures for keeping raccoons away from your home.

There’s also another thing you probably want to avoid: Raccoons having babies in your home.

Because raccoons do not hibernate, they have found another way to occupy themselves during winter: mating.

Raccoon mating season takes place in late winter, sometime between January and February.

Finding a nice place to have babies is actually the most likely reason raccoons will move into your home.

 

Summary

What do raccoons do in winter? They will search for a place to make a good winter den. They will not hibernate but they do go into torpor, a state of extended rest in their den.

Raccoons will come out though as soon as it’s warm enough for them to go in search of food. They will also mate during the winter months and give birth do a litter in early spring.

 

Attic Solutions - Call for Live Animal Removal, Dead Animal Removal, Attic RestorationDo you need help removing a raccoon from your home?

Attic Solutions can provide you humane raccoon removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

We can also safely restore and sanitize your attic to remove dangerous contaminants.

Satisfaction guaranteed!

Contact us online or call (847) 464-1861


 

How Do Animals Get Into Your Home?

How animals get into your home

As more and more animals learn to adapt to living near humans and our suburban landscapes and gardens support more wildlife, your home starts to become more of a potential target for animal invaders.

Many of us don’t mind having animals nearby and sharing our environment with them. None of us want them in our homes though. Wild animals need to be left wild, not allowed to move into our homes.

It does happen though. Bats and raccoons will move into your attic, skunks, and raccoons can move under your deck or shed, and mice can move into your basement or walls.

Beware of raccoon feces in attic

Animals in your home can create all kinds of problems, from squirrels chewing electrical wires to raccoons and bats leaving behind disease ridden feces. You can also expose you and your pets to rabies and other hazards.

Getting an animal out of your home can be done, but it is challenging, stressful and an unwanted expense. Cleaning up after an animal in your attic can be hazardous.

Your best option is to keep them out of your home in the first place.

 

Where animals enter home

  • Soffits
  • Chimneys
  • Attic exhaust opening
  • Attic & soffit vents
  • Pet doors
  • Window wells
  • Basement or foundation
  • Decks & porches
  • Roof corners
  • Roof and shingles
  • Overhanging trees
  • Holes around pipes
  • Weather stripping
  • Where to materials meet

Common points animals enter the home:

Interactive common animal entry points diagram

To prevent animals from entering your home, make sure you inspect the interior at least once a year, checking all the common entry points.

Check your home after winter to make sure the harsh weather hasn’t created a small opening for animals. Most of them don’t need much space. You should also inspect the home at the end of the summer before the cold weather hits. If you find any weak points you’ll still have time to fix them before unwanted critters are looking for places to get out of the cold.

Animals that will move into your home

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Raccoons
  • Bats
  • Birds
  • Skunks
  • Snakes
  • Opossums
  • Wasps

Rodents are the most likely wild animal that will move into your home. Mice, rats, and squirrels account for about 75% or more of all unwanted critters in houses.

The favorite place for animals to take up residence is in your attic. It’s an inviting habitat for a wild animal because it’s low traffic, warm, dry and usually has nice out of the way places to hide.

Related: What animal is in my attic?

If you need professional animal removal services in the Chicagoland area, please contact us online or call (847) 464-1861.

Raccoon behavior FAQ

Raccoon Behavior FAQ – Answers to Your Most Common Questions

In this post, we answer some frequently asked questions about raccoon behavior. People want to know what raccoons can do. Can they dig through walls? Here are the answers.

Beware of raccoon feces in atticWill a raccoon have babies in my attic?

Yes, definitely. Finding a safe warm den to have babies is the most likely reason a raccoon will move into your attic in the first place.

Can raccoons scratch through walls?

It is very unlikely if you hear raccoons in the wall that they will dig their way through the walls. A panicked raccoon that is trapped would certainly try to get out through a wall but it’s unlikely they would be able to dig through. A raccoon is unlikely to get stuck in a wall unless you’ve sealed it in with no other way to get out.

Can raccoons break through the ceiling?

It is rare but yes, it has happened. A raccoon that has lived in one place for long enough may be able to damage the ceiling with urine, making it softer and weaker over time. That is not a pleasant situation! If you think you have a raccoon in your attic, don’t wait to call a professional raccoon removal specialist.

Raccoons carrying disease into your homeCan a raccoon climb a wall?

Raccoons are very good climbers. Raccoons can climb nearly any surface with the exception of glass and un-weathered sheet metal. They are known to climb wood, stone, brick, masonite siding and downspouts.

Can raccoons get on the roof?

Raccoons can get on the roof of a home. The preferred method to do this would be to climb a nearby tree with overhanging tree branches. Trimming branches close to your home can help keep them away. However, they still may be able to climb a downspout and a determined raccoon may climb up brick or siding.

Related: How to Keep Raccoons Away from Your Home

Raccoon Family on PropertyCan raccoons climb trees?

Raccoons are excellent at climbing trees. In the wild, raccoons will climb up trees to build a den in a hollow nook of a tree. Trees near your home should be trimmed to not be too close to your house. You can also wrap a two-foot wide sheet metal beginning two feet above the ground to keep them out of your trees. This may also work for squirrels.

Can a raccoon climb a downspout?

Raccoons are excellent climbers and most adults can easily climb downspouts.

Can raccoons climb brick walls?

Raccoons are excellent climbers. In nature, they will climb and live in trees. A brick wall can be climbed by most raccoons. Their preferred way to get onto a roof or into an attic would be by climbing a tree, but a determined raccoon can climb bricks.

How fast can raccoons run?

Raccoons are known to run up to 15 MPH. They may run on average somewhere between 8-15 MPH.

Can raccoons swim?

Raccoons can swim. They can stay in the water for several hours at a time if necessary and can swim at up to 3 mph.

What do raccoons eat?

Raccoons are opportunistic and will eat almost anything. In the wild, they will eat fruit, nuts, berries, snails, earthworms, snakes, clams, birds, eggs, fishes, frogs, and small mammals. They will eat corn from fields and vegetables from gardens. In urban areas, they will eat almost anything they can find in a trash can. They are also fond of eating pet food that is left outside.

When is raccoon mating season?

The Raccoon mating season generally falls between January and March and gestation lasts about 63 days. They may mate up until early summer.

Related: When is raccoon mating season?

Are there really Zombie Raccoons?

Zombie Raccoons IllinoisThere have been a lot of stories recently in the news about zombie raccoons. Are there really zombie raccoons terrifying people in the countryside? Not really.

The “zombie raccoons” in the news are actually raccoons that have contracted a viral disease called distemper. This disease can cause unusual behavior that can sometimes appear “zombie-like”, but they are not actually the walking dead.

How do you get a raccoon out of your attic?

If you have raccoons in your attic, you should hire a professional animal removal specialist. If you have a raccoon living in your attic, it is very likely that the raccoon is a female with a den and baby raccoons. Their instinct is to remain quiet, so you may not even be aware they are in the attic. The mother will need to be trapped and the babies will need to be removed by hand. All of them should be released into nature together. Your attic should also be professionally cleaned because of the diseases carried in raccoon feces.

Attic Solutions - Call for Live Animal Removal, Dead Animal Removal, Attic RestorationDo you need help removing a raccoon from your home?

Attic Solutions can provide you humane raccoon removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

We can also safely restore and sanitize your attic to remove dangerous contaminants.

Satisfaction guaranteed!

Contact us online or call (847) 464-1861


 

How to Keep Raccoons Away From Your Home

In this article, we’ll discuss ways to discourage raccoons from coming onto your property.

Raccoons can create big problems on your property. Many homeowners have had to clean up trash that raccoons have spread across their yard. Others have had to call in specialists to clean up raccoon feces in the attic, which can endanger your family because of the diseases raccoons can carry. They will empty your bird feeders and eat your garden vegetables. Raccoons will move into your attic and make themselves at home.

Related: Suburban Raccoon Populations Are Growing and Getting Smarter

With all the raccoons making themselves at home in suburban and urban areas, it becomes very likely that you may have to deal with one of these issues.

It can be much easier to try to keep raccoons off of your property and out of your home then to try and clean and repair your attic from a raccoon infestation.

Below are some ways to discourage raccoons from looking at your property and home as an inviting place to visit.

Remove food sources

raccoons invade the suburbsThe main reason that a raccoon will visit your home is in a search for food. If your property becomes identified as an easy source of food, raccoons will return again and again to get food.

Trash cans are a popular destination for raccoons. You need to make sure that your garbage cans are secure from becoming a picnic for raccoons. Make sure the lids are secure. If a can or lid becomes broken, replace the can.

Keeping them out of cans isn’t always easy though because raccoons have a combination of prying hands, intelligence and the ability to learn.

You need to make sure your bird feeders are secure from raccoons, possibly even bringing them inside at night if it’s the only way to keep them away.

Don’t leave pet food outside overnight.

Clean up fruit that has fallen off of your fruit trees.

Add lighting

Raccoons are generally nocturnal animals and are most active during darkness. Lighting on your property may discourage them from coming onto your property. Motion activated lights on your property can startle raccoons and keep away from your property.

Repellents

People have been using DIY home raccoon repellents for decades. Their effectiveness will vary though. Some people swear by certain methods and other people will say the same ones have not worked for them. It can depend on the particular animal that is coming onto your property. Raccoon repellents people use include cayenne pepper, ammonia, mothballs, human or animal hair and predator urine. These repellants do occasionally work so you may wish to try them.

Seal your roof and home

Beware of raccoon feces in atticMake sure you’re not making raccoons lives easier for them by leaving places where they can enter your home. Check your roof and attic for any openings that may give a raccoon (or other animals) the space they need to get inside. Have a cap on your chimney to make sure they can’t get in through there.

Related: Common animal entry points

In summary

If a raccoon is able to get into your attic and make himself at home it becomes a much more serious issue. It can be a real challenge to remove them humanely. It also requires a nuisance animal removal license in the state of Illinois.

You will also need to clean up raccoon poop from your attic, which can carry diseases that can become airborne, requiring safety procedures to protect yourself.

Your best solution is to discourage those pesky raccoons from hanging out on your property in the first place.


Attic restorationDo you need help getting raccoons or other animals out of your attic?

If you are anywhere in the greater Chicagoland area, we can help!

Humane raccoon removal and safe cleanup and repairs of your home.

Phone (847) 464-1861


 

Attic restoration

Why Attic Restoration is Important

Cleanup and restoration of your attic after animals have been living in the space is critical for the health of you and your family. 

Attic restoration means to clean and restore your attic to the condition it was in before unwanted wildlife moved in and created a mess.

You may think getting rid of the animal in your attic is enough, but that is not the end of your problem. Animals living in your attic will make a mess, leaving feces and diseases after they are gone.

For professional attic restoration in the Chicago area, please contact us online or call (847) 464-1861

Problems caused by animals in the attic

  • Animal feces and urine in your insulation
  • Leftover food and food waste
  • Animal and urine odors
  • Mold growing in urine soaked areas
  • Roundworms, parasites and their eggs
  • Animal scents which can attract more pests

Related: Dangers of animal feces in the attic

It’s extremely important to make sure all these issues are taken care of. They are not something that you would want to attempt on your own because you risk becoming infected by some diseases.

Parasites such as roundworm can become airborne, risking infection simply by breathing them in.

A trained professional attic restoration technician will clean, disinfect, and repair the attic using an air filter and protective clothing.

Related: What is attic restoration?

You will also need to make sure that you inspect the home to locate and repair any points where animals have entered your home. This may include roofing, fascia, soffit, siding, and chimneys.

Professional cleanup and attic resthelpon helps protect you and your family from disease. Animal entry repair will prevent the problem from happening again.

Live animal trapping and attic restoration video

In this video, you can see the Attic Solutions team cleaning and restoring a customer’s attic and returning it to its original state.

For animal removal and attic restoration services in Chicago, the Chicago suburbs and southern Wisconsin, contact us online or phone (847) 464-1861


 

Dangers of Raccoon Feces in Attic

Beware of raccoon feces in attic

Raccoons are a common nuisance in the Chicagoland area. They can knock over your garbage cans, dig in your lawn and enter your shed, garage or attic.

Raccoons in your home are definitely unwanted and an issue you should take care of as soon as possible.

If you end up with raccoons in your attic then you will not only have to deal with potential damages and messes they cause, you can be at risk for diseases raccoons carry such as leptospirosis.

For professional attic restoration services contact us at (847) 464-1861 to get a free estimate.

Raccoon Disease Contamination

Some of the diseases that raccoons carry can be transmitted to humans through contact not just with the raccoon but inadvertent contact with their droppings or areas where they have been active or defecating.

These diseases could also be potentially spread to your household pets as well.

Because of this, it’s very important to not only remove raccoons from your property but to perform careful raccoon feces cleanup and attic restoration to remove the dangers of the disease.

Related: What is Attic Restoration?

Identifying Raccoon Feces

Raccoon poop will closely resemble the appearance of feces of a smaller sized dog. It will be brown/dark brown and cylindrical in shape.  Very frequently you will notice undigested berry seeds within it.

Raccoon Latrines

Raccoons will commonly defecraccoon feces in atticate and urinate in the same place. The place where a raccoon continues to return to will begin to form noticeable piles. These areas are commonly referred to as raccoon latrines.

In nature, you will find them near trees or tree stumps. Around the home, you find them along fences, the corners of garages, under decks, or worst of all inside a shed or an attic.

Raccoon Feces Removal

Never attempt removing raccoon feces without protective clothing and equipment! Because of the diseases raccoons carry, there is a threat of the spread of disease and contamination.

Any insulation that has been urinated on or defecated on will need to be removed and disposed of.

The area will need to be disinfected to remove disease and bacteria. It will also need to be treated in order to kill any pests that the raccoons brought in with them such as ticks or fleas.

Contamination from raccoon pet is a serious threat to you, your family and pets.

We do not recommend that you attempt to clean up raccoon feces in your attic or on your property yourself. 

For a free estimate on raccoon feces removal anywhere in the Chicago area, call us today at (847) 464-1861


Photo credit: Benny Mazur

More info about raccoons on Wikipedia