What damage can raccoons cause to your house

Raccoons are pretty curious and intelligent creatures. But their curiosity usually lands them in trouble. They’ll often rummage through garbage cans, raid bird feeders and pet food, and mess up your well-manicured garden.

With the mess they leave outside the house, you can only imagine the mess and damage they’ll cause in your home. At Advanced Wildlife Removal, we’ve learned that the damage raccoons do when trying to gain entry to your house is the tip of the iceberg compared to what they’ll do once inside.

Fortunately, our team is skilled in removing raccoons from homes without increasing the damage or hurting the raccoons. Call us today to help you determine the size of the infestation you’re dealing with.

SIGNS OF A RACCOON INFESTATION

Paw prints are the most obvious sign of a raccoon infestation on your property. Like humans, raccoons have five toes. Each paw is 2-3 inches wide and 4 inches long. The trail of a raccoon has a unique pattern, and the steps are usually 10-18 inches apart.

You’ll also know you have a raccoon problem when:

Scratches on the exterior of your home

Raccoons scratch surfaces when they are trying to access your home. The scratches are commonly on porches, sheds, roofs, basement walls, or windows. These marks are usually worn with various oils that might be from their bodies and have distinguishable hairs.

Unusual sounds

Studies reveal that raccoons can make over 50 unique sounds. These sounds include purring, snorting, snarling, squealing, and chittering. If you start to hear these noises in your home (and it’s not from a domestic pet), there is a high chance you’re dealing with a raccoon.

Garbage invasion

If your garbage is constantly being trashed, it’s most likely a raccoon. They have a knack for accessing trash bins. The smells from the trash cans attract them, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get to the sumptuous meal within. Even with plenty of natural food sources, they need to scratch their itch for rummaging through garbage tins.

Visible traces of scat

Raccoon feces or scat are sure tell-tale signs of a raccoon infestation. Unlike their paw tracks, their feces might not be immediately distinguishable since they resemble that of other animals (dark and tubular with blunt ends). The trick is to look for their droppings in specific places, like near the bottom of trees, piles of wood, or other similar locations on your property.

Changes in pet behavior

If you have a cat or dog, it’ll be aware of a raccoon’s presence long before you are because of their acute hearing and sharp predatory instincts. You may find your pet staring at the ceiling or a crawl space when it detects scurrying. Depending on your pet’s temperament, it may avoid certain spots in your home or whine. This is a cue to have your home inspected for raccoon infestation.

Nesting material

Raccoons build their nests for safety and housing using long grasses, hay, leaves, and twigs. They also use products like housing material, paper, and fabric.

PROPERTY DAMAGE CAUSED BY RACCOONS

Raccoons can cause significant damage to your home by pulling apart soffits, vents, and roofing to gain access. Once they are in your home, they damage wires and attic insulation and contaminate everything with their urine and feces.

Depending on the food supply and their environment, a female raccoon weighs between 10 and 12 pounds, while a male can weigh up to 20 pounds. Generally, adult raccoons are about the size of medium dogs. As such, they wreak massive havoc if not dealt with in time.

Roof damage

Mother raccoons are very disruptive when looking for a place to nest. If there are no openings in your roof, the raccoon will create one by ripping off some roof shingles in their weak spots, resulting in water damage. Raccoons are also strong enough to remove soffit vents and access the attic space. Inspect vent openings, eaves, and mesh covers for tiny holes and tears.

Insulation damage

Raccoons are large, so they can easily destroy insulation even if they only walk in the attic. If your electrical wiring is in the attic or close to insulation, it’ll suffer significant damage.

HVAC damage

Raccoons also damage HVAC systems. Generally, raccoons love hiding in spots where there are the least chances of being found. They will break the air conditioning tubes or pipes or leave their urine and droppings behind.

Consequently, this leads to a drop in air quality despite your HVAC being in top working condition. Raccoon damage to your HVAC unit can cost you thousands of dollars. So, before repairs, you should call Advanced Wildlife Removal to get rid of the raccoons.

CAN RACCOONS CHEW THROUGH WALLS?

Like mice, squirrels, and rats, raccoons can chew through wood, plaster, and drywall. Once inside the walls, they nest, breed, pass waste, and even die there. While in the walls, they are a health risk since they carry parasites like raccoon roundworms and diseases like rabies.

EXTERIOR DAMAGE: LAWN, GARDEN AND YARDS

Raccoons dig the lawn for worms and grubs, leaving behind huge patches of loose turf. The damage might be extensive and usually happens overnight when they are most active.

Raccoons use their paws like hands and lift sod pieces. Sometimes, damage to the sod might look like someone has neatly rolled it back to transplant it to another spot. Raccoons also damage lighting fixtures, furniture, and decorations you may have on the lawn. Installing water sprinklers fitted with motion sensors is a good way to protect your lawn from damage.

When you notice an infestation, you should act fast to prevent raccoons from causing extensive damage to your space. Our team at Advanced Wildlife Removal can conduct an assessment to help you determine the size of the infestation and make a plan for raccoon removal.

Contact us today for a consultation.

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