Raccoons aren't as sneaky when entering your attic as a rodent. A Florida raccoon can easily peel open several areas on your roof and make its way in. Often customers will call us and say "I heard what sounded like a person walking in my attic last night". When there is more than one raccoon in the attic, the raccoons often "wrestle" around. It can be pretty scary to hear it coming from right overhead
Spotting a raccoon entry point is normally pretty easy because they leave much larger holes. The soffit at your roof joint is the most common point of entry for raccoons; although other areas are possible. Raccoons are very handy with their front paws and will aggressively shove their way into the soffit, or pull it out and leave it hanging. A damaged soffit is always a bad sign.
When a raccoon has infested your attic, a Rodent Solutions technician must first remove the raccoon before any repair or pest proofing can begin. After the raccoon is removed, we perform a complete pest proofing exclusion to prevent the return of any of his raccoon relatives. We will then determine if there is enough damage and health dangers to your family to warrant suggesting a full attic restoration (See our page on attic restorations for more info).
Raccoons are the primary host of a very dangerous roundworm called Baylisascaris procyonis. Roundworm eggs are passed in the feces of raccoons. Raccoons leave there their droppings in shared sites called latrines. Once a raccoon has made its way into your attic, your insulation becomes its new latrine area leaving you vulnerable to its roundworm.
The millions of eggs that are excreted by raccoons are not immediately infectious. The eggs will develop in the environment for 2 to 4 weeks. Once fully developed, the eggs are able to cause infection. Roundworm eggs are resistant to the most severe conditions, and with moisture, can survive for years.
Young children and the mentally disabled are particularly at risk for raccoon roundworm infection as they tend to put their fingers, soil or objects into their mouths. Humans become infected by ingesting fertile eggs. Once inside the body, roundworm eggs hatch into larvae in the intestine and travel throughout the body. Depending on where the larvae migrate, the infection can affect the brain, spinal cord, eyes, and/or other organs. Signs and symptoms depend on how many and where in the body the larvae travel to. Symptoms of infection may take a week or so to develop and include nausea, tiredness, liver enlargement, loss of coordination, lack of attention, loss of muscle control, blindness, coma and in severe cases even death. The infection is often incorrectly diagnosed as it can mimic flu symptoms.
Raccoon latrines are can be found at the base of trees, infested attics, or on flat surfaces such as logs, tree stumps, rocks, decks and rooftops. Predator animals, including dogs and cats, may become infected by eating an animal or feces that has been infected with Baylisascaris. In dogs, the roundworm can grow to adults and pass eggs in the dog's feces.
Raccoons in the garden? Here are tips on how to combat these masked bandits!
Raccoons are nocturnal feeders that eat your sweet corn, though they also eat fruit trees, peas, potatoes, and grubs.
Even though wild raccoons prefer areas with trees and a source of water, more and more of them are raiding gardens because gardens are an easy source of food.
If your lawn has a lot of holes in it, or your mulch pile has a lot of holes, you probably have a nightly visitor. Raccoons will dig up lawns and mulch piles looking for insects to eat. They will also empty bird feeders as well, so keep an eye on those to see if you have a raccoon problem.
Of course, if you have corn, there's nothing more infuriating than finding stalks topped and ears ripped open and half eaten. (Even more frustrating is the idea, offered by animal researchers, that raccoons are wasteful because that don't really like sweet corn all that much; in fact, they seem to prefer sunflower seeds, dog food, and sardines.)
The persistence and proliferation of raccoons has inspired many solutions; one of them is bound to work for you.