Raccoons in the Attic

My daughter thought there were ghosts in the attic. At night from the corner of her ceiling would come these intermittent scratching and scraping noises. It was so occasional, it was days before I heard it too. To me, it sounded like branches from the oak tree scraping against the house and I shrugged it off. Then the wailing started. Shrill, high-pitched, LOUD, it jolted us from sleep in the middle of the night. It was relentless — never-ending banshee cries coming from the ceiling!

In the cold light of morning, I dragged the ladder out of the garage, wedged it against the closet door and prepared to investigate. All was quiet as I nervously edged open the 2-foot plywood square that served as the gateway to our attic crawl space. Balancing precariously on the top rung, I peered into the twilight space. Two eyes glinted from the corner. Then with a low, menacing growl, the huge raccoon charged. I barely had time to slide the plywood home before I felt her angry thump. Unfortunately, I didn’t tumble down the ladder fast enough to entirely avoid the shower of urine with which she announced that the attic was now hers!

In search of a cozy nest, Mama raccoon had somehow squeezed her gigantic body through the attic vent cap, ripping out the protective screen and bending the steel fan blades. In the corner over my daughter’s bedroom, she had ripped huge three-foot shards out of the rafters sharpening her claws. We found three hungry, squint-eyed babies nestled in the insulation near the attic door. For several yards around the nest, the insulation was soaked with urine which had started to permeate the ceiling wallboard. Raccoons always have an alternate nest we learned. It turned out to be our chimney. While my young daughters were fascinated by the baby raccoons, repairs kept the local handyman industry solvent for the next couple of weeks.

Raccoons are nothing to mess with. Fierce and aggressive, they can cause powerful damage to your home. They are a major carrier of rabies and distemper and harbor fleas, ticks and mites. Removal is a job for professionals. If you have raccoons nesting in your attic, getting cozy under your porch, or hiding in your storage shed, call the professionals at Stern Environmental Group. Click the post title for more information on our wildlife removal services. Visit our website to find out more about our extensive pest management and pest control services. You’ll sleep well tonight,when you get “Stern” with your pests.