Last spring, my folks called me to ask my advice about a hole that had been torn in their roof.  Based on the size of the hole and the fact that it had been ripped (as opposed to chewed, which would have indicated squirrels), I could tell that this was definitely a raccoon trying to get inside.  Even though the hole looked like it had probably been there since the previous winter, I still gave them the same advice I give all of you in these blogs:

1) Figure out if the raccoon is still there

2) If it’s still there, contact a professional raccoon removal company

3) Seal up that hole permanently

4) Clean up the mess the animal left behind

But my dad was concerned that it was going to rain later that day, and he wanted to avoid water damage.  So despite my recommendations, he bolted some aluminum sheeting over the hole and left it at that.  Now luckily for my parents, there weren’t any raccoons still living there, and they didn’t have to deal with the repercussions of sealing a IMG_4689wild animal into their house.  However, when I pulled into their driveway a couple of days ago, I noticed that the aluminum sheeting covering the hole had been pulled up and bent back.  Because my parents didn’t get the hole fixed, a raccoon Incredible Hulk-ed its way through the roof.  Now they will have to fix a problem that could have been taken care of months ago if they had listened to their brilliant, spectacular, licensed-by-the-state-of-Illinois-in-wildlife-control daughter.  (Side note: my parents are the most amazing parents in the world, and they are smarter and more awesome than me in very nearly every way.)

Let’s go back to those steps I listed before and talk about what my parents should have done to avoid this problem.

1) Figure out if the raccoon is still there

In any wildlife control situation, it’s important to determine if there are still animals present.  If you move forward with sealing a raccoon’s entry point and it’s still living in the attic, it can result in some really unpleasant scenarios.  For one, the raccoon may freak out and cause even more structural damage to your attic and roof trying to get out.  It might also simply die in your attic, which is not something you want to have to deal with.  Contact a professional raccoon removal company like ABC Wildlife to come do an inspection of your home.  The technicians here are incredibly experienced in identifying whether or not the animal is still there.

2) If it’s still there, contact a professional raccoon removal company

If there’s still an active raccoon problem, the ABC Wildlife technicians will set up a trapping program to remove the animal.  Capturing the raccoon isn’t always instantaneous, and it may take a while for it to become comfortable enough with the presence of the trap to even approach it.  This can be frustrating, but raccoon removal is vital to this process, and it’s important to be patient.

3) Seal up that hole permanently

Once all animals have been removed, it’s time to close up their entry hole so other animals can’t get inside.  Raccoons depend heavily on their sense of smell, and a hole that was used by one raccoon is likely to attract another.  ABC Wildlife is unique in that it offers repair services for this kind of structural damage.  Our construction team is equipped to fix the problem so your home is good as new.  We are also able to provide animal-proof vent guards in instances where raccoons have gotten into a home via roof vent.

4) Clean up the mess

In addition to ruining roofs, raccoons will also tear up insulation for nesting material and use various points throughout the attic as latrine sites.  If you ignore this, it can contaminate and stain your drywall, ruin the heat efficiency of your home, cause disease, and lead to the spread of dangerous parasites.  ABC Wildlife is able to take care of the mess left behind by raccoons.  Our technicians remove and replace soiled insulation and clean the area with an odor enzyme and sanitizing treatment as well as an ecto-parasite flea, tick, and mite treatment.

I realize all of this may seem like a lot, but waiting to fix a problem is only going to delay the inevitable, and it may even make it worse.  If you see a hole in your roof, bent or mangled vents, or hear noises in the attic, call a raccoon removal company.  Unlike other wildlife control companies, ABC Wildlife is able to address the entire problem from removal to repair, which is why I would recommend them even if I didn’t work here.  And if you have any questions at all during the capturing or repair process, just give us a call.  In addition to being all-round nice people, every one of our call center representatives has gone through extensive training and is licensed in wildlife control.  Don’t put a band-aid on the problem; call us with your wildlife problem today at (847) 870-7175.

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Karen Jesse is a wildlife writer and educator licensed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Department of Public Health in urban wildlife management and structural pest control.  She enjoys hiking, telling people how cool skunks are, and opera.  

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