Christmas Critters: How to Get Rid of Raccoons in Your Attic

As the weather gets colder, you might find yourself with an unwanted houseguest this holiday season. Critters of all stripes look for warm places to burrow in for the winter, and they won’t think twice about making a home in your attic, crawlspace or basement if the conditions are right. Whether you’re dealing with a raccoon, groundhog or even a skunk, we’ll tell you the signs to look for and how to get rid of them so they won’t come back.

Signs of An Animal in Your House

We’ve found a raccoon that had been hiding in a customer’s garage for four days before anyone noticed. It had entered the home through a small opening in the exterior wall and gotten stuck in a rarely opened utility closet. The customer only found out about his visitor because of the faint, musky urine smell and a nice nest of drywall shreds spilling out from under the door.

Why are we telling you this? Simply put, animals can be sneaky. Even if you think there’s no way you wouldn’t notice a wild animal in your house, the fact is that you don’t look for things you’re not expecting. Here are the signs to clue you in:

• Unexplained scratching sounds in the walls
• Lights flickering and electrical systems failing
• Signs of intrusion like holes or shredded drywall
• Visible signs or smell of urine or droppings

In our customer’s case, the solution was simple enough—open the garage door about a foot, open the closet and let the critter waltz out. If only it were this easy all the time. If you think you might have a raccoon or other wild animal in a place that’s hard to access, like your attic or walls, we recommend calling in an animal control specialist to remove it.

Securing Your Home with an NPI Inspector

Raccoons and other animals are generally drawn to your home in search of food, so you should remove their reason for hanging around. Keep your garbage cans secure with locking lids, and if you have other pets, don’t feed them outside. Once you know the animal is gone, it’s time to figure out how it got in. This is harder than it sounds. For example, a raccoon can gain entry to your home through a hole as small as three inches, and these openings are easy to overlook in hard-to-reach areas like a crawlspace.

Rather than spending your holiday season combing your home for entry points, let National Property Inspections take care of it while you knock back some egg nog and trim the tree. Your NPI inspector knows exactly what to look for and will identify the areas you need to repair, like open soffits, vent holes and more. Find your local inspector now to get rid of raccoons and keep them out of your home for good.

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