Raccoons are highly adaptable mammals. As a consequence, they have extended their habitat range over the course of the past 100 years. This includes raccoons that have become successful urban and suburban dwellers as cities and surrounding metropolitan have grown. As a consequence, raccoons have become fairly common dwellers in the residences of people in the country, in the suburbs, and in the city. For example, raccoons are regular occupants of residential attics. There are a number of reasons why raccoons are fairly common attic dwellers, including:

  • Basic shelter
  • Birth and raise young
  • Access to food and water.
  • Safety from predators

Basic Information About Raccoons

As mentioned a moment ago, raccoons are highly adaptive mammals. As a result, they have thrived living in a wide array of environments, including those populated by humans.

Raccoons are basically nocturnal animals, which means that they tend to be out and about moving around in the nighttime hours. 

Basic Shelter

One very common reason why raccoons are attracted to attics is because of a need for basic shelter. Raccoons do have healthy coats of fur that are designed to keep them warm in colder weather. However, raccoons have a natural tendency to want to be able to escape inclement weather of different types. This includes not only cold weather but rain as well.

Attics provide ideal places for raccoons to satisfy their needs for basic shelter. They have a literal roof over their heads, albeit your roof. Moreover, by taking shelter in an attic as opposed to other locations in a residence, raccoons typically are in a location that is more isolated from humans that occupy a home. 

Birth and Raise Young

Pregnant female raccoons seek out safe places to give birth and raise their young. They naturally want a location that is isolated where they can raise their young without constant fear of interruption or disturbance by other creatures. 

As noted a moment ago, attics do provide raccoons a more isolated place to shelter. As a consequence, an attic is an ideal location for a pregnant raccoon to seek shelter whilst waiting to give birth and during the time she is nursing her offspring.

Access to Food and Water

Raccoons are omnivores. They eat plants, smaller animals, and even certain types of insects. Thus, they have some flexibility when it comes to foraging for food. 

The need for more solid access to sources for food and water represents another reason why raccoons will take up residence in an attic. Unlike rats and mice that will venture from an attic to a kitchen in a home seeking food and water, raccoons are more discrete. They are not apt to march into a kitchen seeking sustenance.

With that said, nesting in an attic provides raccoons with ready access to other specific sources of food. This specifically includes garbage cans kept in the garage or elsewhere on the grounds of a home.

Safety From Predators

Finally, another reason why raccoons might seek shelter in a residential attic is to obtain safety from predators. There are larger predatory animals that do prey on species like raccoons from time to time. Raccoons actually are apt to have far fewer predators in urban and suburban areas. 

Remove Racoons From Attics

There may exist specific regulations regarding how raccoons can be removed from your property. In addition, trapping and removing raccoons can prove to be a challenging task. For these reasons, you may want to give serious consideration to retaining the services a professional to eliminate raccoons from your attic. There are raccoon eradication services that remove raccoons from attics and transport them to a more suitable location, as permitted by law. 

Attic Cleanup After Raccoon Infestation

Once you’ve had raccoons removed from your attic, you need to deal with their aftermath. This primarily includes raccoon dropping cleanup and the elimination of other waste and refuse created by raccoons and left behind following their residency. 

Unlike rats and mice that don’t have specific places to defecate, raccoons do. They defecate in specifically designate latrines. Thus, raccoon feces will be found in clusters or piles. In addition, raccoons also favor defecating in water. Thus, if there are leaks or pooled water present in your attic, that area may have been converted to use as a latrine by raccoons. 

Care must be taken when a person comes into contact with raccoon droppings because they can harbor dangerous pathogens. Pathogens are biological substances that have the capacity for causing illness or disease in humans. Examples of pathogens that raccoon droppings can carry include: 

  • Baylisascaris roundworm
  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine distemper
  • Giardia lamblia
  • Trypanosoma cruzi
  • Rickettsia rickettsii 
  • Salmonella

Safety is a primary concern when it comes to raccoon dropping cleanup. A person intent on such a task must wear suitable personal protective equipment rated to protect against dangerous biohazards. Due to the safety concerns associated with cleaning up raccoon feces, a homeowner is normally wise to hire a professional raccoon droppings cleanup company to address this type of problem. Indeed, a raccoon droppings cleanup company has not only the safety resources necessary for the job, such a professional also has the background necessary to undertake a fully comprehensive cleaning. 

Author

Emily Kil

Co-Owner of Eco Bear Biohazard Cleaning Company

Together with her husband, Emily Kil is co-owner of Eco Bear, a leading biohazard remediation company in Southern California. An experienced entrepreneur, Emily assisted in founding Eco Bear as a means of combining her business experience with her desire to provide assistance to people facing challenging circumstances. Emily regularly writes about her first-hand experiences providing services such as biohazard cleanup, suicide cleanup, crime scene cleanup, unattended death cleanup, infectious disease disinfection and other types of difficult remediations in homes and businesses.