If it’s the first time you have had a raccoon break into your home, the best course of action may not be immediately clear. Do you call your roofer, handyman, the municipality or even try to evict it yourself? The reality is there are dozens of professional raccoon removal companies in any given area, and the reason for this is that raccoon eviction and prevention is a highly specialized task. Especially if babies are involved. The vast majority of raccoon break-ins are pregnant moms looking for a place to birth their kits which complicates the issue drastically. It takes years of experience to be able to safely evict and then reunite a young family.
The logic behind the process is easy to grasp but proper execution is far from simple. The reason there are so many wildlife removal companies in operation is that raccoon removal and prevention is a time-sensitive job that requires training, expertise and the proper equipment.
How Raccoon Removal Actually Works
Because raccoons are one of the most dexterous urban pests you will encounter, they are also one of the hardest to get rid of permanently. They are strong, great climbers and are very smart. For these reasons removing the critters and then preventing them from breaking back in takes years of training.
In most instances raccoons are trying to get into your attic and not your actual living space, therefore they access vulnerable areas on your roof or around your roofline. Areas like roof vents, air outtakes and areas where your soffits and roof intersect are perennial favourites for these animals. Other possible areas include garages and under decks and sheds. Any area that provides shelter but is far away from human activity.
The first step in the raccoon removal process is to inspect the entire property to identify all vulnerable areas and put together a plan. Sometimes the access point is obvious, as in this picture, and other times it takes some investigating. Once all problem areas have been identified, its time to move on to the prevention element of the job.
You may be wondering “what about the raccoons in the attic?” We will get to that after we touch on prevention.
Once all vulnerable areas have been identified, its time to go about securing these areas. Raccoon removal companies employ a variety of techniques to prevent future intrusions. These include reinforcing soffits and siding, placing corrugated steel wiring over roof vents, areas where the soffits and roof or siding meet as well any larger gaps that are exposed. And finally, wildlife professionals will use a special wildlife exclusion caulking to provide an extra layer of security. In this picture, you can see an area where steel mesh was placed to protect a raccoon entry point from future breaches. The prevention work is barely visible up close, and not visible at all from street level. That is the mark of a good raccoon removal company.
Prevention is the most important part of the process. Once the home is 100% protected and there is absolutely no way raccoons will ever be able to get back in; all that’s left to do is get your unwanted guests out of the attic.
Evicting The Raccoons
The final part of the removal and prevention process is the actual eviction of the animals. The safest, fastest and least intrusive way of evicting the raccoons is through a one-way door system. Climbing into the attic and chasing a 30-pound wild animal can and will lead to all kinds of damage and delays. Over the years, raccoon removal companies have found that letting the animal leave on its own is the best approach. That’s where the one-way doors come in. The trap door is placed on the access point the raccoon has already been using and because of all the prevention work that was completed earlier, this is the only remaining access point on the home. Because raccoons need to forage for food daily, your unwanted guest will leave through the one way door once the coast is clear and lock itself out permanently. Mission accomplished.
Check out the video below to see an actual raccoon leaving through a one-way door system on a residential home in Burlington, pretty cool stuff:
The only time any critters are physically removed is when babies are present. In these cases, the technician will physically remove the babies and place them in an insulated box right beside the one-way door. That way when the mother leaves later that day, she will be able to easily find and relocate her kits.
Picking The right Raccoon Removal Company
Now that you understand raccoon removal and eviction is best done by trained professionals, it’s time to find the right people to work on your home. A quick internet search will show you that there are many options out there, but hiring people to climb on your roof and drill holes and place wiring is not something that should be taken lightly. You want to make sure the people you hire are qualified and experienced. Below are some tips to help you find the right fit for your project.
What To Look For When Researching Companies
- Look at their online reviews. Google, Facebook, Better Business Bureau, Yelp, HomeStars. There are plenty of vehicles out there available for consumer reviews. This is a great tool to learn about prospective companies.
- A company that has confidence in its work will offer a warranty. Make sure to read the fine print.
- Look for examples of their work on video. In this day and age, we all have high definition cameras in our pockets and most companies will have video examples of their work. This will allow you to see the calibre of their previous jobs.
- Make sure they carry liability insurance.
- Check if registered with the Better Business Bureau.
- Make sure all employees have completed their at heights training as required by the Ontario Government.
- Make sure all technicians use tie in gear and all other safety equipment.
- Ask for references. Any company that has been business for a while will have a list of past customers as referrals