How Do I Get Raccoons to Leave My Attic?

For the next few months, raccoons all over the country will be desperately looking for places to have their young. If there’s an opening that allows a mother-to-be into an attic, she will understandably think that this warm, dry shelter is a perfect place to raise her new babies.

But what happens when the homeowner finds her and calls a pest control company? In some states, the mother and kits might be moved to a protected area, but in others— including Tennessee— wildlife removal companies are required to euthanize any raccoon trapped as a “nuisance.” The ”lucky” ones are gassed to death, while the rest die of overheating and dehydration in hot trucks.

There is a better way. Before baby season arrives, please make sure your attics and crawlspaces can’t be accessed by wildlife. If a mother somehow makes her home in your attic despite your best efforts, you can scare her away using a combination of bright lights, loud noises, and strong smells— such as a radio, a rag soaked in ammonia, and a strobe light. It may take her a few days to leave, but she and the kits will eventually be on their way.

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