As early spring approaches, the days become shorter, with fewer daylight hours bringing nightfall earlier. This causes the mischievous little raccoon gang to come out and start goofing around.

Raccoons are avid attic lovers. Attics provide the perfect environment with their dry, warm, and safe atmospheres. This offers the perfect protective shelter from the weather for these unwanted guests. Have you ever wondered what common signs to look for raccoon infestation around your home?

Raccoon Sound In the Attic Space

It’s easy to tell the difference between a raccoon in your attic and other wild animals like mice or squirrels – just by the sound of the animal. Adults raccoons typically weigh between 10-20 pounds, so if you hear heavy footsteps up there, you can be sure it’s a raccoon

If you’re hearing thumping noises around your home, it’s very likely that you have a raccoon problem on your hands. No other urban pest is large enough to create stomping noises. Plus, raccoons tend to be very vocal animals, especially when there are baby raccoons around.

Raccoons are usually more active during the night and move around quite slowly. When they’re anxious about protecting their territory or ready to mate, however, you may hear them sliding around rather than walking. Don’t let this go unnoticed, they might be planning to nest in your attic.

With raccoon babies nearby, you may hear a variety of noises. From squeaks, grunts, and growls, to chittering that sounds like a bird, all of which they make when they feed or feel threatened. That’s the sound of babies calling for their mother raccoon. So keep your eyes and ears peeled for these mischievous critters.

Signs of Nesting Materials

Once a raccoon family has moved in, it is likely that you will see signs of nesting materials around. Raccoons demonstrate a remarkable talent for constructing nests, particularly if it is baby raccoon season and an adult female raccoon is involved. Their resourcefulness allows mother raccoons to use a variety of materials for such purposes.

Baby raccoon removed from attic

Raccoons are fairly ingenious animals and are masters of improvisation. The presence of leaves, twigs, and damaged insulation may indicate a potential raccoon infestation. In such cases, the animals will likely be scavenging for materials from external sources, such as if you notice twigs and leaves, as well as tear holes in the fabric and insulating material from within the attic.

Signs of Tracks

If you believe raccoons have entered your home, inspect your property for recently soft earth. Additionally, to determine if raccoons are inhabiting your attic, take note of possible evidence including paw prints of five toes.

The forepaw of a raccoon is approximately 2 inches in length and width. The hind paw is notably longer measuring an average of 4 inches and its shape is reminiscent of a small human footprint with long toes.

Raccoon Droppings

A method of determining whether raccoons have invaded an attic is to inspect for evidence of scat and its accompanying smell.

A raccoon latrine in an attic

Raccoons are known to pick one area of the attic for their feces – they’ll use this spot consistently, so you won’t suddenly find their raccoon droppings spread all over. If a raccoon has been ‘using’ your attic, you may be able to smell the distinct odor coming from the build-up of the raccoon feces.

Latrines On Roof

Creating latrines on the rooftop is a common raccoon behavior, so keeping them out is your best option. If raccoons find their way up to your house’s roof, they may start looking around for possible ways to get inside. Make sure your roof is properly sealed, or any weak points are reinforced, to stop them from attempting to enter.

Accumulated raccoon feces and pine needles on a roof.

Raccoons are one of the largest animals that get inside your home, which unfortunately makes their droppings rather large too. Usually, they come out in a tube-type shape and they tend to be dark. If they’ve had some berries or seeds, you may even be able to spot them undigested.

Unrecognizable Entry Points

It’s possible the raccoons in your attic may have found their way through a vulnerable entry point. Considering raccoons are experts at climbing trees and hopping onto roofs, it may be that your home isn’t properly sealed to deter wildlife entry.

If you spot holes in the walls or soffit near your attic, it could mean that raccoons have made their way into the space. It’s possible that they have torn the holes themselves and caused significant damage, or used existing vent openings to access the area. Keep an eye out for anything that looks out of the ordinary.

External Damage

You might have noticed signs of damage from raccoons around your home. Look out for damaged shingles and wooden shingles, as well as bits of damaged soffits or vents, since these are all potential entry points for raccoons. You’ll often find them up on the roof too – it seems to be their preferred hideaway.

Due to raccoons being such skilled climbers, they can easily access your roof by scurrying up trees and other structures. Additionally, they can even use your chimney if they are determined to gain access to your home.

Shingles

Those mischievous raccoons sure know where the weak points are on roofs! They can’t resist taking advantage of any old, damaged, or easily removed shingles, so if you notice something like this, it might be the handiwork of our uninvited guests.

Soffit Panels

If your roof has an overhang, it’s important to make sure your soffit panels are in good condition! This is because they help prevent pests and dampness from getting into your home, so if you find that raccoons living in your attic or any other critters have caused some damage it’s important to get it fixed up right away.

Vinyl soffit pushed up out of place by raccoons entering an attic

Is It Possible For Raccoons To Drop Through The Ceiling?

Regrettably, the answer is yes.

It is possible that raccoons in the attic may cause structural weak points in the ceiling due to their weight. Additionally, due to their presence in a particular area, this spot is likely to be damp from the urine.

The Damage Raccoons Can Do To Your Attic

If you’re wondering if you have a raccoon in your attic, check to see if there’s any damage inside it. Usually, raccoons don’t leave attics untouched, so any damage could be a sure sign you have a little visitor up there.

Due to this, there may be damage to areas such as the drywall and insulation. After all, raccoons are always trying to find a cozy spot to call home and insulation is a great material to use for their nests!

Drywall

Raccoons are wild and curious animals, but their urine can really be an issue for drywall. That build-up of moisture over time can be too much, potentially even leading to drywall collapse. If you’re not careful, you might spot some yucky stains on your ceiling if you let the feces sit too long.

Insulation

If you’ve got raccoons using your insulation as a restroom, we’re afraid it won’t be doing its job of keeping your home at the right temperature. To make sure insulation keeps your home at the desired temperature, it needs to be kept dry and intact.

To ensure your attic insulation is doing its job, it needs to be even. Unfortunately, if some mischievous critters have been in there and torn it up, this can leave uninsulated patches.

raccoon in attic

Electrical Wiring

Raccoons are known to chew on all sorts of objects like wooden support beams, structural beams, and roofing tiles including electrical wires, which poses a serious fire hazard. In addition, a raccoon literally damages HVAC systems, as well as tears apart heating or cooling ducts.

Raccoons living in attics can create costly problems for homeowners, both monetarily and in the event of an electrical fire. In extreme cases, the expenses can extend well into thousands of dollars.

Example of wires chewed in attic

Ducts And Vents

Raccoons have the capability to disassemble small components of ducts and vents, resulting in larger openings.

If birds build a nest inside a duct or vent, it can hinder air circulation and pollute the air quality due to their excretions.

Dampness And Mold

The entry points crafted by the raccoons can detrimentally impact the energy efficiency of your attic and impede your control over the internal humidity.

It is important to be aware of the fact that raccoons utilizing your attic as a toilet can result in increased humidity levels in the area, even when the climate is arid.

Do Raccoons Naturally Leave Attics?

No, Once raccoons take up residence, they will stay until they decide to leave; regardless of any potential damage that may be caused to your property or potential fire hazards.

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons In Attic

It is advisable to contact a professional wildlife removal company if obvious signs of raccoons establishing residence in your attic space are observed. Such companies can dispatch a team of professionals who are experienced in this field to inspect the area.

If raccoons have made their way into your attic, this team of professionals is equipped for raccoon removal and properly sealing off entrances to your home, ensuring that the space is clean, raccoon-free, and inaccessible.

The methods employed should be entirely humane, without the use of poison or raccoon trapping, guaranteeing that the relocation of young raccoons is not harmful.

If you are dealing with a raccoon in the attic, it is strongly recommended that you immediately begin contacting an experienced wildlife removal company in your local vicinity. Not only can these animals cause serious attic damage, but the appropriate removal techniques must be implemented to successfully remove raccoons.