Recently, I was sent to a home in Spring Lake, NJ to resolve a raccoon infestation in an attic. Here, the access into the attic was originally made by squirrels that chewed their way through the gable vent. A “lazy” raccoon came along, saw the opening, and decided to take advantage of it. The raccoon not only used the squirrel’s access but also booted them out of the space. Life is tough in the animal kingdom! The homeowners now found themselves with a raccoon infestation rather than a squirrel infestation.
Why not an infestation of both animals? Raccoons and squirrels will not inhabit the same space. Their lifestyles are incompatible as roommates. Squirrels are diurnal, active during the day, while nocturnal raccoons prefer the night shift. As nocturnal animals, they sleep during the day and do their foraging at night. Raccoons are also much larger, stronger, and aggressive. Eastern gray squirrels are arboreal rodents that weigh, at most, a little more than a pound. Raccoons, on the other hand, are far bigger. These animals can approach twenty pounds and sometimes weigh even more. Squirrels would have no interest in challenging a raccoon for territory.
To resolve the infestation, as shown in the video, I covered the access with hardware cloth and placed a one-way device over the opening. A one-way is hinged such that it opens only in one direction. It allows the animals to exit, but they are blocked from returning.
Here, it was pretty clear how wildlife was gaining access to the roof. There was a nearby tree with overhanging branches. It is important to monitor landscaping to prevent animals with good climbing skills to easily make their way to the roof. Once there, the next step for them is to find a way inside the attic. I set a couple of baited traps that was right on the route from the tree to the attic access. I’m confident that it won’t take long to trap the raccoon. Once trapped, we will relocate the animal to a more appropriate habitat.