Recently, I was sent to deal with yet another raccoon break-in in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. This homeowner was hearing loud thumping noises in her attic. She didn’t know exactly what had taken up residence up there, but it sounded like it wasn’t a dainty little animal. She contacted Cowleys wildlife services for us to investigate the problem and take the appropriate action. As it turned out, she had a raccoon infestation. Raccoons are one of the larger animals that we regularly deal with. Unfortunately, these scavenging animals have adapted well to human habitats, and we find them more and more being drawn to residential areas.
With wildlife infestations, it is important to determine the animal’s point of entry. Here, I started by inspecting the home’s exterior to locate any access points. This raccoon had found a weak spot in the soffit at, what we like to call “the pacman.” When a house has dormers, the projection creates an area shaped like the “pacman” in the classic video game — a sideways “V” shape. These roof areas are notorious access points for wildlife that has the climbing skills to access roofs. The two animals we often deal with that are able to reach roofs without breaking a sweat are squirrels and raccoons. And once they are on the roof, a determined animal usually has little trouble finding a way inside the attic.
Now that I knew the raccoon found its way inside, I could begin my setup to catch this wily critter. Starting with the entry hole, I installed a “one-way” directly over the hole. This is a spring-loaded one-way door that allows the animal to exit, but prevents its return. Just like walking through a subway turnstile, it’s a one-direction trip. After installing the one-way, I set up a couple of baited traps that I securely anchored to the roof. it’s important to make sure the traps are properly secured, especially when the none-too-pleased animal is trapped inside.
Sure enough, the target raccoon was caught within a couple of days. I relocated the animal far enough away from the residence so that it will not return. Now, with the raccoon out of the picture, I could go ahead and seal with opening. I used a coil trim to fashion a patch that I placed and secured over the entry point. I then secured the missing piece of soffit over the patch. When done, you’d never guess that this area of the roof was once a raccoon’s grand entrance!