Recently, I went on a service call for a new homeowner in Rumson, NJ. The client recently purchased the home and was planning on completely renovating the property from top to bottom. As he was casually touring his newly acquired property, he came across something that made his heart jump— a raccoon on his roof! The terrified client contacted Cowleys to remove the unwanted tenant.
Once I arrived, I began a thorough inspection and immediately located a hole on the roof. As I was examining the hole I found raccoon hair at the opening. Raccoons often den in the spring in preparation of their young and normally do so in attics. They have razor-sharp claws, so it’s no challenge for them at all to rip apart a roof or exploit any preexisting gaps in a building to gain access inside an attic. Raccoons invading your home are a cause for concern because they can carry a wide variety of diseases, the most well known is rabies. Additionally, they often defecate in sections of their den which can contain a parasite called raccoon roundworm, which can cause severe neurological problems in infected hosts. In addition to the diseases, raccoons will destroy attic insulation which they utilize for nesting material.
The safest method to retrieve the raccoon is to install a positive set over the access point. A positive set is a set that covers the entire access point, leaving no room for the intruder to use any other access point, and forces the critter out of the attic and into the set — so we are "positive" that we'll catch it. Once the raccoon was retrieved, as a temporary solution, I secured a piece of flashing over the access point and used his cedar shake sections to cover the patch. The homeowner informed me that he is having a roofer come out to replace his entire roof. Now, the homeowner can properly enjoy his new home and the raccoon has been humanely relocated to a safe environment.