Recently, I went out on a service call for a homeowner in Tinton Falls, NJ who contacted Cowley after hearing loud noises in her attic late at night. Immediately, I had a strong suspicion that the homeowner had raccoons in her attic. Raccoons are notorious for breaking into attics and foraging late at night. Even though I suspected it may be raccoons, I must conduct a thorough inspection first.
As soon as I inspected the attic, I came across a rather disgusting sight — raccoon droppings! How do I know it's raccoon droppings and not any other wildlife? Raccoon feces are usually about two to three inches long, dark, and tubular in shape. An easy way to tell squirrel feces from raccoon poop is to look for undigested food. Raccoon feces often contains pieces of undigested berries that can be easily seen. As I continued my inspection I discovered that the attic fan was damaged and showed signs that a critter had ripped it apart to gain access into the home. After gathering all the evidence, I confirmed my suspicions that there were indeed raccoons in the attic. Raccoons are determined critters with razor-sharp claws and always take the path of least resistance. If they notice an exposed and/or damaged area in a home, they will exploit it to gain access, causing severe property damage.
First, I equipped my personal protective equipment and then carefully removed the raccoon droppings. Raccoon droppings carry several potentially dangerous diseases, including a parasite called Baylisascaris procyonis. This is a disgusting roundworm that can cause extremely serious disease conditions in humans. Once the raccoon droppings were removed and the area was sanitized, I installed a one-way attic fan cover and attached it to a Comstock trap. A Comstock trap is a heavy duty trap that features a super strong coil spring that power the trap door. The door then locks into place which prevents animals from escaping.
Just in case the raccoon is nervous about the Comstock trap, I set-up a baited placement trap nearby. Within a short amount of time, the raccoon was safely caught. Now I will relocate the raccoon to a new humane location.