I was dispatched to a home in Colts Neck, NJ to deal with a wildlife infestation, specifically, raccoons were gaining entry inside the homeowner’s attic. With a raccoon infestation or any other wildlife infestation, the first step is the inspection. It is critical to determine how the animals are gaining entry. With this infestation, I needed to figure out how the animals were gaining access inside the attic, and how they are getting up the roof in the first place. Raccoons, like squirrels, are excellent climbers.
Raccoons are the largest nuisance pests that we routinely deal with at Cowleys. Because of their size, their entry point into a home is usually found quickly. Raccoons often exploit weaknesses in a home, such as weakened or water-damaged fascia, soffits, or shingles to gain entry. During my inspection of this particular home, I saw that, behind the downspout, the soffit had an opening being used by the raccoons. Also, the raccoons had tracked dirt to the roof area — another common indicator of a wildlife infestation. One complication of this job was that there was recent snowfall, and there was snow on the roof near the entry point preventing me from gaining access to that part of the roof. So, for now, I needed other options to trap the animals.
As part of my inspection, I need to determine how the raccoons are climbing up onto the roof in the first place in order to reach the entry point. The snow that had accumulated on the roof made that part of my inspection much easier. There were beautiful raccoon prints in the snow, making their pathway easy to follow. The snow tracks led me right to a tree growing nearby the home. Their route to the roof was confirmed by scratch marks left by the raccoons in the tree bark. For now, I set two traps on the part of the roof nearby the tree since that area of the roof was free from snow. Once the snow melts near the entry point, I’ll return to set a one-way device. These devices allow the animals to leave the structure, but prevent their return.
With wildlife infestations, every job comes with its own set of obstacles and challenges. It is the job of the wildlife technician to work around those obstacles and devise a workable solution to safely trap and relocate the animals.