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This is very important - almost all cases of a raccoon in an attic means a female with a nest of baby raccoons. You can't just trap and remove the adult, you have to crawl in the attic and find the nest of young raccoons, and remove them by hand. The good news is that they can then be used as "live bait" to catch the mother raccoon! You are then certain that you have all the animals, and you can relocate them together.
You can also encourage the mother to move the young out of the attic herself by intimidating her out with a variety of techniques, such as the use of raccoon eviction fluid.
If you don't properly remove the baby raccoons from the attic, they will suffer as they starve to death, then die and rot in your attic, creating a strong odor. Many lazy wildlife trappers simply want to stick a cage trap on the ground and trap the adult - don't let this happen! Insist that they crawl through the attic, or listen to the walls, whatever it takes, to find the nest of baby raccoons in the house, and remove them.
Here's an email that I got on the subject:
Hey David, my name is Jason and I found your website very insightful for my search of raccoon information. I really wish my parents had given more effort into researching about raccoons before calling the local critter removal about a raccoon tearing up there mulch and climbing the roof. But I have to bite my tongue since it's now too late. What critter removal did is setup two traps around the backyard shed where evidence of mulch was being dug into. This was on Monday night I believe the 9th of May. The next morning two adult raccoons were found locked in those cages. One of them very fat an the other was thinner who was trying desperately to escape the cage for hours. This one also had a leg wound I could see with binoculars, and it was licking this wound. Luckily they were under the shade, as the damn critter removal took there time getting back to us. Well hours later around 2pm this past Tuesday critter removal arrives after saying there send someone asap since 8am. I happened to be the only one home at the time, I'm not the home owner nor wanted them to be taken away. But I go to speak with the lady employee as she already has the raccoons packed up in her truck in a matter of seconds.
My concern is if the raccoons have any baby's. Since we all assumed there was only one raccoon, no one discussed what to do before hand if there is indeed a female raccoon. And yes, critter removal barely mentioned this to my parents from what I understand, I warned my father to call a professional wildlife center for this job, but he's ignorant. I ask the lady how do we know if there are baby's under the shed or what can be done about finding out? So she takes the cages out of her truck an inspects them, "this ones a male" and "this ones a lactating female". Well I'm not experienced and I didn't know what lactating female even means. But I press her about finding out where baby's might be and if there even are any? I express I love animals and how we have two cats, which are strictly inside only. I ask her what can we do about finding clues for baby's? She explains about listening because they will cry for the mother. I want her to help me look and I ask her if she will look around the shed, and she said it's 80 bucks an hour to search. I'm just thinking in my head, this is the worse animal service I've ever heard of. Plus I'm by myself dealing with this ignorant person who just wants to take the raccoons and leave without even attempting to listen for baby cries. I wanted to tell her leave the female but I didn't pay for this service and she wasn't sympathizing at all. I didn't know what else to do in this situation.
Well needless to say she just left and me being the too nice of a person I am I thank her for the information. Then I do my own research and realize the unethical choice that critter removal employee made by not releasing the nursing female raccoon right there in our backyard. I quickly rush to inform my mom who agrees we need to try and bring the female raccoon back to our yard. But it was too late, the next day they had already released the raccoon's into a refuge area very far away. I'm so upset and angry with this person who made the wrong choice and knew without a doubt she had caged a female raccoon who was nursing, she point blank inspected them after I spoke up and she still put them right back in her truck and did nothing to attempt searching for any baby raccoons. I hope she is fired.
Through your website I have left a message with the St.Louis, MO Wildlife Control Inc. I'm hoping they call Thursday morning May 12th. My question to you after all of this is, do you think it's too late to find baby raccoons at this point, it's been about 24-48hrs since the mother was taken. And how do we know where to look for them? Because we know the female raccoon was lactating, does this guarantee she has baby's somewhere? We know the raccoons had access on our roof, but we haven't heard much beyond maybe some mice in the attic. I've spent hours ever since they were taken searching and listening during the day and at night from a screen door. I looked under the shed as much as possible, I can smell something like maybe raccoon fur but that's all I can detect. The space under the shed is so small I can't see the middle area unless we remove the ramp which is dug into the ground too deeply for me to lift without tearing up the ground. I saw some movement under a pile of leafs but when I used a stick to rummage them around nothing was there. The only clue I have possibly heard is once nightfall begins I can very slightly hear something which might be a baby raccoon in the far distance, I'd guess in a neighbors yard or 2-3 houses further behind our house. I've looked on-line for videos of what they sound like, and me and my mom both think we hear it. The sound usually stops after a few hours. But that's all I have to go on really, and I have no idea where exactly it's coming from. I also thought I heard one during the day, but when I went out to check it was a bird. I noticed our neighbor behind us has a shed in his yard, made out of what looks to be wood, unlike our metal shed, and his appears to be faded. He also has a huge pile of tree limbs and sticks in the same area for weeks. You can see the same dirt marks in his mulch as in our yard from the raccoons. There's a small open space in the fence so the raccoons were definitely in his yard. We will contact him about listening for any baby raccoons.
What do you suggest we do at this point? I'm wondering if the wildlife control solutions I called can actually not only search our house an yard but some of the neighbors yards, I just don't know how much that will cost and if it will amount to baby raccoons being found. I know one thing for sure, we will never be calling critter removal ever again for there pathetic service. Do you think we should have our attic inspected even if we're not hearing any noises from there? Thank you for your extremely insightful website and I hope we'll find the baby's if there out there.
More in-detail how-to raccoon removal articles:
Information about raccoon trapping - analysis and methods for how to trap.
Information about how to keep raccoons away - prevention techniques.
Information about how to catch a raccoon - remove one stuck in the house.
Information about raccoon repellent - analysis of types and effectiveness.
This site is intended to provide raccoon education and information about how to kill raccoons with poison, so that you can make an informed decision if you need to deal with a raccoon problem. Learn about how to clean animal waste in attic. This site provides many raccoon control articles and strategies, if you wish to attempt to solve the problem yourself. If you are unable to do so, which is likely with many cases of raccoon removal, please go to the home page and click the USA map, where I have wildlife removal experts listed in over 500 cites and towns, who can properly help you with your nuisance raccoon.
Click here to read more about how to get rid of raccoons.