What to Do If You Find Baby Raccoons in Your Attic
At the start of spring, it’s time for female raccoons to birth their kits. They have to look for a warm and safe location to raise their litters to protect them from the violence of other male raccoons and the harsh weather. This makes baby raccoon attic the perfect spot. If you notice vocal sounds, scratching, or visual sightings, you can be sure you’ve got baby raccoons in your attic.
After a mother raccoon creates a nest in your attic, she gives birth to 3 to 5 kits and takes care of them there. In the first month, the babies are largely immobile and depend entirely on breastmilk from their mother. At about 6 weeks of age, they begin to play around the attic.
After they hit the 12-week-old mark, their mother begins taking them outside on foraging trips to teach them how to fend for themselves. Raccoons are that nurturing. If left on their own, after about 8 months, the family leaves the attic.
Many homeowners wouldn’t feel comfortable having raccoons living in their attic for that long because of their destructive capabilities. Therefore, removal is the only feasible option. However, there’s a right way to go about the removal that ensures that both the mother and her kits are relocated together. This can be achieved through the following steps.
Step 1: Identify the entry points: Before removal can commence, you have to find out how the mother got in the attic in the first place. If you fail to seal up potential entry points, even after removal, there’s a high chance you’ll deal with a wildlife problem soon.
Step 2: Remove the litter of baby raccoon kits: When their mother is out on a foraging trip, it provides the perfect opportunity to get into the attic and pick up the kits and put them in a pillowcase. If you can’t find them, sit still for about 30 minutes and when they start making sounds, you can pinpoint their location. If the kits are mobile, it might be a little more challenging to get a hold of them.
Step 3: Trap the mother: Now that you’ve secured the kits, use them to lure their mother into a trap. However, if the mother is with the kits, you can mount a trap in the exit hole and try to scare her out. This way, she has no choice but to go into the trap. If she sticks around to defend her kits, grab her with a snare pole, and put her in a cage.
Step 4: Seal entry holes and decontaminate the space: It’s now time to close all potential holes to prevent future reentry of another wild animal. Also, you have to disinfect the contaminated space to kill all fungi and bacteria that pose a health hazard to you and your pets. Ensure you wear protective gear while cleaning the attic.
Step 5: Relocation: Finally, relocate the raccoon family, depending on the local relocation laws in your district.
What Not to Do
When you have a raccoon infestation, it’s your responsibility to confirm if there are kits there as well. In most instances, there will be. Many homeowners make the mistake of just capturing the mother alone with a live trap or installing one-way doors and relocating them. When they later find out there are kits there as well, relocating them does little to no good. Without their mother, they are vulnerable and are unlikely to survive. Even worse, they may die of starvation in the attic, which is inhumane. Homeowners then have to deal with the putrid smell as a result of the decomposition process. To avoid these complications, it’s crucial to go about their removal the right way.