Raccoon Removal – Everything you need to know

two raccoons

raccoon in hollow treePicture by Philipp Deus via Unsplash

Are raccoons causing a nuisance on your property? Whether they’re getting into your trash cans, damaging your property, or posing a threat to your pets, raccoons can be a problem for homeowners. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about raccoon removal, including how to identify a raccoon infestation, the best methods for removal, and tips for preventing future infestations. With this information, you can protect your home and family from these troublesome intruders.

Raccoon Prevention, Removal & Control

raccoonpicture by Vlad Namashko via Unsplash

Types of raccoons

There is only one species of raccoon, Procyon lotor, commonly known as the North American raccoon. However, there are several subspecies of raccoons that are found in different parts of North America. Here are some of the most notable subspecies of raccoons and where they can be found:

  1. Procyon lotor lotor – Eastern Raccoon: This is the most common subspecies of raccoon, found throughout the eastern half of North America, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
  2. Procyon lotor mexicanus – Mexican Raccoon: This subspecies is found in Mexico and parts of Central America.
  3. Procyon lotor elucus – Florida Raccoon: This subspecies is found only in Florida and the Florida Keys.
  4. Procyon lotor hirtus – Alaskan Raccoon: This subspecies is found in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
  5. Procyon lotor paludicola – Everglades Raccoon: This subspecies is found only in the Everglades of southern Florida.
  6. Procyon lotor pacificus – Pacific Raccoon: This subspecies is coomon along the Pacific coast of North America, from Alaska to California.

Where do raccoons prefer to live?

Raccoons are adaptable and can thrive in a variety of habitats, from forests and swamps to urban and suburban areas. They are most of the time living in wooded areas near water sources, such as streams and rivers, but can also be found in parks, neighborhoods, and other urban areas where food and shelter are abundant.

Raccoons are known for their ability to adapt to human environments and can often be found living in attics, crawlspaces, and other structures in urban and suburban areas.

group of raccoonsFoto von Richard Burlton auf Unsplash

Where do the raccoons tend to hide/build their nests?

Raccoons are known for their adaptability and can create nests in a variety of locations, depending on their environment and available resources. Here are some of the most popular places where raccoons tend to hide or build their nests:

  1. Trees: Raccoons are skilled climbers and can create nests in trees, either in natural tree cavities or by building their own dens out of sticks and leaves.
  2. Attics and Crawlspaces: Raccoons are known for their ability to enter homes through small openings and can create nests in attics and crawlspaces. They may use insulation or other materials to build their nests.
  3. Chimneys: Raccoons may climb down chimneys and become trapped inside, using the chimney as a hiding place or nesting area.
  4. Garages and Sheds: Raccoons may create nests in garages and sheds, using stored materials such as boxes or blankets to create a comfortable nesting area.
  5. Hollow Logs or Ground Burrows: In their natural habitat, raccoons may create nests in hollow logs or ground burrows, using leaves, grass, and other materials to create a comfortable nesting area.
  6. Abandoned Buildings: Raccoons may take advantage of abandoned buildings or other structures, creating nests in corners or other hidden areas.

Problems with raccoons on your property


How much does raccoon removal cost?

The cost of removing raccoons can vary depending on several factors, including the prevalence and persistence of raccoons in your area, the extent of damage caused, and the number of raccoons present. These factors can impact the work required to remove the raccoons and address the problem effectively.

Generally, wildlife removal companies charge between $300 to $1500 for humane trapping, removal of raccoons from your property, and repair of any damage caused. Additionally, preventative measures are often installed to deter future raccoon activity.

Raccoons in your home

Foto von Marcus Dietachmair auf Unsplash

What exactly is a raccoon infestation? Why are they bad?

Raccoons are an invasive species in many areas. This means that they do not really have natural enemies which make the raccoon population grow rapidly and they can cause a lot of damage to ecosystems.

If you notice one living in your home, it is usually just the tip of the iceberg. Raccoons are social animals that live in groups, known as “nurseries.” These nurseries consist of female raccoons and their young, which are born in the spring and remain with their mothers for up to a year.

Male raccoons typically live alone or in small groups, except during mating season when they seek out female partners.

Raccoons are opportunistic animals that are known for their adaptability and ability to thrive in urban areas. They are primarily nocturnal, which means they are active at night and mostly sleep during the day. Raccoons are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, insects, and small animals.

Raccoon life cycle

The raccoon life cycle starts with mating in late winter, with young born in the spring. The young raccoons, known as kits, are born with their eyes closed and are completely dependent on their mothers for several weeks.

As they grow, they become more independent and begin to explore their surroundings. By the fall, the young ones are fully weaned and are ready to live on their own, although some may stay with their mothers for up to a year.

Why do you need raccoon control?

When raccoons live in homes, they often create nests in attics, crawlspaces, or other hidden areas. Because they are social animals, if you see one raccoon in your home, it’s likely that there are more nearby.

It’s important to address raccoon infestations quickly to prevent damage to your home and potential health risks associated with their presence. A professional raccoon removal service can safely and humanely remove raccoons from your property and help prevent future infestations.

Raccoon damage

Raccoons can wreak havoc in your home! They get into your trash cans and rummage through your garbage, steal food from your pets or bird feeder, they might even break into your house and rummage around our kitchen if they find a way inside!

On their destructive path, they may not only destroy your garden beds and trash your yard, but they may even cause structural damage to your roof and the walls of your house.

Raccoon droppings

What is so problematic about raccoon droppings?

Not only do raccoon feces cause a mess, but the pathogens in them can become airborne and make both you and your pets sick. Wild animals like raccoons living in your backyard may carry infectious diseases, among them raccoon roundworm, canine distemper, and rabies among them.

Never touch a wild animal with your bare hands! Raccoons will bite when they feel threatened. Especially a mother raccoon might attack humans if they feel like their baby raccoons are at risk.

Foto von Thomas Dils auf Unsplash

Raccoon removal services


  • How much does it cost to get rid of raccoons?

It all depends on the area where you live (that is if raccoons are common and persistent in your urban area or rather rare), the number of raccoons and the amount of damage caused. All of these factors have an effect on the amount of work needed to remove them and deal with your raccoon problem.

Most wildlife removal companies charge you from $300 to $1500 to humanely trap the raccoons, remove them from your home, and take care of any damage as well as install preventative measures to keep them away in the future.

  • Can you remove raccoons yourself?

Sometimes raccoons carry infectious diseases which means that there is a health hazard involved in the raccoon removal live trapping process.

Both direct contact with wild animals as well as dealing with raccoon feces, a raccoon’s nest, or objects and material contaminated by infected raccoons puts you and other animals like your pets at risk of getting sick.

  • How do I get rid of unwanted raccoons?

Getting rid of raccoons from inside your house and your garden can be challenging, so it is always better to prevent them from settling down at all. Should you notice any unwanted raccoons in your home or garden, it is best to contact a professional removal company to deal with the raccoon removal.

How does the release of a trapped raccoon work after a raccoon removal? Where and how do you release it?

We strongly advise you against trapping wild animals yourself! There are a lot of potential risk for you and the wild animal that should be avoided. Now moving on to the procedure of it all:

If you have trapped a raccoon on your property and plan to release it elsewhere, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure that the raccoon is released safely and humanely. Here are some important points to consider:

  1. Release Location: Release the raccoon at least five miles away from your property to prevent it from returning. Choose an area that is suitable for raccoons, such as a wooded area with access to food and water sources.
  2. Time of Day: Release the raccoon during the day to give it a better chance of finding its way and establishing a new territory.
  3. Open the Trap Safely: When opening the trap, stand behind it and use a stick or pole to open the door. This will ensure that you are at a safe distance in case the raccoon becomes aggressive.
  4. Be Prepared: Wear thick gloves and protective clothing when handling the trap and releasing the raccoon. This will protect you from bites and scratches.
  5. Do Not Relocate Sick or Injured Raccoons: If the raccoon appears sick or injured, do not release it into the wild. Contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center or animal control agency to seek proper care and treatment for the raccoon.

It’s important to note that laws and regulations regarding trapping and releasing raccoons may vary depending on your location. It’s always best to check with your local animal control agency or wildlife management agency for specific guidelines and regulations before trapping and releasing raccoons.

  • Will homeowners insurance cover raccoon removal services?

    Homeowners insurance may or may not cover raccoon removal, as it depends on the specifics of your policy and the circumstances surrounding the raccoon infestation. In general, most homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage or removal caused by wild animals, including raccoons. However, if the raccoons have caused damage to your property, such as by tearing holes in your roof or damaging your electrical wiring, your homeowners insurance may cover the cost of repairing the damage.

    It’s important to review your homeowners insurance policy to understand what is and isn’t covered. If you’re unsure, you can contact your insurance agent or the insurance company directly to ask about your coverage for raccoon removal and damage caused by wild animals.

  • What if they do not?

    If your insurance policy doesn’t cover raccoon removal, you may need to hire a licensed wildlife removal professional or pest control service to safely and humanely remove the raccoons from your property. The cost of this service can vary depending on the location, severity of the infestation, and other factors. It’s important to work with a reputable and licensed professional to ensure that the raccoons are safely and humanely removed from your property.

  • Does my city remove raccoons for free?

This is one question, that we get asked a lot! The policies and procedures for removing raccoons vary depending on the city and state/province where you live. In some cases, the city may provide animal control services that include the removal of raccoons from public areas such as parks, streets, and other city-owned properties. However, if the raccoons are on your private property, it’s usually your responsibility to hire a licensed wildlife removal professional or pest control service to safely and humanely remove the raccoons.

It’s important to note that while some cities may offer animal control services, they may not necessarily provide them for free. In some cases, there may be fees associated with the removal of raccoons or other wildlife from private property. You can check with your local city or county government to see what services they offer and what the associated costs may be. It’s also important to work with a reputable and licensed wildlife removal professional to ensure that the raccoons are safely and humanely removed.

For more information, please also refer to our blog post on who to call for wildlife removal!

  • What scares raccoons away?

Raccoons, like most wild animals, do not like loud noises, or certain strong odors (think lavender, eucalyptus oil or hot pepper, chili, garlic, peppermint oil). Many also dislike automatic light switches, water spray dispensers, and Epsom salts and ammonia. They also dislike prickly plants because of their sensitive paws.

But even though these odors may repel raccoons, they may not work for every individual raccoon or in every situation. Additionally, these odors may have an unpleasant scent to humans as well, so it’s important to use them sparingly and in well-ventilated areas.

How do I keep raccoons away in the first place?

If you prevent raccoons from choosing your property as their home in the first place, many problems can be avoided! Prevention of pest problems is key to saving you time and money.

First and foremost, create a home and garden environment that makes your house unattractive to wild animals.

The number one culprit for animal attraction is that people do not eliminate food sources. Please do not have bird feeders, pet food, and garbage cans widely accessible for raccoons or other wild animals.

To get rid of raccoons or other wildlife you need to close off any possible entry points to your house. This includes but is not limited to: your  garage, attic, garden shed, trash cans, garbage bags and bird feeders.

Prevent from settling down and building a raccoon’s nest! You can do this by eliminating any possible building materials like trash, garden rubbish, and other possible nesting materials as well as any food sources. Make everything interesting to them, not available to them.

Make sure that your roof, chimney cap, and attic are impenetrable! Once there is a way inside your house, it is only a question of time before raccoons or rats and other animals find a way inside your roof, chimney, and crawl space. So do not give them the chance!

Raccoons are smart and excellent climbers, and they might be harder to discourage than other wildlife from giving up their chosen habitats.

So even though they look very cute and harmless, do not let them live in your yard!

I appreciate you taking the time to read this post. Hopefully, it has helped you resolve your raccoon problem.