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  • Houston Educational Article of the Month - How to get Raccoon out of your attic

How to get Raccoon out of your attic

While trapping a raccoon on your own is entirely possible it is wise to contact professional who will safely capture and release the animal into the wild. Also before attempting to get rid of a raccoon yourself make sure it is legal in your state, trapping or killing a raccoons is illegal in some areas.

Why the attic?
Raccoons are excellent climbers and they love attics. It’s a dry, safe, quiet and warm area to live, especially for a mother about to give birth. Before attempting to remove the Houston raccoon you need to check for raccoon pups! A mother raccoon is extremely protective of her young so make sure she is gone before going up to take a look around in your attic. If you discover there are babies you will have to trap the mother then remove the whole family and relocate them back into the wild together.

Removal options

1. Traps:

Single Cage Traps: A closed cage with a trap door on one end. It should be made of metal and have handles for you to pick it up once you capture the animal. The handles should also have guards. These metal guards should be wide enough to cover your entire hand that way you can pick up and transport the trap, with the Texas raccoon inside, without risking a bite. The trap is simple to use, bait is placed on the inside of the cage and you wait for the animal to enter. Once the animal has entered the door flips shut, keeping the animal inside.

Double Door Cage Traps: A double ended door trap is more effective than the single door trap and doubles your chances of catching the raccoon. Like the single door trap the double door trap is the same design, steel cage walls where bait is placed inside and once the raccoon enters the doors flip closed keeping the animal safely inside. The double door trap is open on both ends creating what looks like a tunnel to the raccoon, which is less intimidating.

Leg Traps:A Dog Proof Leg Traps are a modern leg trap that is humane, unlike the old style JAW traps which break and mangle legs. It is a tube style trap that has bait inside, when the raccoon reaches in for the bait it locks its paw inside without injuring it. Once the raccoon is caught you can cage and transport it into the wild yourself or call a professional to come pick up the animal.

2. Repellant: This is NOT an effective method for removing a Houston raccoon from your attic but must be mentioned. There are many different sprays, powders and sound emitting devices that are being marketed as a safe, fast and easy solution for removing a raccoon however they are scams. Besides introducing harmful chemicals into your attic you are just wasting time and money with “repelling” products.

3. Poison: There are many options here all of which you probably don’t want in your home. Not only are they dangerous chemicals but they are inhumane and relatively hard to use because of the disastrous results that could occur. It is strongly advised to use another method. Some poisons you could use:

  • Rat poison
  • Antifreeze
  • Cholecalciferol
Poisoning is an inefficient, disgusting method of getting rid of a raccoon. Not only could the raccoon not die and just be severely sick in your attic but you will have to be dealing with a dead rotting raccoon carcass in your home.

4. Lethal Traps: While effective, lethal body traps are complicated to use and make a disgusting mess. It is not recommended to use a body (also known as a Conibear) trap in your home.

Trapping Tips and Safety:
  • The best bait for a raccoon trap? Marshmallows. Their sweet smell and bright white color is irresistible to Houston raccoons
  • Always read manufacturer’s instructions prior to setting traps
  • Always wear BITE PROOF gloves when handling an animal or picking up a cage trap.
  • Raccoons can have Rabies. If bitten, go to your doctor immediately!
  • Always check your local laws before attempting to trap a raccoon, trapping is illegal is many states.
  • Never attempt to keep a wild animal as a pet.
To learn more about our Houston raccoon removal services, visit the Houston wildlife trapping home page.

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