Raccoons will often move their babies to a safe and secure location to protect them from predators and other threats. The space under your house can provide protection from the elements and a sense of security for the mother raccoon and her babies. However, these animals can be dangerous to household residents and pets as well as carry communicable diseases. Here's what you need to do if you discover that a raccoon has moved its family under your house.
Determine if the Raccoons Have Babies
If the raccoons have babies, it's important to wait until the babies are old enough to leave the den before attempting to remove them. Raccoons usually give birth in the spring, and the babies will stay with the mother for several months before they are old enough to leave the den.
Mother raccoons often move their young several times, so you may be able to encourage your visitor to find other accommodations. There are several types of repellents that can be effective in deterring raccoons, including bright lights, loud noises, and strong-smelling substances. These can be used to create an unpleasant environment for the raccoons and encourage them to leave. Placing a radio near the entrance to the scrawl space may be all that's necessary to convince a raccoon to seek out greener pastures. Shining a bright light or using a commercial wildlife repellent may also do the trick.
Remove Any Food Sources
Raccoons are attracted to food, so it's important to remove any sources of food that may be attracting them to your property. This includes securing trash cans, picking up fallen fruit from trees, and removing pet food from outside. Although this may seem cruel, raccoons have plenty of natural food sources. You'll actually be doing the animal a favor because once a wild animal learns to associate human habitat with easy pickings for food, their days are very likely numbered.
Call a Professional
If the raccoons are not deterred by the above methods or if you are unable to remove them on your own, it may be necessary to call a professional wildlife removal company. They will have the tools and expertise to safely and humanely remove the raccoons and prevent them from returning.
It's important to remember that it is illegal to trap and relocate wild animals in most states without a license, so it's best to leave this task to a professional. Once the animals have been moved to an appropriate location, seal up the crawl space tightly with heavy-duty wire mesh or another durable material so that you won't go through the same thing next year.
For more information about residential wildlife removal in your area, contact a local company.