Raccoons are among the most recognizable of nuisance animals because of their "masked" faces and ringed tails. With no offense meant to the raccoon in our logo, they're also among the more annoying, troublesome, and dangerous animals that we handle.
Part of the problem is that a lot of people seem to think that raccoons are "cute," which perhaps they are, in their own way. But that doesn't make them friendly. Raccoons -- even domesticated ones -- are not especially friendly. Pet raccoons learn to tolerate people, but their native personalities are very independent. They're kind of like cats in that way -- except much bigger and stronger.
Wild raccoons are decidedly unfriendly animals. They're also big enough, strong enough, and skilled enough fighters that they can put a serious -- perhaps deadly -- hurting on a human. So don't even think about do-it-yourself raccoon removal. (If by chance you are thinking about it, please watch this video of one of our guys removing a raccoon from an attic in Atlanta. I reckon it will change your mind pretty quickly.)
That's not to say that raccoons are any meaner than other animals. Like wild critters in general, raccoons are more likely to run away than anything else if you happen to encounter one; and like wild critters in general, a cornered raccoon will fight if it has to. The main difference is that raccoons are just big and strong enough to be able to seriously hurt you, and just small and sneaky enough to get into all sorts of places where you don't expect them to be. As a result, people frequently stumble upon them while doing mundane things like taking out the trash or getting some firewood from the woodpile at night.
Raccoons can do tremendous damage when they get inside a home. They often tear up insulation, stored clothing, HVAC ductwork, and other items. They also build nests that can be quite large and present a fire hazard, and often cause damage to the structure itself when they enlarge holes to make it easier for them to get into and out of the building.
Raccoons also cause health, sanitation, and safety hazards when they get inside houses. Like wild animals in general, raccoons are hosts to parasites that can transmit diseases, and their droppings can harbor bacterial and fungal pathogens that can become airborne and make people sick. This is especially true if you have forced-air heat or central air-conditioning and any part of the system is in the attic.
Another danger when raccoons get into a home is that a family member may accidentally confront and startle the animal. This happens a lot when raccoons are living in a seldom-accessed storage area in an attic or crawl space, and a family member goes into the area to get something. Raccoons also nest in chimneys quite often and sometimes travel -- or fall -- into the living area of the house.
Another thing that makes raccoons dangerous is that they have one of the higher incidences of rabies of our Georgia nuisance animals. Rabies is an incurable disease that is transmitted in the saliva of infected animals, especially carnivores like raccoons. If there is any chance at all that you have been exposed, you will have to undergo prophylactic treatment. Once the symptoms of rabies appear, it's too late. The patient will die.
In the case of raccoons, the risk of rabies is compounded by the fact that they sometimes become very passive and weak and are more likely to come out in the daytime when they are infected. To someone not familiar with the symptoms -- especially children -- these sick animals may appear "friendly" or "tame," prompting children and other good-natured folks to want to feed them, pet them, or even take them into their homes.
We cannot possibly stress this enough: Don't touch wild raccoons at all; and especially don't touch wild raccoons that appear tame. Teach this to your children, as well. Wild animals in general should not be touched, handled, petted, or otherwise handled by non-professionals, and wild raccoons are to be especially avoided.
Two things that make raccoon control especially challenging are, firstly, that they're very intelligent animals; and secondly, that they have better dexterity than most animals.
Raccoons are intelligent enough to learn how to do things like open gates and garbage pails, pry away plywood covering holes in buildings, and avoid tripping traps. They also have a rudimentary ability to use tools, such as using a stick to open the latch on a gate. Their intelligence makes raccoons more difficult to trap, remove, and seal out of a home or building than most other critters.
Raccoons also have very good dexterity in their front paws, which also have sensitive nerve endings that they use for additional sensory input. That's actually the reason why raccoons "wash" their food. The water makes those nerves more sensitive and helps them avoid eating spoiled food.
Trapping, removing, and excluding raccoons can be a challenge because of their intelligence, dexterity, and strength. More so than most animals, raccoons will often make a special effort to get back into a home after they've been sealed out; and they have the intelligence, dexterity, and physical strength to do that unless a first-class job was done sealing them out.
Raccoons are also comfortable on the ground, on the roof, or anywhere in between; so when raccoon-proofing a house, the entire house must be inspected, and any possible entry points sealed. This includes things like installing raccoon-proof chimney caps on the chimneys, and sturdy doors on the entrances to the basement or crawl space. Raccoon exclusion truly is a top-to-bottom job that requires the skills of a professional.
Luckily, that's why we're here. Rid-A-Critter is Metropolitan Atlanta's most well-established wildlife control company. We've done many thousands of raccoon-removal and raccoon-proofing jobs throughout all of Northern Georgia, and we've pretty much got it down to a science. We also have the personnel and equipment to handle any raccoon control job, no matter how big (or how small).
Please contact us if you need help with a raccoon problem, or any wildlife management issue. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, please take a look at some pictures our crew has taken at some of the thousands of raccoon jobs we've done throughout the Metropolitan Atlanta area.
Raccoon Control Gallery
Raccoon on the roof of a house in Marietta
Juvenile raccoon removal job in Marietta
Big raccoon hole in the roof of an Atlanta home
Attic raccoon removal job in Atlanta, Georgia
Raccoon damage to gable vent in Atlanta
Raccoon hole in the roof of an Atlanta home
Raccoon hole in a roof in Decatur, Georgia
Droppings found at Atlanta raccoon removal job
Raccoon damage to the wall of a house in Atlanta
Young raccoon removed from a house in Atlanta
Raccoons sealed out of a roof vent in Atlanta
Raccoon hole at Marietta raccoon removal job
Raccoon removed from a house in Marietta
Raccoon hole in a soffit on a house in Lithonia
Damage found at Atlanta raccoon removal job
Raccoon damage to the roof of a house in Atlanta
Raccoon removed from the attic of an Atlanta home
Water and raccoon damage at an Atlanta home
Raccoon hole in a soffit in Clarkston
Raccoon hole in the roof of a house in Atlanta
Raccoon hole in the roof of a house in Decatur
Severe raccoon damage to a house in Atlanta
Raccoon paw print in the attic of a Mableton home
Raccoon hole in a house in Decatur Georgia
Raccoon removed from a house in Atlanta
Raccoon access hole in a house in Atlanta
Raccoon damage to the soffit of a house in Lilburn
Raccoon damage repair at a house in Atlanta
For more information about raccoon control or any of our fine services, please contact us.