Raccoon Prevention and Proofing
Raccoon proofing solutions. Over time raccoons learn how to take advantage of vulnerabilities in a structure. They can tear soffits or rip vents of when looking for a warm place. We can make sure that every vulnerable area and potential entry point is strengthened so that raccoons cant get in for years to come.
Raccoons are a nuisance in that they commonly invade urban environments. These clever creatures seem to enjoy mischief and mayhem as they will figure out how to remove lids from trash cans. They can knock over garbage bins, make a mess, and consume food belonging to your outdoor animals. It is an annoying animal to deal with for any homeowner.
Even more unfortunate is when raccoons invade your living space. They often invade chimneys and attics. Most commonly raccoons invade homes looking for a dark, quiet, safe place that they can call home. Female raccoons are most likely to invade because they are seeking a place where they can safely give birth to their pups.
The best way to prevent a raccoon from entering your home is through the use of prevention and proofing. Of course, raccoons are clever, dexterous, and surprisingly strong, so you will need the help of a professional to ensure your home stays raccoon-free.
Soffit Raccoon Proofing
The soffits of your roofing system are the undersides of arches, balconies, and eaves. Soffit intersections are often weak points that an animal will use to invade your home. You can generally find these intersections where the upper and lower points of your roof meet. These junctures often provide raccoons with easy access into your attic, especially if they are made from plastic or aluminum.
Under the vinyl or aluminum of the soffit, the area is usually wide open. A professional can install a sturdy piece of plywood under the soffit so the area does not remain wide open. Afterward, the technician will put the soffit back in place. The secure piece of plywood will deter animals from prying the soffit back and gaining entry into your home.
Roof Vent Protection
Roofing systems often have a ventilation system, or at least they should. A ventilation system helps prolong the life of your attic. However, it can pose as a great entry point for wildlife. Animals will find and chew through vent screens using their claws and teeth. Since raccoons are very strong, they can easily chew through the covers on a roof vent.
A technician will remove the damaged screen and replace it with a sturdier screen and perhaps a cloth cover. Sturdy screens and vent covers deter animals such as raccoons and squirrels from gaining access to your attic.
The edges of your roof are also vulnerable areas that can provide animals with easy entry. Fortunately, a technician can secure these areas using proper covers, sections of plywood, and wire mesh if necessary. Make sure you have a professional repair damaged roof edges to prevent animals from re-entering your home. In fact, you should immediately address any signs of roof damage as soon as possible.
Animals do not just invade attics. They can, and will, also invade chimneys if your home has one. When the chimney is not in use, you often close the damper. Therefore, squirrels and raccoons will easily make a home out of your chimney. They can easily scurry up and out when they need to search for food, and then climb right back down to their new cozy den.
Fortunately, you do not have to allow animals entry into your chimney. Hire a professional to come and install chimney caps. A technician can install a secure wire grate over the top of your chimney so it can still let smoke blow out when you have a fire lit while keeping animals out. Since the chimney is similar to a hollowed-out tree, raccoons often enjoy invading that area of your home.
Other Methods of Prevention – Do NOT Make These Mistakes
There are other methods of prevention and proofing you can use to protect your home against an invasion of wildlife. In many cases, it boils down to common mistakes people make that attract wildlife to their home. To prevent animals from invading our space, there are some common mistakes you should avoid.
Do Not Provide Access to Food
The first rule of thumb is to never feed wild animals. Raccoon populations throughout Canada have increased over the years and it would seem that there is no way to get rid of them. That does not, however, mean that you need to open your home to a wild animal. Providing access to food for wild animals continues to attract them, so it is best to stop.
Wild animals are capable of finding food for themselves. Aside from the fact that what you feed them might harm them, it also entices them to make your home theirs. To ensure that you are not feeding the local raccoon population, do not make the following mistakes:
- Do not leave pet food bowls outside – as soon as your pet is done eating, pick up the bowls, bring them in, and clean them out
- Do not set out food purposely for raccoons or other wild animals
- Do not place garbage bags outside unless they are in properly enclosed containers with lids
- Do not leave ripened fruits on trees as they may attract hungry wild animals
- Do not leave your lawn untreated – an untreated lawn attracts grubs and other insects, and grubs and other insects attract raccoons
Do Not Put Home Repairs Off
If your home is in need of repairs, address them immediately, particularly exterior repairs. Exterior damages create weaknesses that raccoons can utilize to gain entry to your home. Therefore, you should avoid these following mistakes:
- Do not leave roofing damages unattended – damaged roof tiles, shingles, soffits, and vents create entry points for raccoons and other animals
- Do not ignore gaps, cracks and holes found along your roof or your foundation
- Do not overlook the importance of professional grade prevention and proofing – a professional can secure weak points of your home to prevent wildlife from entering
Raccoon Proof Roof Vents
Raccoons frequently climb onto rooftops to seek shelter that is free from other animals and humans. One bothersome aspect of raccoons on rooftops is their propensity to enter into attics through any opening that they can pry open. These animals are skilled at using their hands to both hold, grip, and pry open nuts, shells, and containers in search of food; this skill is also used to open contraptions such as roof vents.
Thankfully, there are remedies to stop these invading raccoons from nesting inside of your attic. Raccoon proof roof vents can be installed by raccoon control specialists in the greater Toronto area that are guaranteed to prevent raccoon invasions. These contraptions are typically made out of wire mesh, which is a type of material that is difficult for raccoons to handle due to the sensitivity of their hands and feet.
A specialist will typically install these proofing vents around all exhaust vents on rooftops, thereby preventing raccoons from being able to enter the attic. If you are currently having a problem with raccoons nesting in your attic, consulting a control specialist offers one of the only viable solutions to this problem.
Raccoon Proof Soffit
Attics do not offer the only possible habitat for raccoons that venture onto rooftops. Soffits, which are primarily any spaces such as eaves, undersides of curved architecture, and even crevices under or near windowsills, are also harborage areas that are attractive to raccoons. Due to these structures being narrow and unsteady, raccoons will typically use soffits as ladders and bridges to enter the attic.
Since some makes of soffit are usually not of a durable quality, raccoons can easily rip off the outer casing which will leave an entryway into your attic fully exposed. Yes, raccoons are indeed incredibly versatile and intelligent creatures. What would likely not occur to other animals is a result of the investigative nature of raccoons when searching for safe and warm habitation.
Soffit proofing can easily be installed by a raccoon control specialist. A specialist will usually utilize a thick to medium layer of plywood under the soffit, which will act as a barrier between your attic and the outside. It is crucial to make sure that all entry points known to raccoons are properly proofed to prevent their entry.
Raccoon Proof Wire Mesh
Raccoons have very strong jaws and teeth for a mammal of their size, which makes tasks such as chewing and gnawing through material easily and painless for them. A good way to think about preventing raccoons from chewing through any barriers is to remember that sturdy and thick metal is likely the only material they will not attempt to try and rip through.
Acquiring the proper mesh to prevent raccoon entry is a thorough process that requires a mixture of specifications, proper dimensions, and a thorough understanding of raccoon behavioural traits to adequately install. Wire mesh proofing should only ever be installed by a raccoon control specialist due to the level of detail required to match the product with raccoon behaviour.
Due to the prevalence of raccoons in Ontario and Canada in general, there is thankfully a multitude of specialists within the province to readily hire for this complex task. Wire mesh proofing can be used to cover virtually any raccoon entry point and is assured to keep raccoons away due to the discomfort caused by the mesh when they walk across it.
Raccoon Proof Outdoor Cat House
Cats are some of the most favoured domestic pets in the world, but much like bird feeders, feeding and sheltering outdoor cats can lead to problems with raccoon invasions. It is beneficial to keep cats away from raccoons due to the possibility of a raccoon carrying diseases that can be passed to the cat. Additionally, raccoons will be attracted to the food and water left out for outdoor cats, which will require steps to be taken to proof any outdoor cat house.
A raccoon control specialist can help with this type of issue as well, with solutions available to construct special outdoor cat houses to keep raccoons away. A specialist will generally construct a cat house or take an existing cat house and modify the structure to prevent raccoons from being able to enter the cat house. This can sometimes involve taking the cat house and elevating the house off of the ground via a pole with a raccoon-proof wire mesh.
This will prevent raccoons from being able to climb the pole to reach the cat house. Alternatively, a specialist may decide to modify a grounded cat house by placing raccoon proof cat doors on the outside of the cat house. These doors will work to prevent raccoons from entering by allowing the door to only be sized for cat entry.
Raccoon Proof Cat Doors
Raccoons will always find a way to step one step ahead of us humans. Throughout Canada, there are numerous cases and incidents of homeowners going to great lengths to raccoon-proof their homes, only to find that their efforts have failed. It is completely normal for this to happen due to the inquisitive nature of raccoons. Technology has managed to include this problem in recent innovations, with the electronically controlled cat door being one such example.
These doors work by scanning a microchip on a cat’s neck collar. Once the collar is canned, the door will open for the cat to enter. This means that raccoons can try to pry into the cat house as much as they like to no avail. This innovative technology should be handled by a wildlife professional since a specialist will know exactly how to fine-tune the technology-based upon typical raccoon behavioral traits.
Cat doors with this type of technical wizardry are truly a sign of the time and offer another level of raccoon prevention that strives to stay one step ahead of them, instead of the other way around. In addition to the microchip recognition software, electronic cat doors also feature door locks that are multi-faceted. Raccoons can spend hours trying to twist the locks to open the door to no avail.
Do Not Attempt the DIY Approach
Finally, do not make the mistake of thinking you can apply raccoon prevention and proofing on your own. A professional can provide you with a job done right. Our technicians have the training and skills needed to identify weak points that animals can use to gain entry to your home. Too many people use the Internet to research the DIY approach.
Unfortunately, the DIY approach could put you in harm’s way. If you already have an animal living in your attic or chimney, you run the risk of the animal harming you. Although raccoons are not generally aggressive creatures, they will attack if they feel threatened or provoked. Also, their urine and feces may transmit diseases that can make you ill.
Rather than putting yourself at risk, give us a call so we can provide you with our professional raccoon removal, prevention and proofing solutions.
Article Updated: January 20, 2020