"Nuisance Wildlife Control Specialists" Since 1998
Wildlife Biologist on Staff

Raccoon Removal & Control Services


Raccoon - (Procyon lotor) Order Carnivera


The raccoon can adapt to human environments easily, and usually by choice. In human environments, raccoons can adapt easily due to the abundance of food and shelter. Humans provide food sources, such as bird feeders, trash cans, and pet food bowls that are replenished regularly. Urban landscapes provide attractive nuts, buds, and fruits from trees that raccoons will favor. Once a raccoon has found a prevalent food source, it will look for a nesting or den site that is relatively close to that food source. Your home is the nesting or den site due to increases in urbanization or land development in raccoon- inhabited areas, a decline in large native trees in established neighborhoods, and the overpopulation of raccoons in these areas does not help. The raccoon will look for a spot that has the least resistance to enter your home. Raccoons are very good climbers. They will use their strong teeth and muscles to tear into just about anything on your house, looking for a home. Gable vents, attic fans, rotten wood behind your gutter or in your soffit, loose foundation vents, and low-lying decks are a few locations. Once the den is established, they will start to build their nest. This is when the noise begins in the attic. Their nocturnal traits will keep you up with constant travel. The noise really gets loud during breeding season or when the young kits turn your attic into a jungle gym. The most important things that you should know about raccoons and your home and health are the risk of fire due to chewed electrical wires and the biohazard and odor issues from their droppings and urine. As long as we continue to urbanize, cut down native nesting trees, and provide an abundance of food to the raccoon, they will continue to adapt to human environments and pose a threat to homes and human health.

If you need raccoon removal services, Blue Ridge Wildlife Management, LLC is here to help you. Please Contact Us to help solve your problem.


Identification Reproduction Other Information
Trapping Techniques Damage & Damage Areas  
Health Concerns FAQ's  

Trapping & Removal Techniques

Professional grade single-door live capture traps are used to trap raccoons damaging landscapes. These traps are placed next to the damaged areas on your property. When raccoons are living in a fireplace or attic, we will physically remove the adults and young, or exclude them with professional eviction fluid. The eviction fluid is designed to flush the raccoons from the den without physical interaction. Once the raccoons are removed, we Repair the hole where they are entering or install a chimney cap so that it will not happen again.

 
Raccoon in a single-door cage trap   Catch pole used to remove a raccoon
Young raccoon removed from a chimney

Top of Page

Damage and Damaged Areas

Most of the damages we deal with are in landscapes, swimming pools, and water gardens. Digging in the mulch beds or the lawn in search for insects is typical. The term used to describe this activity is "grubbing." Fecal droppings left on the shallow step of the swimming pool and the table on the deck can stain, not to mention spread disease. Water gardens filled with aquatic vegetation and coy become a playground with a buffet. Trashcans filled with dinner scraps are spread throughout the yard, bird feeders are destroyed like a piggy bank when they hit the ground, and your pet food bowls become a nightly appetizer and a bacterial culture dish for your pet's next meal. Once they find a replenishing food supply, they will take up residence nearby. Den sites are typically in hollow trees, but are becoming more prevalent in peoples homes in southwest Virginia. A raccoon will tear through a gable vent, an attic fan cover, or loose foundation vent in search of a spring nesting site. Chimneys that are not capped are ideal den sites. The loose fill insulation in your attic will become nesting material, compressed, and full of urine and fecal droppings creating a biohazard. The Masked Bandit is his name, and he is coming to your neighborhood soon.

Raccoon entry into a crawl space   Raccoon in a fireplace clean out shaft
Raccoon entry into a crawl space   Raccoon in a fireplace clean out shaft
Raccoon in an attic   Raccoon entry holes in an attic
Raccoon in an attic   Raccoon entry holes in an attic

Top of Page

Health Concerns

Health concerns related to the raccoon include ticks, fleas, lice, botfly larvae, roundworms, flukes, and tapeworms. Raccoons are known to have rabies, distemper, tuberculosis, and a skin disease caused by fungus. Raccoons are the most commonly reported rabid animals in Virginia. See the Virginia Department of Health web site for information on rabies, raccoon roundworm, and distemper.

Raccoon latrine found in an attic
Raccoon latrine found in an attic


Top of Page

Identification

Raccoon that lived in a chimney   Raccoon Droppings in attic
Raccoon that lived in a chimney   Raccoon Droppings in attic

(Procyon lotor) Order Carnivera

Description:

"The masked bandit."

Body Size:

Males are larger than females.
  • Ave. Length (Adult): 26"-38;" Tail: 7 �"-12"
  • Ave. Weight: Male: 8-25 lbs.; Female: 6-17 lbs.
  • Young at Birth: Blind, furred, 2-� oz.
  • 3-4 Weeks: Eyes open, tail rings, mask appears.
  • 6-9 Weeks: Moved to a den near ground.
  • 10-16 Weeks: Weaning begins and the young will leave nest to forage with mother and begin to eat solid food.
  • 4-6 Months: Young are independent.

Fur Color:

The back and sides are blackish brown with some yellow tinting. The belly area is a lighter contrast to the back. The face is dominantly white with a gray mix with a prominent black mask or band across the eyes and cheeks. The feet are more of a yellowish gray. The tail has distinctive bands of yellow gray and blackish brown.

Voice & Sounds:

When disturbed, they snarl, growl, and hiss. When separated from mother the young give a 3-5 second whimper.

Tracks:

Their tracks are similar to a human hand, but with finger like toes. The front foot- pad has a rounded heel (2"-3"). The rear foot- pad is long and tapered (3"-4"). Scat: 3"-6" long, ¼" in diameter and broken up. It usually contains seeds, insects, and mammal hair. It is similar in color to any berries found around your home, and is mostly found in loafing areas in piles or a latrine.

Top of Page

Reproduction

Time of Year: (Once) December - February
Gestation: 9 Weeks
Young Born: February - April
Average Reproductive Age: 1-2 Years
Number of Young: 3-7
Weaning: 10-16 Weeks

Top of Page

Other Information

Habitat:

Raccoons prefer hardwoods near water.

Home:

Their home is usually located in cavities in trees, burrows made by other animals, and washed out root systems on banks of water sources.

Habits:

They are mostly nocturnal, and are seen year round.

Home Range:

Males: 10 sq. miles. Females: 3 sq. miles.

Food:

Crayfish, frogs, dead fish, trash, berries, insects, fruits, and vegetables help to make up their diet.

Defense:

They communicate with snarls, growls, and hisses.

Average Life Span:

They can survive up to 6 years in the wild, and up to 16 years in captivity.


Top of Page

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you charge for raccoon services?
  • Yes. We are not funded by your local, state or federal government. We are a private business and must charge for our services.
  • See our Services page or Contact Us for pricing.
Do you guarantee your raccoon service?
  • We guarantee that you will receive the most courteous, honest, and professional wildlife management service in southwest Virginia or it's FREE!
  • See Our Customer page for more details.
What does the raccoon service fee cover?
  • The service fee covers us coming out, inspecting the damages, setting traps, if necessary, and keeping them baited as long as it takes to catch the raccoons.
What does the price per raccoon fee cover?
  • It is cost effective to the customer, knowing that we may not catch two or more raccoons every trip.
  • The price per raccoon fee covers us coming out, removing the contaminated trap and raccoon from your property, resetting a clean trap with fresh bait, disposal of the raccoon, and cleaning and disinfecting the contaminated trap for the next customer.
How do you prevent from catching non-target animals?
  • Most urban nuisance animals have adapted to eating anything, except what they biologically should eat.
  • We use species-specific paste baits, but they do not always work the way they should.
  • We try our best to set the traps in the area where the raccoons are traveling.
Do you charge for non-target animals?
  • Yes we do. We still have to come out, release the animal, if needed, or remove the contaminated trap and animal from your property, reset a clean trap with fresh bait, dispose of the animal if needed, and clean and disinfect the contaminated trap for the next customer.
  • It is the customers' decision to have us remove or release non-target animals.
  • See our Per Animal Fee page for more details.
What if the trap is stolen?
  • The customer is responsible for the trap. If the trap is set in an area that you feel it will get stolen, please let us know so that we can move it or anchor it to the ground.
  • There is a replacement fee for stolen traps.
Can I release non-target animals myself?
  • No. There is a chance that the animal could turn and bite you.
  • See our Per Animal Fee page for more details.
Do I have to sign a contract agreement?
  • Yes. In order to protect you and our company, a contract must be signed.
  • Our contracts spell out the services to be provided, as well as our guarantee and warranties.
  • You should not do work with a company that is not willing to back up their work in writing.
  • See our Contract page for more details.
How many traps will you set?
  • We set a minimum of two professional grade single-door humane live capture traps.
Why are the traps covered?
  • We have rigid metal covers fabricated to cover the top, sides and bottom of the trap for several reasons:
    • The top and sides are to protect the raccoon from the weather.
    • The bottom is covered to help reduce any urine or feces from being left on your property. It also reduces damage that the raccoon can create by trying to dig its way out of the trap.
    • This cover also prevents curious people that may pass by from seeing the raccoon in the trap.
    • It also reduces stress to the raccoon while it is in the trap because it feels protected and unseen.
    • We do not use cloth material to cover our traps because the wind may blow it off, and the raccoon will usually pull the cloth into the trap, leaving it uncovered.
  • See our Animal Care section for more details.
Do you put enough food and water in the traps for the raccoon in case you cannot get to it right a way?
  • Yes. There is plenty of food for the raccoon.
  • Yes. In the warmer months, we will attach water bottles to the traps, if necessary. We like to place the traps in shaded areas to reduce heat and dehydration.
Will you inspect my attic and crawl space?
  • Yes, we will need to inspect the attic or crawl space to look for the raccoons for physical removal of the young, and to check for any biohazards.
  • See our Biohazards page for more details.
How long is the raccoon service fee good for?
  • Your contract will specify the time period that it is good for, which is usually a minimum of 30 days.
  • If the raccoons have not been caught in 30 days, which is rare, we will leave the traps out as long as it takes to catch them at no additional service fee cost.
How long does your standard raccoon service last once you pull the traps?
  • Our standard service fee is usually a minimum of 30 days. If another raccoon is seen within one week of pulling the traps, or after the raccoons have been captured, we will reset the traps.
Why did you pull the traps before 30 days?
  • Once the raccoons have been captured and we have not had any captures, or you have not seen or heard any activity in a week we will pull the traps. Leaving the traps set will only increase the chances of capturing non-target animals.
  • See our Per Animal Fee page for more details on non-target animals.
  • You also have the option of purchasing the optional service warranty.
  • See our Optional Service Warranty page for more details.
Will you repair the damaged areas to prevent future problems with raccoons?
  • Yes. We will inspect the entire structure to find the current problem area(s), as well as any potential problem areas that should be repaired. We will give you an itemized estimate of these repairs and prices in your contract. You have the option to do what repairs you feel comfortable with. We will only recommend repairs that we feel are important to prevent future problems.
  • See our Repairs page for more details.
Do you warranty your raccoon repairs?
  • All of our warranties have a one-year minimum, with an option to renew that warranty at the end of that year.
  • See our Warranty page for more details.
How long does your optional service warranty last for raccoons?
  • The optional service warranty applies only to outdoors trapping, not structural removal of raccoons.
  • Our optional service warranty lasts until December 31st of that calendar year.
  • See our Optional Service Warranty page for more details.
What is covered in my optional service warranty fee for raccoons?
  • The optional service warranty applies only to outdoors trapping, not structural removal of raccoons.
  • The optional service warranty period will start once the target animal(s) have been captured or we pull the traps.
  • This warranty will cover coming out, setting traps and re-baiting them as long as it takes to catch the raccoons, and the per raccoon fee.
  • See our Optional Service Warranty page for more details.
Will you renew your optional service warranty?
  • The optional service warranty applies only to outdoors trapping, not structural removal of raccoons.
  • See our Warranty page for more details.
What do I get with the annual warranty renewal fee?
  • The annual warranty renewal fee applies only to interior removal, not outdoors trapping of raccoons.
  • Once we receive your payment for the renewal, we will return to your home and inspect the repaired areas for penetration from the raccoons.
  • If a raccoon penetrates the structure while it is under warranty, we will remove the raccoon, and repair the original damaged area for free.
  • See our Warranty page for more details.
What happens if a raccoon penetrates an area that did not require repair in the initial service?
  • We will remove the raccoons for free, and there might be a minimal charge for the repair.
  • If the penetration point is obviously something we overlooked, there will be no charge at all to remove the raccoons and repair the damaged area.
What if a different type of animal penetrates your repairs?
  • If this were to happen, we probably would treat it as if it were the same animal.
Does this annual service warranty renewal fee inflate as the house gets older?
  • No it does not.
  • See our Warranty page for more details.
What does exclusion mean?
  • It is a technique where damaged areas or possible penetration points are made uninhabitable or penetrable to the raccoon.
  • See our Repairs page for more details.
How often do you re-bait the traps?
  • We re-bait the traps every 1 to 5 days, depending on the time of year and weather.
  • We like to keep the bait as fresh, or not dried up, as possible. If you feel like the trap needs bait or you do not see the bait in the trap, call us and we will send someone out to re-bait it as soon as possible.
How soon can you set the traps?
  • We will typically set the traps the day you call.
  • We always have traps available.
  • We carry the necessary traps needed in our trucks daily on a seasonal basis to better service the customer the day they call.
  • We do not like to put anything off until tomorrow.
How often do you check the traps?
  • State law requires that the traps be checked daily.
  • We ask you, the customer, to check the traps, and notify us when we have an animal in the trap.
  • If the customer checks the traps, it will eliminate additional costs to the customer, and it will also speed up the removal process.
How do I get in touch with the technician once an animal is trapped?
  • Our contract and business cards have our office number on them.
  • Our secretary will notify the technician.
  • See the Contact Us section for more details.
We live out of town and cannot check the traps everyday.
  • We can provide a complete service to you.
  • If this is a rental property, we can contact the tenants and ask them to check the traps, if necessary.
We are going out of town next week and do not have anybody that can check the traps daily.
  • We will make arrangements to have our technicians check the traps for you.
  • An additional cost may be incurred.
Will you pick up trapped animals on the weekend and holidays?
  • Yes, we work on the weekends.
  • We typically shut the traps down for holidays, so that the customer does not have to be bothered with checking them.
How long does it take for a technician to pick up an animal once I have called it in?
  • We will make every effort we can to pick up the animal and reset a trap as soon as possible.
  • We often have two to three trucks out at a time, and the secretary will notify the closest technician to your property.
Where do you relocate the animals?
  • Our permit only allows us to relocate squirrels.
What do you do with the animal after you catch it?
  • Our permit allows us to transport the live animals to another location to be euthanized.
  • Raccoons are one of the most reported animals with rabies in Virginia.
  • Relocating a raccoon may risk the chance of spreading rabies or other disease to an uninfected area.
How do you euthanize the animals, or "put them to sleep?"
  • There are several ways to euthanize an animal. We use the most humane methods approved by the American Veterinary Association.
What if a raccoon is trapped when you come out to re-bait?
  • We will call you or leave a note on your door that we picked up an animal.
What types of bait do you use?
  • We use specialty paste baits that are formulated for raccoons. Professionals in our industry design them for professionals.
How many traps will you set?
  • We set a minimum of two traps, more if available.
  • See our Trapping page for more details.
Where do you set the traps?
  • As close to the damaged area as possible.
Can the raccoon get out of the trap?
  • No. We use a professional grade trap with doors that lock once they close.
How much are the repairs?
  • We will inspect the entire structure to find the current problem area(s), as well as any potential problem areas that should be repaired. We will give you an itemized estimate of these repairs and prices in your contract. You have the option to do what repairs you feel comfortable with. We will only recommend repairs that we feel are important to prevent future problems.
  • See our Repairs page for more details.
How do I know what type of animal is in my attic?
  • I am hearing growling and snarling noise throughout the night. It is probably a raccoon.
  • I am hearing a gnawing and scratching noise early in the morning before daylight and in the evening just after dark in the same place. It is probably Gray Squirrels.
  • I am hearing a lot of noise in my attic late at night. High pitched chirps, gnawing, scratching and thumping noises. It is probably Flying Squirrels.
  • It is always safe to Contact Us and make sure. Other animals that frequent attics and wall voids are Opossums, Rats, and Mice.
When would be a good time for you to get in my attic to set the traps?
  • We do not set the traps in the attic space for raccoons; we typically evict them with a fluid repellant or physically remove them.
How do you all know when to seal up the hole?
  • When we physically remove the raccoons, we will typically repair the damages that day.
  • If we use the eviction fluid, we will wait 48 hours before we do any repairs.
  • If we are in doubt, we will contact the customer to see if they are hearing any noise.
There is a raccoon trapped in my wall; can you get it out?
  • There is a good chance that the raccoon is not trapped in the wall; it is most likely using that location for a den.
  • Once a raccoon gets in a house, it can go anywhere.
  • If a raccoon is actually trapped in the wall void, then we can remove it by cutting a hole in the wall to remove it.
  • Please Contact Us so that we can set up an appointment.
I have a raccoon in my fireplace or chimney.
  • Not a problem; Contact Us to set up an appointment.
  • We will give you an estimate for a chimney cap(s) when we arrive.
  • See our Repairs page for more details.
I have a raccoon in my house or basement.
  • Not a problem; Contact Us to set up an appointment.
  • Usually, we can remove the raccoon shortly after we arrive. Trapping is necessary when a lot of obstructions are present.
  • We will tell you how and where the raccoon got in, and what we can do to prevent it from happening again.
Can you remove the contaminated insulation from my attic?
  • Yes, we offer insulation cleanout and installation services.
  • See our Biohazards page for more details.

Top of Page


Bats Beavers Birds Bobcats
Cats (Feral) Chipmunks Coyotes Deer
Dogs Foxes Geese Groundhogs
Moles Muskrats Opossum Pigeons
Raccoons Rats River Otters Skunks
Snakes Flying Squirrels Gray Squirrels Voles
Woodchuck Woodpeckers