Raccoons

Raccoon removal - Stuart, FL, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach Counties
How do I know if I have Raccoons?
Raccoons are mainly nocturnal (movig at night) animals and are very curious animals who have grown accustomed to being around humans. Raccoons are scavengers by nature and have learned to take advantage of trash cans, unattended food, and pet food left outside. Trying to lock up dog food, using simple latches, and covering food will only slow them down. It is illegal to feed raccoons in the state of Florida, Florida Statute (Rule 68A-4.001 (3)), and can result in a felony charge to include a $10,000.00 fine and 1 year in prison.

Raccoons are highly intelligent, have articulated fingers, and opposing thumbs making them one of the only animals who can work latches, lids, and open doors. Raccoons are known for washing their food in water often using the top step of pools, leaving excess food, trash, and feces in the pool. Raccoons seen out during the daylight hours are usually ill. Raccoons who exhibit a drunken or uncoordinated walk may be suffering from distemper or rabies, and should NOT be approached. Areas where they may have rested, used the bathroom, or their saliva is present should be cleaned thoroughly in order to prevent the virus from being spread to your pet.

Catching raccoons can be very dangerous, they are very smart and will often roll a cage over in an attempt to free themselves. They will become highly aggressive when cornered or if their young are approached. Raccoons have been documented on film attacking animals larger than themselves. They should never be approached due to their explosive nature, their ferocious attacks, and biting.

How do I get rid of a Raccoon?
Raccoons can be very brazen in their behavior and often will come up to people looking for food, or up to houses to raid the cat or dog bowl left outside unattended. Trapping is the only effective way to get rid of Raccoons. Due to their high level of intelligence, they are often able to outsmart the traps designed to capture them. Never use a trap that requires them to go all the way into the trap before it trips the door. The most effective baits for raccoons are smelly, i.e. fish, crawfish, and shrimp. This kind of bait must be changed often due to its drying out and spoiling. These traps must be checked every twenty-four (24) hours, and the animal must be immediately taken from the property, relocated or euthanized within twenty-four (24) hours.

What should I do if I catch a raccoon?
Once they are removed, you must seal the area where they are accessing your house i.e., hole in the attic, wall, or eaves. Trimming back any trees, bushes, and overgrown plants will help to prevent them from crawling back on the roof or climbing on the walls in order to access your home. The next step is to inspect your attic for a nest. It is very important to inspect your attic after catching a raccoon in order to ensure they do not have babies in their nest. When looking for a raccoon nest, they will usually be located opposite of the hole in which they enter and exit the house. This allows the mother to see any other animal that may be following her to the nest. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you may have to remove the insulation, drywall, pipe insulation, and replace wiring.  Raccoons will often chew on insulation, pipes, wiring, and wood to create debris to make their nest out of.

Raccoons can only be released under certain conditions, and only on private property consisting of more than 40 acres. You must have written signed permission from the legal registered property owner. Releasing a Raccoon or any other animal on Public Property is a felony in the State of Florida.  Any property owned by the City, County, or State, i.e., boat ramps, parks, roadways and streets, are examples of Public Property.  http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/mammals/land/raccoon/. I highly recommend that you contact a Licensed Trapper who is experienced in trapping raccoons and is familiar with the laws pertaining to their capture and handling.

Q. How do I get rid of a raccoon who has chosen my house as its favorite place?
A. Raccoons will keep coming back as long as there is food or shelter for them. They must be trapped and relocated.
Q. How do I get rid of the mess the raccoons made in my attic?
A. The area must be cleaned to remove any feces, urine, and contaminated insulation that was left behind from the
animals.