From a distance, raccoons are cute furry animals that most people enjoy watching as they roam around forests and neighborhoods with their family. But anyone who has had a close encounter with them knows just how vicious they can be. Moreover, pretty much every homeowner in Mississauga knows how troublesome they can be come garbage day.
While there are some great tips for keeping raccoons away from your property, most people do not even think about this until it is too late. Even if you do follow the raccoon deterring tips, there is still a slight chance that they can find a nice cozy place to live on your property that is near a food source.
In this article we will provide valuable tips on how to get rid of raccoons in a way that is safe for you, humane toward the raccoons and legal. If you are unsure and want the job done right, however, hiring a qualified exterminator in Mississauga is the best way to go.
Where Do Raccoons Live?
Before going into how you can get rid of a raccoon infestation, lets go over some of the areas that they usually set up their dens.
In the wild, these areas can include:
- underground openings such as in groundhog dens
- inside of hollow trees
More importantly, some of the most common places that raccoons decide to set up a home on residential properties include:
- inside of chimneys, attics, sheds and garages
- beneath sheds, porches and decks
If you find a raccoon, or family of raccoons, living in any of these places on your property continue reading to learn the steps you need to take to get rid of them in a safe and responsible way.
How To Vacate Raccoons From Your Property
Once raccoons have decided to move in it can be quite difficult to get rid of them, especially if they have a young family living with them. On top of it being so difficult, there are certain laws in Mississauga that protect raccoons meaning there are some necessary steps that must be taken to ensure you don’t get into trouble.
According to the Toronto Star, “The law states you are not allowed to take them more than a kilometre from where they are trapped and, obviously, you can’t kill them.” If you don’t pay attention to this law and kill a raccoon, you can be fined up to $5,000 and receive criminal charges.
Now that you know the legal parameters for getting rid of raccoons, lets go into the process of vacating them from your property.
Finding where they live on your property
The first thing you must do is find out exactly where they are living. You will probably have a good indication of this by listening for scratching noises within your house. If you see an opening to any of the areas listed above, stuff a rag into the opening. If the rag is removed, that is clearly where the raccoons are living.
Encourage the raccoons to leave on their own
Being nocturnal animals, two things that raccoons despise are loud noises and bright lights. Two things you can do to make their living conditions less than ideal in efforts to make them look for a new home are:
- place a radio tuned to an all talk station in or near the area they are living in
- place bright lights in their living area
Seal off all entry points once they have left
To make sure raccoons, or any other wildlife species for that matter, don’t return to live in your home, seal off any entrance points that you find. Before doing this, however, make sure that all raccoons have left, paying special attention to any babies that may be present especially during the mating months of March to July. If you make the mistake of sealing an entrance point with a live baby inside, one of two things may happen:
- the mother may destroy your property to get in and save her baby, or;
- the baby will die from starvation leaving you with a smelly rotten carcass in your home
When you are sure that all raccoons have left, you can seal off the entry points. Depending on where they were living will determine what you should do to adequately seal the entry:
- for entrance points into attics and chimneys, repair any holes or loose shingles and place secure chimney caps on the chimney. Also remove any structure that raccoons can use to climb on the roof such as large branches touching your house.
- for entrance points into sheds and garages, repair any holes that you find with galvanized sheet metal, reinforced with bricks or wood
- for underground living areas, cover the hole they used to get in or place a galvanized sheet metal barrier around the perimeter