Raccoons often look for shelter this time of year, before the temperatures drop and the outdoor conditions are harsh. Attics are one of the most common areas to find raccoon infestations because they are warm, cozy and private. This makes them a prime focus when it comes to animal-proofing for the winter. Continue reading to learn what kinds of damage raccoons are capable of, and what you can do to ensure your home is protected this season.
Raccoon Attic Damages
The extent of damage raccoons can cause to an interior space like an attic are virtually limitless. Not only are they incredible smart, they have dexterous paws that give them human-like grasping abilities. These attributes allow raccoons to do pull, tear, grip, rip, and destroy anything in site. But their hands alone are not their only weapon of destruction; raccoons also have sharp teeth, and a digestive tract just like the rest of us.
Here’s a breakdown of the most common raccoon damages found in attics:
✔ Chewed Stuff
As mentioned, raccoons have some sharp teeth, 40 in total, including four long and sharp canine teeth. In nature, raccoons use their teeth as a means of survival since it helps them maintain their omnivorous diet. But in attics, they use their teeth to gnaw on everything in sight, including wooden beams, eaves, drywall, paneling, electrical wires, soffits, and more. Some of these damages can be especially hazardous, like chewed electrical wiring, which can short circuit or catch fire.
✔ Soiled Stuff
Also mentioned, raccoons have a healthy digestive tract, which is not good news for attics housing them. Raccoons will soil everything in sight with their urine and droppings. Not only does this ruin just about everything it touches, it can create awful odors and stains to leak into the living quarters of a home or building. Furthermore, it is quite unsanitary and can lead to certain illness in both people and pets. After a raccoon infestation is extracted, the entire area must be decontaminated, sanitized, and restored.
✔ Torn Stuff
Raccoons like a warm and cozy place to rest their sleepy heads after a long night of scavenging for food. But the attic space is not enough; they need something soft and cushion-like to sleep. In an attic, insulation works best for this. Raccoons will rip down all of the attic insulation to make nests for resting and raising their young. They will also rip up floorboards and ceiling boards, tear off siding and fascia, puncture holes in drywall, and much more.