How Do I Know If There Are Baby Raccoons In the Attic?

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There are a couple of indicators that can let you know if you have baby raccoons in your attic.



Visual sightings. If you see an adult raccoon going in and out of your attic, it’s more than probably a female raccoon that is either preparing to have a litter or nursing a litter in a nest she made there. The female raccoon will emerge from the attic after dusk to go forage for food, and she will return sometime during the night. You could be dealing with a male raccoon, as they look for shelter in more northern areas during wintertime, and may set shop in your attic. But if it’s springtime, the chances of it being a male and not a female are very small. Also, in southern areas, female raccoons are known to breed throughout the year, not only in spring.

Protruding nipples. If you trap a female raccoon that’s been living in your attic, or are able to see her from up-close, a clear sign of babies is if you can detect the raccoon’s nipples. If her nipples are sticking out, surely there’s also a litter up there.

Scratching. Most attic pest scratch and thump, and as the raccoon is the largest of the animals that den in our attics, you can easily distinguish their rather heavy scratching and thumping from the noises smaller animals such as squirrels or rats make. Again, if you have a raccoon in your attic, it’s most likely a female with babies. So if you hear raccoon scratching, you can safely assume that there’s a litter in there.

Vocal sounds. Baby raccoons make a distinctive chitter sound. The sound baby raccoons make is pretty complex, a combination of vibrations, screeches, warbles, and chitters. And it’s very much their own particular sound, very different from the one baby squirrels or other animals make. Their cry and twittering sound is one of the best baby raccoon identifiers, other than direct visual contact.

Originally, raccoons denned in hollow trees, as far up from the ground as they could get. Perfectly adapting to our modern structures, raccoons started emulating their natural conditions by nursing and raising their litter up in chimneys and attics. Our attics provide them with all the perfect conditions, even relieving them of duties such as creating a nest with branches and twigs, as the attic insulation will do just fine. And while cold winters are a factor that will also bring male raccoons into our attics, the female raccoon population is the one that usually ends up in our attics. So, if you have a raccoon in your attic, you might as well just expect it to be a female with young, and treat the problem accordingly.

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