Raccoon Exclusion and Raccoon Damage Repair Services
Their distinctive black masks giving them the appropriate appearance, raccoons steal into northern New Jersey yards like thieves in the night. While New Jersey home owners sleep, these nocturnal animal pests, along with skunks opossums and groundhogs, destroy gardens and decimate lawns as they hunt for food.
Raccoons frequently forage in trash cans and dumpsters, scattering trash that attracts other noxious pests. Common home invaders, raccoons foul attic insulation with their urine and feces and introduce dangerous diseases and parasites into New Jersey homes that can migrate into living areas, placing your family and pets at serious risk. A primary carrier of rabies, raccoons are responsible for the majority of rabies cases reported in the U.S.
Raccoons Have Adapted to Suburban Life
Highly adaptable, raccoons have learned to thrive in suburban and urban environments. Their ability to adapt quickly, coupled with a lack of natural predators, has allowed raccoon populations to swell in northern New Jersey where their destructive behavior makes these disease- and parasite-infested animals a serious home and health threat. Viciously aggressive when cornered or protecting their young, raccoons will charge if their den site is invaded during removal attempts.
New Jersey homeowners who attempt do-it-yourself raccoon removal are at serious risk of being bitten and possibly infected with rabies. For your own safety and to minimize trauma to the animal, the professional wildlife control experts at Heritage Pest Control should be called in to remove invading raccoons and other nuisance wildlife humanely and relocate them responsibly in keeping with New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations.
A woodland creature that lives in tree hollows or underground dens, raccoons quickly adapted to suburban and city life as development encroached on their natural habitat. Today, raccoons frequently seek shelter in northern New Jersey homes, particularly in the fall when searching for comfortable winter dens and in the early spring when females look for safe, shelters to give birth and raise their young.
When raccoons invade New Jersey homes, they most often seek shelter in attics, crawl spaces and chimneys or harbor under decks and porches. Adept climbers, raccoons will scale brick chimneys, wood columns and overhanging trees to invade attics and uncapped chimneys. With their sharp claws, these powerful animals can tear through protective screens to access homes through rooftop ventilators and attic fans. To gain entrance to attics, raccoons have been known to rip through roof shingles and tear holes in soffits.
Raccoons are dark brown to black with a distinctive black mask across their eyes and a ringed tail. Powerful but slow, these mammals have compact torsos with short legs. A North American native, raccoons are 16 to 28-inch long body and weigh between 8 and 20 pounds, although with plentiful food supplies they can reach a length of 3 feet and weigh as much as 30 pounds. These nocturnal nuisance animals are active year-round but will harbor in their dens for weeks at a time during periods of severe winter cold or deep snow. Once hunted for their fur, raccoons have a dense undercoat that insulates them from the cold, protected by a layer of water-shedding guard hairs.
Raccoons have unusually sensitive and dexterous, almost hand-like, front paws. These animals are noted for their unique behavior of dousing, or "washing," their food. Their name comes from the Powhatan Indian word "aroughcun" which means "one who rubs with hands." Once thought to be the animal's way of cleaning its food, wildlife researchers now believe that raccoons immerse their fore paws in water to soften the horny covering that protects their paws and increase tactile sensation. Omnivorous, raccoons feed on almost anything, including plants, fruit, grain, nuts, insects worms, fish, crayfish, snails, frogs, birds, turtles, eggs and even small mammals.
In mid-April, raccoons give birth to a single litter of two to five kits. The mother stays with her young until late fall, although it is not uncommon for a family unit to stay together for the first winter. In the wild, the life expectancy for these animals is only two to three years, hunting and traffic accidents being the primary causes of death.
Raccoons Are Destructive and Transmit Disease
Foraging raccoons help themselves to garden vegetables, chew on tender plant shoots, peel back strips of sod to get to the tasty grubs underneath, scavenge in compost piles and root through trash cans, strewing garbage across the ground that attracts other animal and insect scavengers. Bold and clever, raccoons will even enter northern New Jersey homes through pet doors to feast on dog food. When raccoons invade human habitats, they bring with them fleas, mites, ticks and other parasites that can harm humans and pets. A reservoir for rabies, raccoons are responsible for the majority of rabies cases in the U.S. and are a leading carrier of canine parvovirus (distemper). Their feces contain roundworms that can infest lawns, infecting pets and playing children. Roundworms can cause severe disability in young children.
When they invade your attic, raccoons will destroy and displace insulation and can rip huge shards from wood rafters while sharpening their claws. Invading raccoons will turn your attic into a latrine, their urine staining the ceilings below and their feces fouling insulation. The unpleasant odor of their pungent musk can permeate your home and take months to dissipate. The dangerous parasites that accompany raccoons when they invade New Jersey homes can migrate from attics into homes, placing your family and pets at risk.
Do-It-Yourself Treatment is Risky and Ineffective
Raccoons are clever, curious and intelligent, making them difficult to trap and remove when they invade northern New Jersey homes. Homeowners should also be aware that the certain restrictions apply to the trapping and release of nuisance wildlife which is regulated by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Some New Jersey home owners will try to frighten away invading raccoons using home remedies or products marketed on the Internet. Tests conducted by University of California scientists found none of these gadgets or products to be effective against raccoons, including loud noises, rock music, flashing lights, ultrasonic emitters, mothballs, ammonia and even coyote urine. These techniques frightened raccoons away for a day or two, but the animals quickly learned they posed no real threat and returned. Some home "cures" can also be worse than the problem. Mothballs (naphthalene), ammonia and predator urine produce noxious odors that can permeate your home and be impossible to get rid of until the odor dissipates naturally, a process that can take six months or more.
While do-it-yourself wildlife removal is not recommended, New Jersey home owners can discourage raccoons from moving in by removing possible food sources and eliminating access paths to potential harborage sites.
- Keep garbage cans covered and secured.
- Do not leave pet food out overnight.
- If you have fruit trees, pick up fallen fruit regularly.
- Secure pet doors at night.
- Cut back overgrown shrubbery and trim overhanging tree branches.
Safe, Humane Raccoon Removal Requires Professional Animal Control Services
Their intelligence, ability to manipulate simple latches and excellent long-term memory make raccoons a challenge to trap. Raccoons are viciously aggressive if cornered or when protecting their young which makes removing these animals from their preferred den sites in the confined spaces of attics, crawl spaces, under porches and under decks dangerous work. Raccoon removal carries a very real risk of being clawed or bitten by these rabies-carrying animals.
The nuisance wildlife control experts at Heritage Pest Control use their expert knowledge of raccoon biology and behavior to place on-way tunnel traps effectively these traps allow animals to vacate the premises but not gain re-entry. Once the raccoons are locked out we remove nesting materials, sanitize nesting areas and can repair any damage done to your home.
Homeowners should make sure to check their homeowner's insurance policy as some carriers will cover the cost of raccoon nest and animal fecal matter cleanup and damage repair charges.