I have raccoons in my attic. Before I eveict them, I want to provide an alternate place for them to go. There aren't really enough trees around here anyway, so I want to make a raccoon house or two. Do you have any plans you could recommend? Also, in order to deter them from trying to get back in, is it true that they dislike wire/hardware cloth, and so I could reinforce those areas with that on the outside?
They shouldn't be pregnant yet, should they?
Raccoons usually breed in the end of January into February, but that is not a concern for your issue. Even sows with young can move from one “den” site to another. You will need to remove the raccoon prior to repairing how the animal got in. You need to be absolutely sure that the raccoon is not in the attic before you exclude it. If you simply put up a box and fix your house, that will likely not solve your problem. The raccoon will likely try and get back in your attic, which is their “den tree” from the animal’s perspective. You can lawfully trap and relocate raccoons without a permit. Check out the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Wildlife Removal website for more information
A resident landowner or tenant can legally capture these species of wild animals listed above without a permit on the property that he/she owns or rents if the animal is:
- causing or threatening to cause damage to property, or
- posing a health or safety threat to people or domestic animals.
The landowner/tenant also can designate another person to take the animal for them if:
- the landowner/tenant provides written permission (which must be on the person while taking the animal),
- and no compensation of any kind is given to the person who takes the animal.
- A hunting or trapping license, or a nuisance wild animal control permit, is required to take wild animals on land that you do not own or rent.
Within 24 hours of capture, the person who takes the animal must release it or euthanize it. Animals that are released must be released on land in the county where it was captured. Furthermore, the landowner or property manager must give permission for the release. These nuisance animals cannot be possessed for more than 24 hours and cannot be sold, traded, bartered or gifted.
For excluding the raccoon, or others, from your attic, you will need to use good materials. Hardware cloth or metal flashing typically work well. It isn’t that they don’t like those materials, they are sturdy enough to hold up. Also, repairing the damage to its original constructed method is good. Usually where animals enter it is either worn or damaged areas, or gaps in construction (even in new houses).
Raccoon Box Plan - Pennsylvania Game Commission
Preventing Wildlife Damage - Do You Need a Permit?, The Education Store
Selecting a Nuisance Wildlife Control Professional, The Education Store
Trapping Nuisance Wildlife, Got Nature?, Purdue FNR-Extension
Brian MacGowan, Extension Wildlife Specialist
Department of Forestry & Natural Resources, Purdue University