What You Should Do If a Raccoon Enters Your Home
What Will The Raccoon Do?
Raccoons are curious and hungry creatures, and your home might seem like the perfect fit. Most of the time, you will be in no danger at all. However you should still take precaution because raccoons can hurt your pets, your property, and even your own personal health. Always take precautions when dealing with wildlife animals to ensure your safety and those around you.
If the raccoon is outside of your home, you can simply walk towards him and the raccoon will leave. Don't act threatening or violent, otherwise the raccoon may attack you thinking it will be hurt. Instead simply walking slowly to the raccoon, and in anxiety the raccoon will leave your property.
What If The Raccoon Is Inside Your Home?
Once a raccoon gets into someone's home, it may become more aggressive or anxious. The raccoon knows it is not his territory, and so if desperate for food will be ready to attack or run. All pets should be secured safely in a room. Your dogs, cats, and other animals will feel intruded on and may get into a fight with the raccoon- hurting your pets and your property even. Keep an eye on the raccoon, and make sure your pets are unable to quarrel with the intruder.
The next step will be to close any openings deeper into your home, and leave a clear exit path for the raccoon. You do not want the raccoon going deeper into your home, for example downstairs. Instead close all doors that do not help the raccoon exit your home, and create a clear exit path for the raccoon. This will give the raccoon an escape so you can remove him quicker and without fight.
Unless the raccoon is violent or manic, remain very calm and do not make any sudden movements. The raccoon is very nervous and afraid for its life, and sudden movements may freak him out. Stay friendly, relaxed, and smooth unless the raccoon displays signs of aggression.
Strategy #1: "Friendly Method"
Older raccoons have likely been fed before by someone. Don't touch the raccoon, but you can pretend to be holding something which will draw the raccoon towards you. Very slowly approach him, one hand out in the closed position. The raccoon will start sniffing and may come out towards you. If he does, pull back just a little bit, but not too sudden. Be very gentle in your movements as to not scare him.
Once you get the raccoon drawn out from his hiding spot or corner, you can slowly move around so that you can make him run towards the exit. Slowly re-position yourself, still drawing the raccoon's curiosity, and once you have the raccoon near the exit, slowly approach the raccoon. Don't move so slow he thinks you are gifting him, but don't move so fast he gets frightened. By drawing near to him, he will move away from you towards the exit. Once he's out close the window or door and check for other openings so he does not return.
Strategy #2: "Stick Method"
Sometimes the raccoon will not be interested in your fake offering. In that case, search for a long object such as a broom or stick. Do NOT attack the raccoon otherwise he may attack you or run deeper into your home. Instead, without touching him, slowly guide the raccoon with your stick or long object so he gets prompted to exit your home. Once you get him close to the exit and he sees it, you can give him a very light tap and he'll fly right out!
Strategy #3: "Food Method"
Sometimes the raccoon will be angry or manic. In that case, he's probably just very hungry. Once the raccoon gets some food, he will likely grab it and run out of the house to eat safely. For the most part, raccoons will eat anything! They prefer fruits, bread, peanuts, and will even eat cat & dog food. Place the food in between the raccoon and the exit, and closer to the exit, and move out of the way. If you are too close to the exit or food, he may think that you are there to trap him. Instead step back and observe the raccoon.
What if nothing works?
You may have to implement a combination of all these strategies. For example, bait the raccoon with food, and then use the broom to guide him towards it. He may have forgotten where the exit is, but will remember after being guided towards the bait. Another example would be where you can draw the raccoon out a little bit, but not enough to leave in which case you may need the long stick to guide him out.
If you are still struggling to remove the raccoon, call a wildlife expert immediately. We can be reached at 1.855.WILDLIFE. Getting hurt, property damage, or sick pets is not worth the cost of an expert safely removing a raccoon or group of raccoons out of your home.