Raccoons are animals, that because of children's books, cartoons, etc. have come to be thought of as cute, playful, and cuddlely. They are in fact, quite vicious, can be extremely destructive, and are carriers of some serious diseases and parasites. They are #1 on the list of rabies carriers. They also carry Raccoon Roundworms, which are found in their fecal matter. The worms produce eggs which are contained in their feces, and can become airborne, if disturbed, and inhaled. If ingested or inhaled by a human, it can cause severe illness or death especially if the worms infect the brain. There is no known treatment in humans! Raccoons will tip over garbage pails, get into dumpsters, rip open louvers to get into attics. They also have a habit of getting into fireplace chimneys and building a nest on the top of the damper in the fireplace. There is even the story of a guy who lost 2 dozen Dunkin Donuts to a raccoon that came into his house through the pet opening in the kitchen door. Typical noises in the attic or fireplace will be thumping noises, running noises, and even sounds like birds chirping, if young raccoons are present (usually during late May and early June). The average litter size, born around the end of April, is about 4. These sounds will normally be heard at dusk and dawn and occasionally during the night. Raccoons should be handled by professionals, and any fecal matter cleanup should only be done by professionals. If you must do it yourself, be sure you wear a HEPA filter respirator, goggles, and full body Tyvek suit.
Aluminum louver destroyed by a raccoon gaining entry into the attic.
Raccoon that used to live in someone's attic.
Young Raccoons in an attic
Raccoon droppings on roof. Note work glove for size comparison.