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The Dangers of Raccoons in Your Attic

Toronto has been seeing an increase in the number of raccoons living in the area. According to media reports, there has been a 62 percent increase in bites and scratches to people.

Don’t let the cute bandit face fool you. Raccoons are destructive, aggressive wild animals. They are definitely not something you want living in your attic. Rather, they can pose a danger to you and your family. Yet, the City of Toronto was named the Raccoon Capital of the World, with over 100,000 animals that call the city home.

Signs you have a raccoon in your attic

You may be suspicious that you have an unwelcome guest in your attic, but how can you be sure it’s a raccoon? Here are some tell-tale signs you’ve got a raccoon in your attic:

Sizeable entrance

Unlike smaller rodents that can sneak into your home through small crevices or cracks, a raccoon will need a larger opening. If you notice one of these larger holes near your attic, there is a good chance a raccoon moved in upstairs.

Home damage

Once inside, raccoons will run amok around your home, damaging insulation, woodwork, wiring, etc. If you’ve been seeing some unexplainable damage around your home, it could be the work of a raccoon.

Animal waste

Unlike other animals, raccoons mark off a space that serves as their bathroom. They’ll use this spot again and again. If you’ve found an area that has a lot of animal waste, it’s most likely a raccoon rather than another type of pest.


Raccoons are not tiny animals, so when they move around your home, you’ll know it. If you’ve been hearing movement in your attic area, particularly after dark, you can be pretty sure it’s raccoons. They are nocturnal animals, which means they are more active after sunset.

Dangers of raccoons in your attic

If you are confident you have a raccoon living in your attic, it’s important that you get professional assistance with removing them. Here are just some of the dangers that a raccoon poses when it takes up residence in your attic.

Threat to pets

Raccoons can attack, hurt and injury your pets. This often happens when your pets try to protect your home after a raccoon has moved in upstairs.

Constant mess

When raccoons live in your home, you can expect them to scrounge your property for food. That means they’ll be getting into your garbage cans, ripping the bags open, and scattering the contents all over your driveway and yard.

Structural damage

If they’ve gained access to your home, raccoons can damage the structure of your home by chewing and biting the framework. They’ve also been known to rip insulation and chew wiring, causing a disruption to your electricity. Wire damage can also pose a fire danger. Moreover, the level of damage they can do to your home will leave you with a significant repair bill. Because your attic’s insulation is essential to heating and cooling your home, you may also see an increase in your energy bills.

Health hazards

The amount of waste that one raccoon produces can cause health concerns for those in your home. And if it is a pregnant raccoon, her babies will only add to the mess. One serious health concern is the presence of roundworms. Roundworm eggs can be present inside of raccoon feces. They are light and can mix with the air, making it possible for you or your family to inhale.  Ingestion and infection can cause damage to your nervous system and even death.

Another health risk includes bacterial infection that you can get if you have an open wound and are in contact with Raccoon droppings or urine. This can cause diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, head and muscle aches, fever, and kidney and liver failure.

Raccoon droppings can also carry salmonella, which can actually live for a long time on the feces in the right conditions. Symptoms of the infection in humans include high fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Due to their aggressive nature, raccoons can also spread rabies. It is transmitted to humans through biting or scratching. Infection can cause death. If you’ve been scratched or injured by a raccoon, seek medical attention quickly.

How to get rid of a raccoon in your attic

When a raccoon has decided to take up residence in your attic, getting rid of them can be a major challenge. They don’t like to give up their home very easily. They can also be aggressive if you try and force them out.

It will take a professional hand to remove your unwanted guests from your home and your life. But that is what we do. If you’re living with a raccoon in your attic, contact SWAT Wildlife. We can safely remove unwanted pest from your home. Our teams will also do an inspection to determine where the raccoons were nesting and how they gained entry into your home. This way you’ll be able to prevent it from happening again.

Here are some additional ways that you can help keep your home pest-free in the future:

  • Keep a tight lid on your garbage cans
  • Don’t feed them
  • Store your pets and pet food inside your home
  • Don’t let your pets outside at night
  • Keep your yard clean of debris
  • Seal up entry points like the chimney
  • Cut back tree limbs that lead to your roof
  • Let your pet scare them away

If you think you may be sharing your space with a raccoon that is living in your attic, contact Swat Wildlife and let our team of animal removal specialists help you reclaim your space.

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