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Patty Craig: A Slice of Time

I survived a raccoon invasion of my attic. It was only one raccoon looking for a safe place to have her baby, but that was more than I wanted. She didn’t find a hole; she made a hole through the shingles. And she damaged my home. The signs that I had a raccoon in my attic included (The Internet listed additional potential signs.):

-Strange sounds – If you hear footsteps and thumping, it could be a raccoon. Some homeowners describe the sound of raccoons overhead like a child running around in the attic. Also, baby raccoons are born in  the spring, and when their mother is away, they will cry, chirp, and squeak for her return.

-You see one on the roof – They can destroy the edge of the roof where it meets the eaves to create an opening. They may also tear off roof vents and plumbing mats. Interestingly, my security cameras recorded the raccoon climbing my decks to get to the roof – going and coming, always at night.

-Scratches on wood floors – Look for bite and scratch marks on the roof and on the inside of the attic.

 Raccoons can damage the roof, structural supports, insulation, wiring, ductwork, and more. At my house, the raccoon also left scratch marks on the deck posts.

-Obvious trails and parts of insulation in the attic or other visible damage – My attic insulation has been shredded.

-Animal waste is a dead giveaway that your attic is housing a stowaway. Raccoons typically use one area for a bathroom. Look for urine stains that may show up on ceilings and upper walls.

I did not find the Internet advice for getting rid of raccoons very helpful.

-Trapping is the most common method used to remove raccoons from an area. We used traps inside the attic and outside the house. The raccoon simply bypassed them.

-Use deterrents and repellents, such as lights, noises, and repelling scents.

-Hire a professional: If you are unable to get the raccoon out, a professional is needed. Some companies as near as Bowling Green provide this service.

Unfortunately, the raccoon damaged my house in at least three ways. First, she moved shingles to get inside the attic space. Then much of the insulation in the attic and crawl space was shredded, causing a mess and rendering some of the insulation ineffective. Finally, the ceilings of the two front rooms of my house are also damaged. That raccoon caused some major chaos, but she is now gone...never to return.

Having seen various videos on social media of wildlife – bears, deer, etc. – breaking into homes, I thought home insurance might help with that kind of destruction. So, I filed a claim. According to the adjustor, my home insurance policy did not include wildlife damage. End result? I now have a new policy that will cover sudden, unforeseen wildlife damage. As my brother advised me, “You should know what your insurance policy says.”


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