In Hamilton, raccoons are just about the most common species of wild animal that comes into conflict with people, even in an urban environment. Call us if you need help with raccoon removal in Hamilton. These intelligent, dexterous, and resourceful creatures frequently invade attics, garages, and even chimneys in search of somewhere safe, sheltered, and warm in which to raise their young.
Raccoons are incredibly agile, and they are accomplished climbers. Did you know that these animal acrobats can even descend a brick wall headfirst by swivelling their back feet through 180 degrees? Amazing!
Although you can discourage raccoons from setting up home on your property by reinforcing soffits, installing a steel chimney cap, securing trash can lids, and bringing pet food indoors at night, you may still finish up sharing your place with raccoons.
Ask for professional help
It’s illegal in the state of Ontario for the general public to kill, stress, or transport wild animals for more than one kilometer. So, trying to get rid of raccoons by yourself could land you in hot water with the authorities.
Professional wildlife disposal firms have all the necessary permits and licenses to trap, remove, and relocate nuisance raccoons. Also, these companies employ expert technicians who are highly trained and experienced in dealing with these potentially dangerous furry home invaders.
Don’t take the DIY route
Although you can buy raccoon traps from most hardware stores, it’s not recommended that you take the DIY route. A trapped raccoon will be very stressed and potentially dangerous if not handled correctly by an expert.
Also, most raccoons that invade your home are females, most likely with litters of kits. If you trap the mother raccoon and attempt to relocate her, her babies could starve to death. That’s not only cruel and unnecessary, but the kits’ corpses will create a foul odor in your home, potentially attracting more pests.
Humane raccoon trapping
In Ontario, traps that injure and potentially kill wild animals are outdated and are no longer used. Snap traps and paw traps were once used by trappers but are now illegal, and anyone wishing to trap animals, including raccoons, for their fur must have a license and use only humane trapping and disposal methods.
These days, all wildlife removal companies use a live cage trap. As its name suggests, a live cage trap is a large metal crate that won’t harm the raccoon when it is lured inside with a suitable bait. As the raccoon walks into the trap to take the bait, the animal steps onto a trip pan. The trip pan triggers the trap’s door to shut immediately, shutting the raccoon inside.
Once the trap has been set, you’ll need to check it every morning, and again later in the day. If any animal other than a raccoon has been caught, you should release it right away. The bait in the trap should be changed every two days.
If the trap is to be set inside your attic, it should be secured to the rafters, either by nailing it down or setting a heavy weight on top. Raccoons are large, heavy animals and could easily tip the trap over.
That said, raccoons are notoriously suspicious and may be reluctant to enter a trap that’s set indoors. So, many professional wildlife trappers set their traps outside of the attic den, sometimes on the roof close to the den entrance.
Baiting the raccoon trap
Raccoons are not fussy eaters and will eat pretty much anything. However, it’s best to avoid using meat or fish as bait, as you could finish up catching your neighbor’s cat or dog instead of the problem raccoon. Raccoons have a sweet tooth, and marshmallows are one of their favorite treats that also make an excellent bait item. Alternatively, you could use mini-donuts or white bread, both of which work very well.
If there is a raccoon in your attic, it’s almost certain that there are babies in a nest up there. A professional wildlife removal technician will check a trapped female raccoon’s nipples to see if she is nursing kits. Thereafter, the expert will remove the babies too. Sometimes, the wildlife removal company will take the kits from the attic first and use them to bait the trap. That always works, as mother raccoons will always come to the aid of their young.
Removal of trapped raccoons
Once the raccoon has been trapped, the wildlife removal firm will return and remove the animal from your property. In some cases, where the raccoon is sick or injured, the animal will be humanely euthanized. Raccoons can carry rabies, so if there’s evidence that the creature is infected with the rabies virus, it will be destroyed.
Note that if you trap the raccoon yourself, a wildlife removal firm will most likely not take it away for you.
If you have problem raccoons on your property, always hire a professional wildlife removal contractor to trap and remove the animal.
Remember that it’s illegal for anyone to trap, kill, stress a wild animal, or transport it for more than one kilometer unless they hold the necessary government licenses and permits to do so. Also, experts have the right equipment and expertise to carry out the work humanely and efficiently. And that’s the best outcome for both the raccoons and for you.