Have Raccoons Removed Before the Young Are Born
By Chris Williams on April 28, 2014.
We have a raccoon in our chimney. I assume it’s a female that is looking for a nest site. We see her go in and out on the roof. We’ve tried to scare her away but no luck. What should we do? J.R., Milford, MA
The first thing is to determine whether or not there are young in your chimney. You probably need a wildlife removal professional to determine that and you need to act quickly since April and May are birth months for raccoons in our area. If you’re dealing with a single female, removal is pretty straightforward. But once there are young in the den, removal of the raccoons will be difficult or impossible until the young can leave the den on their own.
In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, raccoon breeding season is January to March. After establishing her den, the female gives birth to 3-7 kits in April or May. The kits are weaned at 70 days but don’t leave the den until they are at least two months old. During that time, mom will leave the den to forage on her own. So, don’t assume if you see a single raccoon going in and out, that there are no young. As the kits grow, you may hear them scuffling and making chittering noises that sound like birds. At two months, they are able to climb around in the den.
After two to three months, the young will begin to leave the den with mom to learn to hunt. At first, she may carry the young in and out of the den by the scruff of the neck like kittens. After five months, the young can fend for themselves, but will continue to den with the family until early the following spring.
Don’t Remove That Raccoon On Your Own
Don’t attempt to trap or block the raccoon from the chimney at this time of year. If there are young in the den, the female can cause considerable damage around your roofline trying to get back to them. If she fails and the dependent kits die in your chimney, you will have a difficult removal problem, plus an odor problem to deal with. Contact Colonial Pest Control or another licensed wildlife control expert ASAP to evaluate your situation.
After the raccoons have been removed from your chimney, have our exclusion experts make sure that raccoons can’t make your home their home again. Our team will start with installation of a chimney cap and will then inspect your home to make sure that there are no unscreened vents or other openings where raccoons could get into attics or other areas. Our raccoon exclusion services are permanent and guaranteed.
For more on our raccoon removal services, under Services above, see Raccoon/Skunks.
Photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)