Tis the Season – Return of Roosting Raccoons

raccoon face

“Dear PoPville,

I think we have a raccoon family living in the roof of our porch and I want to get rid of them without killing them. Is that possible?

We had a little bird nest last summer that we didn’t worry too much about. But by wintertime, the squirrels kicked the birds out, and now it seems that a raccoon family has moved in. I saw the raccoon climbing on our brick house (it was much bigger than I imagined!) and my husband has seen the mama raccoon be joined by three little babies. They are doing a lot of damage to the porch, as you can imagine, so we want them out. But will the city resettle them or kill them? Any leads on the most compassionate way to handle this situation is?”

Ed. Note: I always recommend Adcock Trapping.

24 Comment

  • I know they are annoying, destructive pests but look at the face! honestly

  • Call Adcock ASAP! They are awesome and will resettle them–somewhere in Maryland. They may be cute, but they will do extensive and $$$ damage to your house. We had them in our walls, ceiling and they did a ton of costly damage. Adcock is great.

  • You went from birds to squirrels to racoons – I’d say just wait for the bears. . . .

  • We’ve used Trappro before, and they successfully and humanely removed the bugger. It isn’t cheap, but the damage one of these beasties can cause is even more expensive. Especially if they are damaging your roof.

  • “The city” will do nothing to remove animals from private property.. They may lend you a trap. You can hire a trapper to trap and relocate them. I’m pretty sure that is illegal to kill them in DC by the way.

  • We thought we had some living in our attic earlier this month because we sometimes see them in our backyard at night and hear them on the roof, so we called Animal Control. They said they’ll remove them (not kill them) for free if you’re certain they’re actually camped out in your house.

  • They’re cute but their lack of fear of humans can be so unsettling after you’ve seen (and heard) their crazy claws up close.
    Definitely call Adcock Trapping. It’ll be $500+ but they’ll trap and release them far from your house and then seal up the entry spots. Worth every penny.

  • ALSO: It’s only a matter of time before they find a way to get into your house. Believe that.

  • Raccoons are no joke. A friend wrote this piece a number of years ago about her experience. Different city, sure, but still terrifying.


  • gertie_wickler

    I second Humane Wildlife Services – 1-866-948-6263. They’ll come out and assess and then trap them and relocate them. They have a webpage too if you google them.

    PS. Apparently racoon droppings can be toxic so take care of it soon!

  • Roosting? Some species of birds roost (nesting in large aggregations), mammals do not…..
    Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of raccoons are road kill each year: I wouldn’t worry too much about “compassionate” disposal methods. Euthanizing problem raccoons may be the more humane treatment anyway. Raccoons thrown into a new population can spread disease and likely suffer aggression from resident raccoons. The most important thing is to “raccoon-proof” your home so it doesn’t happen again.

  • An old trick that has worked for us in the past is to place a radio on a talk radio station in the area that they are roosting. Raccoons don’t like human voices and will likely move out of the space before long. I was pretty surprised at how well it worked.

  • Mothballs often get them to leave, too.

  • Whatever you do, DO NOT open any part of the roof to the inside of your home. Don’t let the trappers do it either. My condo association made a huge mistake when they allowed their maintenance folks to do that, which brought in all the pests that the raccoons carried with them…fleas, mites… (Itching just thinking about it! Ugh.)

  • We had a problem with them pooping on our deck. We called animal control and they referred us to a private trapper. It was not cheap. So instead we decided to try to take care of it ourselves. Ultimately the thing that worked best was to put a giant bowl of ammonia where they were going. They really hate the smell. I poured some on the deck and then left the bowl outside and regularly topped it off with ammonia for about 2 weeks. It worked and they found somewhere else to go.

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