Raccoons are one of the most recognizable nuisance animals we deal with. Their masked faces and ringed tails make them easy to identify.
Despite their rather handsome appearances, raccoons are also among the most troublesome and sometimes dangerous nuisance animals. They're very physically strong, very intelligent, have excellent manual dexterity, and are able to climb very well. They also have very nasty dispositions and come well-equipped in a fight. If you back a raccoon into a corner, it can and will defend itself quite competently. They are strong enough and are skilled enough fighters to seriously injure or possibly even kill a person if that's what they have to do to survive.
In fairness, however, raccoons aren't especially vicious animals unless you threaten them. If there's any possible way for a raccoon to run away from you, then that's what it will do. It's not looking for a fight. It just won't hesitate to engage you in one if you corner it. That's what happens in most cases when people are attacked by raccoons. They accidentally corner the animal while walking outside at night or when going into a seldom-visited attic or crawl space where, unknown to them, a raccoon has set up housekeeping; and the raccoon, thinking its life is in danger and having no way to escape, attacks them.
The other way that people, especially children, are injured by raccoons is when they encounter what they believe is a "friendly" or "tame" raccoon. More often than not, these animals are sick. Raccoons are not friendly by nature and usually run away from humans. But when a raccoon has rabies, it may go through a stage when it acts in a passive manner that's easily mistaken for friendliness. If you see a "friendly" raccoon walking around, especially in the daytime, keep your distance.
Other signs of rabies in raccoons include listlessness, paralysis or difficulty walking, apparent confusion or unawareness of its surroundings, or excessive salivation. Some raccoons may also become very aggressive, snarling or even attempting to approach you. This is not normal behavior for a raccoon unless it's cornered or protecting nearby young. A healthy raccoon's normal response to a human's presence should be to run away.
In short, most raccoons do not have rabies. But enough of them do that any unusual behavior by a raccoon is reason to be suspicious; and even more importantly, is reason to keep your distance from that animal. Call your local wildlife authority. You can also call us for advice if you're in doubt.
Aside from their bad attitudes and the risk of rabies, raccoons are very destructive animals. Their strength and dexterity allow them to do great damage to a home in the course of renovating it to better suit their needs. They can pull of siding, shingles, and even the plywood under soffits. They enlarge holes to make them more comfortable to get through.
Raccoons also have enough intelligence to figure out how to get around some locks and latches, and enough comprehension of leverage to pull poorly-done patches off houses to get at their holes. They're also determined animals who tend to believe that your house becomes their house when they move in. They'll work both harder and smarter than most other animals to get back into a house when they've been sealed out; and unless you're a wildlife-management professional who understands and respects their impressive abilities, they'll probably succeed.
Once they get inside, they do even more damage. The pull the insulation off the walls, floors, and rafters in attics, damage duct work, use stored clothing to pad their nests, and contaminate the place with their scat (poop) and urine. They also have parasites, some of which can carry human diseases; and if you make the mistake of surprising them when you walk into your attic, basement, garage, or wherever else they have taken residence, they may attack you.
Raccoons also like to build nests in chimneys during the warmer months when the heat or fireplace isn't being used. This obviously creates a fire and smoke hazard the first time the heat is fired up come winter. That's why installing chimney caps is a standard part of a raccoon-proofing job. We also have raccoon-resistant vents, fans, and other rooftop doodads that we can install if needed to keep raccoons out of your home
Raccoon removal is usually done with traps. The traps we use don't harm the animal in any way. We trap them an remove them from your home alive and unharmed. They're usually not too happy about it, but they get over it in time.
Once the animals are removed, we seal up the house so they can't get back inside. Then we clean up after them, sanitize the area, apply insecticides if needed for parasite control, and optionally remove and replace damaged or contaminated insulation. We leave your home in better shape than it was before because it will be sealed up against raccoons and other wildlife, and we back our work with the best warranty in the business.
Rid-A-Critter has removed more raccoons from Augusta-area homes than any other company in the business. We have the personnel and equipment to handle any raccoon-removal job from any residential or commercial building. Please contact us for more information.
Raccoon Control Gallery
Here are pictures of some of the raccoon-control jobs we've done in the Augusta area.
Raccoon droppings in an attic in Augusta
Do-it-yourself raccoon control - FAIL
Raccoon damage to a roof in Augusta
Raccoon damage to a dryer duct in Augusta
Young raccoon awaiting relocation after removal
Baby raccoons removed from a house in Augusta
Installing chimney cap at raccoon job in Evans
Raccoon damage to a roof in Augusta
Raccoon damage in at attic in Appling, Georgia
Scat found at Augusta raccoon removal job
Raccoon damage to a house roof in Martinez