Raccoons in Crawlspace Chapel Hill, NC.
Raccoons in Crawl Space, Chapel Hill, NC.
You hear noises under your home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It sounds like thumping and scratching. Maybe you hear mewling. The noises seem to be most common near dusk or just before daybreak. It is probably a wild animal. It may a raccoon. Your crawl space is a good place for raccoons seeking shelter.
You should inspect the area around your Chapel Hill home to find the entry point. It is important not to just seal the entry point without making sure the animals are no longer living there. If you seal up the entry point before evicting your unwanted guests the animal could be stuck under your house and die from starvation. Another possibility is that the animal was a mom and you seal the mom on one side and the babies on the other. A mother raccoon will be ruthless in destroying your home to get back in the crawl space to her babies. If you did manage to keep her out then the babies will die. If an animal dies under your home you will then have an odor issue. If you are not comfortable doing this it is best to call a wildlife removal expert.
If you identify the animal as a raccoon with young babies it is also best to call in a wildlife removal expert. The babies can not leave the crawl space on their own and may not be old enough to enter a trap. Baby raccoons most often have to be removed by hand, using safety precautions, like gloves and ensuring the mom is not nearby. Once the babies are removed the mom can be trapped using her babies as live bait or food bait.
Trapping Raccoons Under the House Chapel Hill, NC.
If you know the animal is an adult raccoon with no young then trapping is good option. Use a live trap, available at most hardware stores. For raccoons the trap should be at least 3 feet long and 1 foot high and 1 foot wide. The trap should be placed by the entry point to your crawl space. You should use a non-meat based bait. A meat bait will more likely catch other animals and even neighborhood pets. Marshmallows, peanut butter, and grapes are good bait options. Other animals like these too so you are not guaranteed to get the animal living under your home. Just remember that you must know your state laws. In many states trapping and relocating a raccoon is not allowed. The relocated raccoon is now an invader to another raccoons territory and you have created a turf war. Also you have moved a raccoon to another home owners area making it likely they will now have an issue. We know the trapping laws in Orange County and can help to take care of raccoons in your crawlspace.
Another option is to make the crawl space less friendly. Raccoons like dark places so blinking Christmas lights or motion activated lights place under the house near the entry point may encourage the raccoon to move on. A radio set to talk radio may make the raccoon think that too many people are around and move on. This option is working less often as raccoon are urbanized and have become comfortable around Chapel Hill. Smells can also make the environment unpleasant. Vinegar, ammonia and mothballs are some odors that may make living there uncomfortable for the raccoon. However, the smell may rise through the floor making your house have an unpleasant smell too. There are no repellants that are registered for use with raccoons. Some retailers are selling an eviction flud. This fluid is made from adult male glands and urine. Because males kill any babies that are not theirs, females will probably not stay near where this fluid has been applied to have her babies or will try to move her babies to a safer location. However as mentioned the crawl space is not the most likely location for a mom raccoon so this will probably not be effective in this instance.
Once the raccoon has been removed it is in your best interest to seal the entry point or make changes to the area that makes it harder for animals to get in. Spending the time and energy to remove an animal only to have another move in could get frustrating. Wire mesh secured around your home is a good option. A raccoon can rip open wood lattice so if you like that look use it as an outer layer where the wire mesh is the true barrier.