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Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Help! My Attic is Full of Raccoons!

Question about the Product Code: EP-MB100K PROFESSIONAL Evictor Strobe Light Squirrel Rat Repeller

Q:"I have had more than six raccoons in my attic since January. They lined up in front of my window so I could count them. How nice! I can't close the opening under the roofline because I can hear babies squealing in the walls and the Exterminating Co. we hired only trapped one and then gave up. I need another method. WILL A STROBE LIGHT REALLY WORK? And how do I get it into the attic without being attacked? As you can see, I really need HELP.. Please be honest as we've already thrown out money for the Exterminating / Trapping company. Thanks, Esther"

Answer: For raccoons, the Professional Evictor is the better choice of the two Evictor strobe units as it will cover about 1600 square feet of open attic and is 6 times stronger in light intensity than the home unit. If your attic is an irregular shape, you may need two or more of these lights.

The first challenge is getting an installer and the units into the attic! Raccoons are essentially nocturnal animals but occasionally venture out in the daytime particularly toward evening. So the best time to install the Evictor is during daylight hours. Of course, attics tend to be dark even in the daytime so the raccoons may be moving about during day time. So first you need to get the raccoons out of the area where you plan to install the light.

Today I received this email from Evictor's sales rep. Here is his suggestion:

" For this situation, your customer needs at least 3 of the professional Evictor lights. We do not know how long the raccoons have inhabited the house. The large Evictor lights work well to expel raccoons. With that many raccoons and if they have babies, entering the attic is dangerous unless you are a trained professional exterminator/ Evictor installer as the raccoons are likely to attack.

Not only must the lights be installed but the access holes must be closed and traps set on the outside to catch the raccoons as they leave the premises. The activity in the walls is only temporary as they are exploring their current residence.

If the homeowner plans the installation himself, it would be best for two people to handle the installation. First, make and continue making a lot of noise before entering the attic. Take with you a radio on maximum volume tuned to a talk show. Leave the radio on and bang on a pan or make similar noise while you set the lights and leave as quickly as possible." Mike.

This was my original answer:

"A sonic animal repeller that can be set to be on continuously is the first step. Get a long extension cord, plug in a Yardgard set to the small animal setting, turn the volume to the loudest setting, push the attic access open and place the device on the nearest rafter. The noise should encourage the raccoons to hide or vacate the attic especially if you also have a way to turn on an attic light.

After a few hours, it should be safe to install the Evictor or Evictors if yours is an attic that has an irregular shape. If you have an electrical outlet in the attic, you can quickly install the unit by hanging it onto a rafter and plugging the cord into a timer. Or if the raccoons have temporarily abandoned the area, have the units wired so there is a switch handy to the access so you can turn it off before entering the attic to clean up after the raccoons.

Once the raccoons are gone, do remove overhanging tree limbs and other accesses to your roof and close off the entrance points. "

The only good news is that the damage to your house is probably covered by insurance. At least when this scenario happened to a friend who was then living in Milwaukee, her insurance company paid to have all her upstairs ceilings replaced as the damage was not done rodents.

Thanks for your question and good luck!



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