How Raccoons Get Into Your Home And The Damage That They Can Do

Raccoons are urban animals. They are far more common in urban and suburban areas than they are in rural naturals areas. They are curious and smart critters, which often break into a house because they are in search of a place to live. Raccoons cause problems in many areas of the house where they inhabit and the damage can be extensive and costly.

How Raccoons Get Into Your Home

Like most wild animals, raccoons being opportunists, take advantage of structural weaknesses in your house and scratch, masticate, and shove their way in. In finding a den, raccoons are clever and determined.

Raccoons Get Into Home

Some of the entry holes include:

Roof Vents

Roof vents are in a house to allow the proper circulation of air in your loft. Unluckily, raccoons feel the air escaping from your attic, thus giving them a hint that destroying the vent cover will grant them access to a warmer den inside.


An ideal place for the mother raccoon to nurse her babies is the bottom of the chimney. The shape of chimneys resembling that of hollowed cavities in trees allows adult raccoons to wobble in search of warmth, shelter, and protection easily.

Plumbing Mats

During the installation of a plumbing vent, a hole is usually bored through the roof to provide an opening for the extension of the pipe outside. Sometimes, the gap is bigger than is required to make it easier to run the pipe. The builders cover open spaces with matting made from rubber. Raccoons often tear at the mat and shove their way in to access the attic.

Roof Edge

The edge of the roof, which is where the eaves trough intersects the house, is a vulnerable area for intrusion from raccoons. Opportunistic raccoons that take advantage of the high moisture that causes this area to fall apart easily tear down this area and gain access to the attic.

In the Living Space of a House

Raccoons in the living areas of the home, such as the living room and kitchen, is an unfortunate event. Even though raccoons are not necessarily aggressive, they will fight back if need be. Once you discover raccoons in your home, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible. For tips to get rid of raccoons visit Some common ways raccoons get into the living areas are:

  • Through the chimney damper, if they have entered the chimney
  • By chewing through the wall or ceiling or falling from the ceiling if they were dwelling in the attic
  • Through an open pet door
  • Through an open door or window

In the Walls of the House

Upon gaining entry to the attic, raccoons usually crawl down the wall. That happens mostly when the mother raccoon needs a safe place to keep her young.

In the Basement of the House

A basement is a decent place for raccoons to live because it’s protected and enclosed. Raccoons prefer the basement to outside, especially at night, because it is warmer and dryer than the outside, even though it is damp and cold. Remember, mother raccoons need a safe place for their young. What home can be better than the basement?

Damage Caused By Raccoons

Damage Caused By Raccoons

Having raccoons in your home can be messy. When they reside in the attic, they can cause severe damage to your property. Some of the damage caused by raccoons include:

Damage to Wires

Raccoons are simply looking for things to chew on. Your electrical system may be faulty if these critters have gotten into your walls.  They sometimes chew electrical wires for nesting materials. That leaves unsafe conditions in your walls. This is a serious problem because exposed wires are potential sources of fire.

Insulation Damage

Another target for raccoons is insulation. They chew through the insulation in your walls and ceiling. That leaves your insulation less effective, and a lot of money is required for replacement.

Damage to Wood

Raccoons also chew on wood and any other item that is chewable. That means even after evicting them from your loft, a proper and careful inspection of the attic is required.

Decreased Air Quality

The feces, urine, and other wastes deposited in your wall and attic will give your home a bad smell which will only get worse with time. The rotten smell from decayed food that they’re storing is another source of a bad smell. This is surely the last thing you want for you and your family.

It is easier to keep raccoons out of your house than to repair the damage they cause once they are in.


I am Vera Watson. Drawing The House is a dream that was conceived when I saw a niche in consumer guide on almost everything in our homes. My main aim is to help you save money by testing the products you need and recommending you the best of them all. I believe in the family as an institution and the first way to make a family happy is providing the best for them.

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