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Racoon Injury: How to Recognize and Prevent It



A standard homeowners insurance policy can help cover repairs if raccoons damage or destroy the roof, attic or other areas of the house's structure. But homeowners are usually responsible for repairing or replacing personal items – such as clothing, electronics and furniture – that are damaged by raccoons.

Always read your homeowner's insurance or check with your insurer to see what your insurance specifically covers. [19659003] Signs of Raccoons in Your Home

According to the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology (WFCB) at UC Davis, common signs that raccoons may be on your property include noise on the roof or in the attic or chimney. If you notice drops, traces or signs of feeding in your home, it is likely that you have raccoons. Because they are nocturnal, you will usually see them out at night, especially around food sources, such as the garden. The WFCB notes that there is generally nothing to worry about seeing a family of raccoons at times.

Raccoons and Roof Damage

Roof damage is often the result of raccoons looking for a place to live. The WFCB reports that female raccoons are known to tear off roof belts and fans to gain access to the attic of a nesting site. Inside, they can also make room for their nesting by tearing out insulation.

How to help keep raccoons away

Humane Wildlife Removal (HWR) recommends the following tips to safely keep raccoons at bay.

Restrict Access to Food Sources

Food sources are among the largest attractions for raccoons, especially garbage stored outside. Keep rubbish bins and compost bins firmly attached. Raccoon detergents can be applied to prevent them from gnawing through the lids. Other food sources to consider are garden beds, fruit trees, pet food and bird feeders.

Install Motion-Activated Lights

Install motion-activated headlights near garden beds or fruit trees that are difficult to block. These lamps are usually effective in helping to keep brushes away.

Use sprinklers

Motion-activated water sprinklers can spray critters trying to sneak into the yard. They do not cause harm and are effective in discouraging raccoons from returning.

Patch Up Your Place

Raccoons tend to be attracted to simple and obvious entry points, according to the HWR. Check the housing for any noticeable holes or gaps that they may tear through. Secure chimneys with steel covers and consider wire mesh screens for valves.

HWR recommends that you request a professional removal service in certain situations, for example if the racoon has set up a casing in the home or if a racoon is caught or injured. A professional can help remove them without harming the animals or the home.

The Insurance Information Institute also advises policyholders to immediately call their insurance company about structural damage caused by critters, such as raccoons or other covered hazards. An adjuster can evaluate damage and help you take the next step in repairing your home.

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