What To Do About Pesky Racoons Invading Your Houston, TX, Yard
Do you hear crashing sounds in the night or tapping noises inside the walls of your Houston home? Perhaps there's chittering in your yard? If any of these signs are present around your home, you may be dealing with a significant pest infestation from one of America's most recognizable wildlife species—the notorious raccoon.
Raccoons, popularized in pop culture and media for their mischievous expressions and 'masked' faces, are native to North America and associated with the procyonid family. Equipped with sharp teeth and claws, raccoons exhibit burgling tactics, making them a common sight in suburban and urban areas of the United States, including Houston.
Characterized by a black 'mask' of fur around their eyes and upper face, grey underfur, and a long bushy tail with black and grey rings, raccoons are highly adaptable mammals. Their dexterous hands and feet, similar to humans, make them proficient in accessing food sources in both natural and urban environments. Despite their reputation, raccoons are social animals, exhibiting gender and age-specific behaviors. Female raccoons often share common areas to raise and nurture their young collaboratively, while male raccoons prefer solitary spaces.
Living an average of 2 to 4 years, raccoons reproduce quickly, giving birth to two to five young every two months. While these creatures may initially seem harmless, their ability to wreak havoc in homes and businesses should not be underestimated. If you suspect a raccoon infestation, it's crucial to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the safety of your property.
How To Identify A Potential Raccoon Infestation
Raccoons, being larger wildlife animals, leave more noticeable signs of their presence compared to other pests. As nocturnal creatures, they are primarily active during the night or evening hours, making direct sightings challenging. However, early identification of signs can help detect a potential raccoon infestation in your Houston yard or garden before it becomes a more serious issue.
Here are some common indicators of a potential raccoon presence:
- Foraging Activity: Raccoons are constantly on the lookout for food, leading them to explore easily accessible parts of your yard. Keep an eye on compost piles, as raccoons may root through or around scraps, dig small holes in search of food, or tamper with trash bags and garbage cans. Look for scattered trash in the yard, moved or overturned trashcan lids, or signs of disturbance.
- Droppings (Scat): Raccoon droppings are distinctive, appearing in tube-like shapes with blunted tips and dark colorations, occasionally containing seeds and indigestible waste. If you notice raccoon waste on your property, it's crucial not to engage or attempt removal, as these droppings can spread serious illnesses. Seek professional assistance from the experts at Modern Pest Control.
- Tracks: In soft and muddy ground, raccoon tracks may be visible, providing evidence of their movement from your home to the backyard. Raccoon tracks are approximately 4 inches long, resembling tiny human footprints with identifiable toes. Handprints left by raccoons look similar to human hands, often about the size and shape of a child's. Spotting raccoon tracks suggests local raccoons are in the vicinity.
- Scratching Damage: Raccoons engage in scratching behavior, causing small areas of damage on tree trunks, wooden logs, and pillars. If you observe such damage, it could indicate the presence of raccoons attempting to establish themselves in your surroundings.
Being vigilant about these signs and acting promptly is crucial to prevent raccoon-related issues around your home, business, or property. Early detection allows for effective intervention and ensures the safety of your premises.
Why Raccoons Are So Dangerous For Houston Homeowners
Raccoons, often perceived as cute and harmless from a distance, can be elusive troublemakers that go unnoticed by homeowners. Despite their seemingly innocent appearance, these wildlife creatures are adept at stealing food, infiltrating homes, and establishing safe spaces for rearing their young. Contrary to popular culture depictions, raccoons pose genuine threats, including physical harm and the spread of diseases.
When feeling threatened, raccoons can become aggressive, resorting to scratching, biting, and puncturing the skin. Beyond the immediate injuries, the diseases associated with raccoons are a significant concern. These mammals can introduce secondary infections during the healing process of scratches, and they may carry various bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. Linked historically with illnesses such as rabies, canine distemper, raccoon parvoviral enteritis, infectious canine hepatitis, and pseudorabies, raccoons can leave a trail of destruction that poses a serious challenge for families and pets.
In addition to disease transmission, raccoons act as carriers for secondary pest infestations, transporting smaller insects and parasites. Fleas and ticks are common hitchhikers, capable of spreading hazardous illnesses. Ticks, notorious for transmitting Lyme Disease and other chronic illnesses, attach to the skin, while fleas infest pets and humans, causing itching, hair loss, and additional infestations. The mere presence of a raccoon can trigger various threats, emphasizing the need for awareness and preventive measures to curb their spread.
It's crucial to understand that while not every raccoon is inherently dangerous or a carrier of serious illnesses, the potential risks associated with some individuals necessitate proactive measures. Awareness of these threats empowers homeowners to take steps in preventing the spread of diseases and protecting their families, pets, and property from the multifaceted impact of raccoon-related issues.
Ways To Prevent Raccoons From Overtaking Your Yard
Raccoons are opportunistic creatures that can swiftly overtake your yard, posing a significant challenge to your normal living conditions. Feeding on garbage and seeking refuge in warm, underutilized attics, these mammals establish persistent infestations. To fortify your home against raccoon intrusions, consider implementing general pest prevention strategies.
Effective raccoon prevention starts with proper garbage storage. Dispose of all food waste and trash items inside a securely sealed, plastic-lined bin. Additionally, promptly clean dirty dishes to remove food waste and spills, eliminating potential attractants for raccoons. Addressing plumbing issues and standing water on your premises is crucial, as raccoons require substantial stagnant water. Fix clogged drains and dripping pipes, and use desiccant bags or dehumidifiers to mitigate standing water pools in and around the lawn.
Homes with extensive wilderness or wild spaces are more appealing to raccoons. Maintain a manageable grass height, trim back greenery, bushes, and trees to reduce shaded areas, and create sufficient space between individual bushes. Trim overgrown vegetation near the sides of your home to discourage raccoons from exploring comfortable spots. Additionally, be cautious with water features like birdbaths and ponds, as they may attract raccoons. Regularly freshen these water sources and monitor for signs of raccoon activity.
While these methods can help deter raccoons, they may not provide foolproof protection. If you suspect raccoon presence in or around your property, consult with Modern Pest Control for a customized action plan. Their professional pest control services can effectively address and prevent raccoon infestations, ensuring the safety and comfort of your home.
Modern Pest Control Is Houston’s Best Raccoon Defender
Raccoons pose more than just a nuisance around your residence or business; they can be hazardous and destructive creatures capable of taking over your lawn, garden, and property. Prolonged raccoon presence may lead to recurring infestations and continuous pest breeding, resulting in potential health risks, hospitalizations, and severe property damage.
Modern Pest Control is your trusted partner in addressing raccoon issues effectively. With a rich history of providing tailored solutions in the Houston area, our experienced team is equipped to handle any infestation size. Our services are fully customized to meet your specific needs, offering trapping, exclusion, and relocation options during our business hours for quick raccoon relief.
Discover how Modern Pest Control can assist you in managing a growing raccoon problem on your property:
- Thorough Inspection: We commence with a comprehensive inspection of your premises, exploring outbuildings, greenhouses, garages, and interior structures for signs of raccoon presence. Our detailed findings are reported to you, leaving no stone unturned in the process.
- Pre-treatment Visitation: Before initiating treatment, we value your input through a pre-treatment visitation conducted either over the phone or in person. This allows us to establish a connection with your specific needs, paving the way for an effective raccoon prevention plan tailored to your property.
- Post-treatment Monitoring: After treating the raccoon issue, our team closely monitors your property for any signs of recurring problems. If pests persist or if signs of their presence reappear, we promptly re-treat the premises at no additional cost to you.
Relying on Modern Pest Control for potential raccoon invasions is a cost-effective exclusion method in Houston, TX. For expert advice or assistance with raccoon control on your property, reach out to the professionals at Modern Pest Control. Our dedicated program operatives are ready to make a meaningful difference in securing your home.