Sudbury

Sudbury animal refuge offers raccoon tips seminar

If a raccoon has moved into your house, a wildlife rescue centre in Greater Sudbury wants you to know there are effective, humane ways to deal with the issue.

Wild at Heart recommends 'patience', and keeping mother and kits together

If a raccoon has moved into your house, a wildlife rescue centre in Greater Sudbury wants you to know there are effective, humane ways to deal with the issue. 

The Wild at Heart Wildlife Refuge Centre is hosting an information night called, "Help! There's a Raccoon in my Attic!"

Dale Myslik is a volunteer biologist with the group. She said there's no question — raccoons have adapted very well to humans, and will try to take advantage of warm, dark, safe spaces indoors. 

"If they can get their head into something, they can squeeze the rest of their body in.- Dale Myslik

"Especially this time of year, they are looking to raise their young, and the attic is a perfect spot for a female to go and give birth and raise a litter," she said. 

Myslik said if left to their own devices, raccoons will sometimes chew on wires. She said they'll also sometimes use wadded insulation to make a nest, and, much like cats, will select a bathroom area for use — leaving urine and feces to soak into the ceiling below. 

Myslik said to prevent raccoons from getting into your house in the first place, your should check your roof in the spring and fall for things like loose shingles, rotted wood or other openings that can be closed off. 

"If they can get their head into something, they can squeeze the rest of their body in, so it doesn't take a big opening to get a fairly large raccoon inside," she said.    

Humane way

But, Myslik said if you do end up with a house-guest or two, be patient, and do your best to keep a mother and her kits together. 

"So it involves getting the female raccoon out of the attic ... and retrieving the babies, and then putting [them] where she can access them, and then she will come and remove them take them away [to an alternate nest]."

Myslik said one effective way to get a raccoon to leave is to make your attic "unappealing": loud noises and bright light might do the trick.  

For more on dealing with problem raccoons, and to learn about how orphaned or hurt raccoons are rehabilitated, Wild at Heart is hosting an information session Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Lockerby Composite School in Sudbury.  

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