Urban raccoons will den in a variety of locations such as, under sheds and decks, under pier and beam homes, in chimneys, attics, barns, wood piles or similar locations. Studies of the raccoon have shown that they may have as many as five den locations. They will seek out quiet dark dens and do prefer small areas where they can feel secure. Once they locate a preferred den, they will return and may remain until you encourage them to move.
The preferred solution is to be proactive before the birthing season which can begin in Texas as early as January, however, is typically March through May. Weather changes such as cold temperatures also increase the activity of raccoons denning in homes as they are seeking shelter. Look for decaying eaves and soffits around your home. Repair permanently or at the very least, cover concerned areas with hardware cloth and a strong ¾ to 1-inch staple. A raccoon’s hands can remove and embellish an area if they are intent on occupying. Inspect or install a chimney cap. Inspect tree growth that is extending over your roof, or a trellis giving roof access. You may want to trim or relocate such landscaping as it gives raccoons and squirrels access and opportunity to get on to your roof and in to your attic through vents or decaying wood.
If you have a deck or outbuildings that an animal could dig under you may want to secure by building a skirt around the base. Secure by constructing a “L” shape barrier of hardware cloth. The horizontal of the “L” will be at a 45-degree angle away from the structure at least 12 inches width from the base and submerged four to six inches. An animal that typically digs to gain access will quickly be discouraged from this barrier and will move on. Any erosion around foundations can be an invitation for an animal to embellish and gain entry.
Prevention is the best policy when co-existing with our urban wild neighbors. The urban wildlife is here to stay, therefore maintenance and modification of our yards and homes to make them less desirable is the best lasting solution.
For more information read FAQ: Ways to discourage wildlife in your yard.