How Do Raccoons Gain Entry to Your Attic?

raccoon in attic

Ever wondered how do raccoons get into attics? These clever creatures are surprisingly adept at finding their way into human living spaces, and attics provide an enticing shelter for them

Raccoons might get into the attic because it seems like a cozy and safe place for them to live. Attics are warm and hidden, which makes them attractive for raccoons looking for a comfortable home. Sometimes, they might even find openings or holes in the roof or walls that lead them inside. Once inside, raccoons can cause problems by making noise, leaving a mess, and potentially damaging the attic. It’s important to keep attics well-sealed to prevent these curious creatures from getting in.

In this guide, we unravel the mystery of how raccoons navigate attics, exploring their behaviors and offering insights into preventing these curious intruders. 

How Raccoons Get Into Attics

Climbing Skills:

Raccoons are excellent climbers, and their dexterous paws and sharp claws make scaling vertical surfaces seem effortless. Trees, downspouts, walls, fences and even nearby structures provide them with access points to the roof. Once on the roof, they may find weak spots or vulnerable areas to exploit, such as damaged shingles or unsecured vents.

Tree Limbs and Overhanging Branches:

Overhanging branches can act as natural bridges, allowing raccoons easy access to your roof. These agile creatures can jump from trees onto the roof, and from there, they may locate entry points like open vents, chimneys, or gaps in the eaves. Trimming back overhanging branches can help minimize the risk of raccoons gaining entry to your attic.

Roof Access Points:

Raccoons are opportunistic and will exploit any potential entry point on your roof. Damaged soffits, loose fascia boards, and uncapped chimneys are all vulnerable areas that raccoons can exploit. Regular roof inspections and timely repairs can prevent these crafty critters from finding their way into your attic.

Unsecured Vents and Chimneys:

Vents and chimneys without proper covers or caps are prime entry points for raccoons. Raccoons can easily remove flimsy vent covers or squeeze through gaps. Installing secure, wildlife-proof covers on vents and chimneys can help thwart raccoon intrusion while allowing proper ventilation.

Attic Entry Points:

Once raccoons reach the roof, they may explore various entry points into the attic. Attic vents, damaged roof edges, and uncapped pipes are common targets. Inspecting and securing these vulnerable areas can help prevent raccoons from establishing a cozy den in your attic.

Raccoons view metal or plastic roof vents as potential gateways to a cozy shelter. These vents, designed to facilitate air circulation in the attic, emit tempting warmth that attracts raccoons, making roof vents susceptible to entry points.

Impressive Jumping Abilities:

Raccoons are not just skilled climbers, but they also possess remarkable jumping abilities. These agile creatures can jump considerable heights, enabling them to access roofs, attics, and other elevated structures.

When faced with obstacles or when navigating uneven terrain, raccoons can effortlessly leap to reach their intended destination. This jumping prowess adds another dimension to their already versatile skill set, making it essential for homeowners to consider vertical deterrents when fortifying their properties against raccoon intrusion.

Preventive Measures to stop raccoons from entering the attic:

  • Regular Roof Maintenance: Conduct regular inspections of your roof and address any damage promptly. Repairing loose shingles, damaged soffits, and other vulnerabilities can help fortify your home against raccoon intrusion.
  • Trim Overhanging Branches: Trim back tree limbs and branches that overhang your roof to eliminate potential access points for raccoons.
  • Install Wildlife-Proof Covers: Secure vents, chimneys, and other potential entry points with wildlife-proof covers to deny raccoons easy access.
  • Secure Garbage Bins: Properly secure and seal garbage bins to reduce the attractiveness of your property to raccoons.
  • Professional Assistance: If you suspect raccoon activity in your attic, seek professional help for safe removal and exclusion services.

Catching Raccoons in the Attic:

  • Humane Trapping Methods: Utilize humane traps like Havahart traps to capture raccoons without causing harm. Strategically place traps in areas frequented by raccoons, ensuring proper capture.
  • Appropriate Bait Selection: Opt for strong-smelling bait like canned fish, cat food, or marshmallows to attract raccoons. Place bait at the back of the trap to ensure the raccoon triggers the capture mechanism.
  • Professional Assistance: Consider seeking help from wildlife removal professionals for expert guidance and comprehensive removal strategies. Professionals can identify entry points, assess the infestation extent, and provide prevention advice.
  • Safe Release and Handling: Avoid direct contact when handling trapped raccoons. Contact local wildlife authorities or animal control for guidance on safe release in an appropriate location.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Raccoons Invading Attics

Q1: How do raccoons get into attics?

A: Raccoons employ various entry techniques to infiltrate attics. Their exceptional climbing skills allow them to use neighboring trees, downspouts, or corners of houses. Additionally, raccoons can claw, chew, and enlarge cracks in soffits or eaves, gaining access to attics once on the roof.

Q2: What are the common entry points raccoons exploit?

A: Raccoons target vulnerable areas, including roof-soffit intersections, damaged roof vents, the roof’s edge, chimneys, and plumbing mats. These entry points provide raccoons with access to attics, where they can establish nests and seek shelter.

Q3: Can raccoons cause damage in attics?

A: Yes, raccoons in attics can cause significant damage. They may tear through soffits, destroy vent covers, damage the roof’s edge, and even create nests in chimneys. Their presence poses a threat to the structural integrity of homes and may lead to costly repairs.

Q4: Will raccoons leave the attic on their own?

A: Raccoons are unlikely to leave attics voluntarily. Once they find safety, food, and shelter close to human homes, they tend to stay. Understanding their adaptability, need for safety, continuous food sources, and preference for ready-made homes helps explain their reluctance to depart.

Q5: How can homeowners prevent raccoons from entering attics?

A: Homeowners can take preventive measures to deter raccoons, such as trimming branches, securing downspouts, reinforcing soffits, using sturdy vent covers, regularly inspecting and reinforcing the roof’s edge, installing raccoon-proof chimney caps, and sealing potential entry points. Professional inspection and removal services can also help safeguard homes from raccoon invasions.


Understanding how raccoons gain access to attics is crucial for implementing effective prevention strategies. By taking proactive measures to secure your home, you can minimize the risk of raccoon intrusion and enjoy a peaceful, critter-free living space. Regular maintenance and vigilance are key to keeping these clever creatures at bay and ensuring your attic remains a haven for you, not for raccoons.

About Tanya Garg 82 Articles
I'm Tanya, the dedicated raccoon enthusiast behind My mission is to share my knowledge about raccoons through insightful blogs, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for these intelligent creatures. Join me on a journey to learn more about raccoons, their behavior, and the importance of ensuring their safe relocation when necessary. Let's together create a world where raccoons and humans coexist harmoniously and safely.