Noises in the attic are more pronounced at night simply because the house is quiet. The cause of the noise could be anything from the house settling, tree branches scraping on the roof or pipes shifting; but animal noises are hard to mistake for any of these potential causes. If you suspect that you have raccoons living in your attic, you most probably do.
Hearing animal noises at night most definitely rules out squirrels which are only active from dawn to dusk. You can narrow down the possibilities to nocturnal animals including raccoons and rats.
You will typically notice raccoon noises just after dark and then later at night. The attic will be relatively quiet during the day with minimal noise when the animals stir. The reason is these animals go foraging for food and water after dark and return to the nest later at night or just before dawn and sleep through the day.
It is also fairly easy to distinguish raccoon noises from rats. Rats typically don’t emit vocal sounds and make light scratching and scurrying noises. Raccoons on the other hand make vocal noises including whining (baby raccoons), growling, calling, chattering and chewing. Raccoon movements are also heavier so it might hear thudding or heavy steps as the animal makes its way across the attic.
The primary reason why raccoons break into attics in Canada is for breeding. The mothers search for safe, warm spaces to keep their babies and attics provide the perfect location. Raccoon baby season is around early spring and peaks in March so if you see or hear a raccoon during this time there is almost definitely a litter in your attic as well.
There are many DIY methods suggested for removing raccoons from the attic in Canada but it is best to hire an expert wildlife removal service. The main reason for discouraging DIY is trapping or removing a mother from its nest often means separating it from its babies. A raccoon will do almost anything to get back to its litter and this largely includes severe structural damage. Desperate mothers will cause all kinds of damage trying to find a way to its nest.
Separating the mother from its young also means certain death for the baby raccoons. This situation is both inhumane and compounds your problems since you are now dealing with rotting corpses and the possibility of other raccoons attempting to occupy the empty nest.
Part of the job of a wildlife removal expert in Canada is to remove raccoons and ensure that they don’t come back. The job typically involves exclusion where a one-way door is installed to let the raccoons out but block re-entry. The expert also seals all other possible entry points and may physically remove the babies if any are spotted. Extensive cleanup is also necessary to remove pheromones which may attract other raccoons.
Hire a wildlife removal service with a warranty on the job preferably for more than a year.