You'll soon know if you have dead animals in your home, especially when the animal is as big as a raccoon. These are animals that can weight in excess of fifteen pounds for full adult males, and that's one hell of a carcass to dispose of.
Raccoons can die in your home for a wide and diverse mix of reasons:
1 - It eats poison that has been left down for rats/mice and become sick, before eventually dying.
2 - It dies of natural causes, such as old age, starvation, exposure to the elements, or disease.
3 - It has been hit by a vehicle and has come home to curl up and hopefully sleep until it feels better … or dies.
4 - It has gotten stuck in a hole, such as in a wall cavity (How to remove a dead animal from a wall
) or chimney, (How to remove a dead animal from a chimney
) and is unable to get back out again. It will then die of starvation, dehydration, predatory attacks, etc.
5 - Human intervention has caused the death of a mother nursing kits, such as trapping and release a female raccoon alone, resulting in the death of all of her litter. This can be up to five or six kits.
We could carry on listing causes of raccoons dying in your home, but we would probably be here all day. All sorts of things are toxic to wild animals, many substances aren't well-known to people, and even something as seemingly innocent as the humble mothball can cause an adverse reaction, not just with the raccoon in your home, but much further than that too.
How to Find a Dead Raccoon
If the smell has alerted you as to the presence of a potentially dead animal, the smell is going to be your best chance at helping you find the source. The stronger/worse the smell is, the closer you are going to be to the carcass. You can use your sense of smell to pinpoint the animal to a smaller room or segment of your home or building, which will make it easier for you to work out your next steps.
If you haven't yet smelled a dead raccoon, but you think that you had a raccoon in your attic that could have potentially died, or you think you might have evicted a mother without her babies, you are going to need to do some investigative work.
Where do you think the raccoon was ‘hanging out'?
If you think the raccoon has been in the attic, you will need to go up into the attic and up on the roof to check out what's been going on. Any holes will need to be noted — these can either be used as trapping or exclusion points and will also need to be sealed once the animal has been evicted.
Areas of waste (poop and urine) usually indicate latrines — these are common with raccoon invaders. You may also notice common signs of raccoon presence in the back yard, such as dug-up lawns, knocked-over garbage cans, ripped open garbage bags, and perhaps even entire sections of plant life munched right through.
Raccoons are a menace.
By using a combination of physical signs and a good sense of smell (and perhaps your ears too, if you think that there is a chance the raccoon or her kits are still alive), it shouldn't take you long to pinpoint a specific room or area of your home.
How to Get Rid of a Dead Raccoon
Finding the raccoon is going to be a hard enough task, but it's not the worst or most tiresome part of the job, sadly. Getting rid of a dead raccoon is no easier than getting rid of a live raccoon — you will still need a lot of the same safety equipment. There are dangers in terms of disease present even long after the animal has passed on.
Wearing a protective suit, eye protection, rubber gloves, a breathing mask, and even boot coverings, you will want to make sure that you have cleared away every single scrap of contaminated matter, and this will mean everything the raccoon has come into contact with. That's how far the disease threats spread — everywhere the raccoon has.
Saliva and blood can contain the rabies virus, and raccoons are one of the biggest offenders when it comes to spreading the disease, not only to other animals, wild and domestic, but also to people.
Raccoon skat (feces) can contain raccoon roundworm eggs. Urine and feces can spread along diseases such as tularemia and salmonella poisoning, and all of these things can happen without you even
realizing the raccoon itself is hanging around. Raccoon poop looks very similar to cat or dog poop and can be cleared away with your own pet's mess if you aren't clued up.
If the raccoon has been up in the attic, you may find that it has chewed through your personal belongings as well as destroying entire sections of your attic insulation, which will then need to be replaced. Ineffective attic insulation is the number one cause behind massive winter heating bills, so just having a quick look every now and again could save you a small fortune. The quicker you clock-on to the problem, the quicker you can get rid of it. This, in turn, means the less damage and destruction you will need to replace, repair, or clean up.
If you can't be sure that you will complete the raccoon removal process safely and without putting you or your other family members in danger, we urge you to seek professional advice. It takes just one simple mistake for disease spores to be passed along, and, although many people are not going to find a simple case of salmonellosis life-threatening, there re some raccoon-borne disease that ARE life-threatening to fit and healthy adults. They are also life-threatening to those who are elderly, very young, or already suffering from an existing medical condition.
Go back to the Raccoon Removal
page, or learn tips to do it yourself with my How to Get Rid of Raccoons
guide or my Dead animal removal