The Joys of Home Ownership: What do you do about the Raccoons In a Crawl Space?

Summer Pleasure

Looking at the beautiful hanging baskets out my windows is one of the things that I just can’t wait for every spring!   The Town of Sandy, Oregon has gorgeous baskets that look magnificent during the summer months.  The past few years It has been fun experimenting with Begonias’.   I always thought that begonias were “Old Lady” flowers. How quickly perception changes with maturity.

Amidst the beauty in the gardens here in Welches, another interesting twist happened this summer. Getting ready for work one morning I heard a very strange noise.  After opening the window and listening for what was outside, it wasn’t coming from outside at all.  I looked down towards my heating vent, and yes, those sounds were from under my house!  Holly Moley! First thought, feral cats, but after sharing my Smart Phone video with my explicit comments at the local hardware store, we figured out it was indeed Raccoons, or Procyon lotor. Here are their  sounds to listen to in case you encounter them.  Now what do I do?

Luckily, I am a Real Estate Broker with many contacts for Pest controls folks and contractors! No one wanted to get under the crawlspace because raccoons can be quite aggressive when their “kits” are concerned.  No one wants rabies shots for two weeks! I thought I would just hire a local guy to get under the crawlspace and clean up. Little did I know…

Then a client invited me to dinner. I was recounting the raccoon story and he said don’t you go down there or send someone that doesn’t know what they are doing.  I just thought, oh rabies. He and his wife told me that there is a parasitic roundworm, it can be deadly so care must be taken during the clean up.

So today I hired a company to come look. Two of the babies crawled into my vent and are no longer alive due to ingesting insulation most likely. Yes, they took my heating system vents down! The “mama” is no where to be found.  Only one ingress/egress was found which they confirmed.

The bid for what they were going to do was OMG, Over the Top!  The insulation is down in part of the crawlspace but I was not given specifics and photos. He just said the whole crawl space needed new vapor barrier, the soil dug down a few inches, and all new insulation.  He gave me no literature, didn’t know anything about the chemicals used for the odor or the microbiologic agent used as a fogger in the crawl. I had spoken with another company earlier this last week, but they would not send a technician in until I could verify there were no live Raccoons in my crawl. My dialogue with that company was much different. They attend to the localized area since raccoons build nests, and don’t typically infest the whole crawl space like squirrels and packrats. But what bugged me the most was that the technician today didn’t use a respirator when going down into the crawlspace for the bid.  All the reading that I have done on these critters the past week harped on wearing  a respirator when going into a crawlspace.

Today’s company is used to working with insurance companies.  So, I decided to get another bid for the clean up.  That is what I tell my clients to do, especially when something just doesn’t sit well.

So where is the Joy in this? Maintaining property values does come with a price. It is a reality that is important to think about before purchasing. If I was in the selling market, I would have to attend to it you could be assured of that!

PS: Don’t leave pet food outside!