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As one couple found out, $80,000 in damage was caused to their home by two wild raccoons.

The Sullivans were spending time at their second home on the Cape in August when they received a call from their daughter, Kassandra Desmond, 28. She had stopped to check the Milton house, one of the lavish homes in a neighborhood known as Indian Cliffs.

Desmond was shocked to discover the house in disarray: Plates and glassware were shattered on the kitchen floor, boxes of cereal were torn open, food was scattered everywhere, furniture was toppled.

“I couldn’t really tell if it was a burglary, but it looked like someone had trashed the house on purpose,’’ Desmond said. She quickly called her mother.

Throughout the home, police discovered torn window treatments, gouged or torn off wooden trim on nearly every window, and shredded carpet. The entire house had been ransacked.

“One of the policemen came out [of the house] and said, ‘Do you have someone who has a vendetta against you?’ and I said, ‘No, people like us!,’ which I felt stupid saying, but I couldn’t picture anyone doing this,’’ Sullivan said.

Officers looking for evidence were surprised to discover two raccoons hiding in an upstairs bathroom.

Hard to imagine she could laugh after learning her homeowner’s insurance had an exclusion for animal damage. All told, the damage was nearly $80,000, according to Sullivan.

Be sure to check your own insurance policy on whether it covers “vermin.”

How can you tell if your home has any damage caused by raccoons? According to Today’s Homeowner, Look for torn soffits under eaves, broken or chewed eave fascia boards, roof shingles torn away near vents, or broken attic vents.

AAanimalcontrol.com also states raccoons urinate and defecate in the attic, and the droppings can contain raccoon roundworm – transferrable to humans, or diseases such as canine distemper, transferrable to your pets. They also may bring in the fleas and other parasites associated with wild animals.

Pest or pet?

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They may look cute, however, remember they are wild animals no matter how domesticated you may think.

While some may think that a little raccoon would make a great pet, please rethink and be careful. Yes, it may look cute, but it is a wild animal and not intended to be a pet. Dr. Becker gives 10 reasons why raccoons don’t make good pets.

  1. Raccoons are wild animals.
  2. It’s illegal in many states, however, with a permit, license or registration of your raccoon, you can own one in Florida.
  3. Letting it run free in your home isn’t feasible due to the amount of damage they will cause.
  4. Raccoons aren’t easily house trained.
  5. Raccoons are notorious biters. They can become a medical and insurance liability.
  6. Many veterinarians have little or no experience treating raccoons, so finding healthcare for a sick raccoon could be challenging. 
  7. If you need or want to take a trip away from home, finding a raccoon sitter could be more challenging than finding a raccoon vet.
  8. Raccoons are master thieves. Those adorable little human-like fingers on his front paws are quite capable of breaking into virtually any locked, latched, or otherwise secured spot in your home.
  9. A pet raccoon requires LOTS of your time, attention, and supervision — for 10 or 15 years. Once they’ve been kept as pets, raccoons can’t be released back into the wild.
  10. Raccoons act out when they’re unhappy and hormonal. Their natural instinct is to bite when they’re angry, frustrated, or stressed.

Whether you have a pet raccoon who gets loose or wild raccoon pests in your attic, an enormous amount of damage can be caused to your home, that may or may not be covered by your homeowners insurance.

So, how do you protect your home?

  • Inspect your attic periodically.
  • Repair any damage.
  • Close up all methods of entry caused by the raccoon.
  • You can try all the tips given to you by others
  • You can try to trap them yourself or better yet;
  • Call in the experts in your area
  • Sanitize afterwards

Gotta Gal Home Watch services visually inspect your home looking for obvious issues. We check the outside of your home from ground to roofline and inside of your home from floor to ceiling. Through our keyholder services, we can coordinate and facilitate the removal and damage repair to your home so you don’t have to rush back as the Sullivan’s did.