MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Hearing strange sounds coming from the attic? It's probably not a ghost, but it might be wild animals.
The Snake Chaser says right about this time of year goes from getting about five calls a day for wild animals in homes to around 30 calls a day.
If you don't take precautions you may wake up one morning to find a family of raccoons has made a nest up in your attic.
They've been dormant during the wintertime but right now many animals, like raccoons, squirrels and possums, are starting to mate. And one by one, those species will begin having their babies very soon.
"They start having their babies, start late February, March, April and May," says Russell Cavender, the Snake Chaser.
The bulk of his calls right are for raccoon extractions.
The animals trying to find the perfect place to make their home, and in many cases, that perfect place is inside a human home.
Once the babies are born, you go from dealing with one animal to the entire nest. And that can complicate the extraction. "Female… when you're taking her babies, she will come after you.
We've had that happen many, many times, Cavender says.
"Make sure that the trees are very far away from the house. As far away as possible, at least 6 to 8 feet. Because within 2 or 3 feet, they'll just hop on your roof. "
Cavender also says be vigilant about checking the outside of your house and the shingles on your roof.
"They'll tear holes through shingles, they'll tear holes through gable vents, raccoons are very strong."
It isn't hard to detect the holes most of the time, you can usually see them by looking straight up. It may be a good idea to get a ladder to the roof of your home and check the shingles just to be sure.
Once they've settled in, they can create more of a problem than you may realize.
"Raccoon waste is very toxic. It's one of the most dangerous fecal materials you can come across. Raccoon feces can kill a human being."
Cavender says you can set traps for raccoons but it's illegal to take them from your property, for that you need to call a professional, and if there are feces there, it has to be handled very carefully.
Your best bet is to have a professional handle it.