Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


The Beast in the Attic

It started a couple of days ago. 

I was having a fun conversation with blog buddy Jeff Dowler when I heard footsteps an the ceiling above my home office.  Sounded way too big to be a squirrel.  It sounded like something that should be living in Rock Creek Park, which surrounds Crestwood on three sides. 

A monster in my attic?

Then I started to remember all of the homes I've sold in Crestwood where I had to include addenda that read:

"Raccoon dung in the attic to be removed and attic to be professionally cleaned at owners' expense prior to settlement."

Or another:

"Mummified raccoon on the fireplace shelf to be removed at sellers' expense prior to settlement."


"Hibernating raccoon in attic stairwell to be relocated to parkland with point of entry to the house sealed up."

You get the drift. 

Suddenly, one of these guys seems to have moved into my own attic.  He sounds HUGE!  He's not hibernating.  And it was time to call in a professional relocation company.

When Raccoon Doom showed up, I was out previewing houses, and Dick let him in.  Trapper John bravely went up to the attic and found him.  He then backed down the stairs.  Our monster was huge!

He found the point of entry, near the roof of the second floor verandah, so he set a trap there, just outside the bedroom door.  It's one of those "have a heart" things, so it won't hurt him, but it will totally piss him off.

Trapper John will be stopping back each day until the monster comes out and heads for the bait - I'm guessing peanut butter or Raccoon Chow.  They don't want to trap him in the attic because I he's heavy and it's probably hard to get a giant, angry, squirming raccoon down narrow, steep attic stairs and out of the house.  Then they take him away to some nice woods.  I'm hoping it's West Virginia where he won't find his way back to my nice, warm attic.

In the meantime, he is making his presense known with footsteps all over the attic.  Once, it sounded like he tried to come down the stairs, making me very glad I have a good, sturdy door that Willie and the cats cannot open.  

The relocation company is not really called Raccoon Doom.  It's Adcock's Trapping Service, and I'm reaching the point where I don't really care weather the big guy is relocated to the wild or becomes part of someone's new coat!  

Oh, Pat!  That sounds mean!  

But so do the noises over my head!


If you are planning a move to or from the Washington, DC area, I can help!  I am licensed in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.  You may call, email or text me at:, 202-549-5167



Comment balloon 26 commentsPatricia Kennedy • January 19 2012 01:49PM


Wow..........what a story............thanks for sharing.

Posted by Jamey "Milly" Milheiser (Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp.) almost 9 years ago

Patricia, from experience, I know that once raccoons have found a home they like, there is very little we can do save for eradication or displacement far away...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Pat, they are a good beast to be careful with---they can get pretty physical when cornered :)  Glad you hired "Raccoonaway"

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago
Wow! That's got to be unnerving to listen to! And your cats are probably wanting to go hunt down the intruder (though it's good they probably won't get the chance to mix it up with a raccoon - they can be big and mean).
Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA almost 9 years ago

Careful, I hear they are very nasty if cornered! I had one try to settle in my garage last fall and was luck enough to get it out without having to call a pro. We have friends who live on a wooded ravine and they have had to have 3 removed over the years along with the damages it has cost them over $1000 per racoon!

Posted by David Archibald (RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp) almost 9 years ago

Scary!!  Do people really wear raccoon coats?  That's even scarier!

Posted by Kerrie La Guardia, Let it Rain! (ActiveRain, Community Manager) almost 9 years ago

Pat -- sorry that you have this intruder.  He sounds like some of the ones I have seen out here in the other Washington!   Hope he takes the bait soon, for your sake, and that clean up afterwards is not too terrible.

Blessings to you and yours in 2012!

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 9 years ago


Ha ha. I had to laugh when we were talking but glad you have an expert working on this. Hopefully he, or she, won't decide to raid the kitchen - keep us poted. Good lesson here


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Hi Pat! I had one of those in the attic of my office once. It had babies and the babies fell down inside the wall of the heater closet. It was horrible. The landlady finally sent someone out to take care of the problem, but before they got there I could hardly stand going to the office. Hope that big guy takes the bait soon!

Posted by Rose King, Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area (David Tracy Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Pat....At least you didn't have to meet the racoon face to face!  I hear that loud music sends them out too. Time to play some music in your office while you work!

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - almost 9 years ago

Ditto to Roy's comment.  I too was wondering how would you look in a Davey Crockett raccoon skin hat?  Adventures in D.C.  Some neighbors are leaving pet food outside if they're so common you have standard contract clauses dealing with raccoons.  No pictures of the mummified raccoon?

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) almost 9 years ago

I do recall a similar situation when I was a kid...they trapped it, not killed it! Now we have them attacking our garbage and our chickens, but as long as they stay out of my house IZ'll except the circle of life.

Posted by Ellen Caruso (Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty) almost 9 years ago

The worst we EVER had was a couple of mice, and they made plenty of noise.  I cannot imagine a racoon traping about overhead.   

Let us know when he has left the premises.

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) almost 9 years ago

Pat.... hope the 'beasty' situation resolves itself soon!

Posted by Peggy Hughes/pha logistix, inc., SF NYC LA (pha logistix inc) almost 9 years ago

Oh Dear .. What an experience ! Ghosts in the attic..  Good Luck Pat ! keep us informed


Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) almost 9 years ago

Oh I hate it when outdoor critters find their way indoors. I hope your bandit leaves soon.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA almost 9 years ago

Thanks for your comments!

Kerrie, raccoon coats are just gorgeous.  If this turns out to be a family of raccoons and not just the one, I might consider one. 

David, the going rate for raccoon relocation around here seems to be about $395.  Then we'll have to get someone to plug the entry point.

Rose, back when I moved in in the early '80s, there was a family of possums, mom and six babies.  At that time, we got the DC Animal Rescue League to come in and move them.  This time they suggested that I call Adcock. 

Lloyd, these are not stock boilerplate.  I had to make it up to suit the situation.

And Hannah, we used to have a rather benign ghost in the house.  She used to help us get houseguest to move on after they overstayed their welcome.  Give me a good ghost any day!

And yeah, we're having to be really careful to keep the cats from trying to get into the attic to protect their turf!  Even Willie the Labradoodle, my adorable resident carnivorous preditor, isn't up to taking this guy on.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

HI Pat,

A new definition of a pet friendly house, maybe you can get the resident ghost to act as your racoon catcher, (save a little money and I hear ghosts work for free....)

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 9 years ago

Hi Pat,

Best of luck with having him enter the trap quickly...I know they can leave a real mess and there is quite a serious disease carried in racoon dung, so be careful.

I once adopted a baby racoon whose mom had been shot. He was only a few days old when I got him, eyes still closed, and had to be bottle fed every few hours. He was a wonderful pet, very lovable and easy to house train, however didn't like strangers who came to our house.  He grew up to big and fat and lived on a steady diet of grapes and baby pablum. I remember he had the softest little hands.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith almost 9 years ago

Pat, now you've got me thinking about that noise above my office.  Oh wait, that's my wife.  Good luck with that! 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 9 years ago

Is it a problem in the District? I can't say that I have ever had to deal with racoons. Hope he gets relocated VERY soon!

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Central Maryland (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Daniel Boone would know what do with that pesky critter.  They are cute...from a distance and I hope yours finds a new woodland home soon.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 9 years ago

They are very territorial and will attack when cornered.  And if they are awake during the day, a vet has told me, it means they likely have rabies.  And do take them far away - they will definitely find their way back!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Well, he left last night for a night on the town and we heard him come crashing home this morning.  He sleeps all day and carouses at night!  We're about to give him a name. 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

OMG, how scary, I will pray for you that they take him away.  I am sure you are not zoned to have tenants anyway (HA)

Posted by Mary Macy, Top Agents Atlanta Metro (Top Agents Atlanta Metro) almost 9 years ago

Your post brings back memories of the day when we had our open house on Capitol Hill (prior to moving West) and we had a Momma raccoon sound asleep with two kids in a corner of our upstairs porch. They must have been good luck because our agent brought an offer the next day. Now, whether they moved in later...

Posted by Emily Medvec, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (eXp Realty LLC) almost 9 years ago