Skip to main content
link to buildings & schools
->Home > publications > beasts

BEASTS BEGONE! Appendix A: Animal Identification


Relatively large (10 to 30 lb.) with distinctive black "mask" and ringed tail. Mostly, but not exclusively, nocturnal. Frequent invader of attics, chimneys, and under decks. Occasionally found in wall voids and crawl spaces.

Access Routes

Trees adjacent to or overhanging roofs; downspouts; fire escapes; corners of structures (if siding allows climbing); brick chimneys.

Entry Sites

Vents (such as roof, soffit, gable, fan); uncovered chimneys; deteriorated roofs or eaves; open decks and underneath structural additions.


Adults: growls, soft grunts; juveniles: loud, bird-like chattering. Heavy walking in attics.

Fecal Droppings

Variable in appearance and size. Often dog-like. Seeds and fruit parts may be obvious. Often accumulate in regularly used "toilet" sites on roofs and in attics.


Distinctive and recognizable with experience.


Back and sides of animal, 1 to 2 inches long: each hair partitioned into dark/light/dark sections.
Belly: light colored.
Tail: light (may have reddish cast) or dark.

Other Signs

Claw marks especially at climbing locations and around entry holes.
"Grubbing" (digging up turf for grubs and other food).

Tracks: raccoon tracks  Front: 3 in.  Back: 3 1/2 in.

next page