Image- Raccoons
Regan Kuja, with Animal Abatement Specialists, stands near one of the cages that was intended to catch raccoons at Donna Gordon's El Granada home. Davis Rich/Review

Donna Gordon has been dealing with an enemy in her home for months. Raccoons have been living in Gordon’s El Granada home since last fall, scurrying above her head in the attic and gnawing the flooring of her bathroom below her feet.

Regan Kuja, of Animal Abatement Specialists, who is working on “evicting” the mammals from Gordon’s home, said this is one of the two worst cases of raccoon troubles he’s seen in 30 years of work. 

“They found a place, they liked it and they settled in,” he said.

To make matters worse, Gordon found mold and asbestos in her Clipper Ridge home while tracking down the family of raccoons. She had to move out of her home of 47 years while workers reroof and sterilize her single-story structure. Gordon doesn’t know when she will be able to return.

Insurance is covering most of Gordon’s damages, but she estimated the total cost at $60,000.

It all started when a group of raccoons chewed through the vents in the side of her house. 

Gordon said she lost hours of sleep listening to the animals running around the attic and mating. One day, three baby raccoons fell through her ceiling. She put them outside in a box. Moments later, their mother had swooped them away. 

“As (the babies) get bigger and older, it’s like toddlers running over your whole house. It’s just unnerving,” she said.

Neither the county nor a handful of previous exterminators could help Gordon solve her problem. Most recently, one of her intruders ripped apart a cage it was trapped in and escaped. 

“I’m done playing games. We’re done,” she said. “This is war.”

Kuja boarded up all the entryways to Gordon’s home and constructed a one-way tunnel designed to keep the animals out for good. 

Their departure couldn’t come soon enough for Gordon.

“I would have gotten them a key and built them a room if I’d known it was going to be this bad,” she said. 

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