How to Get Rid of Raccoons - 12 Best Ways in 2022 (2022)

Home » Pest Guides » How to Get Rid of Raccoons in Attics, Under Decks, and Around Homes: 12 Best Ways in 2022

Raccoons may be adorable, intelligent creatures but they can also cause extensive damage to your home. They’re also one of the most common rabies-carrying species and they can spread other diseases like roundworm salmonella, tetanus, and Listeriosis.

Raccoons around your property aren’t just a threat to you; your animals are also at risk. Dogs that come into contact with raccoon saliva can develop Coonhound Paralysis or Canine Distemper (CDV).

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You see evidence of raccoons around your home: tipped trash cans, emptied pet food bowls outside, and knocked-down bird feeders. You may even spot raccoons walking through your yard or even right up to your home to peek in your windows at night. These steps will help you get rid of raccoons around your property for good.

In this article, I’ll share at a ton of important facts about raccoons, and most importantly, how to get rid of raccoons for good.

Quick Navigation: What's in This Guide?

  • Here Are the Best Ways to Get Rid of Raccoons
    • 1. Secure Trash Cans
    • 2. Don’t Leave Pet Food Outside
    • 3. Raccoon-Proof the Bird Feeders
    • 4. Consider an Electric Fence
    • 5. Protect Roof Vents and the Chimney
    • 6. Seal Entry Points Under Sheds and Decks
    • 7. Prune Around the Yard
    • 8. Find the Point of Entry into Attic
    • 9. Use an Excluder One-Way Door (Attic)
    • 10. Use a Live Trap (Under Deck or Home)
    • 11. Scare the Raccoon Out of the Den (Under Deck or Home)
    • 12. Use Scents to Scare Away Raccoons

Here Are the Best Ways to Get Rid of Raccoons

1. Secure Trash Cans

If it’s easy to get into your trash cans, you’re essentially laying out the red carpet for raccoons. It isn’t enough to just close the lid, either; raccoons are perfectly capable of lifting and removing trash can lids in search of food. They’ll even knock the trash can over and pry it open if the lid doesn’t come off easily.

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The best way to secure your trash is with a cheap trash can lid strap.This low-cost solution also keeps out flies and dogs.

2. Don’t Leave Pet Food Outside

Any pet food dishes you have outside for your dog or cat should be brought inside before it gets dark. Raccoons love finding pet food, especially when there’s a water dish nearby. You’ll see them picking up the kibble with their hands and dunking it in the water before eating. The problem is when you leave pet food outside, raccoons will make a habit out of stopping by your house. They may even decide to nest under your porch or deck for easy access to what seems to be a reliable source of food.

3. Raccoon-Proof the Bird Feeders

If you have bird feeders, you’ve probably already dealt with chipmunks and squirrels trying to steal the bird food. Raccoons also love finding a huge supply of nuts and seeds. Making your bird feeders raccoon-proof will also keep squirrels and chipmunks at bay to save the bird seed for the birds.

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You can stop raccoons from climbing your existing bird feeder pole with a wrap-around bird feeder baffle or stopper without removing the pole. Don’t use a regular squirrel baffle because they aren’t large enough to stop a raccoon.

Another option is simply bringing your bird feeders inside every night although this does get tedious.

Related Article: 12 Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

4. Consider an Electric Fence

Raccoons are attracted to all types of food sources, including compost piles, koi ponds, and gardens. One of the easiest ways to protect these areas from raccoons and make your home less inviting is a simple electric fence kit.

(Video) How to Get Rid of Raccoons in the Attic (SAFELY!) - 2022

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This electric garden fence kit is a very affordable solution to keep raccoons at bay and protect your prized tomatoes, corn, and melons. You can also use it around your pond to keep goldfish and koi safe from prowling raccoons. The fence energizer comes with 250 feet of 17 gauge spool aluminum wire. It won’t harm raccoons and other pests who touch the fence but it will provide a memorable shock.

5. Protect Roof Vents and the Chimney

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Raccoons love to climb into chimneys to nest and raise babies. Vents can also give easy access to the attic. To block entry, choose quality stainless or galvanized steel roof vent covers and chimney covers — not aluminum or plastic models that raccoons can easily rip off.

This galvanized steel vent cover protects vents from damage. It’s also a great way to prevent raccoons from getting back into your attic if they’ve already nested there before. The sturdy design and wire pattern will keep out virtually anything, including roof rats, squirrels, bats, birds, and raccoons.

For your chimney, choose a galvanized steel model like this one from Draft King to guard against raccoons and other pests.

6. Seal Entry Points Under Sheds and Decks

Don’t make it easy for raccoons to set up a den under your shed, deck, or porch. Potential entry points should be sealed off before the raccoons discover them. If raccoons have already moved in under your home, read the guide below for removing them first before you seal up the area.

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A cost-effective and simple way to raccoon-proof the open area under a shed or porch is installing a metal mesh barrier. A galvanized metal mesh should be installed partially underground to keep raccoons from digging it up or bending it out of place. Dig a trench around your shed or the opening of your deck and bolt the steel mesh to the side of the structure. Make sure it’s buried at least six inches under the ground and back-fill the trench.

To seal off open areas below your shed, deck, or porch, use a durable 10-gauge galvanized steel mesh. This mesh should be installed at least 6 inches deep below the ground and back-covered. This type of galvanized metal mesh is a good choice as long as it’s mounted securely to the deck or shed to prevent raccoons from tearing it away or digging under it.

7. Prune Around the Yard

To reduce possible nesting areas on your property, it’s a good idea to give your lawn some TLC. Get rid of any woodpiles on your property then work to trim tree branches that hang over the roof. There should be at least a five-foot gap between any branch and your roof. Make sure you don’t have any arbors or trellises that give a raccoon easy access to the roof. While you’re tidying up your yard, make sure you pick up any fruit or nuts that have fallen from your trees as they’re an easy and attractive source of food for raccoons.

How to Get Rid of Raccoons in Attics

Raccoons are intelligent and great at adapting to new environments. In urban and suburban areas with reduced den sites and food sources, your home will look like a great place to move in.

Raccoons don’t build their own dens; they prefer to make their home in a rock or tree hollow. Of course, raccoons have learned that sheds and attics offer great protection and close access to food. Attics provide raccoons with shelter and warmth and they often come with insulation material that can be used to build a nest. Because they’re great at climbing, getting into your attic may not pose much of a problem at all. The Tips below should get rid of raccoons in the attic and keep them out.

8. Find the Point of Entry into Attic

A raccoon only needs an opening about 4″ across or smaller. Here are just some of the ways raccoons can get into your attic:

  • Plumbing mats. The vents on your roof that connect to your plumbing system to exhaust sewer gases are a great entry point for raccoons. To install these vents, a hole is cut in the roof for the pipe. The opening is then covered with a rubber mat that’s easy for raccoons to pull up and chew through.
  • Roof edge. The edge of your roof can be vulnerable to raccoon damage. If the edge of your roof is compromised by years of rain, raccoons can chew through the damaged wood and shingles to get access to the attic.
  • Roof and soffit intersection. The place where your soffit rests above the section of roof (usually where a lower and upper roof meet) is an easy entry point for a raccoon. Raccoons simply need to push the soffit open with their shoulders and hands and climb inside.
  • Roof vents. Your roof vents ventilate your attic. As raccoons explore your roof, they’ll feel the warm air escaping and realize there’s a cozy den inside. Raccoons can easily destroy “pest-proof” aluminum and plastic vent covers.

Once you find how the raccoons got in — don’t make the mistake of sealing the opening!

There’s a good chance you’ll just seal baby raccoons away from their mother. As you should be looking at first-hand evidence of how destructive raccoons can be, the last thing you want is for the mother raccoon to tear your house apart to reunite with her babies.

9. Use an Excluder One-Way Door (Attic)

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After identifying how the raccoons got in, you can place a one-way door live trap that allows the raccoon out but not back in.

The Tomahawk Excluder is a good choice as it’s affordable, sturdy, and reusable.

Set up the trap so the raccoon will leave the opening to forage but instead get stuck in the trap. This may catch only the mother or it may catch young raccoons as well.

If baby raccoons remain, you will need to physically remove them and relocate them with the mother. We’ll go over the best way to do this next.

What if you find baby raccoons in the attic?
  • You can make the attic inhospitable and disturb the nest by spraying a strong-smelling substance like cider vinegar and release the mother. The mother raccoon will return to your attic to retrieve the babies and move on to an alternate nest.
  • You can carefully remove the babies from the attic. If you do this, place them in a warm towel on the ground next to the trapped mother at the edge of your property. Release the mother and, as long as you have covered the entrance to your attic, she will take the babies and relocate.

If the mother raccoon has already been trapped and released or killed and you discover orphaned babies in the attic, they probably have a death sentence as well. In many states, orphaned raccoon babies are considered “nuisance” progeny and they can’t be rehabilitated legally. A wildlife center probably won’t take them.

Releasing Trapped Raccoons

Trapping the raccoons in your attic is just the first step: next comes how to get rid of the raccoons for good.

Before we go over how to release trapped raccoons, a word of caution:

Some states require on-site release or on-site euthanasia of trapped nuisance animals like raccoons. In Ohio, for example, it’s illegal to relocate any animal with a high potential for rabies, like skunks, raccoons, and bats.

These laws are in place for good reason. They help stop the spread of rabies. They also protect the animals. Research shows relocated animals have a poor rate of survival in their new location because they don’t know the area or how to forage and may face attack from native animals.

That means you may have a choice: killing the raccoon on your property or releasing it right there.

That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Raccoon mothers maintain alternate nest sites just in case their primary nest is destroyed. Once the raccoons are trapped and out of your attic, you should be able to simply repair the damage, close their access, and let them go so they can return to their secondary nest — outside of your home.

How to Get Rid of Raccoons Under House or Deck

While an attic is one of the best dens for a raccoon — it’s warm, comes with included nesting material, and it’s safe from predators — the area under your deck or porch or in your crawl space is a close second.

The good news about getting rid of raccoons under the house or in a crawl space? There’s less chance of finding babies compared to raccoons in the attic. Mother raccoons with a litter prefer creating a den off the ground such as in a tree or attic. If you have a raccoon under your house or deck, it’s probably a male raccoon or a female without young. This makes getting rid of the raccoon much easier.

Removing raccoons from under your deck or shed requires a simple approach: trap the raccoons, use an exclusion barrier to prevent them from returning, then let them go.

Here are the steps to take to get rid of raccoons under a house or shed.

10. Use a Live Trap (Under Deck or Home)

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Set up your live raccoon trap near the opening where they’re getting under the structure. Make sure you bait the trap properly. While raccoons will eat almost anything, including pet food, the best thing to use is marshmallows. Raccoons love sweets and marshmallows won’t attract a cat into the trap.

Once the raccoon is trapped, you can install an exclusion device as explained below. Make sure all animals living under your house or shed have left before installing an exclusion method!

Once the exclusion method is in place, you can release the raccoon. Unless you’re going to kill the raccoon on your property, it’s recommended to release it close to where it was trapped. In many states, this is also required. As long as the exclusion method is in place, the raccoon won’t move back under your shed or deck.

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Safety Tips for Live Trapping Raccoons

Now that we’ve gone over ways to get rid of raccoons around your property, we’ll explore how to get rid of raccoons under a house or in an attic. This often involves live traps to temporarily remove the raccoons before they’re released on the property (or euthanized).

If you choose to live trap a raccoon, remember that raccoons can be very dangerous. In addition to the diseases they can spread, they can also be vicious when cornered or trapped. Use extreme caution when trapping and releasing a raccoon.

Once a raccoon is caught in a trap, handle the trap very carefully. Raccoons can and will reach through the cage to destroy or hurt anything they can — including you! Make sure you wear heavy-duty gloves when handling the trap. Never stick your fingers into the trap or hold the trap close to your body. It helps to place a heavy blanket over the trap while you move it to help calm the raccoon and reduce the risk of injury to yourself.

Next comes the most dangerous part of trapping a raccoon: releasing it safely. The good news is animals aren’t like humans; when released from a trap, their instinct is to seek cover and safety, not get revenge.

Most traps allow you to open the door without getting your hand too close to the cage itself. You may even be able to manipulate the mechanism with a pole to stay far away from the cage. Place the cage on a level surface and remove the blanket. Stand behind the cage so it opens in the opposite direction and facing shrubbery or foliage that the raccoon can run into right away. When you open the cage door, the raccoon’s instincts should take it in the opposite direction of you.

11. Scare the Raccoon Out of the Den (Under Deck or Home)

An alternative to live trapping the raccoon temporarily is waiting for the raccoon to leave to hunt or scaring them away from the den. You can use a portable radio and a mechanic’s light or a rag soaked in cider vinegar to make them leave the area. Always confirm that the animals have left the area before using an exclusion method.

How to Exclude Raccoons from Under the House

Make sure you check and confirm there are no raccoons — especially baby raccoons — under your deck or house. Next, seal up any entrances the raccoons were using. If you have lattice under your deck, nail chicken wire over it.

Related Article: 9 Best Mole Traps

12. Use Scents to Scare Away Raccoons

If raccoon are coming into areas that you do not want them to like in the garden, around chickens, or around rabbits then certain scents may change there presence. Fox urine could be used to scare the racoon away. Also having cat or dog can reduce the likelyhood of raccoons coming around since these animals are seen as perdators to raccoons. Hond dogs are used to tree raccons so they can be easily hunted. Raccoons also try and avoid other scents such as ammonia and peppers.

Signs of Raccoons

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Raccoons aren’t small. When you have raccoons in your attic or around your home, they’ll leave behind tell-tale signs. Watch for the following signs of raccoons and then take steps to get rid of them if they’re too close to your home.

Damage to Your Home

Raccoons can be very destructive. If you suspect a raccoon problem, inspect your home for damage such as:

  • Chewed electrical wiring
  • Soffit damage
  • Damaged or pulled-off gutters
  • Turn-up or ripped off siding or shingles
  • Gnaw marks or holes near windows or other possible entry points
  • Damage to your HVAC or air duct systems
  • Damaged vents, including outdoor and roof vents
  • Damage to insulation in your attic
Raccoon Nesting Materials

Raccoons like to make cozy dens, whether they build their dens in a tree or under your home. You may see nesting material strewn around your hard, in your attic, in your garage, or under your deck. Raccoons will use almost any organic material for nesting like newspaper, clothing, or cloth. Sometimes they’ll even steal nesting material from your trash.

Raccoon Droppings

Raccoon droppings are easy to recognize. You’ll usually find raccoon droppings in the garden, near your trash cans, in your yard, on a raised horizontal surface like a log, or around a tree. Raccoons defecate in a communal area called a latrine. Raccoon feces is dark in color, two to three inches long, and with a tubular shape. You can easily tell raccoon feces apart from dog poop by the presence of berries, twigs, and undigested matter.

Raccoon Prints

Raccoon prints are definitely distinctive: they look like tiny human feet and handprints with claw marks at the ends. You’ll probably see these small footprints around your trash, garden, and garage. You may even see scratch marks on your bird feeder post, flower pots, and trash cans.

Raccoons Knocked Over Trash

If you go outside and find your trash cans tipped with trash strewn everywhere, there’s a good chance raccoons have identified your home as a source of food. Tipped-over trash doesn’t mean you necessarily have a raccoon problem but you could if you don’t take steps to prevent it.

Raccoons Patrolling

If you have raccoons nearby, you will probably see them patrolling your property at night. You may see the reflective eyes in the bushes, near your trash cans, under your porch, or in the garden. They may climb up trees, explore the trash and garden, or walk in a straight line across the lawn. Raccoons are curious; you may even see them peep in your windows if they can reach. It’s normal to see raccoons occasionally walking through your property but nightly sightings mean they probably have a den or food source nearby.

Signs You Have Raccoons in Your Attic

You sometimes hear noises coming from your attic. What could it be? While it may be squirrels or even bats, loud thumping noises may be a sign that a mother raccoon has made your attic into her den to raise her young. The following are signs of raccoons in the attic:

  • You hear thumping sounds or what sounds like an animal walking in the attic
  • You hear them leaving after dusk or returning at night
  • Some noises may happen during the day even though raccoons are nocturnal
  • You may hear whining or high-pitched crying sounds from baby raccoons (or kits)
  • You see damage to your roof. This may be located on the edge of the roof or at the vents or soffits

Visually inspect your attic for raccoons is a good idea, although do this with care. You may see the raccoons in the attic or babies left behind while the mother searches for food. Raccoon droppings and urine may also be visible.

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Rid of Raccoons

What to Do if You Find Abandoned Baby Raccoons?

What happens if you find what appears to be abandoned or orphaned baby raccoons in your attic, under your deck, or elsewhere on your property? This isn’t uncommon but there’s a good chance the babies aren’t abandoned; their mother is probably out looking for food.

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Raccoons usually have litters of 3 to 7 young or kits. Raccoons are born with fur and open their eyes once they’re 19 days old. By the age of 6 to 7 weeks, baby raccoons weigh around 1.5 pounds and are ready to be weaned. They will stay with their mother during the fall and some may remain with her during the winter.

It’s very common to see unattended raccoon babies during the day or night if you find their den. The mother uses every chance she gets to forage for food and she may even be active during the day, especially in the spring and summer when the babies are small.

Mother Raccoon May Return

Unless the mother raccoon is unable to, she will return for the babies.

If you find the baby raccoons outside of their den, you can protect them until the mother returns by placing a towel and upside-down laundry basket over them. You can also put the babies in a cardboard box with a towel to keep them warm. When the mother returns, she will tear open the box or flip the laundry basket to get them.

If the baby raccoons are in a den on your patio, in your chimney, in your attic, or under a deck, you can use the mother raccoon’s dedication to force them to relocate. You can carefully remove the babies from the den while wearing protection to avoid catching any diseases. Place them in a cardboard box with air holes close by but outside of the den. Use exclusion methods like steel gauge mesh to close access to the den and wait for the mother to return and relocate the babies to another den site.

Do Raccoon Sprays and Raccoon Repellent Work?

You’ll see lots of raccoon repellents on the market but the truth is most don’t work. Physical removal and exclusion methods are the best ways to tackle a raccoon problem. With that said, some raccoon sprays and products can be useful at temporarily driving raccoons out of their den so you can seal it up.

You can use a hot pepper spray to help guard your garden and other areas against raccoons. Bonide Hot Pepper Wax Animal Repellent is marketed for gardens but it can also be applied around other areas prone to raccoons like the trash or around your shed. Still, it isn’t guaranteed to work and exclusion methods are a better bet. To get raccoons to leave their nest so you can install an exclusion barrier, you can try spraying apple cider vinegar or soaking a rag in vinegar and leaving it near the entrance.

What Kind of Damage Can Raccoons Cause?

Raccoons aren’t just cute little “burglars;” they’re also notoriously destructive. One of the greatest dangers of raccoons is their feces which can spread roundworms and other parasites and diseases.

If raccoons get into your attic, they can quickly cause extensive damage. Raccoons will tear into your home to gain entry to the attic, destroy your insulation, and fill the space with feces and urine. Raccoons can also damage your electrical and ventilation systems which can lead to a fire or water damage.

Even if raccoons don’t actually get into your home, there’s another problem they leave behind: overturned trash cans and trash all over your lawn.

Related Article: 13 Best Ways to Get Rid of Groundhogs

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Christine Layton, Technician

My name is Christine and I’m living in Southwest Ohio where I was born and raised after a decade spent living in Southern California.

While I loved working as a Pest Control Technician in Western Ohio, I did not enjoy the hours.

I decided to find a new career and now I work as a writer and help others find solutions to their pest problems online.

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In my free time, I enjoy traveling and going to as many metal concerts as possible.

FAQs

What really keeps raccoons away? ›

Raccoons have a strong sense of smell, which they use to find accessible food sources. You can take advantage of this trait by using scents they dislike, such as hot pepper, onion, garlic, peppermint oil and Epsom salt to repel them.

What smells will keep raccoons away? ›

Since raccoons have a strong sense of smell, which they use to find convenient food sources, one can take advantage of this feature by using scents they hate. Hot pepper, garlic, peppermint oil, onion, and Epsom salt are a few scents used to repel raccoons.

What home remedy keeps raccoons away? ›

Garlic acts as an effective raccoon repellent home remedy. Crush garlic and chili powder together and spread it around the boundaries of your attic. You may even sprinkle it around the garden randomly near the crops. They will get irritated by the smell of garlic and leave your garden.

Does Irish Spring soap keep raccoons away? ›

Many of the same smells that deter deer, such as capsaicin and mint, also repel raccoons. In general, Irish Spring soap can be an effective raccoon repellent. For the most part, you'll never see a raccoon munching in your garden.

What do raccoons hate the most? ›

Spices like cinnamon, black pepper or cayenne pepper bother a raccoon's sense of smell, forcing it to relocate to a more livable area. By mixing cayenne pepper and onion in boiling water, you can create a natural raccoon repellant. You can add hot sauce to the mixture, as well.

What can you spray to get rid of raccoons? ›

One homemade “taste” raccoon repellent recipe uses 1 bottle hot pepper sauce or 1 bottle cayenne pepper powder and mixes it with a gallon of water and a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. The soap helps the liquid to adhere to what you're spraying, and should be sprayed on the entire area that you would like to protect.

What does Epsom salt do to raccoons? ›

You can use Epsom salt to repel raccoons! Raccoons detest the scent of Epsom salt as it irritates their nasal cavities. You can use this to your advantage by spreading the Epsom salt throughout your yard in areas where you need to keep raccoons away and reapplying once the scent wears off.

Do raccoons hate light? ›

As nocturnal animals, most raccoons prefer to stay out of the spotlight. Bright lights that resemble daylight can scare raccoons away.

What food is poisonous to raccoons? ›

Chocolate, onions, raisins and macadamia nuts are toxic to raccoons. Garlic and bread aren't toxic, but they can upset a raccoon's digestion. Coffee, cocoa and candies can cause health problems in raccoons.

Will vinegar keep raccoons away? ›

Vinegar will deter raccoons from returning time and again to your home and yard since they hate the smell. Like if you were using peppermint oil to deter them, you can soak a number of rags with vinegar then put them in key access points around your home and yard to keep them away, albeit until the smell fades.

Will bleach keep raccoons away? ›

Apply cap full of bleach to top of the trash can

This will only keep the raccoons away from the trash can for several hours. However if you know when the garbage men are coming, you only need an hour or so.

Does Epsom salt keep raccoons away? ›

Continuing in the vein of undesirable scents, Epsom salt is another ingredient that keeps raccoons away. For the most effective protection, sprinkle Epsom salt both inside and surrounding your vegetable garden. Racoons will generally keep a safe distance from that smell, avoiding your garden and coops.

Do mothballs work for raccoons? ›

Using mothballs and ammonia (in any way) to get rid of raccoons has been shown, time and time again, not to work. At all. Mothballs are easily kicked out the way. Ammonia-smelling areas are easily avoided.

Do moth balls keep raccoons away? ›

Raccoons dislike the strong smell of mothballs. Buy a box and scatter them around your property to prevent raccoons from taking up residence.

Will chili powder keep raccoons away? ›

Capsaicin, the substance that makes hot peppers hot, deters all types of mammals. So using it as a raccoon repellent also keeps squirrels away.

Will a porch light keep raccoons away? ›

Although a porch light is helpful, it will not keep every raccoon away because the light source is too high. Motion-activated floodlights are lower and will only activate after a raccoon triggers the sensors. If you place the lights in key locations around your property, they will scare the raccoons away.

What animals are raccoons afraid of? ›

Raccoons stay away from animals that are their natural predators. These natural predators include; bobcats, coyotes, the great horned owl. You may have picked up a pattern here- raccoon predators are typically large. They need to be large as raccoons are formidable targets.

What to do if a raccoon approaches you? ›

What to Do if a Raccoon Approaches You? If a raccoon approaches you, it is recommended that you break eye contact and slowly back away, moving into a building until the animal passes. Make yourself appear larger while doing this, but do not attack the raccoon unless you're attacked first.

What should I do if I see a raccoon in my yard? ›

If you find raccoons on your property, removal is essential. It is dangerous to attempt to remove them on your own, though. Instead, you'll need to contact a pest control company that is knowledgeable about raccoon removal.

Where do raccoons live during the day? ›

During the day, raccoons find shelter in all environments. In urban areas, raccoons sleep in abandoned cars, dumpsters, and sewer drains, but hide in attics, garages, and underneath decks in suburban areas. In the wilderness, they live sleep in tree hollows, under rocks, and vacant animal dens.

Does loud music scare raccoons? ›

Even though raccoons are smart and cunning, these animals can also get easily startled. A sudden, loud sound is all it takes to make them go rushing away into the night. Being wild animals, raccoons also do not like music, so playing loud music in the attic can scare them off and cause them to leave your attic.

Should I be afraid of raccoons? ›

Raccoons are wild animals and a raccoon who feels cornered or threatened can be dangerous. Raccoons (along with foxes, skunks, and bats) are “rabies vector species” (meaning they have a higher risk of contracting and spreading rabies) and therefore you should never attempt to handle them.

Are raccoons scared of dogs? ›

Raccoons don't particularly like large dogs and so if you have one of these animals you can have a great deal of success in scaring the raccoon away as well. The best part about it is that you don't even have to release your dog into the yard.

What attracts raccoons to your yard? ›

Main Attraction: Raccoons are attracted to sweet foods, especially ripe fruit such as apples, peaches, and plums. They also feed on apricots, cherries, and mulberries.

Where do racoons nest? ›

Most active at night, raccoons sometimes also forage for food by day. They will make their nests almost anywhere — in tree cavities, brush piles, abandoned burrows, chimneys, attics, crawl spaces, storm sewers, haystacks, and barn lofts — and usually have more than one den site available for use at any one time.

How do you use peppermint oil to keep raccoons away? ›

Sprays: Add 2 ounces peppermint essential oil and 2 ounces rubbing alcohol to a spray bottle, then fill the rest of the bottle with water, and spray around the den, except the point of entry.

Does human urine keep raccoons away? ›

Raccoons don't like the smell of ammonia – a key component in human urine. Therefore, if you don't mind using it around your yard – it can keep raccoons away.

How does Epsom salt get rid of raccoons? ›

A few tablespoons of Epsom salt spread around your garbage cans will deter the raccoons, who don't like the taste of the stuff. Don't forget to reapply after it rains.

Will vinegar keep raccoons away? ›

Vinegar will deter raccoons from returning time and again to your home and yard since they hate the smell. Like if you were using peppermint oil to deter them, you can soak a number of rags with vinegar then put them in key access points around your home and yard to keep them away, albeit until the smell fades.

Do mothballs keep raccoons away? ›

Mothballs get rid of all kinds of critters

Raccoons dislike the strong smell of mothballs. Buy a box and scatter them around your property to prevent raccoons from taking up residence.

Do motion lights scare raccoons? ›

Motion sensor lights will deter animals such as deer, raccoons, skunks, and possums upon first interaction. Over time these animals may learn that lights will not bring them harm, making the lights less effective long term.

How big a hole can a raccoon fit through? ›

A raccoon can get through a space 4 inches wide. The reason this seems so improbable is that their bodies just look too darn big to fit.

Will cayenne pepper get rid of raccoons? ›

Raccoons aren't fond of spicy smells, so a cayenne pepper spray can be an easy and effective raccoon repellent. Mix a small bottle of cayenne pepper with a bottle of hot sauce, then add both to a gallon of water and shake well. Spray this pepper solution around your plants, bushes, and other garden greenery.

Where do raccoons live during the day? ›

During the day, raccoons find shelter in all environments. In urban areas, raccoons sleep in abandoned cars, dumpsters, and sewer drains, but hide in attics, garages, and underneath decks in suburban areas. In the wilderness, they live sleep in tree hollows, under rocks, and vacant animal dens.

What animals are raccoons afraid of? ›

Raccoons stay away from animals that are their natural predators. These natural predators include; bobcats, coyotes, the great horned owl. You may have picked up a pattern here- raccoon predators are typically large. They need to be large as raccoons are formidable targets.

Will raccoons leave on their own? ›

Homeowners with an infestation may wonder, “Will raccoons leave on their own?” Generally speaking, these pests won't leave without intervention because they have found food and shelter in the home, allowing them to avoid their natural predators during scavenging.

How do you keep raccoons away at night? ›

If raccoons are raiding your garden, try scaring them off with motion-detecting sprinklers or strobe lights. Radios and other noise-makers can also deter raccoons. Switch up your scare strategies to keep raccoons from becoming accustomed to one method.

Will a porch light keep raccoons away? ›

Although a porch light is helpful, it will not keep every raccoon away because the light source is too high. Motion-activated floodlights are lower and will only activate after a raccoon triggers the sensors. If you place the lights in key locations around your property, they will scare the raccoons away.

Does ammonia work on raccoons? ›

Placing ammonia in or around garbage will only deter raccoons for a short amount of time. Ammonia soaked rags in your attic will do very little to prevent raccoons from denning there. Generally, your attic is big enough for the raccoons to settle in a corner furthest from the smell.

Does chili powder repel raccoons? ›

Capsaicin, the substance that makes hot peppers hot, deters all types of mammals. So using it as a raccoon repellent also keeps squirrels away.

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