Raccoon Repellent – How To Get Rid Of Raccoons And Keep Them Away
Got raccoons? These cute but mischievous critters can wreak havoc around your home and garden, especially in high numbers, but learning how to keep raccoons away from a garden doesn’t have to be a trying task. There are steps you can take that will help you keep these animal pests under control.
How to Get Rid of Raccoons
Getting rid of raccoons can be as easy as cleaning up the area or as drastic as the use of traps. Other methods include the use of deterrents and exclusion, like fencing.
While you may normally come across their mischievous activities in the garden, raccoons will also get into garbage cans or your pet’s food. Therefore, it’s a good idea to secure garbage lids or trashcans so these animals cannot open them. Also, keep any pet food put away at night when raccoons are most active.
You may not always see them, but raccoons will certainly leave behind some evidence of their visit, especially in the garden. These may include tracks, droppings, and crop damage (like hollowed-out melons or half eaten corn).
Various methods can be used to frighten these animals away—some of which include the use of radios, flashing lights, scarecrows, windmills, pie pans, etc. However, these only work for a short while, if at all as the raccoon will get use to them quickly.
Nonetheless, there are still preventative measures you can take. For instance, simply cleaning up the surrounding area can help. Raccoons will den in hollow trees/logs, brush piles, barns, etc. Removing woodpiles, overgrown shrubbery, and other debris can help. Open structures should be closed in, perhaps with screening, and overhanging tree branches should be pruned back to prevent the animals from gaining access to nearby rooftops.
How to Deter Raccoons with Fencing
Your best bet for getting rid of raccoons is through appropriate fencing. Since they are adept climbers (and diggers), ordinary fencing is not enough. To make it raccoon proof, you’ll need to add a strand or two of electric fencing at least 8 inches (20 cm.) from the ground and 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm.) out from the fence. You could also bury the fencing at least 6 inches (15 cm.) deep and a foot (30+ cm.) out to prevent digging.
As an alternative, you can simply place a strand or two of electric fence around your garden’s perimeter, keeping the bottom strand within 6 inches (15 cm.) of the ground. This can easily be turned on at night and left off during the day if desired.
Trapping raccoons is yet another technique used. However, this is probably better left to a professional, as hemmed up coons can get mighty feisty, posing a threat to the homeowner.
If trapping, use a cage type, heavy gauge trap that’s at least 10 x 12 x 32 inches (25 x 30 x 81 cm.). Traps can be baited with anything from fresh fruits to canned fish-flavored pet food. Captured raccoons should then be relocated to a suitable area. Be aware though that it may be illegal to release raccoons into parks and federal land.
19 Home Remedies & Raccoon Repellents To Get Rid Of Raccoons
Raccoons can be a major nuisance if people inadvertently provide them with food and shelter.
Racoons are really adaptable and omnivorous creatures. They can eat berries, fruits, meat, veggies, and bugs. They are also nocturnal in nature and are very good climbers.
Furthermore, raccoons are quite destructive in nature and can ravage your garden and farm.
Here are some good practices to consider when dealing with raccoons
- Use garbage cans that have covers.
- Wash your trash bin often.
- Ensure there are no openings or holes, in your yard or garden walls, that can be accessed by a raccoon.
- Do not leave pet food outside.
Below are 19 home remedies to get rid of raccoons
How to Keep Raccoons Out of a Vegetable Garden
Raccoons can be a major pest in the vegetable garden. They have front paws that resemble human hands and are able to raid gardens in the evening while you are asleep. Raccoons like to eat most vegetables including squash, tomatoes, corn and melons. Also, raccoons carry parasites and other diseases such as rabies. If you are bothered by raccoons, your only choice is to fence them out of the garden with an electric fence.
Clear vegetation from area where the electric wires to repel the raccoons are going to be located. Any vegetation touching the wires will create a short in the electric current running through the wires.
Place posts every 6 feet around the garden where the electric fence will be located. Because the height of the fence is going to be only 12 inches high, you may not need a gate section because you can easily stop over it. Keep pets and small children away from the fence.
Attach insulators that will hold the electrical wire to the posts. The insulators hold the wire away from the posts so it cannot be shorted out by the fence posts. On each post, place one insulator 2 inches from the ground, one 6 inches from the ground and one 12 inches from the ground.
Run the electric wire through all the insulators as needed with each end of the wire attached to the generator. Run the wire so there is a continuous current throughout the wire, so there are no breaks in the wire. For example, after the wire for the 2-inch level is run, simply run the wire up to the next level and begin running the wire into the 6-inch level of insulators.
- Place posts every 6 feet around the garden where the electric fence will be located.
- The insulators hold the wire away from the posts so it cannot be shorted out by the fence posts.
Follow the instructions on the generator that tells you how to make the generator work properly and where to connect the wires. All generators or regulators are slightly different, but there will be a place for the positive and one for the negative connection. You will usually be required to ground the electric current for optimal performance. If using a battery operated system, check the system often to see if batteries are working properly.
Keep vegetation away from electrical fence lines so the system cannot short out and fail when the vegetation touches the wire.
A live trap is an alternative method for control. Move them at least 5 miles or more away so they will not come back. Also, get permission from the landowner where you are releasing the raccoon.
Use only a system that includes a generator and regulator designed specifically for electrical fencing around a garden. A system designed for a garden includes a regulator that prevents a continuous current that can be dangerous.
Do not connect directly to household electrical current.
Actively Turn Them Away
If removing the potential attractions from your yard isn’t enough to stop the raccoons from coming around, you may have to take a more active role in shooing them away. Most chemicals and mechanical traps create risks for other wildlife. Fortunately, there are several less dangerous ways to actively drive raccoons away and keep them out.
Soap the yard
Raccoons use their superb sense of smell to forage for food, and some scents are really effective at keeping them away. The ingredients in Irish Spring soap are generally effective in keeping raccoons and other small mammals out of your yard. You can scatter soap flakes around the edges of your property to create a barrier to them, as well as putting more concentrated piles near potential food sources, preferably under shelter to keep the rain off. Cayenne pepper has a similar effect, as do many other herbs and spices.
Install repellent lights
Another option you can try, and one without potentially toxic chemicals and strong odors, is a repellent light. Repellent lights flash a colored beam, usually red, over your yard at night to keep away the unwanted animals. Many nocturnal animals, including raccoons, have eyes that are sensitive to this type of light, and the flashing disturbs them enough to keep them away without fencing or chemical deterrents. Ideally, the light you use should be battery-powered, easily recharged and portable, so you can set it next to a garden, trash bins or the chicken coop, depending on what the raccoons seem to be interested in most.
Nite Guard Solar repellent lights are ideal for this work. We understand how much damage raccoons and other pest animals can cause on your property, which is why we developed a lightweight, portable deterrent light that’s proven to discourage raccoons from entering your property at night.
Our repellent light has a durable solar panel on top that charges up the battery during the day, even in overcast weather. When the sun sets, the onboard sensor automatically switches on the flashing red light, which keeps going all night long. When the sun rises the next morning, the light turns off and the recharge cycle starts again. None of this takes any special effort or time on your part. Simply put the light where you need it and leave it there.
To find out more about Nite Guard Solar lights click here.
Raccoon Prevention - How to Keep Raccoons Away
Raccoons are not really wild animals. They are urban animals. Raccoons are FAR more common in cities and suburbs than they are in undeveloped natural areas. Just like rats. Thus, raccoon-human encounters are very common. Raccoons are smart, curious, and agile, so in short, there's really no way to simply keep them away.
NEED LOCAL HELP? We have wildlife removal professionals servicing 95% of the USA. Click here to hire a local raccoon removal expert in your home town. Updated 2018. But read the below advice first!
How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Yard: Usually impossible. Only a really good fence will do the trick, and I doubt you're going to install a prison-grade fence just to keep raccoons out. You can also try a motion sensitive water sprayer (but that doesn't really work very well), or intimidation tactics. Read about what are raccoons scared of. I recommend trapping and relocation in most cases. What you want to do is minimize the damage the raccoons are causing in the yard. Is it your garbage they are after? Bird feeders and bird seed? A pond with fish? A deck or shed they can live under? The key is to eliminate the things that attract the raccoon. I'll discuss these below.
Oh, and there is absolutely no such thing as a raccoon repellent product that works. Those high-pitch ultrasonic noise making machines are totally bogus - the FTC issued a warning against them - and even if you can't hear them, many people can, so you'll be bothering a lot of neighbors - an old couple down the street from my house set one of those stupid machines, and I could hear it 6 houses away. So could the neighbors, and they got the old couple to remove it - it wasn't keeping the raccoons away anyway. No powder or spray will keep a raccoon away, it's not that easy.
Well, that's not entirely true. Read more about the only known effective repellent, that will, in some cases, keep away raccoons: raccoon eviction fluid - I don't sell it or anything, but I do recommend it in certain cases.
How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Garden: This is a tough one, because raccoons are so intelligent, strong, and crafty. Only a real, heavy duty fence will do the trick. You can also try a motion sensitive water sprayer, or trapping and relocation to keep raccoons away for good.
How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Garbage Cans: You can try to make your garbage cans raccoon proof by strapping the lids down with bungee cords, or keeping them in the garage until garbage night. Or you can get locks, heavy covers, etc which will prevent raccoons from getting into the garbage for food.
How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Pond: A little decorative pond with fish is irresistible to a raccoon! Install some large gauge steel mesh and put it over or in the pond, for the fish to hide in and under. Some people even use cinderblocks. Or you can try trapping and removal. In general, you don't want to feed raccoons anything, from pet fish to pet food, if you want to keep them away from your property.
How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Pool: Coons like to swim, bathe, and poop in swimming pools. You can try trapping and removal. Or you can get planks of wood and pound a bunch of nails into the bottom of the wood so they stick through the other side, and place those boards upside down on the pool steps, so that there's a bunch of spikes sticking up, and the raccoons might not want to walk on those steps.
But what if you have a raccoon somewhere in or on your home? Well, that's a situation that can definitely be taken care of with 100% results. I have written excellent guides covering several areas. Click any of the below articles:
How to keep raccoons out of your basement.
How to keep raccoons out of your crawl space.
How to keep raccoons out of your walls.
How to keep raccoons out of your ceiling.
How to keep raccoons out of your attic.
How to keep raccoons outside of your house.
How to keep raccoons off of your roof
Will Repellents Get a Raccoon Out of the Attic?
Do Mothballs or Ammonia Help Repel Raccoons?
Home Remedies to Keep Away Raccoons and Get Rid of Them
Will a High-Pitch Sound Deterrent Machine Work?
Should I Hire a Pro, or Remove Raccoons Myself?
Do Female Raccoons Make Good Mothers?
What Are Raccoons Scared Of
What to Do If You Are Bitten By a Raccoon
These are just some of my raccoon prevention tips to keep away raccoons. You can email me if you have more questions. Or you can hire a pro in your area, from my list of raccoon experts.
Click below photos for more examples of trap sets by professionals:
Can you evict raccoons with tear gas - We wonвЂ™t ask how or why youвЂ™ve obtained tear gas, but if youвЂ™re planning to use it on raccoons you must be rather frustrated. The problem with using tear gas or any other inhalant (smoke bombs) is not that raccoons are immune to it, but rather the nature of your problem will most likely continue after the gas dissipates. HereвЂ™s why: A raccoon in a human house is usually a female. SheвЂ™s ventured out of the woods because sheвЂ™s pregnant and needs a place to hide her babies from aggressive males. That being said, if you set off a bottle of tear gas inside the home somewhere, you might very well chase the adult raccoon out. YouвЂ™re probably thinking once sheвЂ™s gone, youвЂ™ll climb up onto the roof and seal off her entry point. The problem here is that there are almost always baby raccoons inside. If theyвЂ™re really little, the tear gas wonвЂ™t chase them out it will just burn their eyes and lungs and cause undue suffering. Not only will you now have abandoned babies in your home, the mother will return for them. If youвЂ™ve sealed over her doorway, sheвЂ™ll find a new area to rip open.
Can you keep away raccoons on the roof - You should never be surprised to see raccoons on the roof. These critters are fantastic climbers and donвЂ™t need a tree or a pole to make their way on top of your house. If you live near the woods, there probably wonвЂ™t be much success at keeping raccoons away from your buildings. The best thing you can do is patrol your rooftops often and make sure no debris or damage exists that might encourage a raccoon to try to get inside. It doesnвЂ™t take much of a hole to entice a critter to start ripping into the building materials around an eave or a vent. No matter how small, close all openings and make sure they are patched with a resistant material. Foam filler wonвЂ™t do the trick against a raccoon. Another reason a raccoon might be on top of your house is because of the presence of food. You might not think about it, but if you have an oak tree, a fruit tree, or moss-laden shingles, there might be ample food stuff up there for a hungry creature. Keep your roof clean as well as repaired and your incidence of raccoon sighting will go down.
Will human hair keep raccoons away - Once of the great myths surrounding wildlife pest control is that animals are afraid of humans. вЂItвЂ™s more scared of you than you are of itвЂ™ is a common phrase uttered by parents around the globe. ThatвЂ™s not true. In fact, animals are rather indifferent to humans. They donвЂ™t trust us, but that doesnвЂ™t mean they are afraid of us. If we regularly went out, stalked and killed mice, rats, armadillos, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and snakes, these animals would have an instinctual fear of us and probably wouldnвЂ™t want to live in our homes. Since weвЂ™d rather have a bag of chips than a raw mouse, some pest animals wonвЂ™t hesitate to sneak into our lives. For this reason, the trick of leaving human hair clippings around your home and garden to keep raccoons away is a complete waste of time. Not only does hair begin to break down quickly as most organic material does, there is nothing about it that is threatening in any way to a raccoon. YouвЂ™d have better luck spraying your own urine around the areaвЂ”thought that would be pointless, though entertaining, to try.
Actual Situation: David - I live in Prince William in Montclair and we have a raccoon hitting our garbage cans on a frequent basis. IвЂ™ve seen him and he is pretty big. Set out a humane trap before reading your article and he tripped it yesterday. ItвЂ™s a 30 inch size and I suspected it might be too small вЂ“ I was right. He got in, ate the bait (tuna fish), and backed out with the door closing behind him. Then he ate some more out of the trash can. Need to know what your prices are for trapping/removal. Thanks, Dan
My response: Dan - I do think hiring a pro would be a good idea in this case. Trapping is difficult for amateurs. Please look at my nationwide directory, and you'll find a company in your area that I recommend. You can also try to make your garbage cans raccoon proof by strapping the lids down with bungee cords, or keeping them in the garage until garbage night.
Actual Situation: Hello David, I hope you can help me, I'm at my wits end. I have an animal literally tearing up my back yard. I am 99.9% sure it's a raccoon. I have seen raccoon tracks on my back patio I am familiar with what their tracks look like. Every so often I will see a raccoon in the back of my home. (I live in Florida just outside of Daytona Beach. I am worried they will get in my chicken coop. I live next to a canal, and have woods beyond my property line in the back.)
I've tried mothballs, but as I just read in your article these don't work unless it's in an attic. I learned that the hard way after spreading 6 boxes all over the back yard and still having my yard dug up. I have spread a mixture that I bought at my local Lowe's that is supposed to kill bugs in the dirt. I know the coons are digging for bugs to eat. That does not stop them from digging. I also bought another mixture I spread that is supposed to repel a long list of animals including raccoons for up to 2 months. The second night after spreading it I had more new holes dug in my lawn. It didn't work.
I recently bought a Havahart trap. The first night I put cabbage leaves in it (of course, always beyond the trap trigger). The next morning the cabbage leaves were still in there, the trap door was down, but no animal inside. The next night I put a piece of Parmesan cheese in the trap. Next morning no cheese, and the trap door was not even down. Last night I put another piece of Parmesan cheese in the center of the area beyond the trap trigger with an X cut partway down into the cheese. I tied the cheese to the cage floor sinking the string into the X to secure it, and tied it with a square knot. Next morning, no cheese, string uncut, trap door down, no coon. Like I said before, I'm at my wits end. Can you offer any help, please? Thank you. Sincerely, Colette
My response: Trapping is hard if you don't have a lot of experience. It's no so simple as just setting a Havahart trap. You can try raccoon problem prevention, but you might want to call someone in your area. The number I have on file for Daytona Beach is 386-310-3776.
Wildlife Education - Raccoon Problem Prevention Information
Does Cayenne pepper spray work?
Raccoons are known as chicken predators, and they are also known to destroy vegetables in the garden. An invasion by these little critters is enough to turn your life into hell. Luckily for you, cayenne pepper is a natural deterrent that helps get rid of a host of pests and critters. Raccoons hate the smell of cayenne, making it one of the best natural raccoon deterrents you can use at home.
Making raccoon cayenne natural deterrent
Since cayenne is a known natural deterrent, you could make your natural raccoon repellent spray at home. The following are the thing you will need.
Things you will need:
- Mix 1 gallon of water, one bottle of hot sauce and one small canister of cayenne pepper
- Pour the solution into a spray can and shake to ensure the contents mix properly
- Spray the solution in the garden and areas where the raccoons frequent the most since this repellent is not weatherproof you might need to repeat this process after it rains.
More tips to help get rid of raccoons
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Raccoons did not invade your property by chance something attracted them to your home. The following are effective ways you could discourage raccoons from invading your property.
- Ensure that your yard is clean and free from litter
- Avoid leaving pet food outside at night
- Ensure your garbage cans have lids that can be secured with bungee cords
- Regularly clean your property and structures
- Lookout for potential entry points and ensure they are sealed.
Cayenne pepper works well in deterring a variety of pests and animals, but it will not stop them from coming back. The best way to get rid of raccoons is by contacting your local pest removal service. Their services and guaranteed to keep raccoons away for good. Contact us today we can help you get rid of your raccoon problem.
Constructing a physical barrier around your garden is another way to keep raccoons out. You can build a fence using ¼” mesh hardware cloth, which you can find at your local hardware store. Make your fence 4-5 feet high because raccoons are climbers. With a tall fence that wobbles the higher and higher they climb, a raccoon will climb back down, leaving your garden untouched.
Removing all food sources from your yard is one of the easiest things you can do to keep raccoons away. Potential raccoon food sources include trash, compost, pet food, bird feeders, and fruit trees. Secure trash and compost using animal-proof containers or keep them locked in your garage or shed. Bring in pet food once your dog and cat are done eating. Store your bird feeder away in the garage each evening. And throw away or compost any fallen, spoiled fruit from around your fruit trees, if you have them.