Raccoons can be entertaining to watch, but their intelligence and dexterity make them a nuisance when they set up residence on your property. They raid trash cans, cause damage by entering homes and buildings, harm pets and livestock, and can transmit diseases. Learning humane and effective raccoon removal and deterrent methods is key to protecting your home and family.
Understanding Raccoon Behaviors
Raccoons are highly adaptable, nocturnal mammals that are found throughout North America. They are known for their distinctive “bandit mask” facial markings and ringed tails. Raccoons live in dens, which are often hidden in hollow areas of trees, brush piles, abandoned burrows, barn lofts, and unused areas of human homes and buildings.
Raccoons have excellent memories and nimble paws that allow them to open latches, undo hasps, lift lids, and more. They are able to rotated their hind feet similar to humans, making climbing easy. Raccoons will seek any cavity that looks like a promising den site or source of food.
Signs of Raccoon Infestation
Some common signs that raccoons have taken up residence on your property include:
- Ransacked trash cans with litter scattered around
- Gardens uprooted with rotting vegetables
- Pet food missing from bowls
- Attic or crawl space noises such as scratching and thumping
- Damaged roof vents or holes in soffits/rooflines
- Latched sheds or doors opened and contents strewn about
- Foul odors coming from enclosed spaces
Spotting the signs early and taking quick action will limit damage caused by raccoons on a property.
Effective Techniques to Remove Raccoons
Inspect and Seal Possible Entry Points
Find how raccoons are accessing buildings or the property and seal up openings. Use wire mesh, caulk, wood, metal, or concrete to close gaps in rooflines, vents, chimneys, eaves, and where utilities enter homes. This will prevent reentry after removal.
Install One-Way Exclusion Doors/Tubes
Place a one-way door or tube over entry holes that lets raccoons leave but not go back inside. Monitor for a couple weeks until you are sure raccoons have exited, then permanently seal the entrance.
Use Predator Urine Repellents
Soak cotton balls in coyote, fox, or bobcat urine and place them around entry holes or in problem areas. The scent makes raccoons feel threatened, frightening them off. Reapply urine every few days.
Set Humane Cage Traps
Bait cage traps with smelly foods like sardines or fruit and place them near raccoon activity. Once raccoons are caught, relocate them at least 5 miles from your property. This avoids separating mothers from dependent young.
Hire Professional Raccoon Trappers
For major raccoon problems, calling a professional wildlife control company may be necessary. They have the proper equipment, training, and permits to remove raccoons humanely and legally. They can also completely clean and decontaminate dens.
Use Chemical Repellents
Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray and other taste deterrents applied around dens or potential entry points may discourage raccoons from lingering or entering. Avoid getting repellents into eyes. Reapply after heavy rains.
Prevent Raccoons from Returning
Sealing up all possible entrances completely is critical for keeping raccoons from re-entering after removing them. Here are some additional prevention tips:
- Install roof caps and vent guards to block access.
- Attach chimney screens and spark arrestors.
- Pick ripe fruit/vegetables promptly, remove fallen produce, and protect gardens with fences.
- Put on lids firmly on trash and recycling bins. Use bungee cords to help secure.
- Feed pets indoors if possible. If not, remove food bowls after mealtimes.
- Use animal-proof compost bins far from buildings.
- Remove potential shelter and hiding spots like brush and woodpiles.
- Use outdoor lighting and sounds to scare off approaching raccoons at night.
With persistence and consistency using humane wildlife removal services and deterrent techniques, raccoons can be evicted from homes or yards successfully. Ensure proper prevention measures are taken to keep them from returning! A raccoon-free property will restore peace of mind.