Raccoons in the Yard: Removing and Keeping Invasion-Free

Raccoons in the yard can be both a nuisance and a concern for homeowners.

These clever and resourceful creatures are drawn to our outdoor spaces in search of food and shelter.

In this guide, we’ll explore effective strategies for managing and preventing raccoon presence in your yard.

How to Remove Raccoons from the Yard

Here are some ways to remove raccoons from your yard:

  1. Eliminate Potential Food Sources: Raccoons are drawn to food, so ensure your trash cans are secured, remove pet food or birdseed, and promptly clean up fallen fruits or nuts from trees.

  2. Install Deterrents: Employ various methods to deter raccoons from entering your yard, such as setting up motion-activated sprinklers, using bright lights or music to scare them away, and installing exclusion fences to protect areas like compost piles and fish ponds.

  3. Utilize Odors: Raccoons have an aversion to certain smells, such as ammonia, vinegar, and cucumber. You can soak rags in ammonia and place them where you’ve noticed raccoon activity or incorporate cucumber plants along your fence and in your garden.

  4. Seal Access Points: Raccoons can gain entry to your home through small openings, so be sure to seal any potential access points using wooden boards, wire mesh, netting, or newspaper.

  5. Seek Professional Assistance: If you encounter a raccoon situation that you’re unsure how to handle, it’s advisable to contact a professional for assistance. Raccoons can be aggressive, so exercise caution when approaching them.

Always prioritize humane methods when removing raccoons from your yard.

Risks of Having Raccoons in the Yard

Having raccoons in your yard can pose several risks. Firstly, there’s the potential spread of diseases; raccoons can carry illnesses like salmonella, leptospirosis, and raccoon roundworm, all of which can be harmful to both humans and pets.

Secondly, these creatures can cause property damage, often digging up gardens and yards in their relentless quest for food.

Additionally, while raccoons are generally shy around humans, they can exhibit aggressive behavior if they feel threatened or cornered, thanks to their sharp claws and teeth.

Lastly, if raccoons establish a nearby latrine in your yard, it’s possible for them to easily infiltrate your home, leading to further damage.

Therefore, it’s crucial to take steps to remove raccoons from your yard in order to mitigate these risks. If you’re uncertain about how to do so safely and humanely, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance.

Effective Raccoon Repellents

Here are some effective raccoon repellents that you can use:

  • Vinegar: Raccoons strongly dislike the smell of vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar. You can create a simple repellent by filling a spray bottle with vinegar, adding a bit of water, and then spraying it around your yard.

  • Cayenne Pepper: Raccoons are sensitive to spicy odors, making a cayenne pepper spray an easy and effective repellent. Mix a small bottle of cayenne pepper with a bottle of hot sauce, then combine both with a gallon of water and shake thoroughly. Spray this pepper solution around your plants, bushes, and other garden greenery.

  • Ammonia: Soaking rags in ammonia and strategically placing them around your yard can discourage raccoons from lingering near your house and garbage.

  • Epsom Salt: Sprinkling Epsom salt both inside and around your vegetable garden can help keep raccoons at bay.

  • Fix the Fence: Establishing a scent-free zone by keeping all attractive scents, like the pungent aroma of garbage, well-covered can serve as an effective raccoon deterrent.

It’s important to note that raccoon repellents and deterrents may have limited effectiveness.

Some offer only a temporary solution, and raccoons, being intelligent and tenacious creatures, can adapt to these measures over time.

Alternatively, you can refer to our comprehensive guide on ‘How to get rid of Raccoons.’

If your home provides the resources the animals seek, raccoons may become accustomed to these repellents and begin to ignore them.

Preventing Raccoons in the Yard

Here are some effective methods to prevent raccoons from entering your yard:

  1. Secure Trash Cans: Raccoons are naturally drawn to food, so it’s crucial to secure your trash cans with tight-fitting lids or use bungee cords to prevent raccoons from gaining access.

  2. Remove Potential Food Sources: To deter raccoons, eliminate food attractions by removing pet food or birdseed and promptly cleaning up any fallen fruits or nuts from trees.

  3. Protect Your Garden: Safeguard your fruits and vegetables by using fencing or netting to create a barrier that keeps raccoons away from your garden.

  4. Block Off Hiding Spots: Identify and address potential hiding spots on your property that could serve as raccoon shelters. Either eliminate these spaces or install barriers to prevent raccoons from accessing them. For instance, use wire mesh, sheet metal, or other durable materials to seal off areas beneath your home. Additionally, maintain well-trimmed bushes to reduce cover.

  5. Eliminate Water Sources: Check for any potential water sources that raccoons might use, such as bird baths or pet water dishes, and either remove them or keep them empty.

  6. Use Deterrents: Employ various raccoon deterrents, including animal repellents, motion-activated sprinklers, and bright lights or music designed to frighten them away.

Remember that raccoons are intelligent and persistent creatures, so it’s essential to implement multiple measures to discourage them from entering your yard.

If you’re uncertain about how to do so safely and humanely, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance.