Tried And Tested Tips On How To Get Rid Of Raccoons

Arpitha Rajendra
Mar 02, 2023 By Arpitha Rajendra
Originally Published on Oct 27, 2021
Edited by Jade Scott
Raccoon in Minnesota holding flower
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 10.0 Min

The common raccoon, more simply known as a raccoon is a native animal of North America.

Raccoons love areas that have a lot of trees. They can be found in every region and city of the United States.

Raccoons are medium-sized mammals and the largest within the family procyonid. They are also called northern raccoons and North American raccoons.

The term raccoon is of Powhatan origin and translates to 'animal that scratches with its hand,' and in Latin, it means 'before-dog washer.' These species are quite famous as garbage scanners and can often be found around your yard.

These cute animals are usually considered pests and carriers of diseases by farmers and homeowners.

Since the year 2016, in Europe, raccoons were included in the Invasive Alien Species of Union concern list. This list indicates that one cannot breed, import, transport, commercialize, or intentionally release raccoons into the environment across the European Union.

The population of raccoons is steadily increasing, and they are commonly sighted among humans, with some people feeding them and others disliking them. Almost all public authorities and a few wildlife experts go against feeding wild raccoons because they might gradually depend on humans for food sources and become obstructive.

The raccoon problem is more common than we might think. These intelligent rabies-carrying species love to forage in trash cans and can cause serious damage to your property.

Many people keep raccoons as pets. These omnivores are not picky eaters and can eat anything they find.

They also can make it into the home including the attic and even onto the roof. If you want to know how to get rid of raccoons in your attic or how to get rid of raccoons on your roof, continue reading for some practical tips.

If you enjoyed reading these facts about how to get rid of raccoons, then make sure to read some more interesting facts about how to get rid of skunks and how to get rid of sugar ants here at Kidadl.

What do raccoons hate the most?

Raccoons hate bright lights, vinegar, hot peppers like cayenne pepper, essential oils, and Epsom salt. Predator urine, garlic juice, ammonia, and loud sounds are also all raccoon repellents.

The sense of smell is a strong suit of raccoons as is the need to find food sources in the surroundings. Just a little food kept outside can easily attract raccoons.

Not only outside on your property but also inside your house, open food sources can be dangerous. The smell of hot pepper irritates their sense of smell so they also stay away from plants producing spicy food as well as tomatoes.

Raccoons avoid plants that smell bad to them such as peppermint and if peppermint oil is sprayed on a plant they will avoid it.

They will avoid any yard with a garlic plant or garlic spray. Raccoons have sensitive feet, which is why they stay away from prickly plants.

Like all animals, raccoons would also steer clear of their predators. Raccoon predators are coyotes, great horned owls, and bobcats, and raccoons will stay away from the scent or urine of their predators.

There are some plants raccoons love to eat from like sweet corns but if these plants were combined with any other prickly plant that they hate, raccoons will stay away from such a food source.

They also hate the smell of eviction fluid and vinegar. They hate the strong smell of ammonia and after 24 hours, human urine turns to ammonia and they will stay away from it.

Raccoons cannot be kept away using mothballs. Raccoons also hate electric fences and the presence of predators in the surroundings.

Young Raccoon standing staring at the camera

What is a natural deterrent method for raccoons?

Natural deterrents made at home that deter raccoons are spice mixtures, cayenne pepper, vinegar or apple cider vinegar, Epsom salt, Irish Spring soap, coffee grounds, pepper or onion spray, predator urine, oriental poppies, globe thistle, and cucumbers.

Natural repellents are the ones available in your surroundings. While there are many chemical repellents available for getting rid of raccoons, there are also natural raccoon repellents that help to keep raccoons away from your garden or house.

Raccoons have learned to adapt around humans as humans expand into forests. They are attracted to regions with high human populations to get more food.

The substance capsaicin that gives peppers their hot features can be used as a natural deterrent. Raccoons hate the smell and taste of peppers.

If they smell white vinegar and ammonia anywhere around your yard then these animals will move away from it. A mixture of peppers like cayenne peppers, jalapeno, and yellow onions can also deter these animals.

Sauce spray mixture consisting of hot sauce and mild dishwashing soap can also keep these pests away. Cucumbers also act as a repellent around the property.

A spray made of water, black pepper, and dish soap also deters these animals species. The pungent smell produced by onion and pepper mixtures will stop the entry of raccoons into the property.

At night, these animals mainly use the sense of smell to find food and vinegar can be used at night. Garlic cloves, powder, or garlic mixed with water and dish soap sprayed on plants will keep raccoons away.

The combination of four to five drops of peppermint oil with a little rubbing alcohol and water is a strong repellent of these animal species also. Predator urine around the property and near the house is a way to communicate among the animal kingdom.

It is a way to mark territories. Coyote urine or other predator urine makes the raccoon think that the neighborhood is the territory of coyotes or other animal predators.

This is an effective deterrent. The scent of coffee grounds also deters these animal species from your property.

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons In Your House

You can keep raccoons away from your house by keeping your eye on the trash bags or garbage cans, scaring them, using bad-smelling ingredients, using cage traps, using ultrasound animal repellent, and removing pet food. You can also call for professional help and seal your chimney, holes, attic, and roof

Raccoons are not only intelligent they are extremely bold and can easily get into your house, regardless of if you have a boundary fence, and might not know how to get out. Raccoons also easily get scared.

If you hear any scratching or gnawing in your house, it might be a raccoon. If this pest is in your attic, you will hear thumping.

Other sounds they make include chittering, snarls, snorts, squeals, and purrs. The common sign of raccoons found around your house will be foot tracks.

You can look for feces or scat that indicate a raccoon infestation also. They might also invade garbage in your house.

Raccoons can also rip out the roof and create holes around your house. There are various methods used to repel raccoons. After using all of them, if they do not leave your house, then you need to take the help of a professional for pest control.

Try not to confront raccoons if they are in your house. Seal off the entry points of the chimney, attic, and eaves of the roof.

If the raccoon has gone deeper inside the house then you will need to open a way for them to go out. It is also better if you leave a trail of either fruit or pet food towards the main door.

While you are setting this up, try not to block the raccoon's way as it might feel cornered or trapped. Sometimes the raccoon will not understand your method so you can use a broom to gently push them towards the exit.

If it still doesn't leave your house then try to trap it under a heavy towel and then put it far away from the house. This can be quite difficult, however.

A raccoon will also not enter any trap if it sees you setting it up. It is better to usher away a raccoon during nighttime as they are nocturnal.

You can spray ammonia, Epsom salt, or pepper where you previously saw the raccoon. Professional help needs to be taken for pest control if you are not able to remove a raccoon from the house using these methods.

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons In Your Yard

To get rid of raccoons in your yard use a loud mowing machine to scare them, motion sensors, motion-activated sprinklers, an electric fence, or sprays. In addition, keep pet food and bird feeders inside, use raccoon repellant garbage cans or trash bags, or call for professional pest control.

Before you try to get rid of raccoons you can look for signs of them such as digging holes in your garden, foot tracks, and messed up garbage. They are also attracted to bird feeders and pet pellets.

There are some methods to help keep these pests away from your yard. To cover your non-locking trash can use cinder blocks or bungee cords and use double or heavy-duty trash bags to put all the trash into.

Make sure to mow your lawn; you can use a loud machine as it will also scare raccoons away. Limit any type of hiding areas in dark places.

Bright lights also scare raccoons away. Make sure to use repellents like oils, ammonia, Epsom salt, pepper, urine, vinegar spray, and onions.

You can either raccoon-proof or remove bird feeders from the yard. Make sure there is no easy entry or access available to your roof as they are great climbers and try to close up all small entry places like holes.

There are deterrents like pest control spray, solar-powered deterrent lights, a strobe that produces sound and light, critter prickers, and cat scat. A simple solar-light-producing machine can be used to scare away small animals like foxes, skunks, raccoons, and deers.

This machine needs less upkeep and only four to five hours of sunlight to charge. However, with a big yard, they can be less effective.

Pest control sprays available in the market can come in 3 packs for cost-effectiveness. They can work on both insects and rodents and will not irritate most pets.

Ultrasonic strobes with light and sound are quick but produce little sound, although you can adjust their settings easily.

This strobe, however, works better on other animals, and raccoons can come back after several weeks. A critter pricker is a rubber mat deterrent that can work better in gardens, is easily attached to the roof to prevent access, is easy to set up, and is relatively cheap.

However, it cannot be placed on a vertical wall and can break off easily. Both deterrents and repellents can be used together but they can easily harm your pets too but products like apple cider vinegar can be used as a natural deterrent method that won't cause harm.

An electric fence and sprays around your house are effective to keep raccoons away. You can easily plant cucumbers to keep raccoons out of your yard.

Keep your chimneys, roofs, and attics closed if you track raccoons in the yard. Shrubbery and trees around your house need to be constantly maintained.

If any branch from the tree touches the roof of your house, raccoons can easily reach your house. Your dog might also help you hunt the raccoons.

However, raccoons carry rabies and if your dog gets bit, it will need immediate medical attention. Some of the best places to apply scent repellents are near your garden, pantry, crops, food bins, trash cans, and any place that preserves food.

Apply the scents along pathways and entry points to your yard or garden. Do not forget to apply this scent in places where humans cannot reach, which are possible spots for raccoons to nest.

Make sure to cover the place around your yard and house so that they do not look for any other place. Repellents, however, might need to be applied again after a few days or weeks as they will wear off, especially after rain.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestion for how to get rid of raccoons, then why not take a look at how to get rid of garter snakes or raccoon facts?

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Written by Arpitha Rajendra

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

Arpitha Rajendra picture

Arpitha RajendraBachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.

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