For keeping raccoons out of your yard, you will need to develop an effective repelling plan. Protective measures always need to start with identifying areas that can potentially be damaged by raccoons. This helps determining where you need to use repellents and which type would be the most efficient. Common raccoon activities include invading your attic, eating your veggies from the garden, stealing fish from your pond, living underneath your porch, raiding your trash cans and attacking your bird feeders.
Once you have established the areas where raccoons are roaming, you need to clean them up and remove any possible attractants. This includes cleaning up all the garbage, paper, food, berries that fell from trees. Make sure you also purchase metal garbage cans which have lids that stay tightly attached, or you can also use lid-securing devices, as raccoons do have the ability of opening unsecured lids. You can also place heavy weights onto the lids of trash cans, to avoid having raccoons reaching this food source. As their smelling sense is often used to find food, make sure you always keep the cans clean after emptying them. make sure water does not get stored in them, as this will also attract raccoons to your yard.
Raccoons are omnivorous and get attracted to certain crops like corn and watermelon. Avoid planting them for some time until you get rid of raccoons completely.
Preventive measures against raccoons, that you can apply around the yard
- Place garbage inside the cans and cover it with lids immediately or the raccoons will smell your food from afar and come to eat out of the trash cans;
- Clean up any picnic tables and chairs of food or crumbs when you retire for the night;
- Place the trash cans indoors, in the garage or somewhere enclosed if you are going away for a long time, as to avoid raccoons coming over and tipping them in search for food;
- Always use a double plastic bag before throwing away meat or other foods that have a strong odor; you can also put a little bleach or strong cleanser on the bag outside before depositing it in the can;
- Even clean areas can provide shelter for raccoons. Whether individuals or families, they tend to have several nests within their territories. If you discover evidence of a nest in your attic or a sheltered area around your home you can try making the nest area inhospitable by placing bright lights, noise and ammonia-scented rags in order to make the raccoons feel insecure. Don’t confront the raccoon yourself under any circumstances, especially a mother with cubs, as they can be very aggressive.
Should you have discovered the raccoons do have access points around your yard, make sure to completely seal them. In an attic you need to check under nooks or dormers. If you hear them in your crawl space look for broken vents or borrows, as that is where they gained access from. Before sealing up any cracks, you need to make sure the raccoons move out of their shelter, and what is more important, they also relocate their young. By using the fact that they have a very strong sense of smell, you can use things such as ammonia soaked up balls, thrown inside the vents or other places where raccoons nest. This smell will make the raccoons relocate, as it is unpleasant for them.
Based on areas the raccoons are frequenting, you can establish whether a liquid, granular or electronic solution is best for you. It’s important to note that the more repelling methods you employ, the more likely you will have long-term success at keeping raccoons off your property.
Types of raccoon repellents
Whether you use liquid, granular or electronic repellents, make sure you are using them correctly. If you are choosing the liquid type, note that they are for outdoor use mostly, and are effective if they are frequently reapplied onto the surface in case, especially after a heavy rainfall. You can spray liquid repellents on garbage cans and trash bags, bird feeders, plants in the garden, flowers, trees, roofing or gutters and other hard surfaces you can find on the outside.
Granular repellent can also be used in order to create a barrier around your property, or around specific areas, such as gardens, flowerbeds, sheds, barns, attics, or in front of raccoon dens, crawl spaces or on pathways. This type of repellent works best on flat surfaces, and it can be used outdoors and indoors as well. It works effectively in every type of climate, as granules do last longer than liquids, however, reapplication is again necessary from time to time.
Electronic repellents such as water sprinklers require very little maintenance, are effective and also eco-friendly. They can be used in almost any outdoor area, such as near vegetable gardens, mulch beds, flowerbeds, pathways, pool areas, yards/lawns, outside structures, koi ponds, property entryways, garbage cans or trees.
Predator urine is also a good method to remove raccoons, and is available at some stores and online sites. You can spray urine of wolves, bobcat, mountain lions or coyotes. It would lead raccoons to think that a predator is nearby, and they will escape as soon as possible. Also, you can plant cucumber in your garden and adjacent to fencing as these critters can’t tolerate the smell of cucumbers.
Although these three types do work effectively on their own, it is best to always target the raccoons’ multiple senses, like scent and also taste. The more control products you use, the better your defense. Make sure you apply each in the area it is most effective, shake liquids before applying them to ensure proper dispersal of the solution, reapply them whenever necessary. Also, to be sure that your actions are effective, remove any attractants remaining on your property.
Using both preventive and repelling measures is the best way of keeping pests out of your yard and home. Just by applying repellents, but not taking care of the surroundings around your house, you will work in vain, as raccoons will try to return if they sense food or see the opportunity of a shelter. Remember to always remove water sources and trash, wash garbage cans and clean up birdseed and pet food from around your house. Cut overhanging branches and clean spilled food immediately, and most importantly, make sure the are no openings or holes that could give raccoons access to enter your home. Follow the above steps for a successful prevention of raccoon infestation. However, if you are already fighting such a problem, follow the steps provided in out article about how to get rid of a raccoon infestations, as details about further pest control measures are provided there.