How Do I Get Rid of Raccoons?

“Prevention is better than cure” is an adage that perfectly befits a raccoon scenario. If you know that the critters are living in your neighborhood, it is always wise to modify your habits to make your house uninviting to raccoons. This may save you a lot of time and money to get rid of raccoons from your house.

Get rid of raccoons in your homeHowever, sometimes things go wrong along the way or don’t turn out as planned, and now you have raccoons on your property. You need to address your raccoon problem efficiently and quickly.

The best way to get rid of raccoons depends on many variables, and there is no method that fits every situation. Sometimes it’s a quick fix and you can do it yourself. In other cases, hiring a wildlife specialist is the only option to oust the raccoons.

Whatever the case may be, as soon as you notice signs of raccoon activity, the first thing you need to do is assess the severity of your problem. Raccoons may be active in your yard during the night but disappear at daybreak. Alternatively, they may already live in your house, perhaps in the attic, which is, of course, the worst-case scenario. Now let’s see what you can do in either case to get rid of raccoons.

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons In Your Yard

There are many products available on the market to repel raccoons as well as many recipes for homemade, natural repellents. For example, people commonly spray ammonia around and on the trash can or wherever the raccoons have been. The idea is that the strong odor is so unpleasant to the raccoons that it will discourage them from coming back. Following the same principle, people even spray the yard with cayenne pepper solution, coyote urine, homemade mixtures with garlic, or another ingredient known to be unpleasant to raccoons. Some even put hot sauce or Tabasco inside the trash can to give the raccoons a burning sensation when they eat from it. Do these methods work?

It is a controversial question, and you may get a range of feedback. Some people get good results, but in most cases these methods are ineffective. Even though the smell of these products is strong, the scent can easily fade away in the open air. Moreover, raccoons are very adaptable creatures. They may get used to the annoyance more easily than you think if they have good reason to do so, as you will discover if you keep reading.

The same holds true when it comes to electronic repellents like radios that broadcast people talking or devices designed to scare raccoons. Again, you may see some positive results, but the reality is that raccoons are pretty smart. They may be afraid at first, but they will quickly realize that your device cannot actually cause them any harm.

Best Methods For Getting Rid of Raccoons In Your Yard

So, what does work to get rid of raccoons in your yard? As in any battle, the best strategy is to study your enemy and know him well. This will give you a real advantage over the raccoons.

Why are raccoons visiting your property? This is the key point if you want to get rid of raccoons in your yard. They do not come because your house is nicer than the neighbor’s. It’s not even about the location, which is irrelevant to raccoons. No, they come to your house solely because they can find food or water. Leave them without an easy meal for several days and the game is over — the raccoons will go looking for food somewhere else. However, if they keep finding a good source of sustenance on your property, the raccoons will learn to live with the repellent you’re using and keep visiting your yard.

Get rid of raccoons in your yardSo if you want to win your battle with the raccoons, pinpoint where in your yard they may find food. There are more options than you can imagine. The primary source of food for raccoons is obviously your trash can. Raccoons are omnivorous, so whatever food you throw away is a mouthwatering meal for them. You need to protect your trash can immediately. You can buy a new one with a sealing lead or use a bungee cord to tightly close the one you have. Whatever your decision, make sure the trash can is totally secure, because raccoons are very dexterous and can get past some barriers. Another option is to put the trash can inside during the night so that the raccoons can’t even see it or smell it.

Where else can raccoons look for food? If you have pets, chances are that when you feed them, you are feeding raccoons too. The same is true if you have bird feeders. If you leave your pet’s food or the bird feeder outside during the night, and maybe some water too, you are asking for raccoons. They are quite greedy when it comes to these edibles, so make sure you always keep food inside after dark. After a few days of not finding food, the raccoons will give up and look for greener pastures.

If you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees, these are sensitive areas too. Raccoons like the produce you grow and especially fallen fruit, which becomes so fragrant as it rots that the smell attracts raccoons. To prevent a raccoon from eating your crop requires a bit of work on your part. You have to keep the area clean by picking up fruit from the ground, and you will most likely need to install an electric fence all around the vegetable garden and trees. You can try a regular fence, but raccoons are excellent climbers and can easily get over traditional fences. That’s why we recommend an electric fence as the best protection.

Other common sources of food are your goldfish, if you have a pond, or the compost pile, which may attract raccoons due to the smell. These areas too need to be protected. Cover the compost pile so that the smell doesn’t release into the air. And depending on the pond’s size, you can cover it with a mesh net or surround it with an electric fence.

You may notice that the raccoons that visit your yard dig up the ground or destroy your flowers. That’s a sign that there are grubs or bugs living in the soil and the raccoons are looking for them. You will need a good treatment to kill this source of food and leave the raccoons disappointed.

More Methods To Push Raccoons Away

Besides eliminating any possible sources of food, a good deterrent for raccoons is installing motion-activated floodlights. Unlike other electronic devices, the floodlights tend to be successful because they interfere with one of raccoons’ natural habits: Raccoons love to operate in the dark, and the light is particularly irritating to them. If you go for this solution, consider that you need enough floodlights to cover the whole area, and they need to be powerful enough to saturate the zone. Only then will the light be a real annoyance for the animals.

These are the most common methods for getting rid of raccoons in your yard if you decide on a DIY approach. If the raccoons limit their activities to just your yard, you have some time to experiment with different methods. What you want to avoid is giving the animals enough time to transform your garden into a latrine, because if that happens, the problem becomes more serious due to the dangers of raccoon droppings. So if your attempts to thwart the raccoons prove ineffective after a few days, do not hesitate to call a wildlife specialist like Get Raccoons Out. We will assist you in solving the problem and avoiding further complications.

Something else you must avoid at all costs is allowing the raccoons enough time to explore your property and enter your home.

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons In Your House

If raccoons enter your house, a different and more dangerous scenario unfolds. We’re not talking about a raccoon that finds a way into your house, makes a little mess and then leaves. We’re talking about your house becoming the raccoon’s den. If this is the case, DIY methods hardly ever work or may leave the problem only partially solved.

For example, you may spray repellent solutions like ammonia or predator urine inside the attic or wherever the raccoons are. You may even spray the same solution all around the hole they use to enter your house. A common technique is spreading mothballs inside the raccoons’ hiding place. Without ventilation, the room may get very smelly. But remember what we said before: Raccoons are very adaptable when they have good reason to be. If they have good sources of food around your house, they may be willing to deal with the smell.

As far as other methods, like installing a floodlight or blasting a radio, they too have a good chance of being ineffective for several reasons. As we said before, the radio broadcasting a human voice is annoying for raccoons, but they are smart enough to realize that in the end it doesn’t pose any real harm. Plus, for how many days would you be able to handle a radio talking in your attic during the night?

As for floodlights, you have to consider where raccoons make their dens. Raccoons hide their dens in inaccessible places like down the walls or in the eaves. So it is possible that the floodlight can’t reach those places, or is not bright enough to irritate the raccoons. If this is the case, the raccoons just have to tolerate the light for the short path from den to exit. After that, the raccoons are outside in the darkness that they love so much. And, once outside, if there is enough food available, the light becomes only a minor problem for such an adaptable creature.

Trapping Raccoons In Your House

Considering these facts, what is the best method to get rid of raccoons in your house?

Trapping is the solution we recommend. It is a humane way to catch the raccoons, and it completely solves the problem if you do it correctly. We say “if you do it correctly” because it is not just a matter of buying and setting a trap.

You need to use the right kind of trap, know exactly how to set it, determine the proper location for the trap, secure it to the ground, use the right kind of bait and so on. There are so many variables that if you’re not a raccoon removal expert, something will probably go wrong. It could be that you don’t capture any raccoons, or you get one that is not the animal you’re chasing. You may trap other animals too or, in some cases, a poorly set trap could harm or kill the raccoon.

That’s why if you want to get rid of raccoons in your house you should call a wildlife specialist like Get Raccoons Out. In fact, even if you succeed in catching the raccoons, there are other factors involved that only a professional can address. Let’s see what those are.

Why Removing A Raccoon Is Not Enough

When a raccoon settles in your attic, chimney, garage or any other place in your house, it is entirely possible that it’s there to give birth. There’s a good chance you have baby raccoons inside your house. Why could that be a problem?

Get rid of raccoons babiesA mother raccoon is very fond and protective of her babies. If the baby raccoons are left behind and you don’t relocate the mother far enough away (which means many miles) she will come back to rescue the cubs. If you close her way into your house, a mother raccoon can become amazingly destructive in her attempts to get back to the baby raccoons.

No matter what, leaving the cubs in the litter inside your house is not a good idea. First, the little raccoons will starve to death, which is not what you want. Moreover, if they die in your house, the rotting bodies will produce such a foul smell that it will be unbearable to remain inside the home.

That’s why it is always better to address the baby raccoon problem as your first step. Finding the litter is not an easy job. As we mentioned before, the raccoon hides its den. Locating the litter often requires expertise and quite a lot of time, and you should probably do it at night when the mother leaves to hunt for food.

Finding and removing the litter is not a pleasant task, and it requires working in an area contaminated by raccoon droppings, which are highly hazardous to human health. You need to be equipped with the right clothing and a professional respirator to protect yourself. Maybe now you’re starting to understand why a raccoon removal specialist like Get Raccoons Out is the easiest way out of your problem.

What To Do After You Get Rid Of The Raccoon

In addition to understanding the hazards of removing a raccoon, you have to be aware that the area where the raccoon lived is now contaminated by its droppings. Raccoon droppings may pose a serious threat to the health of you and your family. The droppings of a raccoon carry various diseases, and once contaminated, the area remains dangerous for years. It is important to correctly decontaminate the area and sanitize it by fogging or spraying products that kill not only the bad odor but also all the pathogens.

Now that you, or most likely your wildlife specialist, have gotten rid of the raccoons in your house, it is time to fix all the damage and repair the holes the raccoons used to enter your home. Don’t think that raccoons will never come back — a new raccoon may still find your house appealing and decide to move in.

For this reason, all the repair work needs to be done perfectly. Use materials strong enough to resist any raccoon’s attempt to get back in. Use solid wood and secure it with several bolts. You may even consider using a metal sheet to add extra strength and check that the siding is strong enough to resist the dexterous fingers of raccoons. Inspect your whole house to make sure that vents, fan openings, the chimney and any other weak points are properly and robustly secured.

Again in this case, a raccoon removal specialist is in the best position to have the job done right and get the house accurately inspected to ensure that raccoons never visit you again.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Before Calling A Raccoon Removal Specialist

When you have raccoons on your property, you don’t have much time before the problem could get out of control.

As you’ve now learned, if raccoons are in your yard, you can attempt to push them away. But don’t wait too long and allow the animals to enter your house or use your yard as a latrine, because then you have a major problem on your hands.

If the raccoon is already inside your house, you don’t have any time to waste. You’ll need the support of a specialist to get rid of the raccoons.

But many people mistakenly wait too long before calling a wildlife expert. This usually happens for three main reasons:

  • It’s not a big deal. Many are misled by the raccoons’ cute, innocent faces. A lack of information leaves people unaware of how destructive raccoons can be if they enter the house and what a danger their droppings pose to human health, particularly for children, who are more exposed. By the time people realize the risks, the problem is often out of control.
  • I can do it myself. The Internet has become a major tool for do-it-yourselfers. Of course, the Web has plenty of information on how to get rid of raccoons. What people tend to forget is that reading information and knowing the facts doesn’t make you an expert in the field. Even though you might be successful at getting rid of raccoons in your yard, once they settle in your house, the DIY methods are highly ineffective. The amount of destruction a raccoon can cause inside your house in just a couple of weeks is unbelievable. Just remember that the sooner you call a wildlife specialist like Get Raccoons Out the less damage you will have to repair.
  • A raccoon removal service will cost too much money. This is a major worry. Yes, a raccoon removal service has a price that depends on the extent of the problem. However, the removal cost is usually insignificant compared to the money you might spend fixing and replacing the walls, trodden insulation, broken ducts, chewed wires and other disasters raccoons can create. Every day you wait is more money you have to spend on repairs. If the cost of a removal service is your main concern, we have good news for you: Your insurance company will pay for the expenses. Here at Get Raccoons Out, we have the expertise needed to coordinate between you and your insurance company to help you get all your costs refunded.

So if you have raccoons roaming around your house, be wise in making your next move. If you think the problem is minor, take action yourself immediately. But if your raccoon problem is too big to DIY, do not hesitate to contact Get Raccoons Out today and we will commit to removing the raccoons from your house.