How to Stop Raccoons

How to Stop Raccoons
How to Stop Raccoons (Image: thomas informater,

A raccoon's habitat in the United States is anywhere he can find food and water. While the animal's natural diet is made up of mice, insects and plants, in areas populated by humans, the main diet of the raccoon consists of garbage and pet food. Raccoons live in dry, warm places. They often settle in holes in trees and dens abandoned by other animals. Attics and outbuildings are also attractive settling sites to the raccoon. Once raccoons have identified your property as an ideal home or feeding area, they can cause a lot of damage. Scattered garbage, devastated gardens and ruined insulation can be annoying to the homeowner, but the added danger of fleas, distemper and raccoon roundworm make removing racoons from your property a priority.

Things You'll Need

  • Rope or bungie cord
  • Cinder blocks
  • Electric fence
  • Radio
  • Ammonia
  • Motion detector lighting
  • Welded wire or hardware cloth (screening material)
  • Cayenne pepper

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Protect your garbage cans from becoming the favored Raccoon diner. The best way to do this is to upgrade to rubberized locking garbage cans, but if this isn't possible, try tying the lids of your current cans down and placing cinder blocks on top to keep the raccoons out.

Rake up any fruit that has fallen from trees.

Bring pet food and bird feeders indoors until the raccoon has found another area to feed.

Fence in your garden. Raccoons can climb, so you may need to use electric fencing.

Clean your grill if you keep it outside.

Don't restock your fish pond until you're sure the raccoon is gone.

Set up flood lights in the attic.

Set a radio to a talk station, and let it play at high volume in the attic.

Soak a cloth in ammonia and hang it in the attic.

Make sure no baby raccoons have been left in the attic.

When you're sure the raccoons have moved on, cut back any tree branches that allow easy access to the roof.

Patch or screen openings larger than 4 inches with the screening material, leaving one open in case a raccoon is left inside and needs to escape.

Place a live trap in front of the open hole (see Resources).

Patch or screen the final hole when you are sure the attic is raccoon-free.

Open the flue 1/8 inch.

Set a bowl of ammonia in the fireplace.

Tune a radio to a talk station, and place it in the fireplace.

Allow the mother raccoon to remove her babies from the chimney. This should take two to three nights.

Assist raccoons that are unable to climb out of a metal chimney by dropping thick knotted rope down the chimney that is strong enough for the raccoon to climb up.

Cap the chimney only after you are sure the raccoons are gone.

Set motion detector lights at the pet door.

Place a piece of cardboard sprinkled with cayenne pepper in front of the pet door at sunset, removing it in the morning.

Lock or block the pet door at sunset.

Tips & Warnings

  • The main cause of raccoon death is starvation. If raccoons cannot find food at a particular location, they will not waste the energy to return.
  • A raccoon will defend itself when cornered.


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