What Spices Keep Raccoons Away?

Although fun to watch, raccoons are best kept away from homes.
Although fun to watch, raccoons are best kept away from homes. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Racoons may look cuddly and cute, but they often prove this myth wrong by tearing apart garbage cans to rummage and eat whatever leftovers you may have thrown out. Keeping them at bay can be as simple as spreading some simple spices around the perimeters of the areas they frequent. These methods are both effective and humane.

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Red Chili Powder

Even the most daring of raccoons will likely scoff at the idea of adding this hot and spicy food additive to their buffet of garbage. As they are mammals, their eyes will likely tear up and send them to the curb looking for a puddle to drink from. Sprinkle a light dusting inside and outside of your garbage can area.

Black Pepper

While black pepper may be a common additive to foods that humans dine on, it is not a spice that raccoons are accustom to. One whiff of this stuff, and the raccoons will surely sneeze their way off of your premises.

Citrus Zest

High amounts of citric acid is not a common ingredient in the diet of the raccoon. Don't throw away those old orange, lemon or lime peels. In addition to using these typically thrown away fruit parts as garnish and zesty food additives, you can spread some around your garbage to keep these furry pests from tearing open another bag.


Cinnamon is a great spice to use in small amounts, but if ingested in large amounts it is likely to make even humans feel ill. By dousing your garbage cans and lawn in this completely safe pest repellent it will be unlikely you will see the furry masked garbage bandits making a return anytime soon.


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