As scavengers, raccoons help keep the world healthy. But homeowners consider them as troublesome pests.
They’ll rummage your garbage, transmit infections like leptospirosis, and damage structures/ attics to create nests during the winter.
You’re not alone in feeling like raccoons are a big nuisance. So, if you want to learn how to rid your home of raccoons, just keep reading.
Related: Do Opossums Carry Rabies
17 Techniques on How to Get Rid of Raccoon
1. Set Up Motion-Activated Sprinklers
When it came to raccoon deterrents, motion-activated sprinklers proved to be one of the most effective methods so far with a repellent rate close to 95%.
The science behind this is that when a raccoon walks near an active sprinkler head, they get sprayed and disturbed by water droplets which are emitted from all directions in order to scare them away.
This should work even better if you have multiple heads for maximum coverage!
- Motion-activated sprinklers are an excellent way to keep raccoons out of your garden – a natural repellent. They frighten raccoons so much, they simply run away.
If you use normal water sprinklers to get rid of raccoons, you might damage your yard plants (through overwatering) and even raise your water bill. So, motion-activated sprinklers are the best option.
- With this type of system, you attach a motion sensor to the ground near your garden and connect it to an irrigation controller that can activate multiple zones at once.
- You adjust the sensitivity setting on the sensor so that it only activates when something moves in the area, but not when small animals like birds or squirrels walkthrough.
The Yard Enforcer 62100 sprinkler is especially popular among those looking for yard raccoon deterrents since it comes with many customizable settings.
- For raccoon deterrence, adjust its settings so that it only goes off at night when these animals are most active.
- You should also place the sensor height at raccoon level and position scatter in an area where they congregate – in a 40-feet radius.
2. Use Loud noises and Flashing Lights
There are a number of ways to scare raccoons away, including using loud sounds and flashing lights. This is despite being wily and smart animals.
A great strategy is to use a device that produces both a noise source with bright lights.
For example, you may choose motion-activated speakers to repel the raccoons with loud sounds or distress calls.
- Make sure their deterrent is situated close enough for these animals cannot jump over it – typically between three feet high and five feet tall from ground level.
- Then place speakers around its area of effect such as woodpiles, objects made out of metal, water pools, etc.
The speakers may produce sounds made by raccoon predators or also the sounds made by raccoons when in distress.
- For example, a dog’s bark, the sound of a hawk, and the death scream of raccoons all work.
- The frequency should be high-pitched (below or above) to mimic these sounds but undetectable by humans.
- The sound that will be emitted should also have a radius of at least 30 feet to cover an area.
Possible deterrents for raccoons include the use of flashing lights, such as strobe lights or LEDs set on low and random intervals that are triggered by motion detectors, which may scare them off from your yard.
Any sudden, loud noises such as a clap of thunder or backfiring car will work to scare raccoons if they are close.
- If you don’t have any other choice but continuous noises, there is still hope as long as it isn’t overly predictable.
Related: Treating Fleas in the Yard
3. Use an ultrasound Racoon Repellents
The ultrasound repellents make a loud and annoying sound that raccoons don’t like.
- Place the device in your desired place, for example in front of your house or garden shed to keep them away.
- It works by emitting an ultrasonic noise that is not audible to humans but potentially harmful for these animals because they are sensitive to high frequencies and their young ones can be too.
These ultrasound repellents are perfect for all the raccoons as they produce sounds that are only perceived by some targeted animals and not humans.
I recommend the Chanshee 2 Sound-Wave Repellent; it is an easy setup and can be tweaked for certain critters.
The lights show that it’s working. I used it to deter deer and raccoons from my yard successfully.
- Chanshee 2 Sound-Wave Repellent has been a lifesaver for me. I live in the city and have a small garden, but raccoons regularly come out to eat my flowers at night time.
- I tried other repellents which were not effective, but this guy is perfect!
- It’s completely silent most of the time (unless it’s close), but when a deer gets within 33 feet away or so, the raccoons start to behave strangely- shying away from the sound.
Install the ultrasound animal repeller in various locations such as balcony floor or garbage cans to deter raccoons from different spaces.
4. Use Trash Bags to Repel Raccoons
Use trash bags to repel raccoons! It’s not as effective for deer, but it works if you have a lot of trash cans in your yard.
- When raccoons smell the food inside the bag they will shoo away from sniffing at them.
- If there are no other options or strategies to get rid of these pests, this is an option!
Keeping raccoons away is not easy, but there are a lot of ways to do it if you know what makes them want to avoid your home – and trash bags offer that solution.
The trash bags include eucalyptus oil, camphor oil, methyl salicylate, and corn mint oil. Also, the fresh scent such as mint will repel the raccoons.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep raccoons off your property is by filling an old container with aromatic plant food, such as dried cayenne pepper or crushed dry orange peel.
Place food-encrusted kitchen leftovers and scraps in a trash bag and then add the minty addition to repel raccoons.
- Mint leaves will mask the odor of food, preventing raccoons from rummaging your trash bag and eating your garbage. The smell is also less noticeable elsewhere in the room.
5. Use Ammonia to repel raccoons
Ammonia will make the raccoon stay away because it doesn’t want to be near such an unpleasant or pungent odor for long periods of time.
- Make sure you use this technique responsibly and don’t leave any open containers around where children or pets can get at them.
When using ammonia as a repellant for Raccoons make sure to not get it on yourself without gloves because Ammonium Hydroxide can cause burns if contact with skin occurs (it can also irritate eyes)
Raccoons are careful to avoid areas in which they urinate, as the scent can interfere with their sleep or their feeding.
- Ammonia, in urine & feces, is capable of repelling them and it’s just about all you need to use if you’re looking for a quick solution.
There are a few steps to using Ammonia effectively.
Soak rags in ammonia and place them near places where raccoons are likely to find an entrance to your lawn or yard.
- This is likely near a trashcan, the gate, over live fences, an open window or door that you forgot to close, or another animal’s den.
- Also, place the ammonia in an open container (we recommend using a bucket or large bowl) and lay it on its side right next to your trash can outside so that you don’t have to go far when emptying the trash.
6. Use Spices to repel raccoons
There are many ways to repel raccoons from your home, but one of the most natural methods is to use spices.
Raccoons have an excellent sense of smell and may be repelled by a strong scent and that’s how they sniff mates, predators, and food.
- Due to the sensitivity of their nose, pepper is something that repels these Raccoons.
- Curry powder has been said to work well as does chili peppers and garlic.
- If you want something sweeter or don’t like spicy flavorings, try cinnamon sticks or mixed herbs such as thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil, sage, or bay leaves.
Generally speaking, these items should be placed in bowls near entrances on porches or decks where they can waft out into the area around the house.
Different seasonings and herbs will have a different effect on animals, such as preventing their entry into your backyard.
- For example, cayenne pepper or hot sauce can be sprinkled around the garden to keep raccoons out of it. You may add some liquid detergent to reduce evaporating.
Spray the spices mixture solution on your yard, perimeter, and deck railings – plus you may spray the garbage and trash cans too.
Spices are a great option if you have trouble with your garden being ravaged by rabbits, deer, gophers, voles, or other pests – because these animals avoid predators who share their scent.
7. Raccoon-proof the Bird Feeders
Raccoons are very clever and adaptable creatures, so it’s difficult to create a raccoon-proof bird feeder.
The bird feeder will contain food that attracts raccoons including seeds, nuts, and grains.
First, don’t leave food out of the bird feeders. Also, you’d need to alter the feeding habits of the birds.
- Think about your feeding schedule. Feed the birds early in the morning so you can clean up before dark or nightfall.
The easiest way to protect the food is by placing them in locations that can’t be reached by these wild animals – on high trees or poles, for example.
- You’ll want this location to be near an area where there will still be natural cover such as leaves and branches because you don’t want any hungry birds starving before they find your feeders!
NB: If you’re lucky enough to have suet balls without holes (or if you fill in all of the holes) then make sure that they are placed at least 12 feet off of the ground so raccoons can’t reach them.
A good way to camouflage the feeder is by hanging it from a tree branch with natural foliage in close proximity so that nothing seems out of place while looking at ground level.
- This will also help protect against rain or snow if you live somewhere where these weather conditions are common.
Another way to prevent raccoons from accessing bird feeders is to install them very high up on a thin clothesline. So, raccoons won’t easily jump or climb from tree branches.
You can try to deter raccoons by adding a special collar or raccoon guard around the feeder pole or by installing a metal skirt around the feeder.
8. Raccoon-proof your Trash Can
To keep the raccoons off your spaces, you’ll require to deny them food – which is by securing or protecting the garbage or trash cans.
To keep raccoons out of your trash can, leave the lids on securely and time dumpings so the raccoon doesn’t have an opportunity to find scraps.
- Place bricks, cinder blocks, heavy pots, and pans on top of the lid to prevent tipping.
Harsh scents (such as peppermint, mothballs, or hot sauce) discourage Raccoons from raiding your trash.
- Deterrents like pepper spray or mothballs may be helpful in some cases, too.
To keep raccoons out of your trash can, try placing lemon or other chemicals to mask the smell of discarded food.
When raccoons can’t find a location with enough food to take care of their needs, they’ll take off.
One thing raccoons are good at is pushing over garbage bins, so if they can’t get into it then they’ll just knock it over and hope for the best!
- Raccoon-proofing your trash can is as easy as securing the lid with a bungee cord. Ensure the trash can and its lids are durable and heavy
- Install a rack or fence around your trash cans to keep out raccoons.
9. Seal off those chimneys
Some raccoons use chimneys to make their home or give birth in them. For this reason, it’s a good idea to seal off chimneys for the best chance of keeping them away from your property.
The best way to do this is by installing a chimney cap. It can be metal, plastic, or even fiberglass.
When sealing the chimney, check to see if it is already housing a raccoon family.
- You should also seal off the top of the fireplace with sheetrock and plaster or mortar and then paint it over so that no raccoons could get in there either.
When it comes to raccoons in chimneys, exterminators are best equipped to handle the job.
- They may use a chimney cap or the spark arrester to prevent the entry of rodents and raccoons.
- They can also attach metal mesh screens or chimney caps on top of the opening, as well as inside it for added protection against pest animals.
To protect your home, be sure to install the spark arrestor or chimney cap with tight screws as the raccoons may unscrew them.
But the chimney cap meshwork requires regular maintenance and cleaning – it’s not a one-time solution.
10. Remove Raccoon Foods
Raccoon food, and its equivalent, must be removed from the yard to discourage them from living near your home.
If you’re worried about what kind of food the raccoons are eating in your yard, it’s time to change that habit.
- Remove all sources of human-edible foods (including pet food) and seal up any holes or gaps where they could be getting into garbage cans or other containers inside the house.
- Raccoon proofing is also important: make sure there are no openings on pipes for water runoff because this will attract rodents which may lead to a rodent infestation in your attic;
- Remove or raccoon-proof the bird feeders as these can bring rats into a property too!
To minimize the likelihood that raccoons will visit your yard and home, eliminate pet food in the outdoor spaces.
Collect and dispose of fruits and berries that may be spread on the yard or property.
Raccoons are attracted to scents, sounds, and movement and they can’t resist a ripe peach or plum!
- The raccoon will climb your tree if he smells the fruit from up high so take precautions during the peaching season by removing branches that may be close to ground level with a ladder or other means of reaching those heights.
Make sure you have no food sources in your garbage cans as this is an invitation for trouble: not only might it encourage critters but also attracts pests such as bees who are drawn to sweetness too!
Change the schedule for garbage collection to mornings as opposed to evenings; this is because the nocturnal raccoons are less likely to go after them.
Consider adding a motion-activated light near garbage cans and other areas where you may be storing food or leaving pet dishes overnight – this will discourage nighttime visitors too!
11. Spray with Quality Raccoon Repellents
Raccoon repellents are made from ingredients such as vinegar, capsaicin, Ammonia, peppermint oil, spices, and sulfur.
They are sprayed onto surfaces to drive raccoons away because they can’t stand the bad smell or taste of these substances on their paws.
- There is a good reason for this: Raccoon repellents contain strong odors that are unpleasant to humans too!
Commercial-grade raccoon repellents such as the Bonide (BND2405) Concentrate causes mild irritation to the raccoon’s sinuses and thus it escapes.
- Bonide (BND2405) will repel many rodent species including groundhog, bird, porcupine, raccoon, beaver, rat, skunk, mouse, chipmunk, rabbit, and deer.
The success of this spray really depends on the consistency with which it is sprayed.
Other raccoon repellents contain urea, garlic oil, wintergreen, cloves, vinegar, and egg solids as their active ingredients.
12. Raccoon-proof your Roof
There’s a lot of wildlife in my neighborhood – squirrels, deer, birds, etc., but none of those areas annoying as the raccoons!
- The little buggers climb up onto our roof and tear through all of our shingles just looking for food scraps.
That’s not good for your home or any other wildlife that may be living in there (like squirrels). To fix this problem, you can try one of these two solutions:
- Install metal flashing around your chimney (which is on top) and then cover with heavy-duty rubber matting; OR
- Purchase an animal repellent like DuraScent® raccoon deterrent spray. The scent will deter them from coming onto the property again because they hate it so much!
Repair the loose shingles and holes on eaves and gutter. Ensure that the roof is watertight and safe.
Prune the branches of poles, vines, and trees that overhang the roof. Also, you may use a collar on the downspout to prevent water from flowing onto the roof.
13. Repair Holes, Attic, and Roof
The attic should be checked for holes that might have let in a raccoon.
Areas of the roof should also be inspected to ensure no animals are living there or using it as an entrance point.
A professional will know where to look and can use special equipment such as a camera, if necessary.
- Raccoons like a great number of dark, cool homes in which to live. Therefore, it is not unusual to find their droppings, hair, and other signs of them living in a home.
- This may be an indication that raccoons have been nesting or are currently residing up there.
Raccoons can cause considerable damage with the use of tooth marks on woodwork, insulation material, and electrical wiring.
They also carry parasites such as roundworms, which they will leave behind when leaving your house.
If you don’t want raccoon problems again then it’s best to hire a professional who knows how to get rid of them humanely before finishing repairs so any further infestation doesn’t happen.
15. Fence to Bar Raccoons
Fencing will work great for raccoons! Raccoons can climb and jump but they are not so good at digging, so you need to secure the bottom of your fence.
– Make sure that if you have a pool it is fenced in
– If there are any openings on your property make sure you’ve closed them off with either wire or wood.
– Place chicken wire along the ground near trees, shrubs, decks, sheds etcetera – this will stop animals from getting under the fencing around these structures.
– It also blocks vents for air conditioning systems which sometimes allow access into attics through ducts (especially true in Florida).
– Fences should be made out of material that won’t rust because this encourages climbing by some species
Further, an electric fence is a great way to deter raccoons and other animals from your property. Use a low amperage but high voltage wire.
- Consider using a solar-powered installation for maximum effectiveness and protection of the environment.
Make sure that you install it high enough to keep small children from climbing over or under them, but not so high that they can’t be touched if needed during an emergency situation (such as when someone is stuck on the other side).
The electric fence should also have wire placed in front of any opening into your property – such as gates or doors – because this will effectively bar animals from entering through those points.
Also, consider installing wiring around trees, shrubs, decks, sheds etcetera which animals may use to climb onto your roof and damage insulation/roofing materials.
Chicken wire along the ground near these structures will also help.
When installing fencing for the protection of wildlife, you should install it about one foot off the ground because this will discourage raccoons from climbing over them and trapping themselves within your property.
To illustrate how electric wire can be effective in preventing animal trespass on residential properties, I’ll use my own experience as an example:
- I live in a rural area where deer are plentiful; however, since we installed electrified wiring around our entire yard – including up to six feet high on trees and posts – they have been unable to enter at all or even come close.
- As a result, both their numbers and damage to plants/shrubs have decreased dramatically (and costs associated with maintenance are greatly reduced).
Fence installation should be taken seriously for it will keep both you and your family safe in addition to keeping wildlife outside of your home.
16. Hire a Raccoon Exterminator
A raccoon exterminator will use various techniques including deterrents, repellents, and physical exclusion to remove a raccoon from your property.
If there are just one or two animals in residence then monitoring may be enough for some people who do not want to take any drastic steps such as trapping.
An exterminator will advise you on the best ways to impede future visits by making adjustments to your property such as trimming trees, installing motion detectors near garbage cans, and removing bird feeders.
This would be something like setting off loud noises or inserting chemicals throughout an area in order to repel raccoons with unpleasant odors or tastes that they do not want to come back into contact with.
d. Physical Exclusion:
The most common method used is trapping which can either involve live traps set up at a den site while waiting for the animal to return or lethal traps where wildlife professionals kill it immediately after capture.
In conclusion, on how to get rid of raccoons; appropriate technique involves a variety of methods that are appropriate for the situation.
Some methods include trimming trees, installing motion detectors near garbage cans, and raccoon-proofing bird feeders; Repellents (e.g., loud noises or unpleasant smells).
If you have a raccoon infestation, and the situation is getting out of control; Hire a Raccoon Exterminator to come in.
I hope this raccoon-control post helped.