How to Stop Raccoons from Coming into Your House
If you feel like you see raccoons more often, you are not alone. Raccoons were once only seen in rural areas close to their natural habitats of forests and wetlands. But in recent decades, raccoons have been migrating to urban and suburban areas farther away from their ancestral homes.
This change in habitat has not harmed raccoon populations. Zoologist Sam Zeveloff estimates that the North American raccoon population has grown by 15-20 fold from the 1930s to the 1980s. It is still growing, especially in urban and suburban areas that once were less common.
This article discusses finding out if raccoons are causing damage to your property and how to stop them from coming near your home. We’ll also discuss why raccoons thrive in residential settings and what you can do to keep them away in the first place.
Why Are Raccoons in Cities and Suburbs?
Understanding raccoons’ behavior is one of the most effective ways to deter them. It will help you figure out why they like urban areas and suburbs.
Raccoons are omnivorous animals that can live in different types of environments. In the wilderness, they are predators and scavengers. But in cities and suburbs, they can rely on a lot of other food sources that are easily accessible.
They can feed from everything from human food thrown away to birdseed and pet kibble. If no food is available, the abundance of little rodents in metropolitan settings provides a wonderful fallback.
Raccoons are active at night because they have good night vision. They also like to find food in the daytime, and they can find shelter in attics, crawl spaces, and porches. Raccoons are common in cities and suburbs, with few natural predators.
With these considerations in mind, it’s time to look at the most effective ways to keep raccoons away from your property and remove existing raccoons.
Property Damage Caused by Raccoons
Raccoons can cause a lot of damage to your home. They can knock down trash cans, gardens, and poop all over the place. But the most significant danger is when they get inside. Raccoons are very aggressive when looking for a place to nest and have been known to damage roofs by taking off shingles. They can damage insulation, electrical systems, and ventilation if they get inside.
If you think a raccoon has gotten into your house, you should immediately contact a wildlife removal company. Raccoons can carry diseases like roundworm, giardiasis, and salmonella, which can be dangerous to humans.
How to Exclude Raccoons from Your Home
As previously said, the most important factor for keeping raccoons out of your house is preventing access to food and shelter. The following are some strategies for accomplishing this:
1. Don’t Feed the Raccoons
Feeding raccoons can encourage them to become dependent on humans for food. It can lead to an increase in their population. Raccoons often live in groups, so if you feed one, you might end up with more raccoons.
2. Secure All Garbage Cans
Raccoons are very good at finding food. They have unique eyes that help them see in the dark, and they can fit into tight spaces. You must be more creative when trying to keep them away from your trash cans. Some ways to do this include using bungee cords to hold the lids down, putting weights on top of the covers, or getting a garbage can shed that can be locked shut. You can also buy trash cans that are made to stop raccoons from getting in.
3. Feed Your Pets Indoors
Leaving your pet’s food and water bowls outdoors is not a good idea. Not cleaning the bowls can create breeding grounds for harmful bacteria. It is risky, especially if the bowls are exposed to the elements. The harmful bacteria can attract pests, too.
4. Raccoon-Proof Your Garden
If you think raccoons are ruining your garden, take some steps to stop them. For example, put bird feeders away at night or hang them from a thin pole that is 5-6 feet high. You can also try enclosing your garden with a fence, but this might not be enough. Some homeowners have had success using motion-activated sprinklers.
5. Use Scents to Keep Raccoons Away
Raccoons have a great smell, so using this to your advantage can help keep them away from your home. Remember that you might need to apply these scents more than once in problem areas, which could be more time-consuming than other methods.
What scents will keep raccoons away from your property? These include:
- Hot pepper:
This powerful spice makes it hard for raccoons to smell their food. If you continue to use this seasoning, they will be less able to locate it. Cayenne pepper is the best spice, but you must put it on the food often, so the raccoons know it is there.
- Onion and pepper:
A variation of using cayenne pepper to get rid of rodents, this mix uses the irritating qualities of cayenne pepper while also providing an unpleasant scent. Chopped onions boiled in water with cayenne pepper can be sprayed around potential food sources and nesting areas. The fragrance will only last a few days. Therefore it must be reapplied frequently.
- Peppermint essential oil:
Some animals don’t like the smell of peppermint. So using an essential oil or peppermint-derived wildlife repellent spray is an excellent way to keep raccoons away from your property. As with all scent-based methods, the spray must be reapplied regularly to stay effective.
Before doing anything to try and get rid of pests, remember to research what will be safe for the animals in your area. Some standard methods, like blood meal or mothballs, can harm raccoons and other creatures.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Keep Raccoons Away from Your House
Raccoons have a strong smell, which they use to find food. You can take advantage of this by using scents that raccoons hate. Some scents are hot pepper, garlic, peppermint oil, onion, and Epsom salt.
Garlic and chili powder together can be used to repel raccoons. If you spread it around the boundaries of your attic, they will be irritated by the smell and leave. Additionally, you can sprinkle it about your garden near your crops to repel pests.
Raccoons locate food via their excellent sense of smell. It can be utilized against them by repelling them with offensive odors such as hot pepper, onion, garlic, peppermint oil, and Epsom salt.
You can discourage animals from coming near your home by hanging balloons, cloth, or aluminum foil. These will frighten the animals and encourage them to leave the area. You can also discourage them by sealing food in tightly closed glass or metal containers.
Mothballs can help you get rid of pests. Raccoons dislike the odor of mothballs. If you put mothballs about your property, the raccoons will leave.
Raccoons are attracted to areas that shelter them from predators and provide a safe space for their young. It can include sheds, garages, and unoccupied doghouses. You may also attract raccoons if you store pet food or birdseed in these areas.