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How To Get Rid Of Raccoons In 5 Common Situations

Updated: Sep 24, 2023




Learn How How To Get Rid Of Raccoons


  • Raccoons are fascinating creatures that have been intriguing people for decades. These furry little bandits can be found all over North America, and with their unique appearance and mischievous behaviour, they certainly stand out. However, it is important to note that raccoon droppings can carry harmful roundworm eggs, so it is crucial to be careful around their latrines. On the bright side, raccoons are known for their resilience and survival skills, making them an impressive species to observe.


  • If you're looking to repel raccoons from your general area, there are several tactics you can try. From using taste and odour repellents to installing motion-activated sprinklers or even securing your trash can, there are plenty of ways to try to keep these critters at bay. However, if they’ve created a den and are living there, whether it's beneath your deck, inside your attic, in your chimney, or in any type of crawl space available, understanding how to address these situations is crucial for maintaining a harmonious coexistence.


  • If you do happen to find yourself with a raccoon problem, there are humane ways to rid of raccoons without causing harm to yourself or the wild animal. Raccoons, with their playful demeanour and distinctive markings, can become a real nuisance when they wreak havoc by invading our living spaces.


Top 5 Common Raccoon Nesting Areas Around The House

  1. Decks - A summertime favourite hangout for mother raccoons and young ones.

  2. Attics - The warm and secluded environment of attics makes them ideal nesting spots for raccoons.

  3. Chimneys - Raccoons often find chimneys to be cozy shelters, but their presence can lead to blockages and hazards.

  4. Soffits - Soffits offer raccoons easy access to sheltered areas beneath roofs, which they may utilize for nesting.

  5. Sheds - Raccoons might take refuge in sheds, especially if they provide protection from the elements and human disturbances.


Dealing with Raccoons Under Decks


If you suspect raccoons under your deck, it can be unnerving, but it's important to remain calm. There are ways how to get rid of raccoons. First, try to assure that there are no babies present, a mother raccoon will be more aggressive when she has babies to defend. Trapping and relocating or separating a mother from her young can be very harmful, and a mother raccoon will be panicked if taken from her baby raccoons, not to mention all the raccoons left behind might not survive on their own.

Instead, consider installing a barrier, a heavy wire mesh around the perimeter of the deck secured into the ground, and setting a one-way door allowing them to exit. This will prevent raccoons from re-entering. Pest control companies that deal in wildlife removal can get rid of raccoons by sealing up any access points. Use unpleasant scents like ammonia-soaked rags to deter them, which is one of the smells raccoons hate. Another tactic is to use predator urine sprayed onto corners of the deck, which could trick raccoons into thinking there is danger close by. Predator urine can also be effective to repel raccoons if sprinkled on the ground near bird feeders or fish ponds.



Managing Raccoon Intrusions Inside Attics


Have you ever heard loud noises coming from your attic? Since raccoons are primarily nocturnal could be a sign that you have unwelcome guests inhabiting the space above your head. Raccoons are notorious for making their way into crawl spaces and attics, in search of nesting materials, warm havens, and food like bird eggs in an active bird nest. Once they have established a den in your attic, they can cause extensive damage and create a constant disturbance causing sleep deprivation. Not to mention, raccoons create what is known as a "latrine" in their living space, which can pose a health hazard for you and your family. If you suspect that you have raccoons in your attic, it's best to call in a professional to have the raccoons humanely removed before they cause more destruction. They will inspect the roof and roofline for potential access points and can seal them off while also installing an exit door. Playing loud music or using bright lights might also help to create an unwelcoming environment


Raccoon Removal From Brampton Chimney
Raccoon Removal From Brampton Chimney

Safely Handling Raccoons Inside Chimneys


It's not uncommon to hear strange noises coming from your chimney, especially if raccoons are in the area. These primarily nocturnal animals are known to enter chimneys for shelter or to search for food. However, having a family of raccoons in your chimney can be a smelly nuisance, leaving behind raccoon poop, urine which is not easy to clean in left to build up over time. If you're looking for a natural raccoon repellent, cayenne pepper is a popular choice for a confined space, as raccoons dislike the strong scent. In addition, a bright light in a small chimney space can sometimes deter raccoon activity, making it less likely that they will be able to sleep comfortably in your chimney.

If you do confirm raccoons are inside your chimney, and you can’t get them to leave on your own, contact a wildlife control company. A wildlife removal professional will attach a wire mesh over the top of the chimney and install a one way exit door. When the raccoons leave to find food or water the door closes shut behind them, thus preventing them from re-entering. Furthermore, the wire mesh will keep out other animals too.



Preventing Raccoon Nests in Soffits


Raccoons are known for their resourcefulness, and their ability to create a cozy little nest anywhere they please. Unfortunately, this means they can often find their way into our homes, and specifically into the soffit. If you have noticed raccoon activity around your property, it's important to take action. Start by removing any potential attractants, such as wood piles, compost piles, and possibly even vegetable gardens. If you have garbage cans, make sure it's secure and not easily accessible. Clear any bird food from the ground and take in your bird feeder at night. You may also want to consider making your property raccoon-proof, by blocking off any entry points and using deterrents such as motion sensor lighting or noise-makers. To discourage them further, trim nearby branches to limit their access to your roof. Use metal flashing to cover openings and secure it tightly. Regularly inspect and maintain your soffits to prevent future intrusions. And if you do discover raccoons already in your soffit, be sure to call a wildlife control professional to safely and humanely remove them. Don't let these pesky critters take over your home!



Securing Sheds and Garages from Raccoon Intrusions


Sheds and garages can be attractive to raccoons seeking shelter. Keep these spaces well-lit and clutter-free, minimizing hiding spots. Inspect all doors and windows on your structures, and ensure you have no gaps under the door or rips in the window screen that they can fit through to enter. Secure trash cans with tight-fitting lids to reduce the allure of food sources. Seal any openings and consider using motion-activated devices to further deter raccoons. Raccoons are resourceful creatures that can adapt to living both in the wild and in urban environments. It's not uncommon to find them living underneath sheds or garages, taking advantage of the shelter and protection from predators. Unfortunately, when raccoons decide to move in, they often leave behind messy droppings and can become a nuisance by getting into bird feeders, trash bins, and even pet food left outside. The best way to deter raccoons is to eliminate potential food sources around your property and secure any areas where they might be able to access food. If you're still having trouble, consider using deterrents like blood meal or fox urine to keep them away. And if you suspect you have raccoons living under your shed or garage, be sure to call in professionals to safely and humanely remove them by securing the area around the perimeter and installing a one way exit door.


Conclusion


What are raccoons afraid of? Dealing with raccoons in various situations requires a blend of practicality and empathy. By implementing these strategies, you can peacefully coexist with these resourceful creatures without compromising your living space. Raccoons can be cute and fascinating to watch, but having them invade your property can be a nuisance. There are plenty of reasons to try to keep them away, however, whether that's protecting your pet food bowls or bird feeders, safeguarding your children from their potentially dangerous bites, or just avoiding the sizable mess they often leave behind. Fortunately, there are several ways to scare raccoons away from your yard. For example, leave pet food bowls indoors overnight as this will remove a popular food source, secure your trash cans, minimize any smells raccoons will notice, remove standing water sources, or place motion-activated lights in areas where raccoons may be lurking. Raccoons hate the smell of certain natural repellents like peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, and Epsom salt. The scent of a predator will also be effective at keeping raccoons away. So, if you're ready to keep raccoons at bay, consider trying one or more of these tactics, and enjoy your raccoon-free property! If these suggestions didn’t teach you how to get rid of raccoons, call in a pest control professional.




FAQs


(Q) Are raccoons dangerous?


(A) Raccoons can carry diseases and they can become aggressive if they feel threatened. It's best to keep your distance and seek help if needed. A raccoon infestation on your property can be difficult to handle alone. For many homeowners, a raccoon problem can quickly become a nightmare. These nocturnal animals are known for causing havoc in gardens, on patios, and causing damage to homes. Although raccoons may not be as aggressive as other animals, it is still important to take precautions to prevent potential harm. If a raccoon latrine is discovered on your property, it is crucial to have them removed immediately as their droppings can carry harmful bacteria such as roundworm eggs. However, it's essential to remember that raccoons are afraid of humans and can often be safely relocated with humane removal methods. While not inherently dangerous, it's important to treat raccoons with caution and respect to avoid any potential issues.


(Q) Can I relocate raccoons on my own?


(A) When it comes to raccoon removal, it may be tempting to relocate these furry critters to a more suitable location. However, this can actually lead to more harm than good. Adult raccoons may struggle to adapt to their new surroundings and may even try to find their way back to their previous home, putting them in danger. Additionally, separating immature raccoons from their mothers can be incredibly detrimental to their survival. The best approach is to discourage raccoons from entering your property to begin with, rather than attempting to relocate them. If you do find raccoons on your property, seek the help of a professional who can safely and humanely address the situation.


(Q) What should I do if I find baby raccoons?


(A) If you happen to stumble across a group of baby raccoons on your property, it is important to resist the urge to take matters into your own hands. Raccoon removal is best left to the professionals, as adult raccoons can be aggressive when they feel that their young are threatened. Separating young raccoons from their mother can also hinder their survival, as they rely on her for food and protection. While it may be tempting to scoop up the cute and cuddly creatures, it's important to remember that raccoons hate being handled and may even carry diseases. Instead, get rid of raccoons by contacting a local wildlife or animal control agency who have experience in safely and humanely handling raccoons. This will ensure that the young raccoons are placed in the best possible environment and avoid harming other animals in the process.


(Q) How do I know if raccoons are in my attic?


(A) Detecting if raccoons have invaded your attic can be a tricky task, especially if you're not sure what signs to look out for. One of the first indications is the sound of a heavy, lumbering movement. Raccoons walk flat footed, which makes their footsteps louder than other pests that walk on their toes. Another tell-tale sign is the presence of raccoon latrines. These are often composed of large amounts of feces, usually in a single location. If you have a raccoon problem in your attic, their activity will be more noticeable, and you may find damage to your insulation or wires, which the animals will use for nesting. Therefore, if you suspect that raccoons have taken up residence in your attic, consider contacting a professional to help with raccoon control.


(Q) Why is humane treatment important when dealing with raccoons?


(A) You may have a raccoon infestation on your property, but raccoons are an essential part of the ecosystem, and practicing humane treatment helps maintain the balance of nature. Raccoons may often find their way into our neighbourhoods and homes. While some may find their mischief entertaining, it's essential to understand the importance of treating these creatures with kindness. Detering raccoon activity and finding ways to raccoon-proof our properties is crucial to limit their encounters with humans. However, when it comes to removing raccoons, it's vital to do so humanely. By eliminating their access to food sources (pet food left out, bird food on the ground, trash cans secured) and providing alternative habitats, we can encourage these animals to thrive in their natural environment while avoiding any harm to them. Ultimately, it's our responsibility to ensure the humane treatment of raccoons, just like any other living being.


(Q) Are raccoon droppings harmful?


(A) Yes, racoon droppings can potentially be harmful to humans and pets. Raccoon droppings may contain harmful bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens that can cause diseases. One of the most well-known risks associated with racoon droppings is the potential transmission of a parasite called Baylisascaris procyonis, which is a roundworm that can infect humans and animals. If you come into contact with raccoon droppings or areas where raccoons have been, it's important to take precautions to avoid potential health risks.



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