How to Get Rid of Raccoons

How to Get Rid of Raccoons

Don’t be fooled by all those cute videos of Raccoons that have been adopted as pets – the truth is that you do NOT want one anywhere near your family or your pets. While they aren’t necessarily known to be aggressive, they are members of the bear family and will attack if they feel threatened, especially if they have young nearby. And, they are one of the more prevalent carriers of rabies and other diseases.

If you live in an area that is nearby a body of water like a lake, stream, or swamp – and have trees that are at least roof height near your home, you are at particular risk for a raccoon infestation. Homes like this that also have chimneys in poor condition are like for sale signs to a raccoon mom looking for a place to bed down.

But, as with most household pests, the best offense is a good defense.
You can limit their access by keeping trees trimmed down and away from the home, and by sealing the chimney opening with a metal grate. Keep in mind that the weave should be small enough actually keep them out while still allowing smoke to come through.

If you have already spotted raccoons in your area, it is a good idea to make sure your trash cans have lids that close tightly and can’t be tipped over. Consider weighting them to the ground and attaching clamps to the lids for extra security.

For those who may have gardens in their yard, the best way to protect your crops is to set up an electric fence that is low enough to the ground that they can’t slip under.

If you suspect you may already have a raccoon problem inside your home, there are a few things you can do to solve it. Common places to find them besides the chimney include attics, basements, and underneath decks or porches.

Keep in mind that if you are attempting this during the spring or summer, there are likely some baby raccoons present as well.
If they are old enough to leave the nest, then the easiest way to do the deed is to seal their entry/exit points during the night when they are out foraging. Mind you be sure to do it well because they will still try to get back in. And, make sure there aren’t any left inside when you do. An angry or trapped raccoon can cause significant structural damage.

For indoor situations, repellents like mothballs and ammonia combined with a nuisance like a loud radio near the nest can sometimes persuade them to vacate and are also good ways of ensuring the nest is empty before attempting to seal it off. However, these things do little to help if the nest is already outdoors.

If all else fails, the best solution is to apply the trap and release method. Buy an official raccoon trap that is designed for the animal, and use baits like bacon, fish, chicken, or veggies to attract them.

When it comes to releasing them, make sure to get them a good ten plus miles away or risk having a recurring issue. Raccoons are also protected in some states, so be sure to do your research before attempting this tactic.

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