How to Get Rid of Raccoons (in Attic & Yard)

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn the integrated approach to get rid of the aggressive raccoons in crawl spaces or house attics or crawl spaces. How to Get Rid of Raccoons

Risks: Raccoons will spread health infections such as rabies because they carry pests like lice, ticks, and fleas.

Further, Raccoons fecal matter can have Baylisacaris procyonis (roundworm eggs) that may infect kid’s eyes, brain and may be fatal. Trap | Repel | Best Traps | Baits | Facts

Step 1: Remove Raccoon Enticers (Food and Water)

To get rid of raccoons, you’ll get the best results only if you use multiple deterrents, including traps and electronic repellents.

Besides “trap & kill,” I recommend repelling, removal, and the reunion of the raccoons as it leaves them within reach of their territorial homes.

Raccoons will come into your house or yard hunting for food and water. So, reduce or eliminate food sources lying around. As a rule of thumb;

  1. Remove trash. Keep the garbage cans covered with tight lids. Also, place a brick over each trash can lid to prevent the raccoons from overturning the bins.
  2. When you’re discarding leftover food, make sure that it’s covered fully to reduce the amount of smell which would otherwise attract the raccoons.
  3. Any pet food or bird feeders lying around the outdoor spaces will invite the animals to your yard or attic. Therefore, don’t leave pet food outside and always empty the bird feeders.
  4. Clean out all the fallen birdseed, fruits, nuts, and berries.

Raccoons will remember food locations for up to 3 years. So, you’ll need to have tight-fitting lids on garbage cans. Hold down the garbage cans lids using a concrete block or bungee cords.

Step 2: Fence to Deter Raccoons

Raccoons are expert diggers and climbers; simple fences won’t help much in deterring from your yard or garden. Fences are excellent physical barriers to block the entrance of raccoons and other wild animals such as deer.

To make the fences to become raccoon-proof, there are some steps that you must take. First, add 1 or 2 strands of electric fencing at about 7 inches under the ground (prevents digging) and another one 7 inches above the ground (prevents climbing). Turn on the electricity during the night for appropriate deterrence.

  1.  Space the fence posts at about 5 to 12 feet apart. However, this will vary considering the unique shape of the yard or terrain.
  2. Attach some metal or plastic spikes (with 3 feet spacing) at the top of the perimeter fence. This will help deter raccoons from walking along the top of the yard fence.
  3. Start placing the wires near the ground and put spacing of about 3 to 4 inches so as to deter raccoons from hopping or climbing over the fence.
  4. Include at least one “hot” electrified wire at the top of your fence. This will only act as a deterrence factor for the raccoons.
  5. Next, cut down or trim down the tree and tree branches that are hanging over the yard or attic fence. Ensure that no raccoon will quickly jump from the tree or tree branch onto the top of the wall.
  6. Finally, place some crumpled aluminum foil onto the top of the yard fence – raccoons hate these!

Step 3: Use Raccoons Traps

Generally, most homeowners will require to hire professional exterminators to trap the raccoons. The exterminator will easily tell whether the raccoon, for a female, is nursing its young ones. The live trap will help you to remove the raccoons from the house.

This is helpful because you don’t want to leave the young raccoons to starve. The exterminators will easily euthanize the raccoon since it’s illegal to release the animals. Get in touch with the local agricultural commissioner to check if there’re available trapping programs.

Get some live cage trap – the single-door kind that has a sturdy build. The cages will be 15 by 15 by 36-inch traps (large trap) and ten by 12 by 32-inch (small trap). For the baits, use cat food and canned tuna. Ensure you avoid sweet rolls, peanut butter so as not to catch cats.

I recommend using the extra-large or the large raccoon traps. So, here’s how to use the raccoon traps to humanely trap the animals. 

i. Put on the hand gloves, and set up the traps appropriately.

ii. Next, put up the raccoon trap. Ensure that how you set up the trap will enable the raccoon to enter and be trapped completely. Could you get to the trigger plate and step on it?

iii. Finally, place the raccoon trap on the yard, attic, or deck. Also, check the trap frequently so that no raccoon will be held in there for a long time.

Step 4: Use Raccoon Repellents

You should use raccoon repellents just like a short-term raccoon control method. The reasons being that the repellents’ taste intensity will, with time, decrease while the odor will also evaporate – which means that you might require more applications to give reliable results.

Further, wild animals may adapt to the repellents smell. Recent research shows that repellents will only be effective under certain conditions like comprehensively with other techniques such as traps, spikes, and fences.

Repellents will be effective when the number of raccoons in the area is few when the yard is small, and no massive damage has been inflicted on your property by the wild animals.

1. Hot Pepper Repellent: Raccoons hate the smell of hot pepper – besides that, these wild animals have a powerful sense of smell. Therefore, you’ll need to apply the hot pepper in the yard and around the house – particularly in areas that the raccoons frequent.

  • Get 1 gallon of water in a container and add one bottle of cayenne pepper or hot sauce. Next, add some drop of some liquid dish detergent – which will act as a sticker.
  • Spray the pepper repellent liquid on trashcans, yard, vegetables, pet and bird feeders, perimeter walls, and plants. The remaining repellent must be stored in the refrigerator.
  • Re-spray the raccoon repellent two times a week to maintain the strong scent that’ll send off the nasty wild animals.

2. Ammonia Repellent: Raccoons don’t like the strong smell of urine being around their sleeping area or food too. So, luckily, you can use Ammonia to create a smell that’s like that of urine and thus help repel the raccoons from your yard or attic.

  • Soak some old rags in ammonia liquid. But first, mix the ammonia with water to create the ammonia liquid.
  • Hand the ammonia-soaked rag in the yard, near your garbage bins and around the house, pet and bird feeders
  • The smell of ammonia tricks the raccoons into thinking there is urine around, and thus they’ll change direction.
  • Also, recent research shows that urine from male raccoons applied in the basement, yard, or attic is also useful in repellent wild animals.

3. Onion-Plus-Pepper Repellent: The onion plus pepper liquid will repel the raccoons too. This mixture is even better than using pepper alone. Raccoons are considered to be aggressive wild animals that may take a number of weeks before they relate the applied repellent with your protected yard, attic, or house.

  • Get half a gallon of clean water. Add one chopped jalapeno pepper plus cayenne pepper – about two tablespoons. Finally, add one onion that’s cleanly chopped.
  • Bring the onion plus pepper mixture to boil and then cool for about 30 minutes.
  • Put the water into a spray bottle but first remove the onions and pepper.
  • Finally, spray the onion plus pepper raccoon repellent around the yard, pet and bird feeders, the perimeter wall, and on in the garbage bins.
  • Re-spray the raccoon repellent three times a week to maintain its smell and effectiveness.

4. Electronic Repellents: These types of repellents frighten the raccoons using unique and irritating sounds, which also ensures that they’re conditioned to keep off your attic or yard.

The electricity-powered gadgets will produce noise at an irritating frequency to the raccoons, and thus the wild animals will avoid the areas near your property. They are budget-friendly and are easy to use and maintain.

Luckily, the sound or noise frequency will only be heard by the raccoons and thus won’t irritate you or other humans. They’ll also repel skunks and deer. Further, most of these Repellents can be powered using batteries.

5. Motion-Activated Sprinkler (Repellent): Motion-Activated Water Sprinkler: Finally, these sprinklers allow you to scare off raccoons while still watering your yard or garden.

Luckily, with this kind of motion-activated water sprinkler, you’ll easily repel birds, herons, squirrels, and cats (using the daytime setting) and raccoons, rabbits, skunks, cats, and deer (with the night-time setting).

The motion-activated sprinklers include that it can cover about 1600 square feet of your yard with the spray zone also being expandable and customizable frequency for night and day modes.

Equally, the sprinklers are convenient for being battery powered. Luckily, the sprinkler is chemical-free and thus won’t affect any of your household pets or animals.

The Sprinkler will help protect your vegetable gardens, pathways, flowerbeds, trees, structures, lawns or yards, pool areas, plants, mulch beds, entryways, koi ponds, and garbage cans.

Step 5: Seal the Attic and House Roof

Next up is sealing all the loopholes that raccoons may use to get into your house. In this case, you’ll need to seal all the seal the attic and house roof.

Notably, if you let the raccoon get into the house, it becomes so difficult to get it out quickly and humanely. Therefore, examine the attic and house roof for open vents or loose boards. Also, you’ll need to raccoon-proof the chimney by putting a cap.

Replace or repair any rotten boards on the walls, roof and doors leading to the outside. Remember, even small gaping that are just some few inches in radius can act as a great entry point for raccoons.

Exterminator Tips: How to Get Rid of Raccoons

Tip 1: Are Mothballs effective in Repelling Raccoons?

Naphthalene –based raccoon repellents including moth balls are very popular among homeowners and lawn-care enthusiasts.

So, here’s why; these products are budget-friendly and produce a strong odor that make people believe that it’s effective against raccoons. However…

Moth balls contain dangerous active ingredients that’ll poison or harm your environment. In addition, moth balls – just like other naphthalene-based repellents, simply don’t work against raccoons.

Tip 2: Where do Raccoons Hide? 

By now you might have noticed some damage caused by the raccoon. Well, that’s a positive step as this will help you know where to target with your raccoon control methods.

Exterminators will come with traps and remove the animals. However, government officials won’t allow the raccoons to be moved or relocated and thus the exterminators result to euthanizing the animals.

For example, the wild raccoon will den in hollowed trees, brush piles, under rocks, and also in hollow log trunks. Here’s what the raccoons will be doing around your house.

  1. Invading the attic
  2. Eating the fish in the aquarium or pond
  3. Visiting and ransacking the bird feeders, trash cans, and pet feeders.
  4. Hiding under the porch

Tip 3: Why Do Raccoons Invade My Property?

1. Available Food Sources

As an omnivorous animal, raccoons will eat both animals and plants around urban, suburban, and agricultural areas.

First, trash cans will attract raccoons as they have significantly “rich” food sources. They’ll definitely smell the trash scent and other waste food that’s lying around.

The next food source is leftover food on pet dishes in the outdoor spaces. The pet food including fruits, wild berries, grains, and corns are an amazing snack for raccoons.

Other natural food sources for the animals include poultry eggs, crawfish, beetles, mice, squirrels, and frogs.

2. Suitable Hiding Places

Raccoons will move into and live in structural buildings or yards when there are structural defects.

But the animals will also den on shingles, sidings, attics, and chimneys. Further, the raccoons may also dock on tree branches that’ll be near your house roofs and ceilings.

Other possible hiding places include water sources, animal burrows, brushy areas, rock crevices, and hollow trees.

Besides settling in and around the house, Raccoons also love woodlands and around farms that have enough trees.

Sources

  1. What to do about raccoon 
  2. [PDF] Raccoons – Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management
  3. Controlling Raccoon and Opossum Damage – University of Nebraska

Ryan

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