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How To Keep Raccoons Out of Your Yard

Whether you have a problem with raccoons in your yard or they have gotten into your attic or under your home, we have some methods to drive off these pesky bandits. Raccoons may appear cute or even friendly. Indeed, they can be quite bold around humans and pets. However, they are wild animals and will behave like wild animals. The have sharp teeth, strong claws, are known to carry rabies and parasites. Never try to catch a raccoon by hand. Cornering a racoon, or any animal, may leave the animal with no choice but to attack you. This article describes non-confrontational, non-lethal methods to keep raccoons away from your home.

Caution: Please read our safety information before using any information found in our articles.

Raccoons are nocturnal, they are active in the twilight and after dark. Raccoons can be quite noisy. They can also be fairly destructive, they can pull off siding and tear openings to get into your home. Raccoons are omnivores, they will eat whatever they can find, and they can find plenty in your trash cans.

Raccoons are surprisingly clever, brave and bold. They will challenge pets, enter buildings, open containers, tip things over and push large objects around. They are not easily intimidated. While they will avoid humans most of the time, sometimes you have to act aggressively before they will be chased off. By the way, we do not recommend challenging raccoons, you can never be certain of how they will react and a rabies infected raccoon may actually attack you.

Keeping Raccoons Away

Raccoons are active in twilight and evening. They prefer relative darkness. Installing motion activated lighting may be helpful in discouraging raccoons. However, simple porch lights may not be adequate. You might need to go to extreme measures in terms of lighting. Bright flood lights, like the quartz halogen fixtures used for driveway illumination and security purposes may be necessary. Plus, one light, at a distance may not have the desired effect. We recommend multiple lights, either on the same circuit or independently triggered, to saturate the area.

Raccoons don't like being around humans, so placing a waterproof radio near trash cans may be helpful. Set the radio to a "talk" station. It doesn't have to be loud. The voices will discourage raccoons from the area.

Buy metal trash cans with sealing lids. You can improve the tightness of the seal with a length of plastic tubing (like for water supply lines in you windshield washer system or your ice maker supply line). Slice a cut along the length of the tube and slip it over the rim of the trash can. When you put the lid in place, the tubing compresses to form a tighter seal. Also, place a heavy object, such as a cinder block, on top of trash can lids.

Raccoons like their food clean and will sometimes wash it in available water. They also find the smell of ammonia objectionable. By adding a small splash of ammonia to your garbage, the raccoons will be less likely to scavenge your trash.

Your pets need water available at all times, but as much as possible, eliminate sources of water for raccoons. If possible, lock your pets securely away at night, with their water. Don't leave water out that the raccoons can get to. Also, don't leave pet food out at night, raccoons love the stuff.

If raccoons are nesting in your attic or under your home, please read this article for tips to get rid of raccoons.

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