How to Get Rid of Raccoons [Permanently From Yard & Home]

Howard Author: Howard Griner | Updated on November 27, 2023

Are you a homeowner who is tired of dealing with sneaky pests, such as raccoons, which wreak havoc in your residential area?

Raccoon infestations are more common than you might think, and if left unchecked, they can create a host of problems for your property. Raccoons are smart creatures which find their way into your homes through unprotected entry points.

But worry not, because we have got the perfect blog to help you tackle this dooming issue of raccoon infestation!

In this blog, we offer expert tips on pest control and wildlife management that will ensure safe and effective methods for raccoon removal. This way, you can ensure your homes stay raccoon-free while also respecting the balance of nature.

Understanding Raccoon Behavior and Habits

Raccoons are fascinating nocturnal animals, so you see them most active during the quiet of the night. You will find them rummaging through trash cans, exploring yards, and searching for food at nighttime. While they appear sneaky, raccoons are opportunistic creatures looking for an easy meal.

As the owner of our pest control company, I understand the paramount importance of effectively removing raccoons from residential properties. Raccoons pose a multifaceted threat to both the structural integrity of homes and the safety of their inhabitants. Beyond the immediate damage they can cause to roofs, insulation, and other structural elements, raccoons are carriers of various diseases, including rabies.

Understanding a raccoon's habitat preferences can help you identify potential problem areas. These are adaptable creatures that can thrive in various environments, from wooded areas to urban neighborhoods.

However, they particularly favor locations near a water source, which explains why you might find them near lakes, rivers, or backyard ponds.

So, what are the signs that will help you prevent a raccoon infestation?

To protect your home, you must recognize signs of raccoon presence early on. Keep an eye out for raccoon tracks around your property.

Raccoon prints resemble tiny human hands with distinctive long fingers. Torn trash bags, upturned soil, or damaged bird feeders are the strongest indicators of raccoon's foraging habits.

With a thorough knowledge of the raccoons’ behaviour patterns and signs of presence, you are better equipped to handle any raccoon-related challenges.

Common Raccoon Entry Points

What are some of the most common entry points for these intruders?

These clever creatures can exploit vulnerabilities in your property. This means that you have to be extra careful and keep an eye on potential weak spots such as damaged vents, loose shingles, or gaps in the foundation.

In search of food, no crack is too small for raccoons. They can also squeeze through small openings in the house and around pipes and utility lines.

Once inside, raccoons will search for suitable nesting sites. Attics, chimneys, and crawl spaces are the most inhabitable spots for raccoons. Any area that provides warmth and a sheltered environment makes for an ideal location for building dens and raising young.

The only way to you prevent an invasion of your property is raccoon-proofing is the key! Regularly inspect and fix any damages or weak points promptly to deter raccoons from entering.

Non-Lethal Raccoon Deterrents

Before discussing the details, let’s have a quick look through the non-lethal and safe ways of driving raccoons off your residential properties:

Remove Food SourcesPrevent access to garbage, pet food and bird feeders
Secure Trash CansCover garbage cans with thigh-fitting lids
Seal Entry PointsBlock entry points and crawl spaces in house
Scare TacticsMotion sensors, water sprinkles, loud noises to drive away raccoons
Natural RepellentsSprinkle and spray vinegar, mint, eucalyptus oil, cayenne and hot pepper in areas prone to raccoon entry
Predatory ScentsUse fox and coyote urine in outdoor spaces to get rid of raccoons

Removing Food Sources

Owing to nature’s law, all pests and wildlife are in search of food and prey. So when it comes to dealing with raccoons around your home, a key strategy is to eliminate their food sources.

Raccoons are attracted to easily accessible meals in garbage, leftover pet food, and bird feeders you might have in your backyard. Removing these sources discourages raccoons from frequently invading residential areas.

Next, you have to focus on attractant elimination which is crucial in preventing raccoon access to food sources. Avoiding leaving any food material out overnight. Similarly, do not leave pet food outside and consider bringing in bird feeders during the evening.

Create an environment that is less appealing to raccoons. By taking these steps, you can reduce the likelihood of raccoon encounters and protect your home from unwanted visitors.

Securing Trash and Outdoor Areas

secure trash from raccoons

Up next, we discuss some practical raccoon-proofing techniques that work by simply taking care of your trash. This is what you can do to secure outdoor spaces from raccoon invasion:

  1. Fortify trash cans: Reinforce your trash cans with tight-fitting lids to make them less appealing to raccoons. Using bungee cords or weight on lids can keep them intact and deter them.

    Here's a video of raccoons enjoying their meal in a trash box to make you believe how much they love these trash spaces.
  1. Seal off crawl spaces: Raccoons only need a four-inch space to crawl through. Block potential entry points to your home, like crawl spaces, by using sturdy materials like metal mesh or hardware cloth.
  1. Outdoor Area Reinforcement: Keep raccoons at bay by securing outdoor spaces, such as decks and porches, with barriers or screens.
  1. Access Point Sealing: Inspect your property for any gaps or openings where raccoons might sneak in. Seal these access points using caulk, steel wool, or other wildlife exclusion methods.

Scare Tactics and Repellents

There are some do-it-yourself techniques that wildlife experts use and you can too for scaring away raccoons. These strategies can be divided and implemented as scare tactics, predator scents and natural repellents.

Scare tactics for raccoons are designed to frighten them and encourage them to avoid specific areas. These are based on raccoons spying around in the dark and quiet. Here’s what you can do about it:

  1. Motion-Activated Lights: Install motion-activated lights around your property, especially in areas where raccoons are likely to roam. When the raccoons trigger the lights' sensors, the sudden illumination will startle them and discourage them from returning.
  2. Loud Noises: Use devices that emit loud and sudden noises, such as ultrasonic repellents or motion-activated alarms. These auditory deterrents are unpleasant to raccoons and can disrupt their activities, making them seek quieter locations.
  3. Radios: Leave a radio or a talk radio station on in the vicinity of areas that raccoons frequent. Human voices and music create an unsettling environment for raccoons.
  4. Scarecrows or silhouettes: Place scarecrows or life-size predator silhouettes in your yard or garden. Raccoons will perceive these figures as potential threats and are less likely to approach them.
  5. Reflective Objects: Hang shiny or reflective objects, like aluminium foil strips or old CDs, around your property. The glimmering light may confuse and deter raccoons from venturing closer.
  6. Water Sprinklers: Set up motion-activated water sprinklers that turn on when raccoons come near. Getting sprayed with water will deter them from returning.

You can also use natural raccoon repellents, which are environmentally friendly and cheap on your pockets as they require ingredients used in routine cooking. Commonly used repellents include the following:

  1. Sprinkle cayenne pepper around areas where raccoons are active.
  2. Soak rags in ammonia and place them in strategic locations, like near trash cans or potential entry points.
  3. Fill spray bottles with white vinegar and spray them around your yard.
  4. Raccoons dislike the scent of eucalyptus oil. Mix a few drops of the oil with water and spray it around your property.
  5. Crush garlic cloves and mix them with water to create a potent spray. Apply it to areas where raccoons are active.

It is essential to reapply these natural repellents regularly, especially after rain or watering, to maintain their effectiveness. Using a combination of repellents and rotating them can also help prevent raccoons from becoming accustomed to any single method.

Another solution is using predator scents which may be useful, but they might not provide a permanent solution. The ones that can be store-bought easily are:

  1. Coyote Urine: Raccoons view coyotes as natural predators and will avoid areas where they sense the presence of coyote urine.
  2. Fox Urine: Fox urine can also be used as a raccoon deterrent. Foxes are known predators of raccoons, and the scent of fox urine signals potential danger to them.
  3. Bobcat Urine: Bobcat urine can be found in specialized wildlife-repellent products.
  4. Mountain Lion Urine: The scent of mountain lions can also deter raccoons, as these big cats are formidable predators.

Seeking Professional Help

When to Call a Wildlife Professional

wildlife professional for raccoons

Dealing with raccoons can be tricky and although we discussed multiple ways of how to get rid of raccoons, it is not a permanent solution. In certain situations, seeking professional assistance for raccoon infestations is the smartest choice.

You should know when to contact wildlife professionals for safe and effective raccoon removal. Here are the scenarios when you should consider calling in the experts.

  1. Persistent Raccoon Infestation: If you have tried the DIY methods we discussed earlier, but raccoons keep coming back, it is time to call a wildlife professional. They have the expertise to tackle persistent infestations and prevent future reoccurrences.
  1. Risk of Injury or Disease: Raccoons can be carriers of various diseases, and confronting them without proper knowledge can be dangerous.
  1. Property Damage: Raccoons can cause structural damage to homes, attics, and gardens when crawling out of small spaces. If the raccoon infestation severity has escalated, calling animal control services can prevent costly repairs down the road.
  1. Nesting Mothers and Young: Finding nesting raccoon mothers with their young requires specialized handling to avoid separating and harming the family, which require wildlife professionals.
  1. Urban Areas and Local Regulations: Certain areas have specific regulations and laws regarding raccoon removal, which need an expert’s intervention.

Do not hesitate to seek professional assistance when dealing with a raccoon infestation. Remember, ensuring a safe and effective way is the solution for all involved.


Raccoons are resourceful creatures and delaying action against them can lead to more significant problems. Dealing with raccoon infestations promptly is crucial to safeguard your home and family from potential risks and damages.

Getting rid of raccoons by yourself at home effectively requires you to work on thoroughly inspecting your property and sealing any potential entry points. Install humane traps and scare tactics to deter the creatures.

Although we have suggested some tried and tested methods, our final recommendation is based on safety against wildlife creatures. We believe the best approach to raccoon removal is to seek professional help. This works when you are unsure about handling raccoons on your own and helps avoid confrontations.

Be vigilant and take proactive measures to keep your home racoon-free!

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