How to get rid of raccoons (and keep them out)

Raccoons are smart, interesting animals to watch from a distance. However, they are definitely not people-friendly. Raccoons can be a nuisance because they rummage through garbage, ruin gardens and lawns, do structural damage to homes, eat bird seed and pet food, and spread diseases to humans and pets. You won’t have to put up with those destructive raccoons forever. Our company, On Demand Pest Control, helps Broward, Miami, and Collier County residents and business owners by eliminating raccoons from their properties. Our best advice for getting rid of raccoons is detailed here.

How to Tell You’ve Got a Raccoon Problem

Since they are exclusively nocturnal, raccoons are only seen at night. This makes it tricky to notice their presence.
Raccoons often leave telltale signs of their presence, so it’s important to examine these indicators closely.
We suggest keeping a watch out for the following:

Proof of raccoon feeding. Raccoons are notoriously unhygienic eaters that leave a trail of food debris wherever they go. Additionally, damage to your grass or garden, an empty pet food bowl that has been relocated, spilt, or tampered with, damaged compost piles, and broken or missing bird feeders are all telltale symptoms of a raccoon infestation.

Tracks. Raccoon and possum footprints are virtually identical. Raccoons, like humans, walk flat footed. They also have claws on each and every one of those toes. Raccoon tracks, in contrast to deer tracks, travel in a diagonal manner. Their front footprints are about 2 to 3 inches broad, while their back footprints are about 3 to 4 inches in length.

Droppings. Raccoon poop is a fractured or rounded cylinder. The animals’ diets affect their appearance, but they are typically dark. The poop often has berry seeds in it and sometimes shows traces of litter.

Strange sounds. Unexplained noises could come from the area late at night. Mewing, whistling, and snarling are just some of the sounds a raccoon might produce.
Raccoon signals might vary widely, but acting quickly is essential in any case.

Raccoons can cause a lot of damage, and putting off taking care of an infestation only makes things worse.


How to Get Rid of Raccoons Humanely & Naturally

Below are some suggestions for dealing with a raccoon infestation and permanently eliminating raccoons:

In the attic

You probably have a mother raccoon and her young in your attic. Females hunting for a nesting spot can remove the facia boards and vents on a building.
Take these measures to get rid of a raccoon in the attic:

  • Find out if there are babies. Check if the raccoon is a mother with young before taking any action to get rid of them. If that’s the case, the baby raccoons need their parents to stay put for a while so they can develop. Without their mother, they will surely perish. Next, you can seal off the access points to your attic using one-way doors to keep the raccoons away. Upon their departure, they will be locked out forever. A battery-operated radio set up in the attic or a bowl of cider vinegar placed near their nest should do the trick. You might also engage a company like On Demand to do pest control for you. We promise to move the mother raccoon and her young in a way that causes them no harm.
  • Establish raccoon traps to capture and remove the raccoon population. Get in touch with the relevant authorities in your area before proceeding. They can furnish you with traps and assist you in relocating the raccoons in a secure manner.
  • Your attic, including all vents and seals, should be completely weatherproofed. If you discover raccoons in your attic, you must investigate their entry point. Check the entire house to see where the raccoons could be getting in. To prevent unauthorized entry, cover the openings with hardwire wire mesh.
  • Get rid of anything raccoons could use as shelter, food, or water.


Under the house or deck

Repeatedly, a mother raccoon with young is the most likely to be found under a deck or home.

Taking precautions to avoid leaving their young behind is essential as January through June is when most raccoon mothers give birth.

Following are a few suggestions:

  • You’ll need to set live traps if you want to get rid of a raccoon mother and her young.
  • After you remove the raccoons, you should clean the nesting area under the house or deck. It’s time to pack up the bed.
  • After you clean everything, you should seal up the area completely.
  • Humane harassment can prevent raccoons from returning. Raccoons like the dark, quiet, and secure conditions under decks and houses.
  • Illuminating areas with floodlights and treating them with commercial or homemade scentbased deterrents (such as vinegar or ammonia) makes them less likely to return.


In your yard or garden

Raccoons are usually on the hunt for food when they decide to make your yard or garden their new home.

As an example, raccoons digging for grubs may tear up landscaping and flowers to get to the soil, where they can feast.
The cost to repair your lawn, trees, and bushes could easily reach into the thousands.

What follows are some suggestions for dealing with raccoons in your outside space:

  • Treat the grub problem with professional help. On Demand Pest Control can discourage raccoons from your Southeast or Southwest Florida property by treating your lawn and garden to eliminate grubs and other food sources (and stop ruining your lawn). We suggest signing up for a grub treatment program for your lawn once a year to prevent grubs from returning each summer and keeping raccoons away from your yard. Please get in touch if you have any questions about this service.
  • Put to use such tried-and-true home cures as ammonia, vinegar, minced garlic, cayenne powder, blood meal, and soiled cat litter. Sprinkle this natural raccoon repellent in hightraffic areas to discourage raccoons from settling there.
  • Install alarms or lights that turn on when they detect movements. Deterrents like these use motion detectors to sound alarms or flash lights, scaring away raccoons and saving your plants from destruction.


On the roof

Even though it‘s unsettling to discover a raccoon on your roof, it‘s really rather frequent because raccoons are skilled climbers.

Raccoons can do a lot of damage to your roof if they decide to make it their home. They can tear up your shingles, get into your chimney or vents (posing a fire risk), and more.

Some clever approaches to eliminating them are as follows:

  • Reduce the number of “bridges” onto your roof by trimming trees, vines, and landscaping.
  • Remove any garbage, compost, pet food, or bird seed that could attract racoons.
  • Cover the ground around the trunks of your trees and the border of your roof with metal. If you have outside cats, they will be safe from harm, but raccoons will be scared away.
  • If you have fences that come close to your house or roof, consider installing an electric fencing strip along the top.

In your walls

If a raccoon has made its way into your home, you know how fast the issue can escalate into a worrisome one. Raccoons in the attic or walls can cause a lot of problems, including noise and damage to your insulation and electrical systems.

Methods for removing a raccoon from a wall:

  • Hire On Demand for a professional pest control service. DIY raccoon removal is not only a huge undertaking, but also poses risks to you and the animals you’re trying to get rid of.
  • After a professional pest control service has exterminated the raccoons in your home, you may begin to locate their points of entrance and permanently block them off.


At the bird feeder

It may seem like an uphill battle to figure out how to discourage raccoons from raiding your bird feeders. Given their size, climbing skills, and dexterity with their hands, they can reach almost any birdfeeder.

You can prevent raccoons from visiting your feeders.

Specifically, we suggest the following:

  • The higher you can hang the feeders, the better. The Humane Society suggests using supports with a diameter of half an inch or less to hang bird feeders, as this is too small for raccoons to climb.
  • String up the bird food on wires between the trees. Place feeders far enough from trees to prevent raccoons from climbing them.
  • Put raccoon guards from the store on pole-mounted feeders.
  • Invest on bird feeders that are proof against raccoons.


In the chimney

Because raccoons often use highly combustible items for nesting and bedding, having one in your chimney can be quite dangerous.

So, what can be done to deter raccoons?

The following are some methods for removing raccoons from your chimney:

  • Pay someone to get rid of the raccoons in your chimney. If you use a professional pest control service like On Demand Pest Control, the raccoons will be removed humanely and without harm to your chimney.
  • You should tidy up the area where the raccoons were once living once you’ve confirmed that they’re no longer there. We recommend clearing out the chimney of any debris the raccoon may have left behind, including any nesting materials.
  • The chimney must be sealed. A spark arrestor with sturdy wire mesh should be used for the chimney cap. Raccoons will not be able to gain access to the chimney now that this has been placed over the opening.


In your chicken coop

Raccoons are notorious fowl killers that will go to great lengths to break into a chicken coop.

Here are some ways to protect your chickens against raccoons:

  • Cover the coop’s glass with hardware cloth. You don’t have to worry about raccoons tearing this fabric to shreds.
  • To prevent raccoons from breaking into the coop, bury hardware cloth 2 to 4 feet deep all around the outside. If the coop has a chimney that could be used to access the coop, you might want to run the cloth over that as too.
  • In order to prevent raccoons from gaining access to your chickens, you need install sturdy locks on the coop’s entrances.


In a tree

It’s possible that a single raccoon on a tree won’t cause too much trouble, but an entire colony definitely will.

How to get rid of raccoons in a tree:

  • Raccoons should be trapped alive and removed from the premises.
  • Protect your trees from being climbed by installing raccoon guards or sheet metal around their bases.
  • Remove any fallen nuts or fruit from the ground to prevent raccoons from foraging there.

How to Deter Raccoons: 9 DIY Control Methods

Do you wish there was a humane way to get rid of the raccoons in your yard?

Here are nine safe and affordable ways of keeping raccoons away from your home:

  1. A motion-activated sprinkler is a great way to keep raccoons out of your garden or yard. If a raccoon is detected, the sprinkler will spray it with a burst of water.
  2. Non-lethal ultrasound deterrents are an effective method of removing raccoons from your property. These devices are small, inexpensive, and unobtrusive, and they employ sound and/or light to frighten away raccoons.
  3. Raccoons can find plenty of food in garbage cans. Keep them covered. Use a sturdy can and lid that securely snaps on. It is preferable to store garbage cans in a garage or shed.
  4. Invest in some rodent-proof garbage can liners. These bags are infused with essential oils with strong odors, such as camphor and mint. The scent will safely deter the raccoons from your trash cans.
  5. Raccoons are scared away by strong odors, such as pepper. A gallon of water, hot sauce, plus a few drops of liquid dish soap makes a potent solution. Spray in areas where raccoons have been seen.
  6. Raccoons are repelled by the odor of ammonia. Place bowls of ammonia or soaked rags near their points of entry or place of activity. 
  7. Take away the bird and pet food. Food left outside for animals or birds should be carried inside every night.
  8. Fencing off vital locations using electric fences. Two wires, one 6 inches off the ground and one 12 inches off the ground. This is a safe way to prevent raccoons from wreaking havoc.
  9. Although raccoons may be endearing to look at and may even be convincing beggars, never feed them. Feeding one will just lead to additional raccoons in the area.


How do Pest Management Experts Get Rid of Raccoons?

Raccoon removal is sometimes a chore for a professional wildlife control service. Here are some ways in which our team may assist you:

  • Analyses in the beginning. We’ll start by identifying the areas where you’re having trouble. Trained pest control specialists will examine your home to find out where raccoons are gaining in and how much damage they are causing. We will identify potential vectors for their attack and devise countermeasures.
  • Trapping. And while we take your raccoon problem very seriously, we never resort to any methods that aren’t compassionate. By using humane, live traps, we can catch and relocate raccoons without causing any injury to the animals. Raccoons caught in our traps will be released in a new area after daily checks and inspections.
  • Discouraging Techniques. Finally, we’ll erect exclusionary obstacles to prevent raccoons from returning in the future. Our commercial-grade exclusion techniques are long-lasting and gentle on your home.


Are Raccoons Taking Over Your Florida Property? We’re Here to Help!

Tired of raccoons causing problems on your property? We have a team ready to assist you.

On Demand Pest Control provides extensive raccoon control services, utilizing a wide range of environmentally friendly methods to exterminate raccoons and restore your yard.

We provide our services to both commercial and residential clients in the Southwestern and Southeastern regions of Florida.

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