How to Get Rid of Raccoons: Why you Have to do it

Getting rid of raccoons is a task no homeowner wants to deal with. Though they look cute on TV and in pictures, raccoons can be real pests around your home and yard. They will get into garbage cans, destroy gardens, steal pet food and are known to urinate and defecate in backyard pools. They are skillful climbers and can get on your roof, and possibly your attic. If one of the furry menaces finds its way into your home, they can cause severe damage in the search for food or shelter. They will tear up insulation and screens, rip holes in your roof, and destroy ductwork and electrical wiring. Fortunately there are measures you can take to get rid of raccoons, and prevent them from returning.

Facts About Raccoons: Know Your Enemy

It is difficult to get rid of raccoons because they are incredibly intelligent creatures and easily adapt to different settings. They are quick learners, having even been taught to open locks in laboratories. Raccoons are omnivores and will eat just about anything, which is why many people find them rooting around in their garbage cans. They are known to steal pet food, and will even use pet doors to get to food within your house. Then they can grow to more than 50 pounds, and are less afraid of humans then most wild animals. They look for warm, dry places to raise their young, and may find their way into your attic, garage, or underneath your house to do so.

Raccoon Repellent: Facts & Myths

Raccoon repellent is often peddled online as a deterrent for your unwanted guest. Popular repellents include ammonia, predator (often fox) urine, and mothballs. You can also find recipes for homemade raccoon repellents, which are usually easier and cheaper to make and can be just as effective as the store-bought variety. A problem with all repellents is that in any well ventilated area the odor will not be strong enough to get rid of a raccoon, which will simply move to a less offensive area. You would need an incredible amount of repellent to keep a raccoon away completely, and even then it would not be guaranteed to work. A raccoon repellent can be a part of your larger deterrent strategy, but don't expect results if it's the only thing you do.

If you want to get rid of raccoons, avoid other methods such as bright lights and loud sounds - as these do not work. In fact, raccoons will often ignore bright lights completely (though they won't ignore you if you're walking up and shining one on them).

Getting Rid of Raccoons: Trapping

Trapping is a tempting way of getting rid of raccoons, particularly for the do-it-yourselfer. Before you even consider raccoon trapping make sure that it is legal in your jurisdiction (it often isn't, so check!) Trapping poses a number of problems. If a raccoon is in your house, it is most often there in order to raise its young in a safe, dry place. Attempting to trap it is likely to cause damage to your house, and the unappealing possibility of decomposing babies in hard-to-find places. Setting a trap outside is also dangerous, as you undertake the risk of trapping other animals, such as your neighbor's dog. Even if you do successfully trap the correct target, it will be difficult to relocate. Raccoons are highly intelligent and there is a very good chance that they will find their way back to your home. If you are really sold on trapping in order to get rid of a raccoon, it's usually best to enlist the aid of an expert who will deal with the problem with a minimal amount of collateral damage.

Getting Rid of Raccoons: Prevention

The most effective way to get rid of raccoon problems is through prevention. There are a number of raccoon deterrents worth investigating. Like most animals, raccoons have a stronger sense of smell than humans and will be attracted to your garbage cans and any pet food left outside. You can secure your garbage can lid with bungee cords or by placing weights on top, and by cleaning them when not in use. You should consider this if you are aware of raccoons in the area, but they aren't a problem on your property at the moment. It is much more difficult to get rid of raccoons once they're frequenting your residence, and preventative measures can save you a ton of time and frustration in the long run.

You may have to seal up your pet door, at least until a raccoon stops trying to use it. Make sure that you don't have loose shingles or other holes in your roof that raccoons could use to get into your attic. You can also use wire fencing to prevent them from getting under your house, deck, or porch.

Getting Rid of Raccoons: Calling the Experts

While it is tempting to try to get rid of your raccoon problem on your own, if your prevention methods have failed and you find that raccoons are in your house or messing up your property, the best course of action is to contact a professional pest remover. A trained professional will be most likely to get the job done in an efficient and effective manner. You will save time, money, and a ton of stress by getting the job done right the first time.