Raccoons, medium-sized mammals, are used to be found only in their natural habitat – in deciduous and mixed forests of North America. However, they have displayed their adaptability over the years and can now be found in coastal marshes, mountainous areas, and yes, even in urban communities.
Raccoons’ increasing number in populous areas have stirred diverse reactions from humans. Some deliberately feed these critters while others consider them as pests. The latter became a market for companies specializing in pest control; raccoon repellents can now be purchased by irritated homeowners. Those who wish to save a few dollars can also make a cheap alternative to commercial repellents out of various items found in their homes.
Homemade Raccoon Repellents
Aside from being pests, there is a greater reason why humans should keep raccoons away. Wildlife experts believe that deliberate or indeliberate feeding of wild animals can disrupt their independence. They might look to humans for survival, which is not supposed to be in their nature. As such, it is important to keep these animals accustomed to their natural habitat. Homemade raccoon repellents have proven to be particularly effective in driving these masked thieves away.
Use this biologically-friendly mixture to protect your garden plants from being attacked by raccoons. First, you must prepare the following ingredients: one can of cayenne pepper or one small bottle of hot sauce, dish washing detergent, and a gallon of water. To create the solution, pour the can of cayenne pepper or hot sauce in the water and mix. To improve the adherence of the solution to plants or other surfaces, mix one teaspoon of dish washing detergent in the solution. Raccoons have a strong sense of smell and they dislike the pungent smell of pepper. By spraying a hot pepper solution, you can be assured that raccoons will stay away, no matter how appealing your plants may seem to them. Just remember to reapply the repellent after watering the plants or raining.
Another effective raccoon repellent which originated in Lakewood, Colorado, is a mixture of pepper and onion. Prepare Cayenne pepper, a chopped Jalapeno pepper, and a chopped yellow onion. Take one tablespoon of Cayenne pepper and mix it together with the Jalapeno and the onion in 2 liters of water. Boil the mixture for 20 minutes to release the active chemicals from the ingredients to the water. After cooling, strain the water and store it in an atomizer. Spray it in places where raccoons like to scurry about. Reapply the repellent every three to five days.
Other Tips to Keep Raccoons Away
There are two reasons why raccoons have infested your yard: food and a place to nest. To keep them away, it’s important to keep their options limited. First, secure your garbage can with a tight lid. You can also weight it down so raccoons won’t be able to tip them over. If you have other pets such as a dog or a cat, make sure that their food basins are always empty after they have eaten.
To make raccoons feel unwelcome, make sure to secure accesses in your home. Pet doors are the most common passage ways for raccoons. Overgrown and untrimmed trees in the yard also make for a perfect hideaway. Don’t allow those tree branches to reach your roof to discourage raccoons from taking up residence in your attic or chimney.
However, when you find that an entire family of raccoons has made themselves at home, don't attempt to trap or remove them by yourself. This can only aggravate them, causing you much more damage. During these instances, call a professional exterminator.