3 simple ways to keep raccoons out of your garden

Although they look cute and cuddly, raccoons in your yard will make a mess out of your garbage and could get aggressive since they're still wild animals. How can you keep them out of your garden?

3 simple ways to keep raccoons out of your garden

1. Get rid of their food source

Raccoons will eat pretty much anything they can get their tiny paws on.

  • When you leave your garbage unattended it’s like a night at the buffet for them. After all, free food is hard to resist.
  • Make sure your garbage cans are raccoon-resistant. How? By using garbage cans with locking lids, or at the very least keeping them closed with straps.
  • Clean out your garbage cans regularly with bleach and water, as even the tiniest spill or food scrap can attract the raccoons’ attention.

What’s more, do not leave your pet's food outside—whether you have a dog, cat or whatever.

  • If you have a bird feeder, take it in at night or, if possible, clean up any stray seeds off the ground. Raccoons are natural scavengers and will eat any seeds they find that have fallen.

2. Make your yard unappealing

Most raccoons prefer the cover of darkness for their shenanigans.

  • Discourage raccoons from hanging out in your yard by using motion-activated floodlights or flashing lights.

These critters are also easily startled by humans and loud noises.

  • You can try putting a portable radio by your trash. Tune it into a talk radio station and crank the volume way up. It may annoy the raccoons (AND your neighbours) enough to get them to move.

Raccoons hate the smell of ammonia.

  • Soak tennis balls in ammonia and place them in the corners of the yard, on fence posts, or in trees.
  • Be extra careful if you have pets. Only do this if you can keep the balls secured with nails high enough so your pets won’t think that they are toys.

Boil a cup of cayenne pepper and some fresh habanero chilies in a pot of water.

  • Let the concoction cool and put it in a spray bottle. Using gloves and a mask so you don't get it in your eyes, spray the perimeter of your yard. Pay particular attention to the tops of fences and trees where they congregate. Raccoons hate the smell and will find somewhere else to nest.

3. Call in a pro to help

If you find that your raccoon infestation includes a mom and her babies, you may want to call in professional help.

  • A mama raccoon is unlikely to want to leave the nesting area when babies are involved.

Even if no babies are involved, there might come a time when you encounter a raccoon who simply can’t be shooed away no matter how hard you try or what you do. Raccoons are both smart and adaptable, and sometimes it takes an expert to get the job done.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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