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How to Get Rid of a Raccoon

You know one of those days when you remember leaving your stuff in the attic and you go to get it…what do you find?

A raccoon cozily curled into an adorable ball under the table. How cute is that?

Or maybe not so cute! What is that horrible smell? You just spent two hours yesterday cleaning the attic. Where did those fruit seeds and half-eaten vegetable coverings come from? Raccoons are always adorable on TV, why can’t they be adorable just the same in real life.

While they may be adorable with those tiny paws and large doe eyes, you need to get rid of them and do so fast. This is because they will wreak havoc on your property.

Raccoons are highly adaptable, and if they manage to get into your garden, forget the fruits, vegetables that you had been working on all season. They are omnivores; so you get the idea, they can basically eat anything, which is not such a good idea. They can create a huge mess if they manage to get into your trash can or pools. As if hours of cleaning are not enough, raccoons come just in time to make it worse for you. Your trash would be strewn across the pavement.

Being nocturnal creatures, you never know when they may find their way through your chimney, steal the bird feed or pet food or settle under your bed and you may not even know it.

I am sure you must have often encountered this problem no matter where you live in the US. If you have managed to get rid of your raccoon problem, be my guest. If you are still looking for a solution, come find me. Obviously you wouldn’t just want to kill them…God, why do they have to be so cute…but you may try these solutions that have worked surprisingly well for people.

How did they get in?

If you have been coming across raccoons in the attic, chimney or living room, you may want to take a good look at all the entry spaces around your house. You may think that a hole in the attic wall is too high for the fuzz ball to be let in but you could be mistaken. You can tell by the scratches on the walls how they have been getting in. Seal the entry points where you think they are big enough.

Don’t just let the open spaces remain unrepaired. Not only do you want to keep raccoons out, you also want to keep away all the pests and insects that raccoons may want to feast on.  They come out at night so if you don’t have time to fill the entry spaces with concrete or cement right away, seal them with cardboards, temporary board and anything to completely seal the entrance.

Remember that these are only temporary solutions so they won’t help in keeping the raccoons out for a long time. Fill the holes with concrete or concrete siding, repair soffits and block up walkway eaves.

Don’t leave trash out in the open  

As gross as a garbage feast sounds to us, don’t you wish that raccoons felt the same? You have a full trash bin and you may not be able to tell while you are sleeping, when a raccoon can get in and litter the pavement. You can get metal bins with strong wiring, cords, ropes or chains to hold the lid shut while you are away. It takes effort but it would be worth your time when you know that raccoons are scavenging around. If that is time-consuming when you are in a rush, you could place heavy objects, such as bricks, not less than 10 kgs, on the lid.

It is not enough to the cover your bins. Cleanliness is just as important outdoors as it is indoors. Every week, clean your trash can so that it does not give an unpleasant odor and invite a raccoon party. Alternatively, you could try moving the bin indoors before nightfall.  Make sure the lids are tight and if you have pet food in garage, a heavy lid will be necessary.  Raccoons are very good at opening lids and containers, even cabinets doors will not stop them.

Take care of your outdoors

See, if there are food items lying around from your plants or trees, clean them regularly. Remove leftovers, crumbs from pet food and bird feed. You want to avoid keeping the pet food outside in the first place.

If you have an outdoor bbq, make sure that the chairs and tables are cleaned every day before hitting the bed.

Don’t forget the pond, if you have one. You may get expensive, beautiful fish one day and they could be gone the next. Fish is food for the raccoons. Recall that if they can eat trash, they can eat anything. To prevent your pond from being contaminated and emptied, you can get wire baskets or metal nets, any material strong enough to not be torn apart, to cover the pond before nightfall.     

Keep them out  

There are more chances of raccoons getting into your house if they are let into your yard anyway. Build a fence around your house with small spaces in between. Raccoons are known to be good climbers so you can get an electric fence.

Try using repellents such as ammonium and cayenne pepper on the perimeter of the house because the raccoons can’t stand them.


If you have a stubborn raccoon around causing mischief in your garden, pond and house, go for the TRAP.

Be careful because you may suffer from a nasty bite or infections. It’s better to make sure you have a professional raccoon size trap first before you end up hurting yourself. Raccoons can eat anything so you can put fruits and vegetables as bait. They will enjoy a can of cat food or even a hamburger.

If there is a whole family of raccoons – mother and young ones - in your attic, you will need to set multiple traps to catch them all.  

Put the traps in the areas where you are seeing the mischievous activities, this is likely where you will trap them in the early morning.  Be prepared to have them relocated, it may be necessary to check with your local regulations on whether or not this is allowed.  I was able to trap and mother and her  2 juveniles in 2 nights of  baiting.  The first night I trapped my cat, she was happy and full, but unharmed.  Be patient it can take some time for racoons to make it in the trap.  

Happy Trapping!


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