How to Get Rid of Raccoons

Three Methods:Cleaning up and removing attractantsRemoving access pointsFish pond raccoon control

There's only one real sure fire way to get rid of raccoons, and it may work in getting rid of other wildlife hanging around your home. Read and find out how you can try other ways.

Method 1
Cleaning up and removing attractants

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    Check the areas around your home and clean up all the garbage, paper, food, berries that fell from trees. Totally clean the area. After it's spotless, walk around your home again and do a double check.
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    Purchase metal garbage cans with lids that stay tight and stay attached.
    • Use a lid-securing device such as Raccoon Green Bin Solution (
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    Place heavy weights on the lids when there is garbage, food or water in these trash cans.
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    Keep the cans smelling clean by washing them out with the hose every so often. Tip them upside down so they don't store water for mosquitoes or for raccoons to drink. Other things to consider include:
    • Always place garbage inside the cans and replace lids immediately or the raccoons and bears will smell your food from afar and come to eat out of your trash cans.
    • Make sure that any picnic tables and chairs (or anything else outside) do not have even a crumb on them when you retire for the night.
    • Store the trash cans indoors or in the garage or somewhere inside if you are gone for a long time or if you see animals around in the neighborhood.
    • If you have meat or very tempting food in the trash, always double plastic bag it before throwing it away in the cans and put a little bleach or strong cleanser on the bag outside before depositing it in the can.
    • Even the most spotless area can provide one more thing raccoons need; shelter. Raccoons, individuals or families, tend to have several nests within their territories. If you discover evidence of a nest in your attic or a sheltered area around your home (under your deck, for example), you can try making the nest area inhospitable by placing bright lights, noise (a waterproof radio, for instance) and ammonia-scented rags in order to make the raccoons feel insecure. Don't confront the raccoon yourself under any circumstances, especially a mother with little ones. If all else fails, call in a professional.

Method 2
Removing access points

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    Identify points of entry. You're looking for holes 3 inches (7.6 cm) in diameter or bigger. If they're in your attic, look under nooks, dormers, or broken vents. If you hear them in your crawl space look for broken vents or borrows.
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    Close off (use 1/2 inch/1.3 cm metal meshing then hit it with a foam gun) all points of entry except the one you think they use most.
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    Stuff this entry way with newspaper.
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    Soak up 3-5 tennis balls with ammonia and throw them inside and around the places you think they're nesting.
    • This should motivate the raccoons to move and relocate their young. The smell will make their living conditions unbearable, but it smells like a decent cleaning solution to us.
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    Check the newspaper in the morning. If the newspaper was moved (hoping that the raccoons left), stuff it back into place.
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    Monitor the newspaper for 48 hours. If it has not moved then tack up that last hole.
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    Boil one cup of cayenne pepper and 3-5 chopped habanero chili's with water in a pot and let it cool; transfer into a spray bottle.
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    Put on goggles and a gas mask and spray all entry points you have tacked up.
    • Raccoons follow their noses; this spray will deter them away (if they chose to come back).

      Don't permanently block any vents with newspaper.
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    Try to seal off any entrances in your yard such as gaps in your fence. Try to purchase a cheaper fence and block it.

Method 3
Fish pond raccoon control

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    Cut the bottoms off 5 gallon (18.9 L) pots/buckets for containers. The containers must have a wide, shallow base.
    • You can also buy various shallow plastic containers like oil change pans, etc.
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    Line the containers with plastic. This will stop the concrete from seeping out.
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    Fill the containers with quick setting concrete mix.
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    Arrange 12" (30.5 cm) iron spikes in concrete, pointed end facing up.
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    Add water to the concrete mix.
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    Wait until the concrete sets/dries. Then trim the plastic.
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    Put your creation in the fish pond. The spikes poke the raccoon so he stays away, but the fish have lots of room to roam between the spikes. The spikes are about 6" below the water level, so can be covered with floating plants.
    • You could also horizontally place 12" x 12" (30.5 x 30.5 cm) concrete drain blocks placed sideways on the pond bottom so the fish have a place to hide from the raccoons.


  • If all else fails, you can call your local animal control board for more information about what might be effective in your area. Traps are one option.
  • Cayenne pepper works wonders. Spread it around and into the bird feeders to deter raccoons from visiting. They will taste it and not like it. Be generous on the first spread. They will get the message and move on. It does not seem to affect the birds, but it is toxic to bees and other beneficial pollinators.
  • Make sure there are no easy entrances to your attic (flimsy or missing soffit, etc.)
  • Remember the bottom line: If you leave food and water or either around, or even leave the hose dripping water, you will most always find wildlife hanging around your home. So , keep it clean, keep it spotless and you'll be raccoon free.
  • Having a dog indoors might help too, having him outdoors in the daytime also (watch your dog carefully, even though his barking might scare some wildlife, you don't want your dog being a target of bigger wildlife like a bear). Never leave your dog tied up outdoors unattended, ever.
  • Remember that even a bird feeder with sunflower seeds might be tempting to a raccoon. Put your bird feeders out of their reach and store seed in metal trash cans.
  • Check the wildlife books and camping books for hints on how to avoid contact with wildlife and raccoons.


  • Raccoon diseases -
    • Rabies - Raccoons are classified as a rabies vector species, along with foxes, skunks, and bats.
    • Roundworm - Baylisascaris procyonis in raccoons is well-documented, and the parasite is a public health concern. The parasite is transmitted through the ingestion of eggs passed in feces. These can be ingested or inhaled.
    • Leptospirosis - Raccoons are capable of carrying and transmitting this disease.
    • Distemper - This disease is similar to rabies and can also affect some pets. However, it does not pose a threat to humans. Contact your veterinarian to discuss any concerns, and make sure that your pets are vaccinated annually against this and other diseases.
  • Raccoons can be scared away by flashing a light on them or making a loud noise. Trying to approach or trap them can be dangerous.
  • Be sure your state/county does not have a law prohibiting you from killing the animal. Some states, like NJ, have laws that protect rodents from in-humane capture/treatment/death. Check with your state's ASPCA first before attempting the method above. Otherwise, you will be fined and/or jailed for doing so.
  • Chemicals may be illegal for use on wildlife, read the product label. Also check your local wildlife and pest control regulations.

Article Info

Categories: Rodent Control