How To Get Rid Of Raccoons

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons

Raccoons, known for the dark, mask-like pattern around their eyes, look like cuddly pets. However, these nocturnal animals can carry serious diseases and damage property. Raccoons are often found in backyards, garbage cans, vegetable gardens, and crawl spaces because of their willingness to eat just about anything. This is particularly true in the spring and summer when these wild animals gorge themselves on potential food sources to store body fat for the winter. If you find evidence that raccoons have been in your backyard, you will want to get rid of those raccoons immediately.

Protect Your Trash Bins

Raccoons are often drawn to a particular backyard because of food in open trash bags and containers. Getting rid of raccoons and the raccoon problem may be as simple as purchasing metal or plastic trash cans that are difficult to open or keeping garbage containers with easy access sealed shut with bungee chords. Consider double-bagging smelly foods, such as meat products, that attract raccoons and other pests.

Do A Sweep Of Your Yard For All Food Items

The garbage bins are one of many places adult raccoons will look for food. Ensure you clean up fruit that has fallen into your yard from fruit trees. Raccoons are also drawn to bird feeders and pet food, so bring both in at night.

Scare The Raccoons At First Signs Of A Raccoon Infestation

Scare tactics, including a motion-activated sprinkler, loud noises, and motion-activated lights, may deter raccoons from invading your backyard. Raccoons are pretty smart and may return to urban environments once they realize there is no real danger of these natural repellents.

Trap The Raccoons

Traping hungry raccoons from your backyard is the most effective way to remove them. However, trapping raccoons is illegal in many states, so be sure to check local ordinances. It can also be dangerous. Raccoons may carry Roundworm, Rabies, Leptospirosis, and Distemper.

Call A Professional Or Pest Control

Due to safety concerns, you should consider contacting your local small mammals control department or a private animal removal company if you have exhausted all other methods to remove the raccoons from your backyard.

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons With Plastic Toys Or Bright Lights

Raccoons are smart, persistent, undesirable critters and intelligent animals with a strong sense of smell. Keep them out of your yard and their hiding places and access points using two simple tricks, most effective when used in a varying pattern.

Things You'll Need As An Effective Method:

  • Little plastic things in bright colors (toys, margarine or yogurt tubs, slightly-inflated balloons, etc.)
  • Exterior-rated fluorescent lights on a timer
  • Notice where raccoons have been in your yard. Look for rolled-back sod (newly laid), holes dug in garden soil or mulch, broken limbs from shrubs and trees, footprints and tracks, disturbed pond water or muddy fountains, anywhere that raccoons might be looking for grubs or washing grubs found.
  • In the evening, since raccoons come around after dark, place a few small brightly-colored plastic toys or margarine tubs right where the raccoons have been. Your goal is to distract the critters, upsetting their new regimen, including a trip through your yard to find something good to eat. They'll keep coming every night even if there's nothing to eat, but if they have a bright little “toy” to explore, they often forget their mission, distracted by a moment of play.
  • Keep checking your raccoon area and placing the plastic “toys” in slightly different spots each evening. Also, putting a pebble or two inside plastic tubs offers yet another variation on this raccoon amusement.
  • After a few nights, if you still have raccoons, switch tactics. Install some exterior fluorescent flood lamps (available at your favorite hardware, home (aff), or discount store) on ground-stake receptacles. Plug these into a timer set to come on around midnight for 4 hours. Aim the floods to illuminate the points where the raccoons enter your property, using two or more floods if necessary. Scroll down for more tips.
  • Alternate between toys and light for best effect. We have avoided the trouble (aff) of live-trapping raccoons with just toys and light — plus, we have no smell of dog or coyote urine (also raccoon deterrents) lurking about the garden. I prefer the scent of lilac, lavender, and jasmine!

Tips & Warnings

Fluorescent flood lamps cost little and use very little electricity. Raccoons in suburban areas have little fear of humans, but they will avoid bright light.

Keep the lights low-to-the-ground and pointed level to low.

If you want to run extension cords outside for your lights, use exterior-rated cords—ditto for timers for the lights. You'll find exterior-rated timers in the garden section of your home (aff) store.

Other Ways To Avoid Raccoon Damage

Raccoons are troublesome pests. There are many things you can do to get rid of raccoons. Some of these include using a radio, ammonia, and heavy brick.

Radio To Scare Raccoons

One of the most effective ways to eliminate raccoons is by using a radio or high-pitched sounds. They usually don't like to be around humans. Therefore, they will usually avoid areas with radio if a human voice is coming from it. Make sure you use a waterproof radio so rain doesn't damage it.

Ammonia And Strong Odors

You can also use the pungent smell of ammonia to get rid of raccoons. This chemical is found in predator urine and is very offensive to raccoons. You can put some ammonia on your raccoons’ entry points as a deterrent so they won't scavenge from it. If you have them in your home, you can get rid of raccoons by placing a rag soaked in ammonia near where they live.


One of the following ways to get rid of the trash panda is to control the water around your home. They need water to survive, so you must ensure there isn't a source near your home. Make sure your garden hose isn't dripping water. Tipping your trashcans upside down would be best so they don't store any water. If you have a pet needing a water bowl, lock it up at night if possible.


One of the final ways to get rid of raccoons is to ensure that meat and food waste around your home doesn't lure them. If you place meat in your garbage can, you should enclose it in double plastic bags. This will reduce the smell of the meat so the raccoons aren't attracted to it.

These are a few tips to get rid of raccoons. You should ensure there is a heavy object on top of your garbage can so they can't remove the lid. You can also try splashing ammonia on your trash to eliminate raccoons. If you need to place meat in your trash, put it in double plastic bags so they won't detect the smell.

Lisa Martin

In April 2006, Lisa began blogging to stay connected with distant relatives and friends. As she delved into blogging, she discovered the potential to assist others by sharing her experiences. Lisa has actively engaged in numerous exclusive media ventures. Notable among these are her participation in events such as the Sony Mommy Bloggers Event, the Pampers Mommy Bloggers Event, the Epson Event in Chicago, the Stouffers Event, a memorable yacht excursion with Lands End, collaborations with 1-800-Baskets, an exclusive tour for bloggers by Mrs. Prindable’s, partnerships with Hallmark, PopCap games, Chicago Cubs Mastercard Priceless Events, and Rug Doctor. In addition, she has collaborated with Nutrisystem on a weight loss initiative, teamed up with Buick and Chevy, and served as a brand ambassador for Sprint. Lisa's collaboration portfolio also extends to Disney, where she has participated in press trips for significant movies such as Frozen, Guardians of the Galaxy, McFarland USA, The Good Dinosaur, The BFG, and Cars 3. Notably, for projects like Frozen, The BFG, and Cars 3, she was granted the privilege of walking the red carpet and conducting interviews with celebrities. The impact of Lisa's blog has gained recognition, with The New York Times referencing her content. Moreover, she has been featured in interviews by respected publications such as the Southtown Star, The Chicago Sun Times, and inside.

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