Raccoons might appear cute and innocent on the TV but only the gardeners and the backyard owners who have experienced these mammals in their yard will tell you the potential damage that they can cause to your property. Thus if you own a garden or a backyard then it is hardly a surprise that you don’t want them anywhere near your place. It’s not just the occasional tripping of the trash cans which is carried out by the raccoons but beyond this, the female raccoons might also rip off the shingles, rooftop ventilators, or fascia boards in search of the nesting site. And once these raccoons are inside the house they might tear up the insulation, go to the bathroom and bring with them loads of parasites.
The raccoons might avoid the attic and instead make your chimney their home, crawl into different spaces under the porch or the deck and they might go feeding on the nearby garden for the food bowl for pets, trash can, or the fish pond. Thus you are likely to face a lot of issues and problems when raccoons enter your backyard and house which is why it is important to get rid of them from your backyard and take preventive steps to ensure that they don’t enter your property.
Keeping raccoons out of the trash
Securing the trash can lids: Leaving the trash out which is easily accessible for the raccoons which is one of the surest ways of attracting the raccoons in your area. First and foremost you must secure the lids of your trash can. For this, you must use chain, rope or the bungee cord for tying up the lid in a secure position. Alternatively, you can also choose to weigh down lids with the help of the bricks, weights or other types of heavy objects. Ideally, you must aim for the weight of 9.1 kg for preventing the strongest raccoons from sneaking or getting in. If you want you can also purchase trash can that comes with the necessary locks or latches if it is within your financial budget.
Keep it Clean…
Cleaning the trash cans: The hygiene of the trash cans is also important if you want to keep out raccoons. To ensure the cleanliness you must wash them with a hose at least per week and sprinkle with the baking soda from inside for the removal of any lingering odors of food. You must also keep them in the upside-down position so that they won’t be able to store water for the raccoons or mosquitoes to drink.
Avoid putting out the trash at night: The raccoons are usually most active at night and the trash cans are amongst their favorite hunting places. You must store the cans in the garage or the indoor locations so that the raccoons are not able to break into the trash. You must take them out in the morning for the scheduled pickup which will ensure that the raccoons are not able to access the trash.
Double bag the food scraps: The raccoons have an extremely keen sense of smell which allows them to detect the sources of food from distance. If you double bag the food then it will help in containing the odors of the food. This is particularly helpful in scenarios where you necessarily have to keep the trash outdoors during the night before the next pickup of the garbage.
Remove their food…
Another important method of avoiding raccoons and getting rid of them is to remove the sources of food. You must clear all the debris of the food from your backyard. For instance, the berries that have fallen from the trees must be cleaned up because raccoons are attracted by the smell and sight of these food sources. You must also ensure that the picnic tables, as well as chairs, are well clear of any food items so that there is nothing left there which can potentially attract the raccoons. You must clean off the area comprehensive and then just to ensure double check to see if anything is left behind worth cleaning.
You must also pay proper attention to the pet food since raccoons are considered to be omnivores and thus they might choose to eat the food scraps that are left for the dogs or cats. You can potentially avoid this problem by choosing to feed your pets completely inside thereby eliminating any potential risk of leaving off the food scraps outside which can invite or attract the raccoons. However, if you do want to feed the pets outside you must ensure that every last bit of the food scraps is properly cleaned off before you go back into the house. You must also remember to keep the bowls of food far away from the potential access points of the raccoons.
Do you have a fish pound?
Besides this, you must also protect the fish pond and keep the feeders of a bird out of the reach of raccoons. Since the raccoons are omnivores they love the fish. You must place ceramic pipes and cinder blocks and the baskets of wire within the pond. These will provide places of hiding for the fish. You must also purchase the strongest material that is available for providing support to the weight of the raccoon.
For keeping the feeders of the bird out of reach for raccoons you must hang the feeder of a bird on the pole of 1.3 cm in terms of the diameter. The raccoons will not be able to climb such poles which are very skinny. You must secure the poles firmly so that they can’t get knocked over easily. If you have the birdseed then you must store it in the trash cans made of metal or indoor locations that can’t be easily accessed by the raccoons. If you don’t have that option available then you must lock up the bird feed in the garage or the tool shed right before sundown.
Removing the access points
Another important way of driving out and preventing the entry of the raccoons in your backyard is to remove the access points that are usually used by raccoons for gaining entry into your area. You must inspect the house, garage as well as a fence to find out any potential holes that are bigger than the size of 3 inches and if you find these holes then you must seal those off. You must also check the downspouts for the body oil stains and the scratches which might suggest where the raccoons might be climbing. If they are in the attic then you must look for dormers, broken vents or under the nooks. If you can hear their voices in the crawl space then you must look for the broken borrows or broken vents. You can also look for the footprints especially if the rainy conditions have created a muddy situation.
Find their nesting area…
Identifying the nesting areas: The raccoons don’t necessarily use the nesting materials in the way the birds do. The way you can identify the nest of the raccoon is through fecal matter that they leave. You must look for the brown colored cylindrical objects with the digested berries. The feces of the raccoon look identical to the ones that are left by the small dogs. If you are ever in doubt then you can contact the extension office of your local area.
Repel the raccoons from the nesting area: You must boil a cup of the cayenne pepper with 3 to 5 chopped form of habanero chills and water in the pot and allow it to cool properly. Then transfer it in the spray bottle. Post that you must spray the various entry points that you might have identified. Since raccoons tend to follow the noses the spray is likely to make the nesting area into an unbearable place. When you are spraying in the enclosed area you must ensure that you are wearing the goggles and have the necessary eye protection so that you can keep yourself safe. Even the hot peppers are non-toxic, they have the potential of irritating the mucous membranes of the mouth and the eyes.
How are they getting in?
Identifying main entry points and closing off the entry: You must check around the foundation, roof, and siding for the obvious signs such as holes that have been freshly dug, dirt stains, nesting materials or the hair that might have stuck at the entry point. If the entry point is near the foundation then you must check the paw prints that might be out there in the soil. Then after the raccoons have fled the place you must ensure to seal off or cordon the place effectively so that they can’t enter again. You can seal entry points by using 1.3 cm of the wire meshing and then seal it with a caulking gun or a foam.
You can also use the newspapers for sealing off the entry points. Alternatively, you can choose to run off the electrified wires at the bottom and top of the fence so that you can deter the intruder including the raccoons.