20 Best Ways to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Yard

Written By Babatunde Sanni

Raccoons can be quite a nuisance in your backyard, causing damage to equipment, creating messes, and even posing serious health risks to you and your family. To keep these annoying critters away from your property, here are 20 effective methods that are sure to help.

Secure Your Trash Cans

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Trash cans attract raccoons to your yard because of the food in them, so preventing access to these cans gives raccoons nothing to come back for. You can use tight-fitting lids, secure lids with bungee cords, or invest in dedicated raccoon-proof trash cans. WikiHow shares that you can also keep your bin behind closed doors overnight.

Remove Food Sources

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If you keep pet food or bird seeds near your yard, it’s best to find somewhere else for them. Removing food sources is just like securing trash cans, making your yard less interesting, and forcing raccoons to go elsewhere for food. Also, if you have a tree, clean up fallen fruits regularly.

Install Motion-Activated Sprinklers

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Raccoons hate sudden movements, and since motion-activated sprinklers unexpectedly shoot out water, they give you precisely what you need here. Place these sprinklers in areas where you know raccoons like to be, such as gardens and trash cans, and they’ll scare off any unwanted visitors. Make sure to regcheck that the sprinklers still work as intended frequently.

Use Lights

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Raccoons are nocturnal animals that prefer the dark, and you can simply install outdoor lighting to make your yard less inviting. House Digest says that motion-activated lights, which startle raccoons, are typically more effective in discouraging them from entering. And you should place these lights in areas where they are most likely to roam.

Install Fencing

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Fencing is one of the most effective barriers against raccoons. Here, you typically get the best results when you use a sturdy, tall fence with a buried base, as this prevents raccoons from digging underneath. You can either use a brick fence, metal fence, or even an electric fence, depending on the type of property you’re protecting.

Train Your Pets

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Raccoons are afraid of dogs, and while merely the sound of barks can be a deterrent, CBC shares that raccoons soon get used to it. You should actually have dogs around and train them to bark at or chase raccoons away. However, also supervise your pets to ensure their safety and avoid potentially harmful confrontations with raccoons.

Install a Fence Topper

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Raccoons are skilled climbers and can scale most fences, and installing a fence topper, such as a roller or electric wire, will prevent them from climbing over. These devices make it difficult for raccoons to gain a foothold to scale the fence. And with electric toppers, raccoons also do well to avoid your property in general.

Block Entry Points

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Raccoons can enter yards through gaps in fences or under decks. Hence, inspect your yard for potential entry points and seal them off. Use materials like hardware cloth or chicken wire to cover holes and gaps, and also regularly inspect your yard to identify and fix new entry points.

Keep Your Yard Clean

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A tidy yard is less attractive to raccoons, and piles of leaves, wood, or other materials can provide hiding spots for them. To reduce the chances of raccoons making it their home, mow the lawn, trim bushes, and remove debris. Also, schedule regular yard maintenance to keep it consistently clean.

Eliminate Water Sources

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Water sources like ponds or pet bowls can attract raccoons to your yard as well. Hence, it’s also helpful to remove standing water and bring pet water bowls inside at night. If you have a pond, consider covering it with netting to deter raccoons, and also regularly clean and maintain these water features.

Use Natural Deterrents

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Certain smells can deter raccoons. Sprinkling substances like cayenne pepper, ammonia, or vinegar around your yard can keep them away. You can also use predator urine, such as coyote or fox urine, as well as dog fur to create the illusion of a predator’s presence. Reapply these natural deterrents regularly to maintain their effectiveness.

Install a Sonic Repellent

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Sonic repellents emit high-frequency sounds that raccoons find irritating, and these devices are often motion-activated and can cover a wide area. Place them in strategic locations around your yard to keep raccoons at bay, and also regularly check the devices to replace batteries if needed and ensure they are functioning properly.

Trim Tree Branches

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Since raccoons can use tree branches to access your yard, it’s also helpful to trim branches that overhang fences or roofs to limit their access. Keeping trees well-maintained, regularly inspecting trees for new growth, and trimming them as necessary can make it more difficult for raccoons to enter your yard.

Secure Compost Bins

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Compost bins can be a food source for raccoons too, so it’s always good to use bins with tight-fitting lids to store them. Also, secure them with locks or bungee cords, and avoid composting meat, fish, or other raccoon-attracting foods around your home. You can also turn the compost regularly to speed up decomposition and reduce odors.

Use Baits and Traps

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For those who don’t mind capturing raccoons for relocation, traps will come in handy. Following local wildlife regulations, use bait like marshmallows, sardines, or cat food to lure them in and ensure you handle them humanely when finally caught. Also, check traps frequently to ensure you don’t leave raccoons distressed for prolonged periods.

Close Off Attics and Chimneys

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It’s also common to see raccoons seeking shelter in attics or chimneys. Hence, it’s also helpful to install chimney caps and secure attic vents with things like hardware cloth. Preventing access to these spaces can prevent raccoons from creating nests to reproduce near you.

Plant Deterrent Vegetation

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Certain plants can repel raccoons as well. For instance, consider planting garlic, onions, or marigolds around your yard, as these plants emit odors that raccoons find unpleasant. After incorporating deterrent vegetation into your landscaping, regularly tend to these plants to ensure they remain healthy and effective.

Cover Crawl Spaces

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Crawl spaces under decks or sheds can provide shelter for raccoons, and covering these areas with lattice or hardware cloth can help block access to them. Regularly check these spaces for signs of raccoon activity and reinforce barriers as needed, and also ensure coverings are secure and always in good condition to prevent raccoons from finding a way in.

Use a Professional Pest Control Service

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Professional pest control services can be your most effective way to manage raccoon problems on our list. These professionals assess your yard, identify entry points, and implement control measures known to work for your specific case. Hiring a professional can ensure thorough raccoon removal, and hiring them for regular follow-up visits can help maintain a raccoon-free environment.

Educate Your Neighbors

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Community cooperation can also help you keep raccoons out of your home and your entire neighborhood. Try to educate neighbors about raccoon prevention methods and encourage them to secure their yards. You can even share deterrent materials and resources with neighbors to ensure community-wide raccoon control.

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