How to get rid of raccoons

Raccoons can be entertaining to watch from a distance, but quickly become a nuisance when they invade your property. These animals are known for digging through trash, ruining gardens, damaging homes and even spreading diseases. They can also be quite aggressive, especially if they have young ones around. Read on to learn how to quickly identify if you have a raccoon problem, how to keep raccoons away from your property and how to get rid of raccoons that have already moved in. 

This Article Will Answer: 

Is a Raccoon a Rodent?
No raccoons are not rodents. They are more closely related to carnivores such as dogs, cats and bears.  

Signs of a Raccoon Problem: 

If you notice raccoons frequently in and around your property it’s a good idea to put some deterrents in place to dissuade them from getting comfortable. However, raccoons are not always so conspicuous as they are primarily active at night and are adept at hiding. The following signs can help you determine if you have a raccoon problem.

  • Evidence of feeding: Knocked-over trash cans, compost that has been rummaged through, damage to your lawn or garden, and disturbed pet food bowls or bird feeders are all common signs of raccoons feeding on your property. Other pests (such as rats, mice, squirrels etc…) are also attracted to these food sources but raccoons are especially strong and have nimble fingers allowing them to make bigger messes.  
  • Droppings: Raccoon droppings look similar to those of a small dog. An accumulation of droppings and urine in one location is a sign that there is a nest nearby. 
  • Strange noises: Raccoons make a variety of noises such as mewing and growling that can sometimes be heard by homeowners at night. You may also hear skittering on your roof or in the attic. 
  • Dens: In nature, raccoons build their home in tree hollows, abandoned groundhog dens or small caves. However, in urban environments, they are drawn to the shelter of attics, sheds, chimneys, crawl spaces and under porches. They often disrupt the insulation, chew through wires, and leave feces and food around where they are nesting. 

Regardless of the signs, it’s important to address the raccoon problem promptly to prevent further damage. If prevention is not effective you’ll need to look into raccoon removal. 

Raccoon in trash

Where are Raccoons from?
The common raccoon is native to North America however, their ability to thrive alongside humans in cities has caused their populations to multiply in size.

How to Keep Raccoons Away

To keep persistent raccoons away from your home you’ll need to make your property as uninviting as possible. Raccoons need food, water and shelter to thrive – eliminating their access to these essentials will deter them from your home. 

  • Secure trash cans: To raccoons, a trash can is a delicious buffet! Securing your trash can is essential to keeping raccoons away however, it can be difficult since raccoons are very smart and have dexterous hands. First, make sure the lid fits snuggly on your bin. You can also keep your bins in a secure shed or use straps, ropes or chains to secure the lid. 
  • Seal off entry points: Inspect your home for any potential entry points, such as holes in the roof, broken windows, or chimneys. Seal these openings with heavy-duty materials to prevent raccoons from entering. 
  • Trim trees and bushes: Raccoons often climb trees and use overhanging branches to access roofs and attics. Trimming trees and bushes near your home not only reduces the risk of raccoons entering but also rats, squirrels and other pests! 
  • Pets & Birds: Pet food and birdfeeders are also attractive food sources to raccoons, so it’s best to not leave these out unattended. Also keep an eye on water bowls for pets, bird baths and garden ponds as raccoons could be using these to drink water.

By taking these steps, you can help keep raccoons away from your home and reduce the risk of damage and health problems.

Raccoon screaching

Are raccoons dangerous?

While they are not typically aggressive, raccoons can become defensive when they feel threatened or cornered, and they may attack if they feel their young are in danger. Additionally, raccoons can carry a variety of diseases and parasites which can be transmitted to humans and pets through contact with their urine or feces or through bites and scratches. 

Do raccoons have rabies?
Raccoons, foxes, skunks and bats are the most common carriers of rabies however human rabies cases are incredibly rare. What is of larger concern is the roundworm that can be spread through raccoon droppings to both humans and pets. 

How to get rid of raccoons

If raccoons have already entered your home, it’s best to hire a professional wildlife control expert to remove them safely and humanely. We do not suggest that untrained homeowners attempt raccoon removal by themselves.

Expert raccoon removal near me

Are you in need of raccoon removal services? Terminix Canada has you covered! We offer expert pest & wildlife control services for both residential and commercial properties with locations across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today to get rid of your raccoon problem for good!