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What Can You Do To Prevent Raccoons From Becoming Your Houseguests? The old adage "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" holds true in most, if not all, cases. Preventing raccoons from nesting in your home will save you headaches and may even preserve your health.
You may think you are not so much at risk for unwanted houseguests in the urban areas or perhaps even in the suburbs but you would be wrong. You are as likely to see raccoons in town as you are in the countryside. Unless you take precautions, your home is fair game to these very adaptable animals.
The first step to keep your house raccoon-proof is to work your way from the outside in. Begin with ridding your yard of all attractions for raccoons. Take down your bird feeders. Clean around your bushes; rake up old leaves and dispose of them; clear out loose brush or dead tree limbs. In short, take away every opportunity for a raccoon to use what is in your yard as a base for nesting.
Closer To The residence:
Make absolutely certain that your garbage can lids are closed tightly. Even tie the lids down so that very adventurous raccoons won't be successful in removing them. Smelly fish or meat wrappers should be wrapped in extra plastic before placing them into the trash can. Ammonia sprinkled over the top of the garbage, or a paper towel soaked in ammonia and placed under the lid will be an additional deterrent.
No food should be left outside at all. Children often take snacks outside, spill them, or forget where they put them. Raccoons love that. Be assured that any pretzels will be found and consumed. Not only human food will be found, so will your dog's or cat's dinner. Pet food left outside will also invite the little critters to investigate their surroundings a bit closer to see what else there is to eat, drink or crawl into.
Food will attract raccoons, but so will open containers of water. You may get an A for preventing mosquito-borne illnesses by having a small decorative pond aerated, but this will not prevent wild life from drinking the water. Raccoons love water, especially since they often wash their food before eating it.
They will often poop in a swimming pool or kill
decorative goldfish. To prevent this, install
chicken wire in the pond for the fish to hide in,
and boards with nails (spikes) sticking up on the
pool steps. Or you can trap and remove the
Sealing the house - the most important
Now inspect the house itself. Look under the eaves, at dormers, check outside vents to see if there are any openings, even very small ones where animals could slip in to find shelter. If raccoons can find a way to make a safe nest for themselves in your attic, or between your walls, or anywhere there is space for them to be safe from the elements and bring up their young, they will use it.
Check if there are open spaces around the foundation and the siding of your home. If there is an opening, close it. If your home is all brick, check for holes or bricks that are broken. Crawl spaces are another favorite spot where raccoons feel safe and ready to set up house.
Techniques And Exclusions:
Catching raccoons in cages is about the only way you can be sure to dispose of them in a safe and humane way. It is probably best to get a professional to help you in this. To catch raccoons you need not only have the proper equipment, you also need the expertise to know just how to do it. You also need to know where to relocate them so that they will not end up at your house again a day later. Trying to remove raccoons yourself may be especially dangerous if they carry diseases. Many raccoons have Leptospirosis that can be transferred to people as well as pets. Other diseases may cause big health issues to humans.
Exclude raccoons from entering your chimneys and from your crawl spaces. Wire netting can span the entire crawl space to prevent their entry under your house and keep them from climbing down your chimney.
Repellents: In general, they are useless as these animals aver far too determined. Mothballs, the most commonly used repellent, do not bother raccoons much. If the raccoons do find them offensive, they just move a little further away but they will not leave the premises.