The Truth About Raccoon Deterrent
If you're in search of that elusive raccoon deterrent that will end your raccoon problems once and for all, you're not alone. Raccoons have adapted well to living among humans, and are considered a nuisance by homeowners in rural and urban areas alike. They may be cute, but they can cause extensive damage to gardens and homes if proper precautions are not taken.
Prevention is the key to keeping your yard and home free of raccoons. Raccoons are notorious dumpster divers, so keep your garbage inside whenever you can. When you do put your trash out, make sure the containers are closed tightly, using bungee cords over the lids for extra security. Don't feed your pets outside, as raccoons will be attracted by the pet food and won't hesitate to partake. If you're having trouble keeping raccoons out of your garden, you can try installing an electric fence designed to keep small animals out. Raccoons are excellent climbers, so an ordinary fence is not likely to be much of a raccoon deterrent.
While raccoons may be a nuisance in the yard, they wreak the most havoc by entering homes, and can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage by nesting in attics and chimneys. In addition to keeping your doors and windows securely fastened, it's also important to keep any pet doors locked at night to avoid awakening in the morning to a pantry full of satisfied raccoons. Ensure that your attic has no openings that will be inviting to a mother raccoon, and place a cap over your chimney to keep it from becoming a cozy den.
If you suspect raccoons have already taken up residence in your attic or chimney, the best course of action is to find a professional to remove them. Where there are raccoon dens there are generally also raccoon babies, and you don't want to scare the mother raccoon away before the babies are old enough to follow. If hiring a professional isn't an option, you can try playing a radio loudly, lights, or strong smells to encourage the mother to move her babies and find a new den elsewhere. After the raccoons have been removed, or after the babies mature and they move out on their own, locate the point of entry and seal it to ensure you don't have another raccoon nest the following spring.
There are plenty of products you can purchase that purport to be a raccoon deterrent, but most simply do not work. Devices that emit an ultrasonic sound supposedly unpleasant to raccoons were popular for a time, but the FTC has issued a warning declaring those products to be fraudulent and ineffective. Some companies sell special raccoon deterrent formulas that can be purchased in liquid or granular form, for indoor or outdoor use. Others sell fox or coyote urine, with the idea that the smell of a predator will keep raccoons away. Still other recommendations include moth balls or ammonia, the scent of which is supposed to drive the critters away. These methods may work occasionally, but they are not a permanent or reliable solution. Even trapping the animals and relocating them some distance away will not stop other raccoons from becoming regular visitors to your home, and it is illegal in most areas to do this unless you are a licensed trapper.
To save yourself time, effort, and money, you must avoid attracting raccoons in the first place. You can spend a lot of money on products that claim to be a raccoon deterrent, but the best approach is to use common sense in storing your food and garbage, and keeping your house secure. A yard and home free of temptations is the only effective, long-term raccoon deterrent.