Though raccoons are considered to be pests, there are laws in certain states that prohibit you from killing them. If you see a raccoon in your home, killing them should be your last resort. Here, we share steps on how to get rid of raccoons the humane way.
1. Determine if It’s a Mother Raccoon or a Sole Adult Raccoon
Before getting rid of the raccoon, you want to determine first if the unwanted guest is a mother or a sole adult. If it’s a mother raccoon, you don’t want to get rid of it just yet as the babies won’t survive without their mother. If they die in your house, it could stink up the whole place.
Wait a few weeks for the babies to grow old and mobile enough to leave with the mother raccoon. If you decide to hire the services of an animal control expert, what they will do is wait for the mother to leave the nest, move the babies, and prevent the mother from entering.
The babies are relocated somewhere safe and once the mother reunites with them, she can move them to another nest. This method is preferable since it allows the mother to move her babies to another nest at her own pace.
2. Identify Entry Points
Next, you want to identify spots where raccoons could get in. Do a thorough inspection of your house and find potential areas where they could be nesting. Then, put a newspaper in these holes and leave it there for a few days. If the newspaper is moved out of place, that means a raccoon could be using that area as an entryway.
3. Implement Scare Tactics
These are gentle techniques that you can do to keep raccoons out of your home. A combination of tactics such as bright lights, unpleasant smells, and loud noises are often enough to drive a them away.
Ammonia naturally deters raccoons because of its strong smell, so go ahead and soak a towel with ammonia and leave it at the den entrances. This will have the raccoon thinking their nest is soiled so they’ll leave and move somewhere else.
Another natural repellent is predator urine. How this is collected, we’re not sure, but they’re supposed to trick the raccoons into thinking there’s a predator nearby. Again, you can leave these at the entrances to scare the raccoons away.
There are also motion-sensing devices which activate flood lights, sprinklers, and noisemakers. You’ll want to mix these tactics up as raccoons are pretty smart and can detect if something is causing them harm or not. If they realize that it’s actually harmless, they’ll ignore it and quickly move on. The element of unpredictability should help deter and keep them out.
4. Seal All Entryways
Once you’ve made sure that all raccoons are out of your house, you want to keep it that way by sealing all possible entryways. Wire mesh or sheet metal should be heavy enough to prevent raccoons from getting in your home.
5. Take Away the Food Source
It can be quite hard to get rid of raccoons especially when there’s a reason for them to stay: food. They’re quite the skilled dumpterdivers and will eat anything they can get their little paws on. If it’s edible, they’ll eat it.
You want to cut off all sources of food and the first step to doing that is making sure your trash bins are tightly closed. Some bins have a bungee cord that keep them tightly shut. You can also place a cinder block on top of the bin for extra measure. Of course, don’t forget to remove the cords and the cinder block once the garbage trucks come around otherwise they won’t collect your garbage.
Also, clear your yard of any food that raccoons might be attracted to. Clear up any fallen fruit from your trees. Take away pet food and feeders. Raccoons love this stuff. Take it away from them and they’ll eventually quit stopping by your house for food.
6. Go Pro
If nothing else works, consider hiring the services of a pest control specialist. These professionals are trained to safely trap and remove raccoons from your home and yard, and prevent them from coming back. They can also make sure that your place is clear of raccoon feces and urine as exposure to it can be a health risk to you and your family.
After you’re finished with getting rid of these pests, it’s probably time to invest in a home warranty to protect any of the home systems that may have been tampered with during the time of infestation. Make sure that any openings in these systems won’t contribute to this type of problem again. Another benefit of using this is if anything were to happen to any major system like your air conditioner or even your refrigerator, you can save money on replacements or repairs.
What other humane tactics have you used to get rid of raccoons? Share your thoughts in the comments below.