Raccoons are a common problem in many neighborhoods throughout the United States. Though they are cute and even entertaining to observe, these wild animals can cause serious damage to yards and gardens. They can also enter homes where they build dens, steal food, cause structural damage, and even lead to safety risks. Worse, raccoons can be dangerous, carrying a number of serious and even deadly diseases that they can pass on to people and pets.
The best way to manage raccoons is to prevent them from coming around. If you want to keep raccoons away from your property, there are several steps you can take to discourage the animals from finding your home or property attractive.
Join us today as we talk about how to scare raccoons away from your house. But first, let’s talk about raccoons.
Raccoons – The Good, The Bad, And The Messy
Raccoons may look cute and cuddly, but they are an incredible nuisance.
Before we dive into how to scare raccoons away from your house, let’s first talk about what raccoons are, how to identify them, and what makes them such a nuisance.
Raccoons are mammals in the Procyonidae family that are native to North America. They are also known as “masked bandits,” a name that was inspired by the dark fur mask around their eyes as well as their habit of rooting through garbage and stealing food.
Raccoons are nocturnal animals that sleep during the day and search for food at night. They live in dens, which can be found both above ground or below ground.
They can grow up to 36 inches long from head to tail and weigh between 15 and 30 pounds depending on their age and diet. Their fur is brownish-gray with white underparts that make them appear larger than they actually are when seen from afar.
They also have large front paws with five toes each, which allow them to be very dexterous when moving through trees or on the ground. They use their paws for climbing and digging as well as for holding objects like food while eating or playing with it.
Raccoons are a common sight in and around cities, where they have learned to adapt to living alongside humans. They are omnivorous, which means they eat both meat and plants, though they often prefer to feed on fruits, nuts, and insects. If their preferred foods are not available, raccoons will feast on carrion, garbage, pet food, fish, and more.
Raccoons are also agile climbers and excellent swimmers, making them capable of getting into and out of a variety of different situations.
Remember, raccoons will eat almost anything, including insects, small rodents and birds, fish from decorative garden ponds, rotting meat from garbage bins, and more. They also love to steal fruit from fruit trees and vegetables from vegetable gardens.
If they find your home suitable, they may even try to get into your house through pet doors or by climbing up a tree and entering an open window or attic.
Raccoons are also known to carry rabies and other diseases, as we mentioned above. Though not particularly aggressive towards people, raccoons will bite if cornered or threatened. They may also carry parasites such as fleas and ticks that can transmit disease.
Unfortunately, raccoons are also messy. They can cause serious and costly damage to property by tearing open garbage bags or by chewing holes in the tops of wooden structures. They have also been known to climb into chimneys and break down the damper so it won’t close properly, causing fires in homes with wood-burning fireplaces or stoves. Raccoons have even been known to tear shingles off roofs!
For all these reasons and more, it’s important to know how to scare raccoons away from your house so you don’t have to deal with the mess or the risk of their presence.
But in order to know how to scare raccoons away from your house, it helps to know what is attracting them to your property in the first place.
Why Are Racoons Attracted To Your Property?
Raccoons are high intelligent and curious by nature.
Raccoons have always been a part of life in the suburbs and rural areas. Along with being messy and problematic, raccoons are also famous for their intelligence. These animals are natural problem solvers and are curious and playful by nature. While these traits can make them seem endearing, they can also make getting rid of them that much more difficult.
Knowing what attracts a raccoon can help reduce your chances of having to deal with one on your property, especially when you consider they may not be interested in only food, water, and shelter, like many other pests.
Let’s take a look at some of the traits your home or yard may have that could make your property more susceptible to raccoon invasions.
Food Sources – Raccoons certainly have their favorite foods like nuts, seeds, berries, and fruit. However, they have a vast diet and will eat just about anything they can get their paws on. In fact, many people do not realize just how diverse a raccoon’s diet can be until they discover raccoons on their property rooting through garbage bins or stealing pet food.
Common but often overlooked food sources for raccoons include bird seed, fruits, vegetables, fish, lizards, small mammals, bird eggs, carrion, garbage, pet food, crayfish, frogs, snails, clams, sweets, and of course any types of human foods left to rot in the garbage or pet food left in bowls outside overnight.
Water Sources – Like all living creatures, raccoons need water to survive. This is why they can often be found near natural water sources like ponds, lakes, and streams. However, they also like other water sources like pools, water gardens, bird baths, and fountains. Be sure to keep your swimming pool or pond cleaned on a regular basis to help repel raccoons and consider inviting in the pest-proof fence, especially if you have fish in decorative ponds. These fish could serve as food sources for hungry raccoons.
If you have an above-ground pool, make sure there is no way for the raccoon to get in it by implementing a pool cover when the pool is not in use. If you have an in-ground pool, make sure that it is surrounded by a fence or cover as well. It’s also wise to make sure that any pipes leading into your home do not have any leaks that could attract raccoons into your yard at night while you sleep. You might also consider removing excess water sources like fountains or bird baths from your property.
Shelter – Raccoons love dark and quiet places where there is little disturbance from humans and other animals. They will seek out attics, basements, or crawl spaces where they can safely raise their young without fear of predators like coyotes or hawks looking for an easy meal.
Other forms of shelter for a raccoon include dark spaces beneath decks and porches, garden sheds and barns, and the hollows of trees.
Vegetation – Excess vegetation on your property provides shelter for raccoons as well as a food source, especially if you are growing fruits and vegetables, or if certain vegetation is providing nuts and seeds that raccoons can scavenge for. Vegetation is especially attractive to raccoons during winter months when food sources are more difficult for them to come by.
Trees – Raccoons are attracted to trees because they provide food, shelter, and protection from predators. They can climb trees to get at the nuts, fruit, or insects that live there. They may also use trees as shelter from other animals or people who might threaten them.
These animals may also use trees to travel safely or to access den areas, which could include your chimney, roof, or attic if you’re not careful. If you do have an abundance of trees on your property, you may be more likely to have to deal with how to scare raccoons away from your house than your neighbors.
How To Scare Racoons Away From Your House – Different Methods, Tips, And Tricks
Raccoons have a very keen sense of smell, sight, and hearing.
Although raccoons are a common pest in cities and suburbs, it doesn’t mean you have to put up with them. In fact, there are plenty of methods you can use to get rid of these animals before they become a problem around your home. And this is where knowing how to scare a raccoon away from your house can come in handy.
Though they are highly intelligent, raccoons are also skittish animals with a long list of predators. For this reason, they must constantly be on edge and on the lookout while hunting or building their dens.
Some of the many predators raccoons must face include coyotes, foxes, bobcats, wolves, cougars, owls, large snakes, hawks, and alligators.
Since they are commonly preyed on by other animals, raccoons have evolved to have a very good sense of sight, smell, and hearing. These sharp senses make them extra vulnerable to loud sounds, harsh smells, and sudden movements.
With all of that noted, let’s take a look at a few tips and tricks you can use for how to scare raccoons away from your house:
Use Scent Repellents
Raccoons have a keen sense of smell, so using scent repellents is one method you can use to scare raccoons away from your house. There are several ways you can use scent repellents for this purpose. For example, you can buy commercial products that contain an unpleasant odor that will discourage raccoons from coming near your house. Many people choose to use mothballs or ammonia to repel raccoons and other animals such as possums, skunks, or squirrels. The problem with these methods is that they are toxic substances that can be harmful to humans as well as animals when inhaled or ingested in large amounts over time.
Other options include the use of essential oils like peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil. These work by masking the smell of your garbage cans and other food sources that attract raccoons in the first place.
You can also use predator urine to scare raccoons away from your house. Predator urine like coyote urine can give the illusion that a predator is nearby and that your home is not a safe place for raccoons to scavenge for food or build their dens.
Other scents that raccoons hate include:
- Cayenne Pepper
- Epsom Salt
- Garlic Juice
- Onion Juice
- Citrus Oil
- And Ammonia
Use Sound Repellents
Along with having a keen sense of smell, raccoons have incredible hearing. In fact, they can hear frequencies that human beings cannot, which means that certain sounds that may be pleasant or fine for you and I will be highly irritating for a raccoon.
This is great news for anyone looking for how to scare raccoons away from your house using sound repellents. The only downside to using sound repellents for how to scare raccoons away from your house is that some sounds can be irritating to neighbors or pets like dogs and cats.
Use your best discretion when using sound repellents to deter raccoons, especially if you live in a neighborhood or in close proximity to other houses.
With that noted, some of the best sound repellents you can use for how to scare raccoons away from your house include using a radio that you play at night, banging pots and pans if you notice raccoons coming around at night, and even setting up ultrasonic sound pest repellents that use ultrasonic sound waves to deter raccoons.
We should note that using ultrasonic pest repellents for raccoons will also deter other animals like skunks, possums, rabbits, and even coyotes. However, these repellents can also be annoying for dogs and cats, so keep this in mind.
Use Motion Repellents
Motion repellents often include sensors that detect movement on your lawn and activate or turn it on. These repellents can use movement, water sprays, and even flashing lights to scare raccoons and other unwanted pests from your property.
The most popular type of motion repellent for how to scare raccoons away from your house are going to be motion activated sprinkler systems.
Motion-activated sprinkler systems can be very effective in keeping raccoons away from your property because raccoons don’t like getting wet and this will discourage them from entering your yard again.
The sudden spray will also startle them, and lead them to believe your yard is not a safe place to search for food or build their dens. If you want to combine using sound and motion repellents for how to scare raccoons away from your house, you can also try installing audio alarms that emit loud noises when raccoons enter the area or when there is movement detected in the area.
Use Predator Decoys
Because raccoons are preyed upon by so many different animals, one of the most effective methods you can use for how to scare raccoons away from your house is by using predator decoys. These decoys look like larger animals such as coyotes, large owls, or even bobcats. Some of these decoys even make noise to imitate predatory sounds. This scares away nearby raccoons because it makes them believe there are other predators present in the area.
Predator decoys work well because they don’t just scare away a single raccoon but all raccoons that are nearby. These decoys also scare other animals such as squirrels, opossums, and skunks.
Some predator decoys are highly realistic looking, but if you prefer not to have obvious decoys in your yard for how to scare raccoons away, you can also purchase products that mimic predator eyes glowing in the dark. These products are much smaller than larger decoys like coyote decoys or owl decoys. They often stick in the ground and use solar technology to glow at night and scare off pests. In fact, they have been proven to work quite well for how to scare raccoons away from your house.
Best Products For How To Scare Racoons Away From Your House
Products like scent repellents and sound repellents work well to scare raccoons.
There is a wide range of repellents and deterrents on the market you can use for how to scare raccoons away from your house. Some work better than others, but all of them can have a place in your pest control arsenal, especially when you’re dealing with annoying yet clever nocturnal pests like raccoons.
So, how do you choose the best product for your situation? First, it’s important to understand what your options are.
Remember, you have several types of products you can use when it comes to how to scare raccoons away from your property, including sound repellents, motion repellents, predator decoys, and scent repellents.
The great thing about all of these repellents for how to scare raccoons away from your property is that almost all of them are natural, safe for the environment, and safe to use around children and pets.
However, there are some that can be irritating to pets, especially if you opt to go with ultrasonic repellents for how to scare raccoons away from your house.
Furthermore, some scent repellents could also be hazardous for children and pets if they contain chemical ingredients. Repellents like mothballs, for example, can be toxic if not used as directed.
We should note here that even some natural scent repellents can be dangerous for pets. Scent repellents that contain garlic or onions, for example, can be hazardous to dogs.
This means that choosing the best method for you for how to scare raccoons away from your house is going to depend on your unique situation and whether or not you have children or pets in the home.
The decision may also be made depending on the severity of your raccoon problem. You may find that using a combination of methods for how to scare raccoons away from your house will work best, especially if you live in a wooded area or in an area where raccoons are especially active.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to choosing the best products for how to scare raccoons away from your house, we have you covered below with some of the top recommended products according to experts.
Careland Solar Powered Nocturnal Animal Repeller
Careland Solar Powered Nocturnal Animal Repeller Predator Eye Lights is a green product that helps you scare away raccoons, skunks, cats and other pests with its bright LED lights. The product is made of high-quality plastic material which makes it durable and long-lasting.
The bright LED lights will emit a glare that will scare animals away from your home. It also has an adjustable head and can be placed anywhere around your house or garden to scare off animals easily.
Its solar panel charges the product during the daytime so that it can work at night automatically without having to worry about charging it manually or plugging it into an outlet for power.
Bonide Repels-All Animal Repellent Granules
No products found.
Bonide Repels-All Animal Repellent Granules is a safe and effective method you can use for how to scare raccoons away from your house. It’s made from 100% natural ingredients, including hot pepper extract, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
The granules are easy to use and only need to be sprinkled around the area you want to protect. They have a powerful scent that will repel animals from your yard for up to six months. It works not only on raccoons but also on skunks, possums, rodents, and more.
American Heritage Industries Wolf Urine
American Heritage Industries Wolf Urine is a liquid that can be used to deter unwanted pests and animals from entering your property. It comes in an easy-to-use bottle, and you simply need to spray it around the area you would like to protect from pests like raccoons.
This product is useful for keeping raccoons away from your house or garden because it mimics the smell of their natural predators—wolves and coyotes. The raccoon’s natural instinct is to avoid these predators, so it will not want to be around areas where they have been sprayed with this odorless substance.
Black & Decker Motion Activated Sprinkler
Black & Decker Motion Activated Sprinkler is a motion sensor sprinkler that can be used to keep raccoons away from your house. The sprinkler is activated by motion and sprays water on the raccoon, startling and scaring them away.
This device can be placed near the area where you think that the raccoons are entering your house. It has an adjustable height that you can adjust according to the height of the animal. The device also has a sensitivity setting so that you can adjust how sensitive it will be to movement.
Experts Weigh In On How To Scare Raccoons Away From Your House And Keep Them From Coming Back
Keeping raccoons away from your property is not only better for you, but it is also safer for the raccoon.
Raccoons are opportunistic animals that are often attracted to human homes and neighborhoods. They can be found in cities, suburbs, and rural areas alike.
If you do have raccoons on your property, there are several ways to go about removing them. However, raccoon trapping and removal is often best left to a professional pest control company that has experience dealing with these animals. It’s important to remember that raccoons are wild animals and must be treated as such, and they can carry serious diseases.
Luckily, preventing raccoons is simple when you follow our tips and tricks for how to scare raccoons away from your house above. And below we have listed some more expert tips on how to scare raccoons away from your house and keep them from coming back.
Don’t Provide Food Sources – The most effective method you can use to keep raccoons away from your home is to remove their food source. As we know, raccoons will eat just about anything they come across, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat, and garbage. If you find a raccoon in your yard or garden looking for food, scare it away immediately using one of our methods above for how to scare raccoons away from your house and then remove the potential food source so the animal is not tempted to return.
Keep Garbage Lids Closed At All Times – This is another way to prevent raccoons from returning after you have successfully scared them away initially. Keep trash cans tightly closed at all times when not being emptied and make sure there are no holes or tears in the plastic liner that could release tempting food smells.
Remove Excess Water Sources Around Your Property – Remember, raccoons are highly attracted to water sources. In fact, they often dip their food in water before eating it. You can help deter raccoons by reducing the amount of water you have on your property. This could include bird baths, water gardens, and fountains.
Contact A Professional If Raccoon Problems Persist – While raccoons are common in many neighborhoods, a persistent problem could mean you have other issues occurring on your property. If you’ve followed our tips on how to scare raccoons away from your house and are still dealing with raccoons, it may be time to contact a professional for help.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on how to scare raccoons away from your house. Did we miss any tips and tricks that you found have worked for you in the past? Tell us in the comment section below!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.