No one fancies the idea of raccoons in their backyard owing to the kind of damage they are capable of. Such can be more than just knocking down your trash cans since female ones can cause a havoc. While searching for suitable nesting sites, they can destroy fascia boards, shingles, or rooftop ventilators in a bid to get to your attic. According to Preventive Pest, raccoons come with unwarranted pests and diseases
Even worse, when they make it to your attic they may interfere with your heating and cooling systems as well as destroy other plumbing components. They may also make their nests in your chimney or any available spaces under your decks and porches. While living this close to you, they will need something to eat; they will steal from your garden, fish pond, or grab your pet’s meals.
While knocking down trash cans will compromise your outdoor features, it is the least of raccoon problems. They come with loads of other unappealing issues as well.
How to determine the size of your problem
Raccoons operate at night, meaning you might not encounter them until it is too late. However, if you are keen enough, they will always leave behind signs of their existence. To detect them, here are some things that you should be on the lookout for:
- Feeding evidence such as fallen over trash cans, eaten crops on to your garden, damages at the fish pond, a spilled or emptied pet food bowl, knocked over bird feeders, a disturbed compost pile.
- Raccoon muck
- Raccoon tracks
Apart from the evidence they may leave behind after wreaking havoc, you will undoubtedly hear them whenever they come along to feed at night. Nevertheless, no matter what signs tell of their existence around you, you must get rid of them as soon as possible.
How to Get Rid of Raccoons
Closeness to food sources is among the most likely reasons why you might have female raccoons nesting in your neighborhood. A den site and lots of trashcans are quite appealing to these creatures. Furthermore, with loads of food sources, their populations tend to grow significantly; in fact, it is the case in many urban and suburban areas today. Reducing their most obvious food sources is the initial stage of disposing of them.
In densely populated areas, a raccoon problem might extend beyond personal borders to become a community issue that should be attended by all. It should be a joint effort by all; hence a slight detection of raccoons should be reported at once.
Should you not identify with the above, the following drills can help you manage raccoon problems in your homestead:
Ensure the trash can is secure
Weakly secured trash cans are subject to constant knockdowns by raccoons. As such, you should secure your cans as firmly as possible; buy heavy trash cans with secure lids, place your trash can in a rack or tie your trash can to a secure post
Take in your pet food
Do not leave pet food outdoors after nightfall. Leaving it out will only attract raccoons to your homestead.
Take you bird feeders indoors after nightfall.
No matter the type of bird feeder you use, consider bringing it in too after nightfall. Not only will it keep raccoons away, but it will ensure your bird has enough to eat.
Dispose of any fallen fruits and nuts.
Keep your compound sparkling clean by cleaning off anything that a raccoon could consider food. If nuts and fruits fall off your tree, be keen to collect them since such attract raccoons as well.
Fence around your garden, fish pond, compost pile, or new turf.
Your garden, fish pond, composite piles, and new lawns are the most appealing food sources for raccoons. As such, you might want to install not ordinary fences but electric ones around these areas to keep these creatures away for good. Raccoons will always find a way through regular fences by either climbing over or squeezing through them. However, you can fortify an ordinary fence by adding a single electrified 8 inches wire. A pulsating high-voltage, low-amperage fence charger is then used to electrify the single wire. To protect your garden products such as melons and sweet corn, you could consider installing a low, two-wire electric fence. You tie your two electrical wires to evenly placed poles. Ensure one of 6 inches from the ground while the other is 12 inches above. Then switch on the fence charger throughout the night. Such could also be used for new turfs to keep off raccoons until the turf is fully grown. Electric fences can also be used to protect fish ponds.
Do not intentionally feed raccoons
Raccoons might be naturally cute creatures but should not be fed by all means. Avoid feeding them and encourage your neighbor to do the same. Ready food will keep them coming.
Reduce Any Inhabitable Sites
Getting rid of food sources is one thing, but reducing access to inhabitable sites is another. Ensure raccoons have no viable nesting sites near your home. This will give them no reason to stick around.
Clean up your Yard
Cleaning up your yard comes in handy not only in improving the appearance of your outdoor concepts but also in disposing of any potential nesting sites in your compound. Dispose of any piles of wood, rocks or pavers, trim bushy shrubbery, and any trees near your house to prevent raccoons from accessing your rooftop. Ensure you have a 5-foot gap between your compound trees and your home.
Cover your chimney
Cover your chimney with a spark arrester or chimney cap to keep off raccoons. These creatures have a special liking to both indoor and outdoor fireplace chimneys probably due to warmth; hence your chimney could be their target. Should you install a chimney cap, be keen to ensure it is tightly placed. If in an unfortunate situation, there are raccoons already living in your chimney, getting professional help is the right call.
Close up any entry points
Chimneys might be the perfect home for raccoons, but any covered space with an opening will be a good option for these creatures. As such, you should close up any entry points to covered areas to keep them off. Seal off any entry points to your outdoor concepts such as pool patios, porches, swimming pool decks, and garden tool sheds, with a firm mesh. Furthermore, ensure the mess is firmly installed. They like hanging around Woodlands pools .
Other Control Options
There are other viable options to keep off raccoons that you could consider too. You could use products to repel, trap, or scare away raccoons. However, some of these might not be effective for long. For instance, products meant to scare away raccoons will only work for a time before they realize such are not harmful at all. Commercial repellents on the other side work on most other animals but are not successful in disposing of raccoons. Trapping could also work but can dangerous for inexperienced persons. These creatures not only do they come with lots of pests but are also known to be carriers of diseases. Should you successfully trap them, you risk getting infected with these diseases. Furthermore, if you are lucky not to get infected, whenever you release them to a new area after trapping them, your risk exposing the new environment to whatever disease and pests they might be carrying. Trapping is best left to professionals. Let a service company come trap the raccoons for you while they clear the area of termites and other pests.