So you think you might have a problem with raccoons. Well get a ticket and stand in line because you are not alone. You have joined the ranks of hundreds of people who have this similar problem, but don’t despair, there are solutions to your problem and we will discuss several of them here. One thing to remember is that raccoons are not afraid of man, dogs or cats. They are pretty smart critters and are intelligent enough to escape or avoid various trapping devices. They are however afraid of some snakes, alligators and some say sweaty humans with shotguns.
There are several different areas of your home where you may encounter raccoons, lets begin with the attic. If you see a raccoon come out of your chimney the first thing you want to do is install a chimney cap. This will prevent any more raccoons from entering, next we deal with the ones that are taking residence in your attic or chimney. For the chimney place a bowl of ammonia directly below the chimney so that the fumes from the ammonia will rise up into the chimney, this alone will cause the raccoons to relocate.
If the raccoons are in your attic or crawl space tie some rags into balls and soak them in ammonia and place them in various areas throughout your attic. Be sure to place them into the corners and soffit areas. If the rags dry out simply re-soak them and use again. After a couple of days the raccoons will leave for a more suitable home. Once you’re sure the critters are gone close up any holes or access openings they may have been using.
The next area we want to repel raccoons from is our yard and garden. To protect your garden plants use a mixture of cinnamon and ground black pepper sprinkled liberally around the yard. These spices irritate a raccoons sense of smell and will quickly discourage them from foraging in your yard.
Be assured that these spices will not harm your garden plants and are safe for the environment. Another homemade repellent that is very popular is a pepper based spray you can easily mix up and it is very effective. Bring a 2 quart pot of water to boil, adding several hot peppers, a tablespoon of cayenne pepper and one onion. Boil for 20 minutes, strain and pour in a spray bottle. Use the spray around your trash cans, flower arrangements and around the perimeter of your home. This spray is effective because its odor is very unpleasant to raccoons and it irritates their paws. The only downside to this spray is that it is not long lasting and will have to be resprayed in a couple of days or after a hard rain. The upside is that because raccoons are intelligent they will remember the unpleasantness and eventually stop coming back.
Another method is the use of motion activated lights. Much like a thief in the night the sudden flash of lights coming on should cause these annoying creatures to scatter.
If by chance you have a vegetable garden that needs protecting then the answer to this maybe a wire mesh fence with an angled top. Wrap the mesh around poles as you normally would then wrap chicken wire around the top part angled outwards to prevent the raccoons from climbing over the top.
Next we come to one of my pet peeves when it comes to raccoons, your garbage cans. I don’t know if your raccoons are on steroids like mine, but the raccoons in my area are strong enough to turn over 40 gal cans full of trash and then throw the trash all over my backyard. The best cure for this, if possible, is not to put the trash cans out until the morning of pickup, however this is not always possible. Another solution is to ensure you have secure fitting lids so that even though they may tip over the cans the contents will not spill out. You can also use ammonia to clean your cans weekly and even better use your pepper spray solution and spray around your cans on a regular basis. If you don’t want to make your own home remedy spray there are products on the market that do the same job and are quite affordable. Another method to repel raccoons is the common sense method of not leaving any food out that may attract them to your areas.
One thing to keep in mind is that there are occasions where raccoons may attack, especially if they feel their young ones are in danger. Another instance may be if they are defending what they consider to be their territory. Always use caution when dealing with these animals. Finally if all of these above methods fail you may consider placing a call to your local animal control agency and have them trap the animals and remove them.
You may obtain more information at Urban Wildlife Rescue.
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