How To Get A Raccoon Out Of Your Yard

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons Naturally From Your Yard (8 Clever Methods)

Last Updated: April 19, 2018

The raccoon, this Zorro of the animal realm with a mysterious mask on his eyes, is the exact opposite of a gentleman. He is a vandal. A reckless creature that eats anything and destroys for fun. Or out of contempt. Or out of habit. Or a lack of manners. As cute as they are, as mischievous they can be.

You will find raccoons in your garbage, throwing everything out like he wouldn’t care; in your garden, munching on your veggies and stomping on the ones they don’t care for; in your attic, where they sneak in, install, and declared it their home.

Raccoons can throw you into the pit of despair. You’ve had enough cleaning after their mess in your yard. Enough is enough. How to get rid of raccoons naturally?

You will discover 8 harmless, natural, non-toxic, safe, and effective (well, some more effective than others) and several preventive measures to make raccoons go away from your yard and garden and never see them again.

How Do You Get Rid of Raccoons in Your Yard?

You want to get rid of raccoons but you don’t want to harm them. There are many methods you can try. So, let’s see how to get rid of raccoons without killing them.

Transform Your Garbage Bin into an Impenetrable Vault Out

Seriously, you need to put the tour Eiffel on your garbage lid, so no raccoon on steroids can lift it, no matter how hard he tries and how smart he is. Because, you know, raccoons are very, very clever, persistent, and creative.

Forget about that bin with loose lids. Raccoons will find a way to take it off and then savagely ravage out of the garbage and all over your yard.

  • Since they didn’t invent garbage vaults yet, you’d better buy a strong metal or plastic bin with a thick tight-fitting lid.
  • For extra security and safety, add a lock on the lid, a smart device that only you can unlock.
  • If you find the above-mentioned solutions too expensive for your budget or too much for just a raccoon, put extra weight on your garbage lid, to make it impossible for raccoons to lift it, no matter how clever they might be.
  • Or pour Ammonia on top of the lid. The smell of ammonia will repel raccoons.

Shoo Them Away With Water

Since we’re talking about devices, how about a motion activated sprinkler? The sprinklers are activated when they sense movement (like a raccoon sneaking in) and they spray a mist of water (on economic mode) and make a noise that is meant to scare the raccoons away from your property.

To stay on budget, you can get solar powered units.

This is probably the best way to get rid of raccoons.

A tall fence, no offense

Raccoons are great climbers. So, how can you build a fence that they can’t get over? How to make raccoons leave before they even enter your property?

  • An electric fence (with faint electric impulses, just to scare raccoons away, not to kill them) would work, but it’s rather a complicated (and expensive) matter. You can try.
  • It seems raccoon don’t like beech trees, as these are difficult to climb on, having a smooth surface. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Beech fence! A tall, smooth, beech fence to stops the raccoons right at the border of your territory.
  • PVC fences work equally well.

What are you waiting for? Proceed!

Note: some say that raccoons may dig underneath the fence to get on the other side if they can’t climb on it. Then, install the fence deeper in the ground.

Natural Home Remedies and Deterrents

Drop It Like it’s Hot

Well, chili is a great raccoon deterrent home remedy for your garden. However, keep in mind that you have to be two times more persistent than raccoons, to win the battle. And believe me, raccoons are very, very persistent. They keep trying. And trying. And trying even more. And if you don’t step back (and keep using chili to deter them from your plants), raccoons will give up and leave your property to find an easier place to get food.

How to discourage raccoons to eat from your garden?

Make a mixture of chili or hot pepper powder with water, then add it in a spray bottle. Spray the soil and the plants, to stop raccoons from eating them.

You can also use other hot peppers like jalapenos, cayenne, etc. Cinnamon works very well, too. And you don’t even need to make a concoction with it, you can spread the powder on the soil, around trees, everywhere you’ve seen raccoons. You get the idea.

  • Keep in mind that these hot peppers may irritate the eyes, mouth, and skin of any other animal (think your pets) that comes in contact with it, or of your kids and family (including you).
  • After it rains you need to reapply the hot concoction on your garden, which may be time and money consuming.

Smelly Garlic

Garlic is great in deterring raccoons from your garden. Why?

Raccoons detest garlic. Then, sprinkle garlic powder in your garden. It’s true that your tomatoes might come on your table already seasoned and smelling like garlic, but it’s okay, since you have them on your table, and not the raccoons in their paws.

Homemade Soap

Would you like eating soap? Nope. Well, neither do raccoons.

Blend a handmade soap (all-natural, with no chemicals – you’re going to spray your future food with it, remember?) in a food processor with 1-2 liters of water.

Then add the soapy liquid in a spray bottle and proceed to spray your plants in the garden.

See also:  When Is Racoon Mating Season

Note: the natural soap is a natural insecticide for many other pests in your garden. So, you shoot two birds with one soap.

Salt That Raccoon

Epsom salt is one of the smells that raccoons don’t like, apparently. Spread Epsom salt in your garden, to protect your plants. Know that your plants will be very happy about it, as Epsom salt is beneficial for vegetables, bringing important nutrients to the soil, like magnesium.

Reapply Epsom salt in your garden after it rains.

That’s how to get rid of raccoons naturally.

Big dogs can scare the raccoons. However, raccoons can scare small or medium dogs. So, the bigger the better in this case. Dogs can be trained to chase raccoons away from your yard. Although they will instinctively do that when they see one around.

So, keeping a dog in your yard can be a natural, inexpensive, safe way to deter raccoons from your property.

7 Preventive Measures against Raccoons

  • Never leave the garbage bin uncovered (duh!). An open bin is like an unwritten invitation to dinner for small animals like raccoons, rats, mice, or squirrels.
  • Keep garbage bins with the lid closed and secured with weight, ropes, or locks.
  • Raccoons have a thing for pet food. If you have pets outdoor, take their food and water bowl inside the house during the night.
  • Harvest vegetables, as soon as ripen, pick fruits and nuts as soon as they fall on the ground. Otherwise, raccoons would be thrilled to eat these and will consider your yard a food haven.
  • Put a mesh fence around your deck or porch to prevent raccoons from hiding underneath.
  • Check you fences often to spot any damage or holes and be able to repair them quickly, before raccoons spot them first and take advantage of them.
  • Don’t get near raccoons, as they may have rabies.

Knowing how to get rid of raccoons naturally in your yard and garden is the only way to deter these pesky, but cute animals without harming them. I have provided many viable, effective methods that you can use fast starting right now.

Jane Scott grew up on a farm in California and is a crossover between a country girl and an evangelist for healthier living. She’s a nutritionist who preaches that healthy living need not be complicated.

She believes that by exercising regularly, eating mostly non-processed foods (with plenty of vegetables), and using home remedies for the small things and doctor’s advice for the big things, almost anybody can feel great and live a happier and healthier life. She’s excited to share her knowledge of natural remedies and healthier living on HRFL.

In her spare time, Jane enjoys cooking and watching bad rom-coms. She also loves nuts, and is a bit of a nut herself when it comes to Yoga, which she’s a little too obsessed with in the opinion of her friends and family.


Barb Collister says

We have a outside cat who has a a little house. The raccoons normally just come on our patio and look for food (which we pick up every night) and then leave when they don’t find any. Now we see they are now entering our cats house now. My question is how can we get rid of them without affecting our cat?

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How To Keep Raccoons Out of the Yard

Whether you have a problem with raccoons in your yard or they have gotten into your attic or under your home, we have some methods to drive off these pesky bandits. Raccoons may appear cute or even friendly. Indeed, they can be quite bold around humans and pets. However, they are wild animals and will behave like wild animals. The have sharp teeth, strong claws, are known to carry rabies and parasites. Never try to catch a raccoon by hand. Cornering a racoon, or any animal, may leave the animal with no choice but to attack you. This article describes non-confrontational, non-lethal methods to keep raccoons away from your home.

Raccoons are nocturnal, they are active in the twilight and after dark. Raccoons can be quite noisy. They can also be fairly destructive, they can pull off siding and tear openings to get into your home. Raccoons are omnivores, they will eat whatever they can find, and they can find plenty in your trash cans.

Raccoons are surprisingly clever, brave and bold. They will challenge pets, enter buildings, open containers, tip things over and push large objects around. They are not easily intimidated. While they will avoid humans most of the time, sometimes you have to act aggressively before they will be chased off. By the way, we do not recommend challenging raccoons, you can never be certain of how they will react and a rabies infected raccoon may actually attack you.

Keeping Raccoons Away

Raccoons are active in twilight and evening. They prefer relative darkness. Installing motion activated lighting may be helpful in discouraging raccoons. However, simple porch lights may not be adequate. You might need to go to extreme measures in terms of lighting. Bright flood lights, like the quartz halogen fixtures used for driveway illumination and security purposes may be necessary. Plus, one light, at a distance may not have the desired effect. We recommend multiple lights, either on the same circuit or independently triggered, to saturate the area.

Raccoons don’t like being around humans, so placing a waterproof radio near trash cans may be helpful. Set the radio to a «talk» station. It doesn’t have to be loud. The voices will discourage raccoons from the area.

Buy metal trash cans with sealing lids. You can improve the tightness of the seal with a length of plastic tubing (like for water supply lines in you windshield washer system or your ice maker supply line). Slice a cut along the length of the tube and slip it over the rim of the trash can. When you put the lid in place, the tubing compresses to form a tighter seal. Also, place a heavy object, such as a cinder block, on top of trash can lids.

Raccoons like their food clean and will sometimes wash it in available water. They also find the smell of ammonia objectionable. By adding a small splash of ammonia to your garbage, the raccoons will be less likely to scavenge your trash.

See also:  How Far Can A Raccoon Swim

Your pets need water available at all times, but as much as possible, eliminate sources of water for raccoons. If possible, lock your pets securely away at night, with their water. Don’t leave water out that the raccoons can get to. Also, don’t leave pet food out at night, raccoons love the stuff.

If raccoons are nesting in your attic or under your home, please read this article for tips to get rid of raccoons.

Caution: Please read our safety information before using any information found in our articles.

Raccoon Prevention — How to Keep Raccoons Away

Raccoons are not really wild animals. They are urban animals. Raccoons are FAR more common in cities and suburbs than they are in undeveloped natural areas. Just like rats. Thus, raccoon-human encounters are very common. Raccoons are smart, curious, and agile, so in short, there’s really no way to simply keep them away.

NEED LOCAL HELP? We have wildlife removal professionals servicing 95% of the USA. Click here to hire a local raccoon removal expert in your home town. Updated 2018. But read the below advice first!

How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Yard: Usually impossible. Only a really good fence will do the trick, and I doubt you’re going to install a prison-grade fence just to keep raccoons out. You can also try a motion sensitive water sprayer (but that doesn’t really work very well), or intimidation tactics. Read about what are raccoons scared of. I recommend trapping and relocation in most cases. What you want to do is minimize the damage the raccoons are causing in the yard. Is it your garbage they are after? Bird feeders and bird seed? A pond with fish? A deck or shed they can live under? The key is to eliminate the things that attract the raccoon. I’ll discuss these below.

Oh, and there is absolutely no such thing as a raccoon repellent product that works. Those high-pitch ultrasonic noise making machines are totally bogus — the FTC issued a warning against them — and even if you can’t hear them, many people can, so you’ll be bothering a lot of neighbors — an old couple down the street from my house set one of those stupid machines, and I could hear it 6 houses away. So could the neighbors, and they got the old couple to remove it — it wasn’t keeping the raccoons away anyway. No powder or spray will keep a raccoon away, it’s not that easy.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Read more about the only known effective repellent, that will, in some cases, keep away raccoons: raccoon eviction fluid — I don’t sell it or anything, but I do recommend it in certain cases.

How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Garden: This is a tough one, because raccoons are so intelligent, strong, and crafty. Only a real, heavy duty fence will do the trick. You can also try a motion sensitive water sprayer, or trapping and relocation to keep raccoons away for good.

How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Garbage Cans: You can try to make your garbage cans raccoon proof by strapping the lids down with bungee cords, or keeping them in the garage until garbage night. Or you can get locks, heavy covers, etc which will prevent raccoons from getting into the garbage for food.

How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Pond: A little decorative pond with fish is irresistible to a raccoon! Install some large gauge steel mesh and put it over or in the pond, for the fish to hide in and under. Some people even use cinderblocks. Or you can try trapping and removal. In general, you don’t want to feed raccoons anything, from pet fish to pet food, if you want to keep them away from your property.

How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Pool: Coons like to swim, bathe, and poop in swimming pools. You can try trapping and removal. Or you can get planks of wood and pound a bunch of nails into the bottom of the wood so they stick through the other side, and place those boards upside down on the pool steps, so that there’s a bunch of spikes sticking up, and the raccoons might not want to walk on those steps.

But what if you have a raccoon somewhere in or on your home? Well, that’s a situation that can definitely be taken care of with 100% results. I have written excellent guides covering several areas. Click any of the below articles:
How to keep raccoons out of your basement.
How to keep raccoons out of your crawl space.
How to keep raccoons out of your walls.
How to keep raccoons out of your ceiling.
How to keep raccoons out of your attic.
How to keep raccoons outside of your house.
How to keep raccoons off of your roof
Will Repellents Get a Raccoon Out of the Attic?
Do Mothballs or Ammonia Help Repel Raccoons?
Home Remedies to Keep Away Raccoons and Get Rid of Them
Will a High-Pitch Sound Deterrent Machine Work?
Should I Hire a Pro, or Remove Raccoons Myself?
Do Female Raccoons Make Good Mothers?
What Are Raccoons Scared Of
What to Do If You Are Bitten By a Raccoon

These are just some of my raccoon prevention tips to keep away raccoons. You can email me if you have more questions. Or you can hire a pro in your area, from my list of raccoon experts.

Click below photos for more examples of trap sets by professionals:

Can you evict raccoons with tear gas — We won’t ask how or why you’ve obtained tear gas, but if you’re planning to use it on raccoons you must be rather frustrated. The problem with using tear gas or any other inhalant (smoke bombs) is not that raccoons are immune to it, but rather the nature of your problem will most likely continue after the gas dissipates. Here’s why: A raccoon in a human house is usually a female. She’s ventured out of the woods because she’s pregnant and needs a place to hide her babies from aggressive males. That being said, if you set off a bottle of tear gas inside the home somewhere, you might very well chase the adult raccoon out. You’re probably thinking once she’s gone, you’ll climb up onto the roof and seal off her entry point. The problem here is that there are almost always baby raccoons inside. If they’re really little, the tear gas won’t chase them out; it will just burn their eyes and lungs and cause undue suffering. Not only will you now have abandoned babies in your home, the mother will return for them. If you’ve sealed over her doorway, she’ll find a new area to rip open.

See also:  How To Get Rid Of Raccoons On Deck

Can you keep away raccoons on the roof — You should never be surprised to see raccoons on the roof. These critters are fantastic climbers and don’t need a tree or a pole to make their way on top of your house. If you live near the woods, there probably won’t be much success at keeping raccoons away from your buildings. The best thing you can do is patrol your rooftops often and make sure no debris or damage exists that might encourage a raccoon to try to get inside. It doesn’t take much of a hole to entice a critter to start ripping into the building materials around an eave or a vent. No matter how small, close all openings and make sure they are patched with a resistant material. Foam filler won’t do the trick against a raccoon. Another reason a raccoon might be on top of your house is because of the presence of food. You might not think about it, but if you have an oak tree, a fruit tree, or moss-laden shingles, there might be ample food stuff up there for a hungry creature. Keep your roof clean as well as repaired and your incidence of raccoon sighting will go down.

Will human hair keep raccoons away — Once of the great myths surrounding wildlife pest control is that animals are afraid of humans. ‘It’s more scared of you than you are of it’ is a common phrase uttered by parents around the globe. That’s not true. In fact, animals are rather indifferent to humans. They don’t trust us, but that doesn’t mean they are afraid of us. If we regularly went out, stalked and killed mice, rats, armadillos, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and snakes, these animals would have an instinctual fear of us and probably wouldn’t want to live in our homes. Since we’d rather have a bag of chips than a raw mouse, some pest animals won’t hesitate to sneak into our lives. For this reason, the trick of leaving human hair clippings around your home and garden to keep raccoons away is a complete waste of time. Not only does hair begin to break down quickly as most organic material does, there is nothing about it that is threatening in any way to a raccoon. You’d have better luck spraying your own urine around the area—thought that would be pointless, though entertaining, to try.

Actual Situation: David — I live in Prince William in Montclair and we have a raccoon hitting our garbage cans on a frequent basis. I’ve seen him and he is pretty big. Set out a humane trap before reading your article and he tripped it yesterday. It’s a 30 inch size and I suspected it might be too small – I was right. He got in, ate the bait (tuna fish), and backed out with the door closing behind him. Then he ate some more out of the trash can. Need to know what your prices are for trapping/removal. Thanks, Dan

My response: Dan — I do think hiring a pro would be a good idea in this case. Trapping is difficult for amateurs. Please look at my nationwide directory, and you’ll find a company in your area that I recommend. You can also try to make your garbage cans raccoon proof by strapping the lids down with bungee cords, or keeping them in the garage until garbage night.

Actual Situation: Hello David, I hope you can help me, I’m at my wits end. I have an animal literally tearing up my back yard. I am 99.9% sure it’s a raccoon. I have seen raccoon tracks on my back patio; I am familiar with what their tracks look like. Every so often I will see a raccoon in the back of my home. (I live in Florida just outside of Daytona Beach. I am worried they will get in my chicken coop. I live next to a canal, and have woods beyond my property line in the back.)

I’ve tried mothballs, but as I just read in your article these don’t work unless it’s in an attic. I learned that the hard way after spreading 6 boxes all over the back yard and still having my yard dug up. I have spread a mixture that I bought at my local Lowe’s that is supposed to kill bugs in the dirt. I know the coons are digging for bugs to eat. That does not stop them from digging. I also bought another mixture I spread that is supposed to repel a long list of animals including raccoons for up to 2 months. The second night after spreading it I had more new holes dug in my lawn. It didn’t work.

I recently bought a Havahart trap. The first night I put cabbage leaves in it (of course, always beyond the trap trigger). The next morning the cabbage leaves were still in there, the trap door was down, but no animal inside. The next night I put a piece of Parmesan cheese in the trap. Next morning no cheese, and the trap door was not even down. Last night I put another piece of Parmesan cheese in the center of the area beyond the trap trigger with an X cut partway down into the cheese. I tied the cheese to the cage floor sinking the string into the X to secure it, and tied it with a square knot. Next morning, no cheese, string uncut, trap door down, no coon. Like I said before, I’m at my wits end. Can you offer any help, please? Thank you. Sincerely, Colette

My response: Trapping is hard if you don’t have a lot of experience. It’s no so simple as just setting a Havahart trap. You can try raccoon problem prevention, but you might want to call someone in your area. The number I have on file for Daytona Beach is 386-310-3776.

Wildlife Education — Raccoon Problem Prevention Information

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