How To Get Rid Of Raccoons Under Deck

Raccoons living under deck or shed

A raccoon living under a deck or shed from January to September should ALWAYS be assumed to be a mother with babies. Be careful, as you don’t want to orphan the baby raccoons. Raccoons are excellent mothers and will move their babies to a new den site when frightened, but evicting a mother raccoon always runs the risk that she might abandon or become separated from her babies.

What to do if a raccoon is living under a deck or shed

Be patient with a mother raccoon


Your first option is to do nothing at all. Raccoons typically live in underground dens for short periods. Raccoon babies are independent by the end of summer, when they leave the den and disperse from their family groups. Raccoon mothers also commonly move their babies between den sites during the nesting season, so she may leave on her own. If you can wait until the babies are grown and/or have left, you can then close off the access point to prevent other raccoons from using the deck or shed as a den in the future.

Humane harassment

The mother raccoon is living under the deck or shed because it’s a dark, quiet, safe place for her and her babies. If you make the area not dark, not quiet, and not safe (using light, sound, and smell) the raccoon can be convinced to leave your property and take her babies with her. All harassment techniques should be placed as close as possible to the den entrance, so the mother raccoon can’t ignore them when she comes and goes.


Place a bright light at the den entrance, either inside or outside. Make sure it’s fire-safe. Raccoons are nocturnal, and don’t like bright lights in their homes. An outdoor spotlight or a mechanic’s light should do the trick.


Tune a radio to a talk station and place it near the den entrance. Music doesn’t mean anything to raccoons, but the sound of human voices is threatening to them. The radio should be turned up as loud as you can stand it without annoying your human neighbours.


Soak some rags in Apple Cider Vinegar or ammonia, and put them in a plastic bag. Poke holes in the bag to let the smell escape, and hang it next to the den entrance. You can us dirty kitty litter in a plastic bag the same way. Scent deterrents are least effective with raccoons, but can help when used in combination with light and sound methods.

Patience and persistence

Keep all of the above going for at least 3 days and 3 nights. You’ve got to be persistent to convince the raccoon to leave.

Paper Test

When you think the raccoon is gone, you want to make sure with a paper test: either stuff the entrance with balled up newspaper, or tape a double sheet of newspaper over the hole. Wait another 3 days and nights. If the paper is still in place, and you don’t hear anything under the deck or shed, do a visual inspection to make sure the animals are gone. Temporarily patch the hole with ¼” wire mesh until you can do a more permanent repair.

Excluding raccoons and other animals from under sheds/decks

To permanently exclude raccoons or other animals from under sheds or decks, first dig a 12”x12” trench around the shed or deck, then secure a piece of ¼” wire mesh along the bottom of the whole structure. Angle the mesh straight down into the ground for 8”-12”, and then bend it outward (away from the shed walls) at a 90 degree angle to create an “L” shape. Refill the trench. Make sure any animals already living under the shed or deck have left or been evicted first!

See also:  How To Get Rid Of Raccoons In The Walls

What NOT to do

Live trapping

Trapping and relocating a raccoon might seem like the “humane” option, but it isn’t. Relocated raccoons don’t tend to survive when they’re moved off of their home territory. Relocated mother raccoons leave behind babies who will die without a mother to care for them. A mother raccoon relocated with her babies will be so frightened she will abandon them when faced with a new, unknown territory. In Ontario, it is illegal to relocate any wild animal more than 1km from where it was found.

One-way doors

Many humane removal companies will recommend putting up one-way doors so the raccoon can get out but not get back in. One-way doors are a good option between October and December, when tiny baby raccoons are unlikely. Between January and September, one-way doors can exclude the mother raccoon and leave tiny baby raccoons trapped inside. If they are too young to follow their mother, the babies will starve inside without her care. Separated from her babies, a mother raccoon will cause major damage to property as she tries desperately to get back to them. Make sure the baby raccoons are old enough to be mobile and following their mother before installing a one-way door.

Animal Removal Companies

Sometimes the best and easiest way to get a raccoon out of an attic is to hire a company to do it for you. Wildlife removal companies are not well monitored or licensed, so it is up to you to ask questions about a company’s practices before hiring them. Consult our guidelines for choosing a removal company.

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons Under Deck

April 8, 2019 by meepo

Looking to get rid of raccoons under the deck?

You’re in the right place!

In this guide you can expect to learn how to get rid of raccoons under deck:

Raccoons are nocturnal animals related to bears. Although most are only a little larger than a cat or a small dog, some can reach 50 pounds, according to the AAAnimalControl website.

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons Under Deck

The raccoons may look cute, but they are bold and can cause serious damage to the yard and the house. They choose the decks and sheds as their favorite hideouts during the warmer seasons.

Like any animal, they can also be carriers of diseases. For these reasons, you should try to eradicate them from your backyard as soon as you notice them.

Raccoons can pull the strings of your heart, but it is better to get rid of them. In this tutorial, we will tell you exactly how to get rid of raccoons under decks, sheds, in the backyard or wherever.

Meanwhile, there are few true and sure ways to get rid of the raccoons, and it probably works to get rid of other wild animals that run around your deck and sheds house. Continue reading to find out how it’s done.

Methods to get rid of raccoons

Method 1: Secure your home

What you’ll need

  1. Metal garbage cans
  2. Elastic Cords
  3. Spotlight
  4. A portable radio
  5. Steel Traps
  6. A professional raccoon catcher


  1. Fill or close pet doors, under decks, sheds or holes in the structure of the house where a raccoon could fit. The raccoons only need four inches to get access. They roam in your garden if they can smell the food and access it in your home.
  2. Leaving food on a sheltered veranda or shed is not advisable. The raccoons can rip off the screen to get their foods.
  3. Put an elastic cord, a thread or latches on the trash cans. For elastic cords and metal wire, firmly insert the elastic or the thread on the cover and through the handles. Lid stops use simple lever mechanisms to hold the lid on the base of the can. Use only metal garbage cans because raccoons can chew or fold plastic cans to access food. They love fodder in garbage cans and bins.
  4. Put the spotlight in your backyard at night wherever you saw the raccoons, especially near the entrance to the courtyard and around the trash cans. The raccoons can move away from the yard if the area is bright because the raccoons are nocturnal. Get your neighbors aware of your problem and let them know that you will let the lights run through the night.
  5. Put a portable radio near the area where you saw the raccoons. It is believed that the sound of human voices can act as a deterrent to the raccoons. However, patrol the area as well. Raccoons can learn that the radio has no real threat and start ignoring it if they never see people around.
  6. Contact the local police department or the animal control office. Ask them for ordinances that govern the capture of wild animals. If you’re lucky, your jurisdiction could allow you to trap raccoons. However, try it only if you have had proper training and use a solid wall or steel traps that are at least 12 x 12 inches 32 inches. You probably will not be allowed to trap raccoons alone if you do not have a license. If this is the case, call an animal control professional.
See also:  How To Get Rid Of Raccoons Out Of Your Attic

Method 2: Use rags soaked in ammonia

What you’ll need

  1. Metal trash cans with security locks
  2. Strap or elastic cord
  3. Rags
  4. Ammonia
  5. Portable waterproof radio or any noise source


  1. First and foremost, check the spaces around your home and clean up all the trash, paper, food, fruits and seeds that can fall from the trees. Completely clean the area.
  2. Buy and use metal trash cans with a security lock.
  3. Use a device to close the lid such as a strap.
  4. Put some weight on the lid when the bin contains rubbish, food or even water. The raccoons can still find a way to have access to the contents in the bin without doing this.
  5. Keep the bins clean and washed occasionally. Put them upside down when you dry them so that no water remains that could attract mosquitoes or thirsty raccoons.
  6. If you discover a den in your attic or in a sheltered area near the house (under the deck or patio, for example), you can try to make it inhospitable by putting lights on, making noise (a waterproof radio, for example) and putting rags soaked in ammonia to make the environment insecure.


Some other things that you really need to pay attention to are:

  • Always put the waste inside the bin and immediately close the lid otherwise the smell can attract the raccoons or other animals, that will come to eat from your garbage can.
  • Keep the garbage cans inside some closed space if you go away for a long time or if you see animals that roam around.
  • If you have meat or very appetizing food in the trash, always make a double plastic bag before throwing it away and put some bleach or strong detergent on the bag before throwing it into the bin.
  • Even an empty environment can provide the raccoons with something they need: shelter.
  • The raccoons, single or in groups, tend to have different burrows in their territories.


  • Do not face the raccoon alone under certain circumstances, especially if it is a mother with the little ones. If all else fails, call a professional.

Method 3: Ridding raccoons with ammonia and pepper sprays

What you’ll need

  1. Tennis balls
  2. Ammonia
  3. Newspaper sheets
  4. Metal mesh
  5. Foam
  6. Cayenne peppers
  7. Habanero peppers
  8. Spray bottles
  9. Protective goggle
  10. Protective anti-gas mask
  11. A dog


  1. Firstly, you have to identify the animal’s entry points. Look for holes about 7-8 cm in diameter or even larger. If they are in the attic, look in the corners, under the dormers, or in broken grids.
  2. Close (using a 1 cm thick metal mesh and expanded foam) all entry points except what you think is most used.
  3. Fill this entry with newspaper.
  4. Put 3-5 tennis balls soaked in ammonia and throw them in and around the spaces you think are used as shelters. This should convince the raccoons to move and transfer their children. The smell will make their living conditions unbearable but it will be for you a sign of cleaning and solving the problem.
  5. Check the sheets of the newspaper the next morning. If they have moved (hoping the raccoons have gone), keep everything in place.
  6. Boil some cayenne pepper as well as three to five habanero peppers that have been chopped in a pot of water and allow to cool. Put the solution in a spray bottle.
  7. Wear protective goggles and an anti-gas mask and spray all the entry points you had identified. The raccoons follow their nose. This spray will dissuade them (if they chose to return).
  8. Try to seal any entrances in your garden, such as gates in the fence.
See also:  Where Does A Racoon Live


  • Even having a dog at home could help. Check on the dog carefully and oftentimes. Its barking can scare some wild animals.
  • Never leave the dog strapped outdoors and unattended. You do not want it to be a target for a bigger wild animal.
  • Check that you have no easy accesses to your attic.
  • Cayenne pepper works wonders. Spread it around and inside the bird feeders to discourage the raccoons from visiting. They can taste the chili and realize that they do not like it. The chili does not seem to disturb the birds. The raccoons will receive the message and leave.

Remember the basic principle

If you leave food and some water around or perhaps just the dripping pipe, you will find more and wilder animals around your house. So, keep the spaces clean, without leftovers and you will be free from the raccoons.

Read camping and wildlife books for tips on avoiding contact with wild animals and raccoons.

Meanwhile, if all else fails, you can call the local animal control committee for more information on what might be effective in your area. Traps are a possibility.


  • Raccoons are carriers of several diseases which include:
  • Rabies – Raccoons are classified as anger-carrying animals, along with bats, foxes, and skunks.
  • Ascariasis – The parasite Baylisascaris procyonis is well documented to be carried by the raccoons and is a public health problem. The parasite is transmitted through the ingestion of eggs coming into contact with the feces. These can be swallowed or inhaled.
  • Leptospirosis – Raccoons are carriers and transmit this disease.
  • Distemper – This is a disease that is quite similar to rabies. They can also affect some pets. Meanwhile, rabies doesn’t really pose any threat to humans. Nevertheless, make sure you speak to a veterinarian about it and ensure your pets get vaccinated annually against rabies and other dreadful or mild diseases.
  • The raccoons may be frightened by a loud noise or when the light is pointed at them. In addition, it can be dangerous attempting to trap or approach them.
  • However, note that the chemicals used in wild animals can be illegal; read the product label. Also, check local laws on wildlife and pest control.
  • In addition, make sure your state/province does not have a law that prohibits killing the animal. Some states, like New Jersey, have laws that protect rodents from inhuman capture/treatment/ death. Check with the ENPA before implementing the methods described above. Otherwise, you risk being fined and/or arrested.

Meanwhile, check out the video below for another method on how to get rid of the raccoons from under the deck:

Has this article been able to solve your problems of raccoon invasions? Do let us know if the solutions suggested helps you. Don’t forget to like and share the article.

  • Todd T says:

    Thanks. Just did this. I have posts every 8 feet, so I just used a 2 threaded eyebolts and a fence wire tensioner per section. It took minutes to install. I think I’m going to do some on the vertical posts so they don’t even get up to the lattice. I have a 6ft tall fence and typically my tomatoes grow up to 7 feet tall. The fast bastards snap the plants and since my umbrella touched the fence I found 3 of them using it as a merry go round at 2am three nights ago.

  • Shweetie Petina says:

    Hi Steve, thanks for the tips. We have had so much raccoon damage and had to get our soffit boxed in three different years. 😡$$$ We have a 6 foot fence and I’m sure that’s where they’re jumping from. Problem is, our fence is white PVC. Is that problematic drilling into a plastic type fence? Will it crack? Thanks again for your help.

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