How To Keep Raccoons Out Of Your House

Raccoons in the House

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, and they need a place to live, so they very often break into a house.

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!

Raccoons can live in and cause problems in many areas of the house. I’ll start with the bottom up.

Raccoons in the Basement of the House: This is not terribly common, but it can happen. Like any part of a house, a basement is a decent place to live, because it’s enclosed and protected from the elements. Even if the basement is cold and damp, it’s likely warmer and dryer than the outside, especially at night. And of course, mother raccoons want a safe place to raise their young. You can actually set traps in the basement, but you’ll have better luck trapping outside, near the entry hole. Read more about the basement.

Raccoons in the Crawl Space of a House: I’ve seen raccoons living in the crawlspace under a house many times. If a home is elevated, with a crawl space underneath, and there’s an easy opening, it’s an open invitation for raccoons, cats, opossums, and other animals to live under there, just like under a deck or shed. The key, as usual, is to find the opening(s) and seal them shut, either when the animal is out, or when it’s been trapped or removed. Read more about the crawl space.

Raccoons in the Living Space of a House: If you are unfortunate enough to have a raccoon in your home, inside the living space, such as the kitchen or living room, be careful. Raccoons aren’t necessarily aggressive, but they are relatively fearless, and they will defend themselves if necessary. It’s not common for a raccoon to get in the house, but it does happen. I’ve even heard of cases of a raccoon in the bedroom. The four most common ways are: 1) Through an open pet door — to prevent this, don’t leave tempting pet food out all the time. 2) Through an open fireplace and chimney damper, if they entered the chimney. 3) Falling or chewing through the ceiling or wall, if they were living in the attic or walls. 4) Simply through an open door or window. If a raccoon does get in your home, leave it alone! Any attempt to fight it might result in injury! Keep your pets away! Open every window and door that you can find, and let the animal find its own way out. Or call a pro off of my list, and he will be able to come get it safely, with a snare pole.

In terms of entry areas, some people want to know Do Raccoon Open Doors and Windows, and while they can, they more frequently enter buildings via roof or soffit areas, or vents. They want to get into the attic, not the living space.

Raccoons in the Walls of the House: Fairly common, especially if the mother wants a safe place to stash young. They usually enter from the attic space, and crawl down the wall. Read more about the wall.

Raccoons in the Ceiling of the House: Unless it’s the ceiling between floors, you’re just hearing raccoons walking in the attic, on the ceiling material (sheetrock). Read more about the ceiling.

Raccoons in the Attic of the House: The home page of this site has all the information you could ever want to know regarding the safe and effective removal of raccoons from the attic of your home. They can get into the attic many different ways. One common way is raccoons climbing the downspout. This is a very easy way, like climbing a tree, for a raccoon to get onto the roof and the vulnerable areas into the attic. Read more about the attic.

Raccoons in the Roof of the House: In my experience, if a raccoon is on the roof, it’s either looking for a way to get into the attic, or it already has one. But in some cases, these animals are just exploring for food, or they have found some little nook, like an eave, to sleep under. I even found one roof that was so covered in debris — old sticks and leaves and such — that raccoons were nesting in it. Read more about the roof.

Raccoons in the Chimney of the House: A chimney is a fine place for a coon to live; it’s like a big old hollow tree. It’s usually easier to get them out of a chimney than other areas of the house, but now always, depending on the architecture of your home. Be sure to leave your damper shut, or else the raccoon(s) could crawl out, and into your living room! Read more about the chimney.

See also:  How To Get Rid Of Raccoons In Your Attic

What to do if you have a raccoon in your house — There are two kinds of raccoons in a house: the ones that are in there on accident and the ones that want to make your home their home. If you have a raccoon that wandered in through the pet door or an open window, your best tactic is to open your door and then herd the animal outside. Most raccoons will be just as scared to be inside your home as you are to have them in there. Shooing the critter out with a broom probably won’t be too difficult. If, for some reason, the raccoon decides to hide in your bathroom, lodged behind your toilet, you should call a wildlife removal company to come and get it. You should never risk tangling with a raccoon. If it isn’t easily coaxed to the door, don’t try to harass it or antagonize it. The raccoon that is living in your attic is a different matter. This raccoon needs to be trapped and removed, and the home needs to be repaired. Most states require raccoon trapping to be done by a professional with a special license. Employing an expert will also ensure no babies are left behind somewhere in the building.

Actual Situation: Last night it seemed as if someone was moving around in my attic. quite scary. just in time for holloween. In any event I went out on my deck in the dark to see if some animal was walking on the roof when from behind me something swished by animal. and headed towards the stairway. The stream of light from my next door neighbor showed me that it was a RACOON. It stopped. looked and me. and scurried across the lawn and away into the backyard bushes. This morning I went up into the attic but I didn’t see anything. What do I do to keep this racoon away from my attic if he or she hasn’t moved in already. It was as big as a dog and quite frightening in the dark. Please let me know. Thank you. Sincerely, Peggy

My response: Do a full inspection of your home, especially the roof and vents and eave areas, and see if there are any openings that a raccoon could crawl through. Though they look large, raccoons can fit through deceptively small spaces. If there are openings, you might already have raccoons inside, and you must remove them. If not, secure everything before one gets inside. Actual Situation: If trees are cut back and if raccoons can climb the walls and downspouts anyway, is there anything at all that will deter them from climbing up the downspouts or climbing walls onto my roof and making holes? — Vivian

My response: It’s pretty hard — they are very good climbers, and downspouts are no problem.

If trees are cut back and if raccoons can climb the walls and downspouts anyway, is there anything at all that will deter them from climbing up the downspouts or climbing walls onto my roof and making holes? Vivian Article topics include:
How to get rid of raccoons in the house and home.
Get raccoons out of the house and keep them out.
How to remove raccoons from inside the house.

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.

See also:  Getting Rid Of Raccoons With Ammonia

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.

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.

See also:  Map Of Where Raccoons Live

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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