Thursday, April 29, 2010

Raccoon Removal Tips for Yards

Young raccoon in my back garden

Raccoon removal is easier than you think. If you reside close to a park, or a wooded area, you may have raccoon's visiting your home, throughout the night. 

A raccoon is a smart and mischievous animal. They will climb up a tree, jump onto your roof and check out your chimney.  Raccoon's will look into your windows and if windows are open, they may remove the screen and come inside. 

Raccoons are generally afraid of people, but that does not mean they will overlook an invitation to sneak into your attic, basement or walk into your garage, home or enter your home through the pet door.
My home resides directly next to a 25-acre wildlife refuge. The woods has an overabundance of wildlife, there is a creek, fruit and nut trees, assorted berries and small caves. The setting is perfect for a wide variety of wild animals. 

There are many birds, coyote, fox, beavers, skunks, groundhogs, deer, wild turkey, bobcat and outgoing and very social raccoons. In early spring, the baby kits come to my yard to play with my dogs toys, to bathe in our pond and to steal my dog’s food bowl. 

At first, I thought it was the cutest thing, but then one night I viewed a family reunion of raccoons. They were up the trees, in the fountain, removing my plants from the garden containers and sitting at the picnic table. 

 I had a problem and needed to take drastic measures to remove the raccoons from my yard and garden.
Female raccoon by cat food

The first thing that I did was remove all of the outdoor cat and dog's food bowls.  When the raccoons came to visit me during the night they did not find any food so they raided my bird feeder.  

Then the raccoons trampled and dug up my plants and they ended their food frenzy with a look-see in my trash cans.  Obviously this was a raccoon temper tantrum. 

Removing Raccoons from Yard

 I removed the bird feeder and locked it in the garage for overnight keeping, turned off my water fountain and locked the lids on my trashcans.  I also removed my dogs water bowl.
Raccoon drinking out of dog water bowl

I then installed a scarecrow motion activated water sprinkler.  Whenever the raccoon crossed the path of the sprinkler a burst of water was emitted and the raccoon got stung with water.  It was enough to scare the raccoon and teach then that they were not welcome. 

Trapping Raccoons

If you find that trapping is your only option for removing a raccoon.  Then contact your local animal control and ask them to drop off a live animal trap.  The animal control officer will set up the trap and bait it with cat food.  When I trap raccoons I use peanut butter.

Raccoons are very easy to trap as they love food.   When the trap door closes the raccoon will be frightened so I usually go out and throw beach towel over the trap because it is comforting to the animal.   

Live Animal Two-Door Raccoon Cage Trap

Contact animal control and tell them that you do not want the raccoon euthanized that you prefer that they relocate the animal to another area.  

If there is no animal control in your area then buy a medium sized 2 door live animal trap and bait it with cat food. Set the trap up in an area that is away from human traffic. 

I have trapped many raccoons for clients and have released the raccoons in wooded area that is away from neighborhood homes.   

The two door trap is easy to use, the animal walks into the trap and doors close.  I have never had a problem with releasing a raccoon.  When I open the front gate by pulling it straight up the raccoon usually bolts from the trap and runs into the woods.

Optional add straw or newspaper to the floor of the trap as it makes the trap more inviting.

Many people think that trapping a raccoon will put an end to their raccoon problem.  Trapping is a solution for one raccoon however if you do not eliminate the attraction to your yard then you will not remove the raccoons.  

It is better to clean-up your yard by removing food and water source and make your yard unattractive to the raccoon with the scarecrow motion activated sprinkler.  Raccoons do not like the sting of water that is emitted from scarecrow. 


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