You wake up in the dead of night to a loud crashing sound, and you creep towards the back door and peer hesitantly outside. All you see is a big bushy tail and huge raccoon eyes as it disappears beneath your home, and you wonder how to get rid of raccoons under your house.
Raccoons live near food and nesting sources; getting rid of anything that attracts raccoons like trash heaps or pet food stored outside is one way to keep them away. Another way is to get a fence around your yard. It will keep the raccoons at bay if they can’t get to the food.
You might think raccoons are adorable creatures that some people keep as pets; while that is true in some cases, they can be a nuisance. Some farmers or homeowners have trouble keeping them out of their yard and garden, they can cause a lot of damage, so I will share how to get rid of raccoons under your home.
How To Get Rid Of Raccoons Under Your House
The one thing you need to consider before addressing how to get rid of raccoons under your house is to gauge how bad your raccoon problem is; it might just be a new mamma or a whole family unit. Here are indications you can use to find out how bad your raccoon problem is.
Gauge How Serious Your Raccoon Problem Is
Because raccoons are nocturnal, it’s not always easy to catch them in the act; it is why you will have to play detective to find out if you have raccoons or if it is some other animal visiting your home at night.
Some of the signs that you might have a raccoon problem include:
- Tracks, raccoons have paws that almost look like little hands with sharp claws. It is an excellent indication that you have a raccoon problem.
- Droppings: If you notice you have log-shaped droppings that have rounded pieces inside laying next to your trashbags or yard, that might be raccoons.
- If there is evidence of feeding: If you see trash cans tipped over and food waste spilled everywhere, pet food bowls are empty and turned over if the compost pile is disturbed and looks like something has torn through your garden. Raccoons will destroy plants and vegetation to get to possible food sources.
- One very prominent thing you will notice is loud crashing sounds at night, including hissing and growling.
- Raccoons are nocturnal, and they only come out at night to scavenge for food, and they can be rather loud. When you hear loud sounds in the middle of the night, listen carefully to the sounds they make and how many different sounds you hear; it can be a good indication of how many raccoons you have.
If you see evidence of raccoons or see some of these signs of possible raccoon activity, it is best to take steps to get rid of them right away. If it’s left too long, it could become a huge pest problem.
Here are some ways you can get rid of raccoons under your house and some things you can implement to keep them away.
Remove Things That Attract Raccoons
If your yard is a hotspot for raccoons, you need to lessen the temptations that attract raccoons and other rodents to your home; here are some things you can focus on that attract raccoons the most.
- Raccoons are after food and nesting grounds. Try to keep pet food either inside your home or in well-sealed substantial containers in a secure shed. It will help get rid of some of the smells that attract raccoons.
- Bird feeders are big attractions to raccoons; raccoons will empty out or even break bird feeders to get food. You can buy hooked feeders that will keep them out or take your feeders inside to avoid this.
- If you have a fish pond, you need to secure it with a perimeter or fencing to protect your fish; raccoons will catch the fish in your pond if they are hungry enough.
- Your trash bags and cans are a huge temptation for raccoons, and they love digging through trash to get to discarded food.
Keeping your trash bags in bins with locks will prevent them from getting into your waste before you’ve had time to dispose of it.
Keeping Outdoor Spaces Hygienic Will Deter Raccoons
Raccoons have a fantastic sense of smell, and one of the big things that attract them is
dirty refuse bins, compost piles, vegetation, and fruits.
Regularly washing your trash cans will help eliminate any odors that will attract raccoons.
Keeping compost in compost bins with locks on them or regularly clearing the compost pile keeps the smell of rotting vegetation out of your yard.
Suppose you have fruit trees or a vegetable garden to pick up rotten veggies and fallen fruits. It will keep the raccoons from getting a sustained food source.
Other Methods of Getting Rid of Raccoons Under Your House
If you have tried the methods above and see it doesn’t work, you might have to think outside the box. Raccoons are brilliant animals, and they have all sorts of skills to get to the food.
They are great climbers, swimmers and can squeeze into the smallest spaces with ease. Here are some more forceful methods of getting rid of raccoons you could try:
Get Rid of Potential Nesting Sites
One of the biggest reasons a raccoon will stay under your house is because you have the things a female raccoon wants in a nesting site. Female raccoons like nesting sites that are:
- Sheltered from the elements: That way, they can raise young in relative comfort away from cold winters or hot summers.
- Dark and Warm places: The dark nooks and crevices are perfect for raising young, and because most of us don’t rake the old leaves and vegetation under outhouses that often, it is a warm cozy place to nest.
- Food Abundance: Most raccoons are interested in places that have shelter, warmth, and food.
Cleaning up under your house regularly and removing anything that raccoons can use as a potential nesting site like old rugs, leaves, trash bags, tarps, etc., will significantly reduce the appeal of your home.
Building Barriers to Keep Raccoons Away
The one thing raccoons can do is climb, but they don’t like to climb high, so if you build a fence around your garden, your refuse area, or all areas prone to raccoon invasions, it will deter them. The fence needs to be at least 6ft high.
Fences are not cheap, and they need to be at least 3ft deep as some raccoons will dig underneath the fence to get into your yard, so it might be easier and more affordable to only build fences around the high activity area.
Using Repellent Get Rid of Raccoons Under Your House
The effectiveness of using repellents to get rid of raccoons and keep them away has been under serious debate from experts. Some people say it doesn’t work, while others say it does, but you need to keep the treatments up to keep them at bay.
You might want to give repellents a try if all else fails; it might work for you. Here are some you could try:
- Repellent sprays with peppermint oil; experts said that this smell irritates the olfactory smell of raccoons, and they dislike sharp smells.
- Repellents spray with cayenne pepper and onion, sharp smells like cayenne pepper interrupts the way raccoons smell, and the onion is one fowl odor raccoons don’t like at all.
- Using ammonia: Soak cotton balls in ammonia and place them all around your property and under your house; it will deter the raccoons from trying to nest in and under your home.
- Epsom salts: It might sound strange, but raccoons hate the taste of Epsom salts, and sprinkling Epsom salts all over your garden, refuse bins, and under your house will make the raccoons think twice about using your home as a nesting ground.
Using Traps to Capture Raccoons
There are humane traps you can use to get rid of raccoons. These traps will trap the raccoons, and you can safely release them in an open space away from your house.
Before using traps in your yard or under your house, it is essential to note that counties have different laws when using traps. So you need to check what the law says about raccoon traps before you decide to follow this method.
If you choose this option, it is best to call experts to put the traps out and safely release the raccoons back into the wild.
Sealing Off Any Entry Points to Keep Raccoons Away
If you want to keep the raccoons from getting into your yard, under your house, or into your shed, you need to block off all entry points.
Seal up all the cracks and crevices that raccoons can get into, dig under or climb through. It won’t just keep the raccoons out but also discourage them from coming back.
Using Poisons and Toxins to Keep Raccoons Away
You should avoid using poisons and toxins to kill raccoons. Raccoons will leave a stinky odor even if you remove the bodies.
When you have small children and other pets, this could be a dangerous method. Please take precautions if you do decide on this option.
Using Sound and Lights to Keep Raccoons Away
Some other things that you can use to deter raccoons. You can put on a radio or a noise machine under your house; raccoons hate loud noises.
You can also put spotlights under your house, this will make it harder for them to stay hidden, and they won’t nest there.
When It’s Time To Call in the Professionals
If you have tried all other methods to get rid of raccoons and nothing has worked, the next step you need is to call wildlife relocation specialists.
They will set humane traps under your house to catch the pesky raccoons. Help you to relocate them, and they also help with deterrents that you can use to keep the raccoons away,
Why You Have Raccoons Under Your House
Female Raccoons are the ones who choose a nesting site. They will travel from house to house until they find a suitable place that is warm, dark, and protected from the elements.
They always look for security, safety, and food for their young and. Removing these attractions is the best way to keep raccoons out of your yard.
Are Racoons Dangerous to Have Under Your House?
- Aggressiveness: Some raccoons can get aggressive towards humans if they get cornered. Raccoons will also fight your other pets if they feel threatened.
- Diseases: Raccoons are known for carrying the deadly rabies virus. This virus is fatal to humans, so you should always keep your distance from raccoons and use gloves when cleaning up raccoon droppings or urine.
Raccoons also carry the distemper virus that can be deadly to dogs, and you should be careful with your dogs if you have a raccoon problem.
- Destructiveness: Raccoons can cause havoc under your house; they can destroy and damage your property if they are not dealt with immediately.
Raccoons will kill the fish in your pond if they are hungry enough.
Precaution to Take if You Need to Approach a Raccoon
Life can sometimes surprise us in ways we can’t predict. You might find yourself in a face-to-face confrontation with a raccoon.
Raccoons might not look dangerous, but you need to remember that they carry diseases that can transmit to humans.
For your own safety, please stay aw their claws, teeth, droppings, and urine. Here are some tips to keep in mind before approaching raccoons.
- Try to wear thick gloves so that if they bite, they won’t break the skin.
- Cover any nicks, cuts, or scratches you might have beforehand; it lessens the chances of infection.
- If you get bitten, scratched, or a cut comes into contact with droppings or urine, visit an emergency room immediately.
Raccoons are the adorable trash pandas of the animal kingdom who have adapted to suburban life. They are excellent scavengers, and while they are cute, raccoons can become a pest and nuisance.
Raccoons are sometimes dangerous to have in your yard or under your house. They carry diseases and will destroy your yard if given half a chance.
Getting humanely rid of raccoons is the best way to avoid contaminating your yard and not harming any animal. There are a few ways to repel them and keep them from coming back.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.