The Raccoon Nation in your yard can be a real problem. These urban scavengers are ravenously hungry and will happily eat almost anything. Raccoons have eaten potatoes out of gardens, fish out of koi ponds and wires out of telephone boxes. They are also primary carriers of rabies in Canada, along with several other potentially dangerous parasites.
Don’t Give Them a Reason to Visit
One of the most effective ways to deter raccoons is to simply not give them a reason to visit your home. The Raccoon Nation are almost always out hunting for food to eat, so keeping them away starts with taking away their food.
Bring in trash cans
Trash cans are irresistible for raccoons. In the wild, these animals forage in burrows and brush for meals. To the raccoon, a trash can looks and smells like a burrow full of things to eat. Getting a trash can with a locking lid is a good first step to keeping raccoons out of the can, but they can usually still smell the garbage and come from all over. Try bringing your trash cans indoors at night. Placing them in either into the garage or a shed is a great idea. You might also want to drop empty tuna cans and other potentially attractive bits of trash into plastic baggies to contain their scent before throwing them away.
Don’t leave out pet food
Many people leave food out on their porch for the dogs and cats. As a rule, you can assume that raccoons are happy to eat anything your pets can eat. If it’s at all possible, never leave a dish of food out where raccoons can see or smell it. If you must feed the pets on the porch, set the dishes out close to midday, when raccoons are mostly sleeping, and bring them back in as soon as possible to limit the time they’re out.
Bird feeders are less of a risk, but they can still draw raccoons to your yard. Not only do raccoons eat seeds and other snacks, but they might also be drawn in by the birds hanging around your feeders. If this starts happening, consider taking your bird feeders indoors at night.
Actively Turn Them Away
If removing the potential attractions from your yard isn’t enough to stop the raccoons from coming around, you may have to take a more active role in shooing them away. Most chemicals and mechanical traps create risks for other wildlife. Fortunately, there are several less dangerous ways to actively drive raccoons away and keep them out.