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Getting Rid of Raccoons

Category Raccoons
Raccoons are very intelligent and can be cute when viewed from afar. However, they can also be messy and feisty pests to have around. This is a page about getting rid of raccoons.


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Keep a spray bottle of half Pinesol/half water under your sink spray outside garbage cans or anywhere you have a pest problem. Animals like rodents, opossums, raccoons, etc. don't like the smell.

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Coons love marshmallows. You can use mini ones or cut up a big one. Leave a trail to a cage and put quite a few in the cage. Try to drop them in the middle or the coons just stick their paws in there and grab them. My neighbor and I have just trapped #8.

By joanie massey from Spring Branch, TX

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"Spray cider vinegar around the plants to deter raccoons, put moth balls in small hardware cloth cages to deter skunks and put human hair around the garden to deter bunnies and deer."

By Robyn from Tennessee

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If you live near a wooded area that has raccoons, don't put out bird feeders! We found the seeds were attracting raccoons to our yard which endangers our cat! Thankfully, once we removed the bird feeders the raccoons went elsewhere for food. They are also attracted to my neighbors apple trees (even though he has 2 large dogs!) These raccoons have no fear!


By Cyinda

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We lost our amusement of these masked bandits this year when we had to replace our roof due to seven entry holes chewed in the roof. We are still struggling with the expense these creatures caused. They got it our upstairs (not the attic) and would come and go at certain times of the day.

We ended up having to have a trapper come, which got expensive after the third trip. He said unfortunately there was no way to prevent them from coming back. However, he did use ammonia to spray around the outside of the house to help keep them from climbing the downspouts and chimney. Marshmallows were also used as bait in the traps and were successful.

By HerkDia from Baltimore, MD

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 22, 2017

I live in a more rural area in Florida and I've had raccoons coming around regularly to my front deck. I even heard them fighting the other night.


I'm afraid they will hurt one of my outside cats. What can I do to make them go away? I'm not leaving cat food or garbage out.


March 22, 20170 found this helpful


Trapping raccoons. A good raccoon trap is by far the your best bet for raccoon removal. ...
Protect your trash. ...
Keep your yard clean and free of raccoon fodder. ...
Make them feel unwelcome. ...
Employ scare tactics. ...
Ammonia. ...
Predator urine. ...
The Scarecrow.

I would try the ammonia, predator urine and the scarecrow.

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Read More Answers

How do I get rid of raccoons? We didn't know it at the time, but a neighbor family was feeding some wild raccoons. All we knew is that we had raccoons that were multiplying and becoming more and more curious and aggressive about their search for food. Before those neighbors fed the raccoons, the raccoons stayed up in the hills away from neighborhoods, but now they scour the neighborhood looking for food, getting into the trash, getting into people's garages, destroying things on people's decks, and so on.


We have trouble with the raccoons coming right into our home using the pet door for our cats and dogs to go in and out of. Yes, we have two cats and three dogs and still have trouble with the raccoons being bold enough to come right into our home. Anyway, I am writing this post for two reasons. The first is to let people know that when they feed raccoons, there often are consequences to pay down the road, and we neighbors are paying the consequences of this one family's decision to feed the cute raccoons (that family no longer feeds them because they, too, no longer feel the raccoons are cute).

The second reason is to ask if anyone has successfully gotten rid of raccoons once they have taken over a neighborhood. We have tried live traps, and the raccoons won't go in them. We have caught many neighborhood cats, though. Any other suggestions?

Tina from Ashland, OR


September 24, 20080 found this helpful

The best thing is that the food source has been cut off. Since its a residential area, I don't recomend you use rifle. Something low powered like a BB gun might scury them along but probably wont help that much. If you can get the additional food sources secured they will start to migrate out.


You might be able to get "Blood Meal" from a garden supply and sprinkle some in areas that you are seeing them or know they go. It's a tough job to get rid of these guys... I'm pullin' for you.

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September 25, 20080 found this helpful

Call the Humane Shelter. They know how to go about relocating them. Be careful of them because even though they look cute they can be mean and can carry disease.

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September 25, 20080 found this helpful

I've had success baiting the Hav-A-Heart type traps with a can of cat food. You should be aware that if you take a racoon in the trap to some other location and release it, it will die. They can't adapt to a new environment.

It's illegal in my city to trap and move them--they say to call the Humane Society to pick up the trapped animals, but they charge $25 each, which is neither practical nor frugal.


The racoons will stop coming around after a year or so if there's no food. Be patient.

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By Shelter Worker (Guest Post)
September 25, 20080 found this helpful

The problems that occur with wild animals becoming pests for homeowners is in part from people who feed them BUT the BIGGEST reason by far is people building and encroaching on wild habitats.

Everyone wants to live in "the country" and "feel the outdoors" as long as the outdoors NEVER comes near their Rubbermaid home.

You have to make your home less of a feeding ground for wild animals in order to get rid of the problem. You failed in your attempts with humane traps because you continued to provide a sufficiently large and supremely easy food source so the raccoons had NO reason to go for the traps.

You MUST make certain you have absolutely NO animal food or scraps anywhere in your yard. You MUST secure your garbage as if you had bears that would gladly kill you for food scraps in your neighborhood every night. NOTHING can be left out. It must be in secure cans with locking lids. Even better if you can lock the secured cans in an area to which the raccooons do not have access like a secure garage.

Your patio and BBQ MUST be scoured so no scent of food remains. Completely secure all compost which it doesn't seem like you would be using but just for others who might have a similar problem...

It would also be wise to keep your yard completely free of your pet waste on a daily basis. You also must realize that when you let pets "out" and do NOT bother to keep them on your property; YOU are using your neghbor's homes as your pet toilet. Be happy an irate gardener or parent of toddlers with a sand box hasn't put out poison to get rid of the nuisance YOUR pets are causing if they aren't kept off neighbor properties.

Few people who use pet doors are this fastidious about their yards but even undigested foods can attract hungry animals when left about. If you let your pets use other properties as their toilet, be aware they may be leaving their partly digested and attractive waste right next to your property and thus the raccoons will still come to your home...and your neighbors through no fault of your neighbor.

Do not leave any type of pet toys or snacks outside for any length of time. If you "assume" your dog or cat will completely finish the treat when outside; you know what will happen...:)

Secure your pet foods in plastic locking containers and put out your pets food at regularly scheduled times which is better for your pets anyway. Pick up and clean all food bowls thoroughly as soon as your pets are done eating. Even if you encourage your pets to use your neighbor's property to toilet you can still put food out at set meal times and the cats will adjust or they can call you to feed them when they return if the neighbors don't "take care of" the problem your pets are causing them.

You can also replace your pet doors with simple, very effective and MUCH SAFER doors that have magnets or some even have transmitters for the pet collars to only your pet getting close enough to the door will "unlock" or release the door. It's also not too smart to simply have open access into your home no matter how small...burglars will find a way to use it.

You chose to live in a suburban or country type area so you have to deal with the ramifications of that. If wild animals are coming to your home chronically; you have to admit that YOU are a BIG part of the problem and you have to correct what you are doing that is contributing to the neighborhood nuisance.

Wild animals do NOT frequent the homes of people who are meticulously clean, secure their garbage, clean up after their pets and leave no pet food or attractive waste about. There simply is nothing fun or good tasting to wild animals there. They ONLY go after known food sources and YOU are apparently one of the bigger sources in your neighborhood.

I regularly have black and brown bears come through my yard (right over my fences) on their way to some neighbors who refused to do the proper job of securing their garbage until the $300 per incident fines started rolling in.

I have had no problems scaring off the bears and they do not bother my home in any way because I do not provide anything to attract them or entertain them on my property. And yes I have dogs and a cat who is trained much like my dogs and NOT allowed to destroy other people's properties.

As soon as their food source was gone; so were the bears (at least from their routine early am food patrols).

Wild animals WILL NEVER GO AWAY until you remove their food source which apparently is both inside and outside of your home. It seems you feed the raccoons as much if not more than the neighbors you complain about did. Make the changes and stick to them and the raccoons will go away on their own.

I saw something about a rifle or pellet gun. ILLEGAL everywhere!

If you took pot shots at wild animals YOU have been attracting with food; you would be no better than a hunter that sits in a stand above a massive pile of jelly donuts and shoots as hungry animals come to feed. Clean up your home so you stop feeding the wild animals and they will go away on their own.

There is no lazy shortcut to this problem unless you plan to hire a wildlife trapper to catch EVERY raccoon in your neighborhood before they can breed again and hope they release them someplace far, far away which they don't always do because repeat business is lucrative.

YOU have to clean up your act ASAP.

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By Jack (Guest Post)
September 26, 20080 found this helpful

Contacting the State Game Commission may help you. In our state, PA, they will either advise you or actually capture the animals for you. Good luck.

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By Mary C. (Guest Post)
September 26, 20080 found this helpful

I listen to the gardener on the radio evey Sunday and people phone in because of this problem. He says to use a cup of peanutbutter, a cup of Captain Crunch cereal and 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper. Mix together and put on any kind of plate.

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Answer this Question...

I am having raccoon problems bad. They are not scared of people. They are messing all over my deck. Animal control won't pick them up. I called the government place and they wanted $300.00 just to come out, plus $10.00 for each trap. I can't go that way. Can someone give me ideas to run them off, I don't want to hurt them, just scare them off. Thanks.

By cookie17 from VA


August 5, 20100 found this helpful

Raccoons are not good. I had many problems with them. First, don't leave any pet food outside your house because they love it. 2nd, no chickens or kittens outside at night. They will kill them. One way to keep them away is to find out where they sleep during the day, and then set up a bright light right where they sleep. They hate bright light. Sometimes they will leave, sometimes they won't. I don't know what to tell you if this doesn't work. They will keep coming back. Good luck.

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August 6, 20100 found this helpful

Several choices. I feed mine. They showed up very thin. My one cat now sleeps with them. I wouldn't trust them hungry, though. Another choice is to livetrap (if you are sure there are no babies) and relocate. I got a wonderful price on livettraps at Heartland. Trap 10 times better than Havaheart.

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August 7, 20100 found this helpful

In my area a 20 gauge works great, If you live in the city, this option won't help and even in the country we do not like to kill animals unless we have to. The one thing you do not want to do is to put out something like pepper flakes or anything that can sting their eyes, one man reported seeing an animal gouge it's eyes out because of the pain. A good deterrent is moth balls scattered around areas they frequent, plus be careful about leaving food out. We feed stray cats, to keep field mice in control, but now we just put out a little in the am and again in the pm. The strays learn this routine and also they better eat up before it is gone. Good luck and do not take any chances with these cute critters, they can strip the meat off your fingers before you know it.

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August 10, 20100 found this helpful

I don't know how to get rid of the raccoons but I had the same problem with raccoons messing on our deck. I sprayed the area with just plain water and they came back to the same spot and did the same thing. So, I put some Dawn(Original Scent) dish washing liquid in a bucket of water and scrubbed the area real good and then rinsed it with plain water. That was a couple months ago and I have not seen any messes since. Dawn also works for lots of other things, has to be Dawn (Original Scent). Hope this helps some.

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August 11, 20100 found this helpful

Hey, jrpaslay, kelreg, muttmom, & laramay, for all your great help in trying to help get rid of masked bandits. Man next store keeps feeding them so he can have them, lol. Thanks everyone of you. Cookie17

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August 19, 2009

What's the best and most humane way to get rid of raccoons and possums under our mobile home?

By Randi O'Brien from Capitola, CA


August 20, 20090 found this helpful

Try throwing some moth balls under your home. They usually do not like the smell. Just make sure you do not have any pets that can get them.

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August 20, 20090 found this helpful

We had coons in our shed. We tried what the wildlife people told us to try. Leave a light on, play music. They thought it was a 3 star hotel :). What actually worked was ammonia. We left a pail of it in there and they scampered. We filled in the ground hog holes which was their entrance. Not sure if you want to try the ammonia under your trailer, but worth a try. Don't let any of your animals near it though.

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August 24, 20090 found this helpful

When we bought our house, we had raccoons living in the top of our garage. A box of moth balls did the trick. A mommy raccoon and three babies. The mom was able to relocate her family.
When we called animal control we were told raccoons are euthanized because they have round worms that lives in their feces. Animas and even humans(sand boxes) can possibly ingest these worms with fatal side effects. We didn't want the raccoons killed. Thank goodness the moth balls worked. Our entire back yard smelled for 3 months but it was worth it.

My neighbors had raccoons enter their house through their dog door. They used loud music and bright lights and that did the trick for them.

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August 26, 20090 found this helpful

You can put the moth balls inside a piece of panty hose and tie it to keep other critters from accidently eating them.

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August 31, 20090 found this helpful

When you do finally get rid of the critters you need to make sure the skirting on your mobile home is tight without any holes for them to get in again. We have lived in a mobile home park for 16 years. Critters can get into smaller holes than you can imagine. Stuff the small holes with foil. Use boards on the larger holes. A couple of cats would help keep the critters away, too.

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August 12, 2013

I noticed a large number of raccoons walking around my garage at 4am one night, they were at the door of the garage scoping it out. It looked like they were trying to figure out access. 5 days later at least one found access. A hole was dug into the foundation behind my garage and a very large raccoon is in the rafters of my garage; this was during daylight. It was obviously not rabid because it was hiding from us. I don't know how to get it out of the garage. I left the doors open all night and day and am afraid to go back in and look in rafters. We also patched the hole in the floor/wall so it can not get in or out through that exit/entrance. The raccoon(s) destroyed my garage, every pot tool, etc. is on the ground, broken or a mess. Why would it stay in my garage? There is no longer trash in there because after I put the trash out I have not put any other trash in the garage.

By Debbie M


August 12, 20130 found this helpful

One way to keep them away is to put bubble wrap or newspaper down. The noise scares them away. He is probably in the rafters because it's a female that's going to have a litter and it is safe in your rafters and out of the elements. You can call animal control and they will come out and capture it and release it somewhere else. Good luck because they can be very mean. One mauled one of my cats to death and another chased a friend of mine into the house. So be careful.

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July 5, 2016

We have raccoons in our yard and on the deck. We also take care of feral cats. Ammonia is one solution in getting rid of raccoons, but will our feral cats stay away as well? Does anyone have a good recipe for raccoon removal?

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August 29, 2010

What is a natural raccoon repellent?

By Budd from Fox Lake, IL

Answer this Question...

May 14, 2017

This is a page about raccoons living in a chimney. With dexterous front paws, the ability to stand, and intelligence these animals can take advantage in a dwelling to create a safe nesting place.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 5, 2010

We just put moth balls in our attic to ward away raccoons, but the smell is so strong. Will this go away or do I need to go back and get them out of there?

By hope from MI


Getting Rid of Raccoons

The smell will go away. Have you tried hot pepper sauce on the place where they get into your house? It works. Reapply after rain, good luck. (11/02/2009)

By kathleen williams

Getting Rid of Raccoons

The gardener on our local radio station says to mix a half cup of peanut butter a half cup of Captain Crunch cereal and a half tablespoon of cayenne pepper. Mix all together and place on an aluminum pie dish. The critters will eat this and then get it on their paws. Can't hurt to try. (11/09/2009)

By Mary C.

Getting Rid of Raccoons

Raccoons sleep during the day and prowl by night. The young will return to their birth place to have their own families, so it takes some time to change their patterns. After using every method I could find including trapping and relocating, spraying coyote urine (available on-line) around the entry point was the last and best deterrent I found. (11/12/2009)

By Dee

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November 1, 2009

We have a family of raccoons, babies and all, that has started living in a shed we have by a house we are trying to sell. Does anyone have any humane tips for getting these critters to find a new home?

Thanks for any advice.



Getting Rid of Raccoons

You can hire someone out of the phone book or call the wildlife department around where you live. I have even seen the police get raccoons out of someone's chimney. (05/26/2009)

By dan ward

Getting Rid of Raccoons

Absolutely. My hubby and I had a family of raccoons living in our attic. We chased them away with a strobe light and loud music. Then sealed the hole where they were coming in while they were away. (05/26/2009)

By April Wright

Getting Rid of Raccoons

What ended up working is I went and opened up the shed they were living in so that light got in there during the day. The raccoon and babies decided to move on. So shedding some light on their den made them move on. (05/27/2009)

By Lewissan

Getting Rid of Raccoons

A little radio, clock radio, etc. tuned to a talk station and set inside will shoo them away quickly. Music they can learn to ignore, or doesn't bother them at all sometimes, but voices all the time do. You just need to have it loud enough to be annoying, not deafening, and it won't suck up a bunch of electricity. This has kept them at bay on my parent's farm for several years, and they only try to come back when someone unplugs it for a few weeks. (05/29/2009)

By Amy

Getting Rid of Raccoons

For $32.00 we bought a couple live traps at Tractor Supply. When the raccoons are getting to be too much, we catch and relocate them to a lake area 35 miles away. The smaller trap is great for catching squirrels. This week I have caught 7 in 5 days. Relocate them as well. (05/29/2009)

By Geneva Walker

Getting Rid of Raccoons

I don't know where you live but in California, you can not move the raccoons as they are protected wildlife. You can call your local animal control and they will give you advice. Good luck. (05/30/2009)

By Sherri

Getting Rid of Raccoons

Putting crushed mothballs in a shed helps keep out unwanted animals, they must be crushed and replaced when the odor goes away. (05/30/2009)

By Mary

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Home and Garden Pest Control RaccoonsAugust 21, 2011
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