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How to Keep Raccoons Away from your Home

Whether they get into your fish pond, pet food, birdseed, chicken coop, or generally create a mess on your house, raccoons are unwelcome. Read here to learn how to identify a crisis and what to do about it, things you can do right at home.

Raccoon Facts

Natives to the United States, these black-masked bandits have gray fur, grow up to two to three feet in length, and can weigh between 10-20 pounds. These critters have black and white rings around their tails and characteristic black markings around their eyes that look much like a burglar’s mask. They don’t just eat your pet food and tip over the garbage, either. They can carry diseases, including rabies, worms in their feces, and carry fleas, lice, or ticks in their fur. They damage crops or home gardens, they find and eat expensive koi from your fish pond, and the females cause home damage when nesting on roofs, tearing shingles up for young raccoons.

These natives to North America are scavengers. They are omnivores, which means they can eat meat, fruit, or vegetables, just like a bear, dog, or humans. They are nocturnal, which is when you are most likely to spot or hear them, and they don't mind making the noise. The black markings around their eyes make them very charismatic, though alarming to find in your flashlight beam late at night. During the 19th century, these critters were hunted for their pelts. Many American trappers and hunters made their living from hunting them. Since then, the raccoons have made a comeback, and if you find one near your home and pilfering your food, damaging your home, or killing your chickens or expensive fish, anyone would want them gone. Oddly, they are very clean in comparison to other animals. They wash their hands, or paws, before and after a meal. These hardy creatures can climb trees, nest under bushes, woodpiles or debris, and they can run up to 15 miles per hour!

If you find these characteristic signs of damage, droppings, or tracks left around your Connecticut home, or if you find your compost pile scattered around your yard, this nocturnal, noisy pest is most likely lurking around your home or your Connecticut neighborhood. Keep raccoons out of your yard with these steps.

Raccoon Control: Remove Food Sources

If you’ve had an infestation of these creatures with a black mask around your home, you’ll know you want to be rid of them, and fast. The best methods of control are preventative, and the first step is to remove the food sources that can attract them near your Connecticut home. Remember, never intentionally feed a raccoon and encourage your neighbors to follow suit.

  • Seal your trash bins Ensure that your outdoor trash can has a lid. If the lid isn’t animal-proof or have a lock or seal mechanism, use rope and bungee cords to keep it shut. Find a pole or a tree and anchor the trash can to it so they can’t pilfer it.
  • Clean your yard and garden Fallen fruit, nuts, berries, or other edible debris will attract them for an easy snack. If you compost your food, erect a fence around it, preferably an electric fence. (See below for details).
  • Clean Pet Food and Bowls Pet food is a screaming beacon because of their keen sense of smell. Clean up dog or cat food leftovers and bring the bowl inside for washing. Hang bird feeders on well-anchored standing hooks, or another high and inaccessible place, and be sure the feeder is at least 20 feet from your Connecticut home. Be sure to clean dropped birdseed around the bird feeder. If you keep chickens, do your best to clean the chicken coop and clean up chicken feed to prevent them from getting to your bird eggs, eating your chickens, or causing other damage.

Deter Raccoon Problems

These critters often gather in cities and urban areas. Follow these effective solutions for deterrence. Encourage your neighbors to do the same. A community effort may be necessary if they have den sites in your area.

  • Seal entry points Use chimney caps or spark arrester to keep an invader from crawling down and through your fireplace. Be sure they are tight, or raccoons could lift it away. Find any large gaps around your home and cover them with 10 gauge, galvanized, hardwire mesh, at least ⅓ inch.
  • Reduce shelter or nesting spots Keep your firewood pile at least 20 feet away from your home perimeter. Thin out dense shrubbery where a critter could hide, and sweep away piles of leaves where they could nest. Trim tree limbs at least five feet away from the rooftop to reduce their access, and consider removing any roof decor like arbors or trellises that make access easier for them.
  • Erect fences Fences are most effective as deterrents when electrified. Low amplitude electrified fencing around gardens, crops, compost, or other food sources will help keep the little burglars away. Using the same wire mesh mentioned above—10 gauge, galvanized hard wire mesh—make your own fencing, or supplement the fencing you have by burying 12 inches of the mesh 6 inches deep so that the 12 inches are parallel to the ground. Bend the rest of the mesh so it stands erect. This will prevent them from burrowing underneath.

**Some sources encourage traps or repellents purchased over-the-counter for raccoon repelling. Not all repellents work to keep these burglars away, and someone without experience can easily be hurt by or contract a disease from a frightened raccoon caught in a trap. If you choose to use traps or deterrents, use extreme caution.**

Professional Raccoon Control

Luckily, you’re not alone. Fox Pest Control in the Connecticut area has friendly, professional technicians with the experience to help you with raccoon control. If you suspect your Connecticut home or neighborhood is playing host to these invaders, don’t wait. Call before 2 pm today, and our technicians will arrive at your home, ready to help defend against these masked burglars. Fox Pest Control provides prompt, friendly, and effective service. Defend your home and get rid of raccoons with Fox Pest Control.

Posted on November 27, 2019.

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