If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy spending time outdoors in your backyard. But if you’ve been dealing with raccoons lately, that enjoyment may have turned into frustration. Raccoons can be a real nuisance, and if they’re not dealt with properly, they can cause a lot of damage. Luckily, with a little bit of know-how and some persistence, you can get rid of raccoons once and for all.

The first thing to do when getting rid of raccoons is to identify the problems they’re causing. Raccoons will damage your property or spread disease in several ways:

  • They’ll eat your garden. Raccoons love to eat your plants and vegetables, particularly tomato plants.
  • They’ll tear up lawn furniture or other outside items that aren’t secured down properly.
  • They can spread garbage all over your yard as they forage through it, looking for scraps to eat.
  • If you have a bird feeder in your backyard, they’ll eat all the seeds or other bird food you’ve put out for your birds.
  • Raccoons are infamous for spreading diseases, including rabies and roundworm.

How to identify that Raccoons have attacked your house?

Raccoons are nocturnal, which means they are only active at night. As a result, their presence may be difficult to spot. But if you’ve noticed an excess of garbage in your yard, or discovered that some food has gone missing, then there is a good chance raccoons involved. An even more obvious sign that raccoons are around is damage to your property. Look out for signs of tearing and digging at the base of trees, as well as shredded lawn furniture.

If you have witnessed that raccoons are causing any of these problems in your backyard, it’s important to get rid of them before they cause severe damage. But how?

Live Traps

The first thing to try is a live trap. If you’ve ever dealt with raccoons before, you know that they’re pretty smart creatures. This means that if you just set up a trap and leave it overnight, there’s no guarantee that you’ll have caught anything by morning. The best way to trap them is to set the live trap during the day when raccoons are most active. This will give you a better chance of catching one. To successfully trap them using this method, here’s what you’ll need:

  • A live trap – You can buy this at pretty much any hardware or garden supply store. This isn’t your typical mousetrap. A live trap looks like a cage, and it’s typically much bigger than what you’d use to catch mice or other rodents. You’ll want one that’s big enough for the raccoon you’re trying to trap but not too large – certain larger raccoons can easily break out of smaller cages, which isn’t good for you or them. You’ll also need to know the size of the door on your live trap so you can buy bait that’s about the same size as it is.
  • Bait – Good bait choices are meat, cut fruit pieces, sunflower seeds, watermelon pieces, nuts – pretty much anything raccoons like should work. Make sure the bait you choose won’t spoil quickly in the hot sun.
  • A small shovel – You’ll need a shovel to dig a small hole where you want the trap to be placed.

Once you have all of your supplies, it’s time to set up and bait your live trap for raccoons:

  • Dig a hole where you want your live trap placed. You don’t want it to be too close to the house, but you also don’t want it out in the open. It’s best to place it somewhere near a garden or other valuable property where raccoons may try to get into.
  • Place the live trap inside the hole and cover it with leaves, dirt, or other natural material so that it’s hidden.
  • Set the trap door so it faces upward, and place your bait inside the trap in an open spot where a raccoon can easily reach it.

Also Read: How to Get Rid of Mice in Walls

Call Animal Control Services

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of setting up a live trap, you can try calling animal control services to catch the raccoon for you. Animal control services typically use lethal traps that kill or seriously harm raccoons and other creatures that get into them, so this isn’t a good choice if you’re hoping to release the raccoon unharmed. If your main concern is getting rid of the raccoon, then trapping it alive and taking care of it yourself may be your best option. However, if you want to get rid of them quickly at all costs, this is probably the way to go.


The final method you can try to get rid of raccoons is exclusion. This involves building a fence around your yard that the raccoons won’t be able to get through. You can also use exclusion to keep them out of certain areas, like if you just want to keep them out of your garden. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Wire mesh – This should be thick enough so that raccoons can’t bite through it. Hardware cloth with holes smaller than 1/2 inch should work well for this purpose.
  • Staple gun – This will be used to attach the wire mesh to your house, fence, or other structure that raccoons are trying to climb into or onto.
  • Fence posts – You’ll use these for attaching the wire mesh to the fence or whatever other structure you’re using. For more know how on Fences you can refer to our article Type of fences you can consider for new house.
  • A ladder – This will be used for reaching any areas of your roof that raccoons are trying to get onto.

Once you have all of these supplies, it’s time to start exclusion:

  • Put the ladder near the area where the raccoon is climbing onto your roof and wait for it to return.
  • When the raccoon comes back, quickly shoo it away from your house before it can get a good grip on your roof. It’s best if you have someone to help you with this – one of you should climb up with a broom or other object to scare them away while the other person watches from the ground.
  • Once the raccoon is on the ground, quickly climb down your ladder and pick it up so that you can place it outside of your yard. They don’t have any diseases that they could give you, so you don’t have to be afraid of getting hurt by one. Don’t worry about being gentle – their claws are very sharp, so any attempt to be gentle will likely result in you getting scratched or cut.
  • Once the raccoon is in a safe location (away from your property and facing away from it), set it down and let it run away. It’s best if you can just pick them up and drop them off at the far end of the street, but anywhere out of your yard will do.
  • Once you’ve picked up and placed the raccoon outside, cover the area on your roof where they were trying to get into with wire mesh. This should keep them from coming back.

Few Other Ways 

If there are still places in your yard that the raccoons are trying to get into, you can use wire mesh or other sturdy materials to prevent this. For example, if they’re trying to get into your garden by digging through the soil, cover the area with wire mesh so they can’t do it again.

What Should you do if Raccoons get into your Garbage Cans?

If you want to keep them out of your garbage cans but don’t want to set up a live trap, you can try setting a lethal trap inside of the garbage can. You can also attach wire mesh to your garbage cans so that it’s less appealing for the raccoon to get into them. If you do this, make sure that you check on your garbage cans at least once a day and remove any raccoons that you catch.

What should you do if Raccoons are Digging up your Yard?

If they’re digging up your yard, you can also try using wire mesh to prevent this. You can also use a chemical that tastes bitter and unpleasant to raccoons, like Ropel or Mycotrol. These taste repellents deter the animals from digging in certain areas, so they may help if there are places you want to prevent the raccoons from visiting.

What Should you do if Raccoons get into Your Garden?

If they’re getting into your garden and eating your vegetables, you can try using a fence to keep them out if it’s small enough. You can also try sprinkling hot pepper on the plants that they eat. This is an effective way of keeping them off any low shrubbery or other plants they visit frequently. However, this method isn’t very effective if you have a larger garden.

Also See: Benefits of having Indoor Plants

What should you do if Raccoons get into your Attic?

If they’re getting into your attic or shed and tearing things up, you can try blocking off these areas with wire mesh so that they can’t get in anymore. If they’re just climbing onto the roof and doing nothing else, this is not necessary. If Raccoons have already damaged your Attic you can use our Attic Remodeling Ideas to repair it.

Once all of your raccoons are gone, you should be able to take down the wire mesh. Raccoons are very territorial creatures, so once they’re out of the area, it shouldn’t be likely that they’ll come back. If they do, just repeat the process.

What Should you do if Raccoons are Living under your Porch? 

You can either block off this area so that they can’t get into it, clean it up so they’re not tempted to stay there anymore, or try relocating them if it’s possible.

To block off their access to an area, you can use wire mesh to create a barrier that they won’t be able to get through. This is the most humane way of dealing with this problem because it keeps them away from the area without you having to hurt them.

What you need to keep in mind while getting rid of Raccoons

  • Don’t use repellents or poisons! Although these can work in some cases, they can also lead to more problems – namely, dead raccoons in your yard. Besides the fact that you don’t want dead animals lying around, there are many other reasons why poisons are not a good idea.
  • Rabies is particularly of concern if you encounter an aggressive or sick raccoon. Your pets could be at risk of being exposed to this disease if you use poison, so it’s best just to avoid doing this.
  • Rabies can also be transmitted from raccoons to humans easily, so it’s important not to handle a raccoon that appears ill or aggressive. If you are bitten, seek medical attention immediately.
  • If you have pets, they’ll be at a greater risk of being exposed to raccoon roundworm or rabies. These are transmitted via the raccoon’s feces, so if your pets eat this, they’re at risk of becoming very sick.
  • Don’t try to trap and relocate a mother and her babies! This is cruel and not effective because it just moves the problem to someone else’s backyard.
  • Don’t try to kill the raccoon yourself, especially with poisons or firearms! This can be illegal in many areas and poses health risks for you and your family.


If you’re having problems with raccoons, there are many ways that you can try to get rid of them. You can use repellents or poisons, but these should be your last resort because they can lead to more problems. The best way to get rid of raccoons is by using a live trap and relocating them. If all else fails, you can try blocking their access to certain areas or cleaning up the area, so they’re not tempted to stay there anymore.

Also See: How to get Rid of termites | Getting Rid of Chipmunks


What smell will keep raccoons away?

Raccoons dislike the odors of cinnamon, black pepper, or cayenne pepper and are forced to move to a more suitable location due to their sense of smell. You may make a natural raccoon repellant by combining cayenne pepper and onion in boiling water. Add hot sauce to the mix, if desired.

What will make a Raccoon go away?

If you’re dealing with just adult raccoons, you may try using bright lights and loud noises to scare them away yourself. The sprays containing hot sauce or other pepper-based repellents can also be effective. A good approach to deter raccoons from your chimney is to place a bowl of cider vinegar at the bottom. It’s an odor that raccoons despise.

What attracts raccoons to your yard?

A place to build a den, water, and food are all things that attract raccoons to your yard. If you remove these items, they may no longer visit your property.

How do you get rid of raccoons fast?

There are several ways to get rid of raccoons fast, but before executing any techniques, be sure that you are not breaking any local law and that it is safe to do so. For example, you must check if it’s legal in your area to trap and relocate the animal. After that, you can take action accordingly.

What do raccoons hate the most?

Raccoons are repelled by the smell of hot pepper, garlic, peppermint oil, onion, and Epsom salt. You can use this to your advantage by sprinkling these items around areas frequented by raccoons, such as the den.

Written by

Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.