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Home » Blog » How to Prevent Raccoons?

How to Prevent Raccoons?

Prevent Raccoons?

Raccoons are a common sight in North Texas neighborhoods. While they are fine minding their own business, they can create thousands of dollars of damage if they get in to your attic or walls. These furry critters are known for their love of trash cans and can cause damage to your home and garden. If you're looking for ways on how to keep raccoons off your property, there are several effective strategies you can try.

One of the best things you can do to prevent raccoons from coming onto your property is to secure your trash cans. Like many of us, raccoons are attracted to food - except they have an even stronger sense of smell - and they will often rummage through garbage in search of a meal. Making sure your garbage cans have tight-fitting lids is well worth the time. If possible, storing them in a garage or shed helps tremendously. It's also a good idea to avoid putting out your trash can until the morning of pickup to minimize the amount of time it's exposed.

Another effective way to keep raccoons away is to eliminate potential food sources. This means not leaving pet food outside, picking up fallen fruit from trees, and cleaning up any spilled birdseed. Raccoons are opportunistic creatures and will take advantage of any easy meal they can find. By removing these temptations, you can make your property less appealing to these critters.

If you follow this article and you are wondering what can you do to keep raccoons away, it is probably time to hire a professional like Critter Stop! Our team specializes in situations exactly like yourselves, and we can help solve your issue more effectively and efficiently than our competition. Give Critter Stop a call and see why our customers rave about us.

Introduction to Raccoons – Behavior and Habitats

Raccoons are nocturnal mammals that can be found throughout North America. Raccoons are famous for their black mask and ringed tail. They can grow up to 3 feet in length and weigh up to 30 pounds. Raccoons are omnivores, eating both plants and animals, and are opportunistic feeders that will scavenge for food in trash bins, gardens, and even pet food dishes.

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Raccoons are adaptable creatures that can thrive in many different habitats, including prairies (like North Texas), forests, wetlands, and suburban areas. They are skilled climbers, easily climbing up stucco and brick walls, trees, and other structures to gain access to attics, chimneys, and other potential nesting sites.

Raccoons are also incredibly intelligent. They have been observed using tools to access food, such as using rocks to break open shells or using sticks to fish for food in water. They also quickly figure out live traps. If a raccoon is caught in a trap, they often become “trap wise” and avoid live traps for several years after the experience. 

Despite their cute and curious appearance, raccoons can become a nuisance when they invade human habitats. They can damage property - including insulation, ductwork, eaves, and attic vents, they can spread disease, and potentially worst of all, pose a threat to pets and small children. It is wise to be proactive in preventing raccoons from entering your property and to discouraging them from making your home their own.

Overview of the Problems Posed by Raccoons

Raccoons are a common problem for homeowners, especially those who live in areas with a high population of these animals. They are fierce scavengers, and they can get into almost anything. Raccoons can cause a variety of problems for homeowners, including property damage, health hazards, and nuisance behavior.

One of the most significant problems posed by raccoons is property damage. These animals are notorious for their ability to get into almost anything, including trash cans, gardens, and even homes. They can cause damage to roofs, walls, and insulation while trying to gain access to an attic or crawl space. Raccoons can also damage gardens and landscaping by digging up plants and eating fruits and vegetables.

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Another problem posed by raccoons is the potential health hazards they can bring. Raccoons are known carriers of several diseases, including rabies, which can be given to humans and other animals through bites or scratches. Even if you don’t come in direct contact, raccoons can parasites, such as fleas and ticks, which can infest homes and cause health problems for residents.

Finally, raccoons can be a nuisance for homeowners due to their noisy behavior and tendency to raid trash cans. They are nocturnal, which can make it difficult for homeowners to get a good night's sleep. Additionally, their scavenging habits can create a mess and attract other animals to the area.

Overall, raccoons can be a significant problem for homeowners. It is wise to be proactive to prevent them from getting onto your property and into your home to avoid property damage, health hazards, and nuisance behavior.

Understanding Raccoon Behavior

Raccoons are known for their cute and fluffy appearance, but they can be very destructive if they are left to live in your attic or walls. Understanding raccoons’ behavior can help you protect against them from coming onto your property again in the future. Raccoon prevention is a serious, urgent matter - if they haven’t already, it is just a matter of time before they create a serious health concern or cause thousands of dollars of damage to your attic.

Food-seeking Behavior

Raccoons are opportunistic eaters and will consume almost anything, including garbage, pet food, and garden crops. They are nocturnal and can easily climb trees, fences, and walls to access food or water sources. Bird baths and pet water bowls are common water sources that will drawn them in.

Nesting Habits

Raccoons are known for their ability to create dens in a variety of locations, including trees, attics, and crawl spaces. They typically mate in the early spring and can have litters of up to seven babies. If you suspect raccoons are nesting in your home, we highly recommend calling a professional to safely remove them. Many, such as Critter Stop, will provide a free inspection and estimate!

Adaptability to Urban Environments

Raccoons have adapted well to urban environments and can thrive in cities and suburbs. They are intelligent creatures and can easily figure out how to access food and shelter. To repel raccoons from entering your home, make sure to secure all entry points, such as chimneys and vents.

By understanding raccoon behavior, you can take the necessary steps to prevent them from coming onto your property and causing damage.

Signs of Raccoon Presence

Raccoons are a common sight in many North Texas residential areas, but they can cause a lot of damage to your property if they decide to make it their home. If you can recognize the signs of raccoons, you can take the necessary steps keep them away.

Identifying Raccoon Tracks and Marks

One of the most obvious signs of raccoon presence are their tracks and marks. Raccoons have five appendages on their front and hind feet, and their tracks are often larger than those of a house cat. They also have distinctive hand-like prints, with the front feet having a thumb-like appendage that sticks out to the side. Raccoons will often leave claw marks on surfaces they climb, such as trees or fences.

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Recognizing Damage Caused by Raccoons

Raccoons are known for their destructive behavior, and they can cause a lot of damage to your property. They will often dig through garbage cans and compost piles in search of food, and they can also damage gardens and landscaping. Raccoon damage may also include holes in roofs, soffits, attic vents, and ducts to gain access to attics and crawl spaces.

Observing Raccoon Noises and Activity

Raccoons are nocturnal animals, so you may not see them during the day. However, you may hear them at night, especially if they are in your attic or crawl space. Raccoons are also known for their distinctive chattering and growling noises, which they use to communicate with each other. If a raccoon it out and about during the daytime, it may be a sign that it is sick or injured, and you should contact animal control immediately.

By being able to identify the signs of raccoon presence, you can take the necessary steps to keep them away from your property. This may bringing your garbage inside your garage, taking down your bird feeder and cleaning up the bird seed, installing fencing around your garden, and sealing up any holes or gaps in your home's exterior.

Health and Safety Risks Associated with Raccoons

Potential Diseases Carried by Raccoons

Raccoons can carry a handful of diseases that can be transmitted to humans and pets. These diseases include:

  • Rabies: a potentially fatal disease if left untreated. Raccoons are a common carrier of rabies in North America.
  • Leptospirosis: a bacterial infection that causes flu-like symptoms in humans and can even be fatal in severe cases.
  • Salmonella: a painful infection that can cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps in humans.
  • Roundworm: a parasitic infection that can be transmitted to humans through contact with raccoon feces. In severe cases, it can cause blindness and other neurological problems.

Damage to Property

Raccoons can cause a lot of damage to both homes and commercial properties, including:

  • Tearing up shingles and roof tiles to gain access to attics and crawl spaces.
  • Ripping apart insulation and ductwork.
  • Chewing through electrical wires, creating fire hazards.
  • Digging up vegetable gardens and yards in search of food.

Risk to Pets

Raccoons can pose a risk to pets, particularly small dogs and cats. They may attack pets if they feel threatened or if they are competing with raccoon problem raccoons for food. Additionally, raccoons can transmit diseases to pets, including rabies and leptospirosis.

To minimize the health and safety risks associated with raccoons, it is wise to be proactive in keeping them away from your property. This includes adequately securing garbage, removing common food sources such as bird feeders and pet food, and sealing up any entry points into your home.

Preventative Measures Against Raccoons

Raccoons are known for their scavenging abilities and can be a nuisance to homeowners. However, there are some preventative measures you can take to keep raccoons away from your home or commercial property.

Raccoon in Attic

Proper Garbage Management

Raccoons are attracted to garbage, not bird food, so it's important to manage your garbage properly. This means storing your garbage in a secure container with a tight-fitting lid. If possible, keep the garbage container in a garage or shed until garbage day. Don't leave garbage bags out unprotected overnight, as this can attract raccoons and other animals.

Sealing Access to Potential Nesting Sites

Raccoons are known to nest in attics, crawl spaces, and chimneys. To prevent raccoons from nesting on your property, it's important to seal any potential access points. This includes sealing gaps in the roofline, installing chimney caps, and securing crawl space entrances.

Removing Food Sources

Raccoons are opportunistic and not very picky when it comes to food. They will eat almost anything. To prevent raccoons from finding food sources on your property, it's important to remove any potential food sources. This includes securing pet food, removing fallen fruit from trees, and cleaning up any food scraps or spills.

If you have a chicken coop, fruit tree, fish ponds, or vegetable gardens, realize these are like magnets for our little masked bandits! Since they cannot be removed like most other food sources, ensuring wire mesh is properly and securely installed on your chicken coop and garden compost bin, if you have either of these, is a critical step.

By following these preventative measures, homeowners can reduce the likelihood of raccoons on their property.

Using Repellents and Deterrents

Description of Commercially Available Repellents

There are several commercially available repellents that can be used to keep raccoons away from your property. These repellents usually contain substances that are unpleasant to raccoons, such as predator urine, ammonia, or capsaicin. Some raccoon repellents come in the form of sprays, while others are granules that can be spread around the perimeter of your property.

Homemade Repellents and Deterrents

If you want to deter raccoons but prefer to use natural and homemade methods to keep raccoons away, there are several options available. One common method is to sprinkle cayenne pepper or chili powder around the areas where raccoons are likely to enter your property. 

Raccoons also try to avoid bright lights and loud noises, since they perceive them to indicate danger. While not bullet-proof, the use of motion-activated sprinklers and / or yard lights can also be used to deter raccoons.

Effectiveness and Limitations of Repellents

While repellents and deterrents can be effective in keeping raccoons away from your property, they do have their limitations. Raccoons can become accustomed to the smell of certain repellents over time, rendering them ineffective. Additionally, heavy rain or wind can wash away granular repellents, reducing their effectiveness. Homemade methods may also be less effective than commercial repellents.

It's important to note that no repellent or deterrent is 100% effective in keeping raccoons away. The most effective way to discourage raccoons coming to your property is to eliminate potential food sources and access points on your property.

Role of Professional Wildlife Control Services

When to Call Professionals

When raccoons invade your property, it can be tempting to handle the raccoon situation on your own. But the scope of work and urgency of the matter should not be underestimated. Critter Stop recommends contacting their services if:

  • You have tried to handle it yourself without success
  • You have multiple animals accessing your property
  • The raccoons are causing damage to your property or posing a threat to your safety
  • You do not know how to safely and humanely remove the raccoons
  • You are interested in live trapping, as a last resort (we rarely recommend this due to the intelligence of raccoons and the resulting ineffectiveness of trapping)

What to Expect from Professional Services

Professional wildlife control services, such as Critter Stop, have the knowledge, experience, and tools necessary to safely and humanely remove raccoons from your property. When you contact a wildlife removal expert, you can expect:

  • A detailed inspection of the property to identify possible entry points and potential nesting sites
  • A customized plan for removal and prevention based on the specific needs of your property
  • Safe and humane removal of raccoons using traps and exclusion techniques
  • Repairs to any damage caused by the raccoons, as well as preventative exclusion work to keep them from just going to another spot on your property to get back in
  • Education on how to prevent future raccoon infestations

Overall, professional wildlife control services can provide a safe and effective solution to raccoon infestations on your property. It is important to recognize when it is time to call in the professionals and trust their expertise in handling the situation.

Conclusion

Encouraging Co-existence with Wildlife Responsibly

While it's important to protect your property from raccoons, do not forget that they are a part of the natural ecosystem and that it is very possible to live peacefully together. Encouraging co-existence with raccoons and other wildlife can be done responsibly by:

  • Providing raccoons with alternative food sources such as a designated feeding station away from your home
  • Planting native plants that provide habitat for raccoons and other wildlife
  • Avoiding the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides on your property

By promoting responsible co-existence with raccoons, you can help maintain a healthy balance between humans and wildlife.

Overall, by taking preventative measures and encouraging co-existence with raccoons, you can keep raccoons away from your property without causing harm to these fascinating creatures.

Recap of Preventative Measures and Best Practices

In summary, there are several ways to deter raccoons from invading your property. Some of the best practices to get rid of raccoons include:

  • Securing your garbage bin with tight-fitting lids or bungee cords
  • Removing any and all potential food sources such as pet food, fallen fruit, bird feeders, and any bagged bird food you may have outside
  • Sealing any entry points to your home or attic
  • Installing motion-activated lights or sprinklers to deter raccoons

By following these preventative measures, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of raccoons making themselves at home on your property. These are particularly important in the early stages of keeping raccoons of your property. Once all the raccoons have moved on, you may be able to, as an example, put your bird feeder back out.

Call a Wildlife Control Professional

A wildlife or pest control professional can help you get rid of raccoons and minimize the damage they can cause to your property. They can seal off common entry points with sheet metal and wire mesh and sanitize areas with the smells raccoons were drawn to in the first place (usually pheromones or feces from mice, rats, or other raccoons).

While pest control companies can sometimes get rid of raccoons humanely, it is generally wise to contact a wildlife removal professional for your raccoon problem.

If you are a homeowner or commercial property owner in the Dallas - Fort Worth metroplex and have raccoons in the attic, give Critter Stop a call at (214) 234-2616 for your free inspection and estimate. We take a lot of pride in offering the best value raccoon removal services in all of North Texas.

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Lee Gorman
Lee Gorman
13:50 21 Nov 22
I’d give a 10 star review if I could! We had a great experience with Critter Stop. Everyone I dealt was friendly, professional, and reassuring. Phillip was very helpful and knowledgeable about the work he was doing. He walked me around the entire house to make sure I saw and understood the services he provided. He was also really nice and answered all my questions — he is exactly the type of person that should be interacting with customers.I love the fact that they will come back for up to 1 year after installation if any problems occur — this shows me they stand behind their work.The owner was great too, he personally came to my house and walked me through their offering. I recommend critter stop to anyone and everyone!
Susan Casey
Susan Casey
14:53 15 Nov 22
Critter Stop is a fantastic business! Everyone involved is extremely professional and very easy to communicate with. Chisam, the owner, did a great job of explaining the process to get the squirrels out of my attic during the initial free estimate. The exclusion crew who did all of the initial work was fabulous. The crew consisted of Phillip, Nick and Corey who arrived promptly when they said they would. They are happy, positive employees. Everyone is very polite and patient in explaining their work and answering questions. They came back several times to check the traps and finish it off with the fogging. Lester was very good about following up to schedule each trap check with me, and the office staff who took care of the billing was very efficient. Critter Stop is a well run company with honest, trustworthy employees! Thank you to all of you who worked hard to make my attic critter free and for the peace of mind that you guarantee your work. Great to know I can call them if for some reason a squirrel figures out a way to get back in!
Karen Eckholdt
Karen Eckholdt
14:54 22 Sep 22
Critter Stop has made this project easy and extremely professional from start to finish! They are very detailed and competent from start to finish and know so much about their business. They made a problem easy for us and at a reasonable cost. We would be happy to recommend this company and their owners and staff to anyone.
Aaron Echols
Aaron Echols
13:51 03 Aug 22
The guys at Critter Stop responded quickly, were very friendly, and gave us an honest estimate of what we might need. They explained why some items on other quotes were or were not necessary. They communicated well to get us scheduled, and did the work well and quickly. Great service at a fair and competitive price.
Jacob Scribner
Jacob Scribner
19:23 27 Jul 22
Brandon and his other coworker Gavin came to install insulation in my attic. I am very grateful for the hard work and professionalism. My house feels a lot better with the insulation installed. 5 star review. Cory Leach was also very nice and helpful. He came to my house to do another job and was very attentive and professional. Thank you Corey and thank you Critter Stop for helping me.The owner very polite and helpful, I’m glad I found this company to help me.
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