How To Effectively Manage Raccoons On Your Property
Raccoons might look adorable, but they can lead to big damage on your property. Often, there are some very simple methods you can take to keep raccoons away, but sometimes more extreme prevention and trapping methods are required. Here is a guide to different methods you can consider for effectively managing raccoons where you live.
Raccoons often try to enter buildings, especially females are who are looking for a place to build their nest before they give birth. They can rip up siding, shingles, and wreak havoc inside an attic, including tearing up insulation and destroying air conditioning ducts. Raccoons can also destroy gardens, knock over garbage cans, and dig up soil looking for grubs and worms. In addition, raccoons can also carry a broad range of parasites and diseases, including raccoon roundworm and rabies, underlining their danger.
Unfortunately, raccoons can also be aggressive, especially if they feel their young are in danger. A cornered and frightened raccoon should not be taken lightly, and this powerful animal can do real damage if you don't exercise caution.
One of the best ways to deter raccoons is ensure your home is properly protected. That means covering chimneys with screens that are secured tightly to your chimney. Also be aware that raccoons are very intelligent animals and can unhook latches to fences and other areas, so that means locking sheds and fences is necessary to prevent a raccoon from gaining access. Also consider applying locks to your garbage cans to deter raccoons from knocking them over and rummaging inside.
Raccoons also tend to nest under porches, decks and near tool sheds. That means you need to protect access to these areas. Usually, a galvanized metal screen with a very tight meshing pattern is enough to keep a raccoon out. However, you'll want to bury the mesh at least 6 inches deep into the ground to prevent a raccoon from digging it up.
For gardens and yards, a standard fence simply won't cut it when it comes to raccoons. They can easily rip up chain link fences and find other weak spots in a fence, making them basically useless. If you want to truly keep a raccoon out, you need to consider installing an electric fence. Often a two-wire fence is sufficient to keep raccoons out of a garden. You can also wrap electrical wire around tree trunks to prevent a raccoon from climbing up trees.
Unfortunately, if a raccoon is already nesting inside your chimney or attic, it means you need to contact an animal control specialist, as it's too difficult and dangerous to remove the animal yourself.
Many times it's necessary to trap raccoons, especially if they represent a continuing threat due to their numbers. Try using a large single-door trap that measures 15x15x36 and then place cat food inside. If you're afraid of catching cats, consider putting peanut butter, prunes or a sweet pastry inside.
However, it's important to remember that in many states it's illegal to simply release a raccoon somewhere else. That's why it's usually a good idea to hire an animal control specialist, as they have the tools to control this often dangerous animal and also the means to euthanize it once it's been trapped.