If you’ve noticed raccoons in your home, then you may be wondering whether you’ll need to do something to get rid of them or whether they’ll leave on their own! In this article, not only will you find out whether raccoons are going to stay or leave on their own, but you’ll also learn what can attract them to an area and stop them from leaving!
So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!
Will Raccoons Leave On Their Own?
If urban raccoons have found a nice place to stay, then it’s unlikely that they’re going to want to leave in a hurry. However, it’s not uncommon for raccoons to have more than one nest, so they may frequently leave and then reenter your home.
Why Aren’t Raccoons Leaving Your Home?
If you have raccoons in your home and they aren’t leaving, then there are 3 main reasons this is happening! Which are:
One of the main reasons that raccoons aren’t going to want to leave is because your home is relatively safe. You’re going to be less of a threat to raccoons when compared to predators such as coyotes and cougars.
A raccoon in your home won’t have to venture far to find food, and wherever they do go, they’re unlikely to be greeted by a dangerous predator.
As well as this, large groups of humans are going to scare away predators as well, so your home is an ideal spot for raccoons (apart from the fact that you’re living there).
Plenty Of Food
Another reason that raccoons won’t want to leave is the fact that you’re probably providing them with an abundance of food as well, more than they’d find in the wilderness! And you’d be surprised by all the different areas in and around your home where raccoons are finding food!
Some common places you can expect raccoons to begin eating are:
One of the main places that raccoons are going to find food is in your garbage. Your trash can is going to have an abundance of food for them to scavenge and eat (and they’re going to make a mess doing it too!)
Another common source of food for raccoons is bird feeders. While birdseed likely won’t provide raccoons a full meal, it is going to be a tasty snack for them.
Fortunately, keeping raccoons away from your bird feeder isn’t particularly difficult. First of all, you should make sure that your bird feeder isn’t near anything raccoons can jump from onto it. Secondly, you can also use a climb-resistant pole to stop raccoons from climbing as well.
Your Fish Pond
If there weren’t spots in your fish pond, fish could stay away from the surface; then raccoons are going to see it as a place to get lots of tasty food. Asides from making sure that they have places to hide, you can also install raccoon deterring lights, small electric fences, or simply place a net over the pond too.
If you have a chicken coop around your home, then it could be an area of intrigue for raccoons. And it’s not just the eggs that you have to worry about. It’s also entirely possible for raccoons to kill chickens and eat them too when they need.
However, keeping your chickens secure is quite simple. You just need to make sure that you have a complicated lock on the door and that the fence also goes a foot or two below the ground, as well as completely enclosing your chickens!
Trees And Bushes
While trees and bushes aren’t going to provide raccoons with food, they can often provide access to areas with food. If raccoons are able to climb and jump to places where they can eat, they’ll definitely try.
So make sure that your keeping your trees and bushes trimmed and if they’re providing access to other areas of your home, consider cutting those parts away.
And lastly, your vegetable garden can also be one of the attractions for raccoons as well. Raccoons are omnivores, so it’s not just meat that will attract raccoons, but vegetables and plants too!
So if you have a vegetable garden or lots of edible plants, you’ll need to keep them out of a raccoon’s paws. To do this, you can try placing things they hate the smell of down, such as onion, ammonia, and predator urine, but a more permanent fix is placing a fence around the area.
And lastly, the third reason that raccoons are staying in your home is that you’re providing them with an abundance of shelter. There are so many areas of your home where raccoons can rest and relax safely, without fear of predators.
As well as that, they’ll also want to keep their shelter close to their food source, so it’s no wonder they stay. Everywhere in your home is full of food, warmth, and safe from predators!
Some of the most common places you can find raccoons in your home are:
If there is one place raccoons absolutely love, it’s attics. As you can imagine, most attics are barely used, so they’re going to be a great place for raccoons to remain undisturbed. As well as that, they’re also some of the most insulated parts of the house, so raccoons aren’t going to have to worry about freezing up there.
Another place you can find raccoons is in your dog’s house. And this is one of the last places you want to find them. Raccoons aren’t overly intimidated by a lot of dogs, so if they’re in your dog’s house, they could end up becoming vicious.
The best thing to do in this situation is relocating your dog and then call a professional to deal with the problem.
Trees are one of the natural areas that raccoons choose to make their home. If there’s a tree hollow already, raccoons will have no problem turning it into a great nesting area for themselves.
If it’s a fruit tree in your garden, then it’s going to give them even more incentive to stay! Not only are they getting a place to stay, but they’re also getting free food as well!
And even if the wood has been removed from a tree, it doesn’t mean that raccoons still won’t live there. If there’s enough space in a wood pile near your home, then a raccoon will gladly make it their home too!
Your garage is another area where raccoons will love to live. While garages that are constantly in use are going to be a lot less appealing, if your garage is just a place you dump stuff, then it could be an ideal home for raccoons!
And lastly, just like garages, sheds can also be a great area for raccoons to make their home. It provides them enough safety and shelter, it’s close to their food source, and if you’re like me, it’s probably not getting used that much!
How Do You Get Raccoons To Leave?
If raccoons aren’t going to leave on their own, then it’s going to be up to you to get rid of them! While oftentimes the best thing you can do is call a professional, there are times when you may want to try and get rid of them yourself!
If this sounds like you, then you can try to do the following to get rid of raccoons!
Keep Your Trash Sealed
The first thing to do is make sure your trash is well-sealed. Raccoons enjoy searching through the trash for meals. Making sure they can’t get your trash will therefore make your home far less enticing to them.
Block Off Entry To Your Home
Additionally, you should also make sure that entrances to your property are blocked off too. It’s shocking all the different ways raccoons can enter your home. So you must consider less visible entrances, such as your chimney or cat flap, in addition to addressing any more obvious points of entry.
Remove Pet Food
Make sure that you take away pet food from your pets once they have finished eating. Unfortunately, leaving pet food out all day will also draw raccoons to your house.
Shine Bright Lights At The Raccoon
If you spot raccoons in your backyard or home, when you notice them, shine a bright light on them. This is going to scare them away instantly, and if you do it enough times, they’ll begin to feel like that area is unsafe.
Make Sure Trees And Hedges Are Trimmed
You should also make sure that trees and hedges around your house are trimmed as well. This is especially true when any of these things are touching your house. A lot of the time, trees can give raccoons access to your roof or other areas of the home they can enter.
Try Scare Tactics
Things that make noise can be used to scare raccoons away as well. Wind chimes could make a raccoon jump when the wind blows, or leaving a radio on can make it seem to the raccoon that there are people in the vicinity.
Motion Activation Systems
Motion-activated sprinklers and lights can also scare raccoons, so the next time they enter your property, they might be enough to scare them away!
Improve Your Fence
If you don’t have a fence, then you should think first of all install one to make it harder for raccoons to enter your premises. However, if you already have a fence, make sure that it also goes deep underground as well.
Not only are raccoons good at climbing, but they’re also good at digging, so you need to make sure you’re cutting off both ways in.
And lastly, predator urine can be an effective way to get rid of raccoons as well. Bobcats, cougars, and even domestic dogs are all predators to raccoons, so purchasing some predator urine is a great way to deter them!
What Smells Do Raccoons Hate?
There are also certain smells that raccoons absolutely hate as well! While they may only be a temporary solution, these smells can also provide an extra deterrent when combined with the tactics above!
Onion & Pepper
Raccoons hate the mixture that is made when you mix onion and pepper with some water! They will stay away from the places where it has been sprayed because the smell from this combination will temporarily disorient all of their nasal receptors.
Garlic may not be your favorite odor, but raccoons are going to detest it even more! Use garlic juice for the greatest outcomes because the fragrance from the juice is even stronger.
Irish Spring Soap
Found in most stores, Irish spring soap is another smell that raccoons absolutely detest! So try grating it and sprinkling it around the areas of your home you want to repel raccoons from!
Vinegar is another great choice for repelling raccoons. Just make sure to favor apple cider vinegar over white vinegar, as the smell is much more powerful!
Peppermint Essential Oil
There is some good news when it comes to scents that will deter raccoons. You can also use peppermint essential oil to deter raccoons if you don’t want your house to smell bad because while it will make your house smell great, raccoons are going to absolutely hate it!
Last but not least, hot pepper is one of the stronger aromas that raccoons abhor the most, so it’s worthwhile to try this too. Hot pepper will directly damage a raccoon’s nasal receptors, causing disorientation and making it challenging for them to find the meal they genuinely desire!
Here are some frequently asked questions that people have when it comes to raccoons and their nesting habits!
Do Raccoons Return To The Same Place To Nest?
Pregnant female raccoons always like to return to the same place they were born. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important to make sure you don’t let raccoons breed in your home. Otherwise, they’ll try to breed there again year after year.
Will Raccoons Leave Your Attic On Their Own?
If all of their needs are being met, it’s highly unlikely that raccoons are going to leave your attic on their own. Instead, you’ll need to use other deterrents to make sure you’re getting rid of them for good.
As you can see, it’s unlikely for raccoons to leave on their own; instead, you’ll need to do everything you can to remove them! But fortunately, with the right tactics, removing raccoons from your home can be simple. And in times when it’s harder, you’ll just need to find the right specialist!
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