How To Keep Raccoons Away From Your House

raccoon in a tree

There’s a lot to admire about raccoons. They are extremely smart, able to solve complex problems, and are also skilled survivalists. In fact, they are so good at adapting to their environment that populations are actually increasing as human populations rise rather than decreasing along with other wildlife. This may be an impressive feat, but it’s bad news for people in places like Boston where the increase in raccoon populations has led to an increase in property damage, disease spread, and contamination. The good news is that with the right expertise, it’s possible to protect your property from these clever critters. 

Are Raccoons Dangerous?

Although they may look innocent with their fluffy round bodies and wide eyes, raccoons are dangerous. Unlike other wildlife, they are able to get into garbage cans, often by knocking them over and spreading trash around your property. By covering themselves and your yard in contaminated materials, raccoons increase the risk of disease spread and parasite infestation. Not to mention, they are known carriers of rabies, a disease that makes them far more likely to approach and bite humans and pets. Even if they are not infected with rabies, they have been shown to violently attack pets, children, and adults when threatened. With teeth and claws as sharp as theirs, a raccoon attack will have serious consequences. You can see why it is never a good idea to intentionally feed or attempt to trap them without professional help!

Signs You Have A Raccoon Infestation

Raccoons leave a large footprint—literally! One clear sign that you’re dealing with a raccoon infestation is the appearance of four-inch footprints resembling hand prints in your yard.  

Other tell-tale signs of raccoons in or near your home include:

  • Dropping, or “scat,” located especially near the bases of trees, woodpiles, and similar areas.
  • Toppled trash cans and chewed garbage bags.
  • Strange sounds such as growls, snorts, snarls, and chattering.
  • Rapidly disappearing birdseed.
  • Scratch marks on your home or nearby structures.
  • Torn up insulation, interior wooden beams, siding, and shingles. 

What Attracts Raccoons to Your House?

It may not come as a surprise to you that the number one cause of rodent infestations is garbage. If they can smell your trash, they can find it. Whether inside or outside, these clever creatures will find a way to trace the scent of food to its source. Open trash cans and raccoon-sized openings into your home, such as uncapped chimneys, will only serve to increase the likelihood of infestations. They are also big fans of outdoor gardens and standing water which they can use as a water source. It goes without saying, but the worst thing you can do when it comes to wildlife is to feed them. Intentionally attracting raccoons to your home—no matter how harmless they look—puts you, your family, your pets, and your neighbors at risk.   

What Do Raccoons Eat?

Understanding what they eat helps make sense of why they are becoming such a problem in urban areas. In the wild, raccoons survive on birds, insects, seeds, nuts, and fruit. However, these hungry critters will choose human food, pet food, and birdseed over insects and nuts any day. Raccoons eat what is available, and in residential areas, that happens to be trash. This is why the growth of residential areas is actually resulting in an increase in raccoons.   

How To Get Rid of Raccoons

While DIY treatments may work for certain insects and small wildlife, the only safe and effective way to get rid of raccoons is with the help of a professional. That being said, there are a few things you can do to prevent raccoons from infesting your home:

  • Keep garbage secure with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Avoid feeding your pets or any wildlife outside.
  • Choose a wildlife-proof bird feeder.
  • Seal all access points into your building.
  • Ensure that your chimney is capped.
  • Remove any potential water sources.
  • Secure any outdoor gardens.

Are raccoons already a problem on your property? Don’t worry—there’s a solution for that too! Clancy Brothers Pest Control is right around the corner and ready to provide safe and humane raccoon removal. All it takes is a single phone call and our Massachusetts Certified PAC (Problem Animal Control) Agents will be at your door with the solutions to your wildlife problem. Contact us now to find out more about how you can get rid of raccoons the safe way.

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