While raccoons may be adorable, they can also cause a lot of havoc at your home. They can knock down trash cans while searching for food, but that is the least of their damage. Female raccoons looking for places to nest have been known to rip apart shingles, tear up insulation, and even rip down fascia boards.
If a raccoon gets inside your attic, garage, or chimney, then you may find yourself with whole new set of problems. They will be defecating inside your home, which can attract other parasites. Plus, the raccoons will want food while they are hanging around. This may mean your garden is raided or they may clean out your pet’s food bowl. It can also mean digging through your trash or attacking the fish in your koi pond.
Raccoons can be quite destructive, so it is better to avoid attracting them in the first place. Take these six steps to keep them out of your yard and house.
- Secure Your Garbage. Easily accessible trash is like a beacon to raccoons. You want to take appropriate steps to keep them from discovering your trash and being able to dig around in there. Make sure that your can has a secure and heavy lid. If you find that your lid may not be enough of a deterrent, try using a bungee cord to keep it in place, and keep the raccoons out.
- Don’t Leave Pet Food Out. If you have outdoor pets, you obviously have to feed them outdoors. However, you don’t want to leave food out in your pet’s bowls all day and all night. This will attract raccoons and other scavenging animals which may pose a danger to your pet’s health. After feeding time, bring the bowls back inside to avoid offering a buffet to the raccoons.
- Watch Your Bird Feeders. While you may love feeding the birds, you need to make sure that you aren’t also feeding raccoons. There are several different types of bird feeders that make it difficult for raccoons or squirrels to steal from your feathered friends, but you also have the option of simply bringing the feeders inside at night if it is too much of a problem.
- Do Your Yard Maintenance. If you have fruit or nut trees in your yard, then you will want to take some time to pick up any of the fallen fruit or nuts. Fruit that is just laying about in your yard will be very enticing for the raccoons that may be roaming the neighborhood.
- Add a Fence. If you have a garden, compost pile, or even a fish pond in your yard, you may want to add an electrified fence around it. A normal fence will not be enough to keep out a raccoon, but by adding even one electrified strand, you will have a much more serious deterrent. You may even want to consider adding an electric fence if you have any newly installed turf, as the raccoons will be tempted to dig around for the grubs and worms.
- Never Purposely Feed Them. Again, raccoons are cute. The babies can be especially adorable. If you see an adorable raccoon family, you may be tempted to leave some food out on the edge of your property to feed those sweet little masked babies, but if you don’t want the raccoons making themselves at home, then you should never leave out food for them.
If you find yourself with a raccoon problem, you will want to call SWAT Wildlife right away to take care of the issue. SWAT uses humane methods to prevent injury and stress while getting the raccoons off of your property. However, it is good to remember that the best cure is prevention!