Raccoons. Lovely small animals which have taken the Internet captive and competed successfully with foxes, puppies, and kittens. The timid, slightly dismayed look of a raccoon moves citizens. Unfortunately, these animals are not always so good as in photos. Most often, quite the contrary.
What is the most affective raccon repellent? Yes, repellents look cool, especially for those who are lazy. Pepper, peppermint, tarragon, garlic, various essential oils, castor oil, diatomaceous earth, and putrescent egg solids, animals' enemies urine or dried blood. But do natural (organic) raccoon deterrents work? Here you'll learn all the truth and find TOP-3 electronic raccoon repellers.
Table of contents:
1. Raccon facts: behavior and habits
- Where do raccoons live?
- Damage caused by raccoons
- Raccoon diseases: roundworm, rabies
- What to do if you have been bitten by a raccoon?
2. How to repel raccoons?
3. How to catch raccoons?
RACCOON FACTS: behavior and habits
In Indian dialect, raccoons were called «arakun», which means “the one who scratches with one’s hands. Then the pair of sounds were lost, and «arakun» changed into «raccoon». It is their claws, their hands similar to that of humans, and the capability to do things with those claws and hands that turned raccoons into a real threat to agriculture and even ecological balance. Let’s consider in detail.
Raccoons live usually in damp forests, but when a village or a town grows up nearby, they prefer to settle closer because of warmth and abundant food. The town is preferable because there are a lot of holes where raccoons can live: these are marmots’ passages in gardens, garages, basements, attics, desolate houses and rubbish heaps. A raccoon can be easily distinguished from any other beast: though it looks like rather small and fat dog, it is painted quite as a robber – black hair on its snout resemble the mask of a robber.
It is a very ancient animal: the ancestors of raccoons lived on the territories of France and Germany 25 million years ago! Now they quite succeed in terrorizing the USA farmers: the example is the state of Illinois. Once the trills of birds sounded over its fields, but now song-birds are threatened by complete disappearance – multiplied raccoons eat eggs and ruin nests without missing a forest corner. Only eggs are not enough, that is why the last 20 years the farmers of Illinois haven’t been waiting for a harvest – raccoons having been eating everything at the root.
Especially irritating is the fact that after having taken a bite of a corn-cob or a head of cabbage a raccoon gives it up and passes to another one.
There is nobody to blame except the person himself: the increase of raccoons population has occurred because a huge amount of town wastes has given rich forage to the beasts. Their skilled little hands dig out every in the slightest degree eatable product out of rubbish hills. As a result they prosper and multiply.
If there were only birds’ eggs…. Let’s see the Europe in 1346 year. The hordes of rats which had flooded towns in the search of forage brought the “black death” – plague. Then 60 millions of people, virtually every second, had perished. Nowadays, raccoons are ready to play this role, despite their lovely and defenseless appearance.
It is true that they are seldom ill when in wild nature. But having settled in a town they become victims of civilization and can transmit dangerous, sometimes fatal diseases.
Raccoon diseases (transmitted by raccoons):
- canine distemper;
- panleucopenia (cat plague);
- listerosis, etc.
Raccoons suffer from paresis, paralysis, dermatitis, conjunctivitis and, moreover, transmit the causative agents on their hair.
Ascarides in the raccoon’s body don’t harm their host, but are extremely dangerous for persons and home animals. In addition, raccoons carry lots of itch mites, lice and fleas as well as parasitic worms.
One more disease, rabies, is a very serious argument to start raccoon removal.
Equally with foxes, wolves and raccoon dogs, raccoons are referred to as the commonest transmitters of rabies. Only this may make the bite of a raccoon fatal. According to the information that we were able to find on the web site of DEEP, thousands of raccoons have become infected since 1991 only in Connecticut State.
RABIES is a viral disease which causes the inflammation of encephalon. The disease is fatal, its consequences are not reversible. When the diseased animal bites somebody, it transmits rabies with its saliva. By 2011, only 9 cases of curing humans of rabies are known though they are doubtful. And this is the result of 500 years of the disease history! In June of 2011, the physicians of the paediatric hospital at California University cured 8-year-old aged Prishos Rainolds using the Milwaukee protocol. The Milwaukee protocol artificially leads the patient into a coma by using antiviral drugs. Up to the moment, only 6 cases of survival have been recorded.
In this case the main thing to do is not to panic and follow these instructions:
- Treat the bitten spot with any available antiseptic, alcohol, iodine.
- Call the doctor immediately to eliminate the risk to catch rabies to avoid the risk of exposure to rabies.
- If wild raccoons have been observed in your territory, you must vaccinate yourself and your home animals against rabies.
There are quite numerous ways – from ordinary hunting to sound repellents – to drive raccoons out of your territory. Raccoons and most other small animals may be repelled by adding a single electrified wire strand to a fence, advices The Texas Wildlife Damage Management Service. Place the wire 8 inches from the fence and 8 inches above the ground. To begin with, you should identify a whole number of these beasts which are unlikely to be regarded as small animals: the weight of a raccoon averages from 4 to 22 pounds. Then it is worth to understand what you want to do: to eliminate, expel or just repel? To repel is the simplest way. You may try to use the following measures.
There exist lots of traditional animal infestation treatment methods, but once you start looking for a ready-to-use natural Animal Deterrent and Repellent Spray, you’ll find that no special products for repelling each individual species, such as raccoons, squirrels, rats, rabbits or other small animals/rodents are available. As a rule such items are marketed as universal ones and they contain multi-action active ingredients.
The scientists from University of Florida explain that “Most of these deterrents operate through one of several mechanisms: odor aversion, taste aversion, or fear inducement”. Pepper, peppermint, tarragon, garlic, various essential oils, castor oil, diatomaceous earth, and putrescent egg solids are considered to be the so-called contact plant origin repellents operate through the first and the second mechanisms. The third type of repellents contains the ingredients of animal origin, such animals' enemies urine (such as coyotes or foxes), dried blood and hair induce pests animals’ panic and make them flee, as confirmed by the University of Massachusetts Amherst specialists. So ecologists, such as Larimer Human Society, recommend to spray houses, rubbish bins and plants with the mixture of Tabasco or strong crushed Cayenne pepper, water and detergent fluid in order to repel raccoons.
Yes, repellents look cool, especially for those who are lazy. We all wish for a miracle that once we buy a bottle of the product and spray it all over the place, all of the annoying pests leave for good and never come back. This is what usually the manufacturers of such repellents promise, they claim that the taste or the odor of a repellent will avert the pests and drive them away from any treated objects or plants. Is that really so? It is partly true, but there are several disclaimers to be taken into account.
Theoretically, any of the above mentioned ingredients is effective. However, without a systematic approach the effect doesn’t last long because the animal would get used to the stimulus and understand that it is not lethal.
Havahart, Shake Away, Eco Defense, Ortho, Bonide, Expel and others are the renowned brands manufacturing animal repellents. The ingredients of these products will likely differ, but their effect is pretty similar. The manufacturers constantly improve their products and constantly try to advance their effectiveness. We won’t recommend you any particular repellent as you can choose the suitable one by yourself in the Animal Repellents category on Amazon.com. The prices for the Animal Repellents start from $12.
1. This may be an ultrasonic signal which is heard at a raccon appearance within the area of vision of motion sensor of ultrasonic electronic repeller.
2. Or – and this is also not bad alternative when an animal slightly bigger than a cat invades your territory – electronic sprinklers get into work, such as Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion Activated Sprinkler (~$79). This is safely for nature, animals and people. To tell the truth, your neighbors may object, especially in case their dog constantly visits your yard.
Essential reading: “TOP-3 best Motion Activated Sprinklers”
We have carefully studied the market of up-to-date electronic repellents and introduce to you in this survey the bestselling devices which protect you against bothering raccoons, great lovers of city rubbish and alien possessions. Of course, we have considered the experience of Amazon.com customers. Check out our product review.
Top-3 Electronic Raccoon Repellents
Fulcrum 20031-101 Motion Sensor LED Porch Light, Silver
4,4 out of 5 stars
This lamp was given a place in our TOP not without purpose. It is a splendid variant with a motion sensor for street lighting of the porch, that is why the lamp is a best-seller on Amazon.com. Fortunately, its light also irritates raccoons very much thus keeping them away from house. And many people initially buy it not only as a lighting device, and as a remedy against raccoons.
Fulcrum Porch Light is placed in different places: on a porch, in front of the hen house, and near to trash cans, and near the pond - it turns out, it works. But we do not recommend placing the device in the open air, it is unlikely it will be able to cope with long heavy rain or snow – and will be broken then. Some users have noted that after heavy rain water may enter the device - it is better to fill all joints with silicone sealant to avoid such trouble. Fulcrum is working on batteries, making it easy-to-use and portable, and, according to users, a charge of 4 C batteries can last for about 6 months because Aa motion sensor starts to work only at nights.
In fact, just a few people know how useful is this porch light in getting rid of raccoons, but those who have understood it are very satisfied with his work. A usual review of the customer is: «I got this light to keep raccoons out of my garbage cans. For the first few days, they still knocked the cans over but ran off before tearing open the garbage bags when the light turned on. After those first few days, they have not been back». A small Fulcrum Porch Light price - from $19.97 - is also an advantage of this product that is noted by many users.
Price: ~$19.97 Check the current price
Yard Sentinel - Electronic Pest & Animal Control Repellent with Motion Sensor
3,3 out of 5 stars
Yard Sentinel Repeller is a universal unit: it helps get rid of rats and squirrels, now it’s the turn of raccoons. They appear not to like it as well. So we can recommend this device as a universal electronic repeller for outdoors based on Amazon.com customers' reviews.
Their experience shows that if you use the devices stated in the manual, it works. In order to get rid of raccoons, you just to have set it on the nighttime mode and placed outdoors where you need. One of the customers tells that once some raccoons eat small goldfishes and disturb water lilies in his fish pond and then he had decided to purchase Yard Sentinel. He mounted it below the window and aimed downward towards the pond – the trouble is solved just for ~$39.99.
Customers like to give tips to future users of Yard Sentinel. One of the helpful tip among about 1300 reviews is: “You may use auxiliary devices for this repeller, e.g., a wireless remote switch to turn on/off the unit as necessary (such as Etekcity Wireless Controlled Electrical Switch). If you release dogs or cats for the night, it will be very comfortable. Otherwise, the unit will react on your pets and frighten them”. Also, customers recommend to reinsure and save the unit from rain despite the manufacturer’s information about its water resistance. Whenever possible, hang it under awning or any covering.
Price: ~$39.99 Check the current price
3,7 out of 5 stars
This electronic repellent costs $18.52 and is able to drive raccoons, skunks, coyotes and some other animals away from your area. Don’t pay attention at its rating slightly below 4 stars: this repeller isn't universal and can't work with equal effectiveness against all wild animals. But it works fine against raccoons. It uses the power of solar batteries: at day it absorbs the sun energy, at twilight it gets into work automatically in order to guard the yard during your sleep. The red light which it irradiates is a very powerful irritant for raccoons so they prefer to escape.
Some of the most popular places for placing the device is next to the pond and next to the chicken coop. But you have to replace repellers every week otherwise raccoons an other animals will get used to lights and learn to go all round their static sources.
Note! There is no a motion sensor in a Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Light so it will be blinking automatically for the whole night till up the dawn! But some of the users like this blinking lights and said that it looks like a security system at night and they don't worry about their houses' at nights. Someone on Amazon asks “Won’t these lights trouble my neighbors?” Our tip is don’t set it exactly opposite neighbors' house and everything will be all right!
It is not expensive and people noted that they are "so impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness of this product». Of course, all personal opinions differ and we recommend you read over 800 customer reviews on Amazon.com to create your own opinion about Nite Guard.
Price: ~$24.79 Check the current price
You have already known how to repel raccoons. The next level is catching the raccoon. To catch raccoons is the ungrateful business, because they are cunning and are rarely tricked by a hunter. Nevertheless, many people prefer to catch a pest and not to drive it away.
We are going to give you some advices on raccoon catching. Raccoons are very curious animals, besides, like all dog-like animals, they are always hungry. That is why they can be domesticated so promptly.
Here is the first advice: don’t tame the catched raccoon. Keep in mind that it is a transmitter of diseases and parasites. You are unlikely to cure it quickly. To place a raccoon in quarantine till its full recovery is expensive and rather long.
The second advice is concerned with the way of catching. A trap is a very cruel device which is most likely to crush the paws and thin heads of animals. Sometimes checking traps is not performed for days and a bleeding animal may suffer more than a day. That is why a cage with a falling door is used more often. If you think about buying electronic traps for raccoons, forget this idea, it is forbidden by law in many states.
A cage for a raccoon should be strong. It must have a net with big holes. The flooring is made of thick natural planks which are difficult to gnaw through. The base of a cage is a welded metal frame. As a raccoon bait you may use raw liver with a strong sharp smell, fresh poultry or fish meat, forage for home animals. Strange though it may seem but raccoons like such treating very much. If you decided to keep a forest robber as a pet, you would frequently observe the scene when a raccoon steals the cat food.
We are glad to introduce the brand of Havahart: live catch traps of this brand show the best results in the field of humane catching of raccoons as well as that of trapping squirrels. The following trap is the best to catch raccoons.
Havahart 1079 Live Animal Professional-Style One-Door Raccoon, Groundhog, Opossum, and Stray Cat Cage Trap
4,4 out of 5 stars
Naturally this trap is slightly larger than the items of a similar kind because it is intended for larger animals – raccoons, groundhogs, opossums, marmots, wild cats and others. This is a real American product, an absolute leader among similar live catch raccoon traps on Amazon that costs $47.42.
The number of captured animals differ in different customers' reviews, but always large: one man shared that in less than 45 days, he caught 13 raccoons using Havahart 1079 Live Trap. He also noted that even after long using of the trap it continued to be intact and non-rusted - while other users have noted that in the outdoors it is destroyed fastly. Conclusion: keep clean your raccoon trap, and it lasts long.
By the way, many people use marshmallow as bait for a trap- it's inexpensive, effective and, importantly, it attracts raccoons, not cats or other animals. You can catch about one raccoon per a night.
It is also important to provide for the fixedness of a trap. One tip about how to get it that gives by one of the users: «I used some camping (tent) stakes and tied nylon ties to them so I could pull the stakes out safely with some pliers using the nylon ties». More tips you'll find on Amazon.com
Price: ~$46 Check the current price
Perhaps you already know what raccoons live near your home, if they behave disgracefully for a long time. If they are large, you should pay attention to Havahart 1081 Live Animal Large Raccoon Trap (~$87.43). It has heavy-duty construct and, according to promises of the manufacturer, is used by professional trappers, too.
In addition to ordinary raccoon baits, such as raw meat, there are manufactured products such as natural lures (since the aim is not to kill a raccoon but just to lure it into a live catch trap). If you are not willing to deal with human food and prefer manufactured raccoon baits, we advise to use the next item. Read our product review:
Pro-Pest Professional Raccoon Lure/Bait
3.4 out of 5 stars
We recommend adding non-toxic Pro-Pest Raccoon Bite to meat or any other bait to achieve better results. Just imagine, raccoons are fond even of watermelons and not only that. Amazon customers give some tips about using this lure:
1. "Take half an apple, put 2 tablespoons of bait on the top - and put it in a cage. Everything is ready, raccoons in a cage! "
2. "Using this lure I caught 3 raccoons for a week, I do not understand why some complain that it does not work for them".
3. "At first I was surprised by the small size of the package (but in fact it only costs $14.95), and then I saw that it works: 4 raccoons was caught. By the way, to keep a strong fruity smell of the bait, store it in a tight package zip".
Before catching a raccoon, consult a specialist on animals catching. Maybe, it is prohibited to do this in your state. A raccoon is a fur-bearing animal to hunt for. So you need to clear up if you may catch it at this period of the year, how you may capture it best if you may keep it for yourself or, on the contrary, kill it. You'd need to check with your local PD to be sure. If you don’t do this and perform wrong actions, you are likely to be imposed a great fine.
Remember: In some states killing racoons is legal and in others - illegal.
So you'd better not use different poisons for raccoons including rat poison baits. All detergents are also poisons for raccoons. If the animal suddenly dies in your home, you are unlikely to find it and will be chased by the putrid smell for many mouths. Worse if you kill the raccoon mother: her young will perish in some days after crawling all over your house and the smell will be everywhere, as a dead rat smell. It’s cruel and not effective.
So we don't recommend you to destroy raccoons: you have to catch them fastly in live catch traps and free them in specific places. If you don’t do this and perform the wrong actions, you are likely to be imposed a great fine.
It will be much easier not to catch or kill raccoons but to prevent their appearance at your area. You only need to perform some simple steps:
1. Don’t give raccoons the opportunity to get closer to the sources of feeding. Check up if your garbage bags are strong enough so they can’t be torn or gnawed through. Hide away the food products at the kitchen. Lock up the bins, put bricks on their covers, or use special products such as :
- Trash can stopper
It's a special fixer of trash can covers will protect its contents safely and will give no chance to a raccoon to search its forage inside it. It’s better than any brick! The cheapest is about $15.97.
- Special trash bags
There are trash bags with the mint scent which repels raccoons so they aren’t willing to dig inside them anymore. You may also use the bags inside your house if raccoons are bold so that they risk to get into the territory of your dwelling. Amazon customers recommend using Mint-X Plastic Rodent Raccoon Repellent Kitchen Trash Bags.
2. Turn off the water so that raccoons have no motive to get into garden or kitchen to drink.
3. Install metal or synthetic nets into your windows, especially in basement and attic. These nets are intended to prevent animals and birds getting into. A seller will consult you.
4. Block every entrance into a raccoon hole except one. Moisten some tennis balls with ammonia and push them inside – raccoons will leave.
5. If you have a pond, set concrete plates with sharp metal pins directed up at all shallow places along the perimeter. Don’t forget to warn your guests of this and strictly control your children!
6. Prevent garbage and food smelling at your house; take away all crumbs after picnic or barbecue have finished – don’t leave them till morning. Wash up dishes immediately after eating in order not to attract raccoons by food fragrance.
7. Make a fence around your garden – it will puzzle raccoons.
So you can see that it will be easier to get rid of raccoons if you take care of it before: take away leavings of food, close swimming-pool with netting, not give animals the opportunity to get into garden or house. If raccoons damage your plants and the territory to be treated is too large, you would better call specialists. They are registered to capture or shoot wild animals. The voluntary massive elimination of animals may be appreciated as poaching.
If raccoons have already come to you, repellents and humane traps are the best ways. To be generous to weak creatures is the privilege of man. We appeal to follow the humane ways of getting rid of animal pests, use repellents and Live Catch Traps instead of poisons every time it is possible.