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Alleycat8782's avatar

Ways to stop a raccoon from returning to your yard?

Asked by Alleycat8782 (779points) July 6th, 2010

There is this raccoon that is causing destruction in our yard. First he has taken down many of the bird feeders that have been hanging on tree trunks for the birds to eat. He has left a mess in our yard from opening up the garbage. Lastly, tonight he has been trying to get the sugar water that is hanging on our window that is for the hummingbirds. We think that he lives in the side of our yard, because we always see him running to that area. If there is any advice you can give me to stop him from returning, it would be very helpful.

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27 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar

Shoot it…..

superneil21's avatar

Well one permanent solution is to shoot the raccoon. Assuming your neighbors aren’t to close

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Do not shoot the raccoon. Besides, there are laws against that in most places.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, just install a pet door, then he will leave your yard alone and just pilfer the inside of your house. lol

My giant night time pal just poked his head in about 3 minutes ago.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

You are offering too many treats! No wonder he keeps coming back. He does not know these are not for him.

Change when you keep your trash can. Modify your bird feeders so they are not comfortable for raccoons.

superneil21's avatar

You could get a lame humane trap. Then drive to the hills or whatever and dump him. Or get lots of Decon and some raw hamburger meat.

Alleycat8782's avatar

I can’t just shoot the raccoon, although I would love to do that haha. Besides these bird feeders are really high I have no idea how this raccoon is getting to them.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Don’t live trap him and dump him in the woods. In most areas, you cannot release an animal unless you are trained to know the signs of the miriad diseases they may contract. If someone can convince a jury you dumped the rabid raccoon in their area, you could be liable for all the livestock that has to be destroyed.

Call an exterminator or animal control. Despite the title, not all exterminators kill the pest animals they remove.

Raccoons roost in trees. It keeps them safe from most of the predators that are big enough to take one on. They also hunt eggs and young birds and reptiles.

JLeslie's avatar

My neighbor sets traps, and they seem to work. However, I do want to say that he has troubles with raccoons and I never do. I see them, but they have never bothered anything on my property, they just walk by the back of my house sometimes (single file like ducklings) in the middle of the night. The difference between his yard and mine is he has stuff they want. Bird houses that the racoons raid, and other things out that they like to eat. I do keep my trash outside but it is in a trashcan that is almost impossible to tip or get into.

Th eone thing I find kind of funny, is I don’t see how catching a raccoon or two will fix the problem, I assume their is a whole extended family. Like if I see a roach in my house, I figure I have to fumigate the whole house.

Coloma's avatar


I’m sorry but you are waay out there and misinformed with some of your deductions.

No one is ‘trained’ to know diseases.

Short of unusual presentation like a normally noctural animal being out during the day, diseases need to be tested for.

A Raccoon out at night is most likely a healthy Raccoon as they are noctural for the most part.

Raccoons don’t ‘roost’..they den.

They might kill a chicken but they don’t attack ‘livestock.’ lol
The odds of being taken to court for relocating a Raccoon are about the same as being struck by lightening while simultaniously being devoured by a bear. lol

Really..I’m sorry…but where did you come up with all of this?

I live on property in the foothills of Northern Ca. and am surrounded by everything imaginable from Raccoons to Mountain Lions.

There are tons of trapping services that will relocate unwanted wildlife as well as local wildlife rescues. The thing IS….relocating one doesn’t usually make a dif. If you LIVE in a wildlife area..well..there will be wildlife!

I had a neighbor once that was from the city and wanted to ‘sue’ the county because a Skunk blew up under his deck and he felt it had ruined the wood. lolololololol

zophu's avatar

Get a moose. There are few things as frightening as a moose.

deathmoose. . . i may be drunk.

zophu's avatar

eggs-actly! scariest thing ever. raccoons understand

judochop's avatar

I’ve had words with a Raccoon. I seriously would suggest bitch slapping that thing with something hard. Don’t kill it, you don’t even have to really hurt it but make sure it gets your point.

Coloma's avatar

I happen to like my naughty raccoon…I even named him..Ringo! haha

As long as he stays outside the house, we’re good. I can spare a little cat food.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Post two guards every night, one in front and one in back, with shotguns and instructions to shoot to kill any and all raccoons. That should do it. : ))

jazmina88's avatar

@coloma I’m surprised you didnt name him rocky…....

Coloma's avatar


Hey..Rocky Ringo, gangsta coon. lol

betterdays's avatar

We’re having terrible problems with raccoons at our house too right now. We don’t have any type of feeders anywhere, and don’t have any dogs or cats, so it’s a mystery why they’re even coming around. What these pesky twits are doing is climbing up to our second decks and going “poo”!!! We’ve tried the live traps (and they work), but they have to be released at least ten miles away or they will find their way home. The only way we have found to control them from getting on the decks, other than trapping, is to block off the decks with gates that they can’t climb over.

We checked with our local DNR officers and were told that it is illegal to trap and relocate them, so you might want to check into what your local laws are concerning this.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Coloma I work for a state wildlife biologist/trapper. We are trained to observe symptoms, and know what potential diseases are related to said symptoms. When we live trap an animal for relocation, we have to quarantine the animal to make sure it is disease free, or take it to the vet for shots and an exam. We also must release them in an approved area, we can’t just dump them anywhere we want.

30 years of trapping/hunting raccoons, when they migrate, they tree (I mistakenly used roost previously). It takes too much energy to build a den they are not going to occupy for a length of time. They prefer dens, but when one is not available they will tree.

Rabid raccoons can and will attack anything.

I will grant the chances of you getting caught releasing an animal are slim, and the criminal penalties are less than they should be. But if you are convicted criminally, you are financially liable for anything a good lawyer can convince a jury is your fault.

Coloma's avatar


Thanks for the clarifications..I am a very articulate type so I tend to read exactly whats written and take it at face value.

I also have a background in wildlife rehab and am familiar wth my counties regulations.

You did not clarify that you were talking about rabid raccoons attacking livestock, of course any rabid animal will be at high risk for random attacks on anythng. In general Raccoons do not attack livestock.

Your regulations are very different from California.

Animals that are either rescued and rehabbed by state rehab workers or trappers are not required to be quarantined or vaccinated prior to release. Obviously yes, suspicious symptoms would be evaluated in both of these instances if they were present.

If this has changed in the last few years I am not aware of it.

In California the rabies risk runs highest in skunks and bats, I am not sure what the stats are after that. Foxes and Coyotes are the most common species after Skunks, Opossums, Raccoons. The larger cats have not had an incidence in forever to my knowledge, nor have any black bears.

I also know that the rabies virus does not survive long in a dead host, maybe 24 hours dependent on temp. so transmission must occur by a bite or contact with saliva to an open wound…air born rabies can occur in dense populations of bats in caves on rare occasion.

I found this out when discovered a dead Raccoon in my yard and moved it with gloves.

Thanks for the clarifications….and again, taking in to account that laws vary from state to state.

Locally most released animals are taken to BLM lands or private properties with permisson form the landowners.

In my area everyone is on 5–20+ acre ranch properties with tons of raw land in between, with a major river and correspondant BLM wildlands…plenty of space to relocate without issue still.

icehky06's avatar

I live right by the woods so I have some good experience. You should really spray your trash with ammonia. I wouldn’t recommend spraying your yard with the stuff considering all the wildlife you welcome to your yard. I hope it helps!

zophu's avatar

motion-activated sprinkler

Maybe something like that would work. But, it looks like that particular product isn’t available anymore. and it was super-expensive anyway. cool idea though

Beauing747's avatar

Get a dog. One that can be traned to heel and attack. Hard to believe but wiener dogs instill fear into many wild animals. But they don’t heel…

Alleycat8782's avatar

@Beauing747 I can’t get a dog, my parents both deliver the mail, and hate dogs.

My mom ordered some type of solar device that is a high pitch sound that only animals can hear and I guess it’s supposed to keep them away (I hope). We are going to try that and see how that works out. Thanks for all of your suggestions.

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

Get a dog :) It’ll scare away the raccoon.

Lakegal's avatar

I also have trouble with raccoons using my deck and side yard for a latrine. Disgusting!! I am sooo sick of these critters. It even got into my hummingbird feeder last summer.. What the!? Moth balls spread everywhere seem to help. Cayenne pepper in the bird feeder did nothing! I’m down to one bird feeder hanging very high! Unfortunately I can’t see the birds very well! Ha!

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