How to Rid a Garden of Raccoons

Overview

Raccoons have a cute exterior and many people enjoy watching them. As human habitats encroach on wildlife habitats, however, raccoons become a problem to both homeowner and gardener. Unfortunately, raccoons are wild animals that often attack domestic animals and can carry rabies and harbor parasites. Take these steps to make your yard less attractive to roving raccoons, which are nocturnal and normally do not appear in the garden until after sunset. Raccoons are omnivores so they enjoy consuming trash but will also dig up a tasty vegetable garden.

Step 1

Place a radio outside in the garden and keep the volume low so neighbors are not disturbed. The raccoon a wild animal that does not enjoy the sound of the human voice. A radio will often keep skittish raccoons at bay.

Step 2

Place garden lights or sensor lights in the garden. The lights will be triggered by the movement of the raccoon. When the bright light is triggered on, most raccoons will run away. Placing solar-powered lights that come on when the sun sets will also help keep raccoons out of the garden.

Step 3

Pick up any trash around the garden area. Make sure all trash cans have lids firmly locked in place.

Step 4

Carry bird feeders indoors every evening because many raccoons are attracted to birdseed. Rake up the fallen birdseed each evening. Store bags of birdseed in a garage, garden shed or other area the raccoon cannot reach.

Step 5

Place dishrags soaked in ammonia and vinegar near holes or entrances in the fence line raccoons may use to enter the garden. The raccoon will not wish to come into contact with the unpleasant odor.

Step 6

Avoid feeding or watering house pets outdoors. Many people feed local cats outside and this practice should be avoided since it readily attracts raccoons. If feeding a pet outside, remove all the food from the garden area prior to nightfall.

Step 7

Place an electric fence around the garden using two wires of fencing. Always use an electric fence controller/charger for gardens so animals or humans are not injured or killed when they come into contact with the wire. Electric fence controllers or chargers work by pulsing at low voltage. Many models are solar powered. Place the first wire 2 inches above the ground and the second wire 2 inches above the first wire. Attach to fence posts using electric wire insulators. Most raccoons, after being shocked one time, never return.

Tips and Warnings

  • Trapping raccoons can prove dangerous. A raccoon is a wild animal and will attack if cornered. It will bite fingers or anything that comes into contact with the wire mesh of the trap. Local laws often prohibit the use of traps for wild animals by novices so check with your local authorities.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric garden fence charger
  • Electric fence wire
  • Fence poles
  • Fence insulators for electric fence
  • Sensor light
  • Solar-powered garden lights.
  • Garbage cans with secure lids
  • Radio

References

  • Raccoon Tracks: How To Get Rid Of Raccoons Without Hurting Them
  • Florida Wildlife Control: How To Get Rid Of Raccoons
  • Internet Center For Wildlife Damage Management: Raccoon Control and Management Information
  • Michigan State University: Repelling Raccoons
  • Iowa State University: Raccoons

Who Can Help

  • University of Missouri: Managing Raccoon Problems In Missouri
Keywords: raccoons in garden, removing raccoons, managing raccoons

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.