Protecting Your Property from Raccoons
While it is hard not to find these mask faced, ringed tailed bandits adorable, raccoons in and around your home can be a real problem. Sure, they have a cute appearance, and look more like little cartoon characters than real pests, but they carry with them the possibility of disease and the destruction of your home and garage. If you have raccoons in your home, or are simply looking to fortify your property from them, below are some tactics to employ to remove raccoons from your home and keep them out for good.
Native to North America, raccoons live nearly everywhere in the United States. They are resourceful and intelligent, and are commonly drawn to human areas looking for food and shelter. If you have raccoons in or around your household, you have reason to be concerned. Despite their cute appearance, they can become easily irritated and aggressive, leading to safety concerns. Their bites could transmit parasites, or worse, rabies, which is why it is necessary to handle raccoon interactions with caution. Not only are they dangerous health wise, they can cause extreme damage to your home or property if not driven away.
If you have raccoons in your garage, attic, or elsewhere in your home, the first step is identifying how they are entering your property. Inspect your home and look for any possible openings that could allow raccoons to move in. If you do find a possible entrance, consider blocking the hole with a wad of cloth or newspaper. Leave this blockage in place for a few days. If you check back and the obstacle is still intact, chances are raccoons are not entering that way. If things have been moved around, you most likely have a new roommate.
Once you have found their entrance, you can start using some basic, humane tactics to remove your pest. Raccoons are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night and avoid light. Try installing motion activated lights in many places around your property. This will hopefully scare away any raccoons looking for food around your property and may help drive out any resident raccoons as well.
Typically, a trio of tactics is necessary: light, smell, and sound. Try placing a radio in the area you believe the raccoon is residing in. Raccoons do not like human interaction, and the sound of a radio set to a news talk station will deter them from coming close. If you are aiming to simply keep raccoons away, try placing the radio near your garbage cans or other attractive areas at night.
Raccoons are also not fond of unpleasant smells. Cider vinegar, ammonia, and mothballs are all smelly items that can help drive out and deter raccoons. If you believe raccoons are entering your home through your chimney, consider placing a bowl of cider vinegar at the bottom of your fireplace. If these basic tactics are not working, the help of a professional pest remover may be necessary.
Raccoon waste can also be an issue. If you have had a longtime resident raccoon or two in your home, their feces could be potentially dangerous. Raccoon feces carry roundworm eggs, which are dangerous to human health. If you are cleaning up the area on your own, be sure to follow disease preventative measures to ensure your safety. If you are unsure, call an expert to assist you.
Once the raccoon is out of your home, the next step is preventing reentry. Many people are able to remove raccoons from their house, but fail at sealing up every possible entry way, and encounter the same problem over and over again. First, be sure that every raccoon has been removed. Never seal off the raccoons entryway if the animal is still inside your home. Once you are sure everyone has been removed, cover all possible points of entry with heavy duty material. Use sheet metal or wire mesh to close all openings to your home.
Food and shelter are the two major draw ins for raccoons. In your attempt to keep these pests from your home, remember to properly store garbage in locked containers and keep pet food indoors during the night. Also consider bringing your bird feeders in during the night as well, as these are also common food sources for raccoons.
If the pesky critters still are drawn to your property, you may consider fencing. Common yard fences will do nothing to deter raccoons, so look into electrified fences to keep them out. If raccoons are using a tree or other tall object to access your roof or property, consider wrapping the tree with electrified fencing as well. The electricity does not need to be on during the day when raccoons are commonly sleeping. Simply turn the fence on at night to keep them away while they are active.
Raccoons and other pests in your home can be serious problems. For more useful tips or to inquire about the services we offer in the Chicagoland area, contact Blue Sky Builders online or call (630) 852-8485. We have successfully served customers throughout the area for nearly four decades.