Raccoons are the masked bandits of the urban world. They are famous for surviving in cities and suburbs by digging through garbage. They are also known to be major pests that can cause damage to your home and property.
If you have noticed raccoon damage around your home or suspect that the creatures are trying to move into your property, you may be asking yourself, “Why?” and “What should I do to get rid of them?” Read on to find out.
What Attracts Raccoons?
Typically, raccoons are attracted to your home or yard as part of their search for food and shelter. If you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees on your property, for instance, raccoons may be ruining your plants and digging up your yard as they feast.
Raccoons, like most mammals, like to build their homes in warm, dry locations. They tend to take up residence in chimneys, attics, and crawlspaces.
Are Raccoons Dangerous?
There are several health concerns related to raccoons that make them dangerous to have in and around your home. These include:
- Rabies: In the United States, raccoons are amongst the main carriers of the rabies virus. This virus is extremely dangerous for humans and pets.
- Roundworm Parasites: Raccoons that are infected with roundworm parasites leave eggs in their feces. Humans can become infected with the parasites by inhaling or ingesting these eggs.
- Giardiasis: Raccoons are known to carry this parasite which causes severe digestive problems in humans.
How Can I Get Rid of Raccoons?
The best way to get rid of raccoons is to make your home an unwelcome place. However, if your home has already been invaded, try the following:
- Identify All Entrance Points: Even if you believe that raccoons are only entering through one location, check the entire house for any additional breaches.
- Seal All But One Entrance: This will allow you to control their movement and ensure that they are totally gone.
- Pester the Pests: Shine lights in and around where the raccoons have made a den or play loud music near the site to scare them away.
Once you have confirmed that the raccoons have left your home, you can protect your property from being invaded again by:
- Installing Barriers: Secure all crawlspace entrances and chimneys with strong covers or screens. Weak wire and screens can be easily broken by raccoons.
- Using Natural Repellents: Products such as Shake-Away Large Animal Repellent scare away raccoons by emitting the scents of their natural predators. They are extremely effective and quite easy to apply.