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how to get rid of raccoon problems??

Has anyone ever had raccoon problems?

I have a really bad raccoon problem in my neighborhood and I just don’t know how to make them go away. One of my neighbors had a family of raccoons live in their shed. She didn’t want to evacuate them because they had babies. I had never seen such a disgusting amount of poop in my life when we walked in there. It smelled strongly of raccoon. They tore down that shed when the babies grew up.

My last straw was when they destroyed my garden. I built a square foot garden and grew a beautiful crop of corn. I woke up one morning to find stalks and half-gnawed corn everywhere. That was it! :x

I’ve heard that raccoons have the same tastebuds as humans do, so that probably explains their penchant for going through our garbage and garden.

Does anyone here have any suggestions for how to get rid of raccoons? I would really appreciate it! I have heard De-Fence raccoon spikes work well, but have yet to try it personally. :D

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Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: how to get rid of raccoon problems??

I live on a farm so we have lots of wildlife that try to eat my garden. I have a 5 ft fence of poultry netting, (wish it was 6ft but it works) around my garden to keep the deer out. I wish I had dug the netting down in the ground about a foot to keep out pocket gophers but that is another thing. But I also have to have two strings of electric fence around the poultry fence to keep out raccoons or they climb over. I know no other way except to exterminate.

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Re: how to get rid of raccoon problems??

Raccoons are not only pesky and pesty, they are very smart. I was lucky that they didn't bother the garden but everything else they could destroy they did. We live in a very small town so it is like being in the country. even the larger towns and cities have raccoon problems. Electric fence may work in the country but is not practical in town.

Our University Extension has a very knowledgeable "critter" guy and he gets asked about all kinds of deterrents and he says none of them work. Since it illegal to trap them and move them the only real solution is to live trap and euthanize. I did just that. Some people are not able to kill wildlife no matter how much of a pest they are. I felt bad but after not having raccoons in the bird feeders, in the garage, in the garbage or pooping and digging all over the place, it was worth it. It took a live trap baited with marshmallows and a .22 shot to the head to end the problem.
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Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: how to get rid of raccoon problems??

Yes, marshmallows work better for raccoons then you don't get so many cats. You can use dog or cat food too, I do if I want to get rid of skunks. This year hasn't been as bad but last year we had a lot of rabid skunks.

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Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

Re: how to get rid of raccoon problems??

Check with your local authorities to find out what actions are legal for you to take. In almost every area, it's illegal to relocate wildlife, but trap and kill might be an option. I have chickens, so raccoons are a bigger threat to my birds than my garden. I live in a rural area, so trap and kill is my method. Legally, I can kill anything that goes after my livestock.

I've heard folks have success with electric fences. I haven't tried them, so I can't speak to their effectiveness. Some folks have reported success with motion-detector deterrents. It's a red light that comes on when the receiver detects motion. The light is supposed to scare off wildlife. Again, I haven't tried it, so I can't say yay or nay. The only thing I can speak to is a Duke live-trap and a black-powder pistol.

Raccoons are especially troublesome because they're crafty, they can learn and remember and they teach what they learn to their young, so for example, if they learn how to get through your defenses to get into the garden, they'll remember and teach that knowledge to their offspring. They can also open latches and hasps. Raccoons are the worst.

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Location: central Ohio

Re: how to get rid of raccoon problems??

Motion detector lights do work. Well, kind of. The heat sensor ones are better than the motion sensors. Raccoons move slow enough to avoid setting off motion sensor lights but they will trip heat detector lights. It's better if the light moves. They will run from moving lights, I've seen them do just that in my yard.

And yes, they are terribly smart. Once you've trapped one and release it you'll never trap it again. And if you trap young raccoons and their mama finds them you'll never trap mama. Any tag along siblings will avoid traps afterward also.

The laws for nuisance wildlife problems vary by state. In some states it is legal to trap and relocate, in others it isn't. For example, in Ohio you are allowed to trap raccoons out of season if you have problems with them destroying your property. But you must either euthanize the raccoon or release it where it was trapped. Release is not an option for me. Fortunately I live in an area where it is legal to discharge a firearm.

Pest control companies often take captured raccoons out to the "country" and release them. I told one guy if I caught him releasing a raccoon around here I wouldn't be shooting at the raccoon. To them the fine for releasing one is just a cost of doing business. They can get away with it for years and some never get caught.

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Re: how to get rid of raccoon problem

I was reading your posts to my teenager DD and she was speechlessly LOL when I got to what ButterflyLady said to the guy. :D

I mentioned about raccoons learning to open latches and hasps, and she said you (have to) "padlock everything", so I joked with a followup -- "and make sure there are no wire lying around for them to pick the lock with"

Then we had a good :lol: imagining going outside and surprising a raccoon, hanging onto a padlock and trying to pick it with a bent piece of wire. LMFAO
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Location: North Jersey, Zone 6

Re: how to get rid of raccoon problems??

. . .
Pad and Rac.jpg
He dropped the wire.

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Re: how to get rid of raccoon problems??

I don't seem to have raccoons around where I am now, but we had lots of them at my old house. I just wrapped all my beds in deer netting, around stakes.
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Re: how to get rid of raccoon problems??

A suitable have-a-heart trap baited with some apple and peanut butter and hidden by a towel catches them. A large water-filled barrel (large enough to hold the trap) fixes your raccoon problem, in a suburban setting.
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