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How To Get Rid of Raccoons [Infographic]



Raccoon looking for food in trash can | raccoon deterrent | featured ss |How To Get Rid of Raccoons

Wondering how to get rid of raccoons? Raccoons may look cute and even pitiful at times, but they do pose a threat. By being potential rabies virus carriers, they are a danger to you, your family, and your pets. These raccoon deterrents will help keep these pesky critters away from your home's perimeter for good!

RELATED: How To Deter Skunks With These 7 Reliable Steps

How To Get Rid of Raccoons Naturally

Click here to jump to the infographic.

We can never stress enough the dangers and troubles these critters pose, so check out these tried-and-tested natural raccoon deterrents we've collected for you.

These homemade raccoon repellent ideas offer choices suited to your needs and budget. In searching, we came across 8 ways to naturally deter these pesky critters.

Also, I will share tips on steps you can take to help keep them away for good!

1. Cayenne Pepper Spray to Protect Your Garden

Raccoons are chicken predators and they wreak havoc in vegetable gardens. Dealing with a raccoon infestation can be a very frustrating situation!

Cayenne pepper is one of the natural raccoon deterrents and a great way to repel critters and pests. These pesky rodents hate the smell of this homemade raccoon repellent. It makes it an effective ingredient then, in homemade animal repellent sprays.

Cayenne pepper with dried | How To Get Rid of Raccoons | how to keep raccoons out of garden

What you’ll need:

  • A small canister of cayenne pepper
  • 1 bottle of hot sauce
  • 1 gallon of water


  • Add 1 small canister of cayenne pepper and 1 bottle of hot sauce to 1 gallon of water
  • Spray the solution all over your garden plants, bushes, and shrubs
  • Reapply after rainfall.

2. Ammonia

Raccoons cause trouble both in rural and urban areas where they can be a problem all year round. They may also carry distemper, roundworms, and fleas.

They wreak havoc on trash cans, creating a huge mess and attracting other animals and insects. Ammonia is another effective raccoon control solution.

How to get rid of raccoons using ammonia:

  • Position several ammonia-soaked rags near/around the entrances of the raccoon’s nest
  • Spray ammonia around the places where raccoons have been spotted
  • Sprinkle one cup of ammonia solution around the inside of each trash can
  • Spray ammonia on the ground in the places where raccoons are drawn

3. Mothballs

Raccoons hate the odor of mothballs. So, it's used by homeowners to get rid of raccoons in attics and crawlspaces.

CAUTION: If mothballs are left in place for a long time, the chemicals can seep into the rest of your house, exposing people to it. It can also be ingested by pets or even small children.

Use this raccoon-repellent mothball method with extreme caution.

4. Predator Urine

This deterrent method will trick raccoons into thinking predators are nearby. It will likely scare them away.

This raccoon deterrent is available in sporting goods stores and many online retailers. Look for urine from wolves, coyotes, bobcats, or mountain lions.

Use it around areas where raccoons are dwelling.

RELATED: How to Get Rid of Flies Naturally

5. Another Method to Protect Your Garden: Epsom Salt

Raccoons can be very destructive to your vegetable garden. Luckily they don't like the smell of Epsom salt.

To deter raccoons using this method, sprinkle Epsom salt around and inside your vegetable garden. The masked critters will avoid your garden altogether and most likely will not return.

However, you will need to reapply every time it rains or after a couple of weeks with no rain.

6. Secure Your Chicken Coop

You don't need to make your chicken coop into a fortress to protect your chickens from raccoons, but it helps. Raccoons can open many latches, so use a latch you can padlock to keep the windows, doors, and other openings on your coop securely locked during the evening and nighttime hours.

Use a strong wire mesh with small openings that are no larger than 1/2 inch to keep raccoons from reaching into your coop or breaking through it. Put a roof on your coop and fasten it down tightly.

If a raccoon can't break into your coop easily, he will likely move on and not return.

7. Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Motion-activated repellents, specifically sprinkler repellents, are all-natural since they use only water to scare off raccoons. There are downsides like they can be expensive by themselves, and they do rack up your utility bills.

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There are solar-powered repellents that are just as effective. Another thing is, that it's only limited to a certain area.

It can only secure a few square meters, so this is perfect to raccoon-proof your garden. Watch the related video below to learn more about the motion-activated sprinkler and natural raccoon deterrents.

8. More Tips on How To Get Rid of Raccoons

There are certain steps you can take that are effective in discouraging these critters from your property. They are simple yet necessary to ensure they don't feel free to roam around.

  • Keeptrash can lids secure with bungee cords
  • Keep your yard clean and free from any litter that attracts and invites critters to rummage through your property
  • Pick up your pet’s water bowls at night
  • Pick up your pet’s food bowls at night

Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:

How To Get Rid of Raccoons infographics

All kinds of critters can invade your home, making your life more difficult and your family less safe. Raccoons are especially notorious for causing havoc in your yard and home if left unattended.

Not one of these natural deterrents is solely effective by itself. One could work for a while, but raccoons are intelligent creatures that figure out your tactics after some time.

Respect and understand the creature to know what works for the long term.

Which of the natural raccoon deterrents have you tried before? Share your experience with us in the comments section below! Do you know of other ways to repel raccoons? Please share with us in the comments section below.


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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on December 5, 2020, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  1. CoffeeFreak

    April 17, 2017 at 12:09 AM

    Some good ideas, but:

    1. Shake Away seems to have bad reviews on Amazon. 2.6 stars with 107 reviews.

    2. Epson salts might be accidentally ingested by songbirds or other wildlife.

    3.I would not recommend mothballs due to, as you stated, so many creatures can ingest them. If someone has a raccoon in their attic, it is time to call someone to humanely trap and relocate it.

    4. Ammonia on the ground: This does not sound friendly to birds, lizards, frogs, snakes, and many other creatures besides raccoons. A terrible idea.

    • Mack

      April 5, 2018 at 5:33 PM

      Sounds like in your opinion, it’s better to kill dozens of chickens than one raccoon., probably best for you to just stay in your city apartment.

      • Ken

        April 5, 2018 at 10:51 PM

        Amen to that comment and of coarse a good gun !

      • Anonymous

        June 2, 2018 at 3:53 PM

        I am with you. this is my house, and yard.

    • Jay Sallinen

      July 17, 2018 at 10:58 AM

      It’s against the law to relocate a trapped raccoon.. at least in California. Same with skunk s. If you trap it , you must dispatch it.

      • JohnDough

        July 17, 2018 at 9:36 PM

        Stupid law made by stupid people… but then again, it’s California!

        • Slip

          July 29, 2018 at 4:16 PM

          California/ stupid laws— sounds redundant. I use a high-powered pellet gun (Girandoni) for the ones too big for the traps. I’d use a firearm if it wouldn’t wake my neighbors or get the police to my house. Last summer i trapped 13 and shot 11, including a 39-pounder who’d been getting fat on my neighbors chickens and turkeys.

    • JohnDough

      July 17, 2018 at 9:35 PM

      Ammonia is actually good for most plants and household ammonia on the ground will not harm animals. It also works good as fertilizer when it is properly diluted.

    • Diane

      August 25, 2018 at 10:20 AM

      We bought a trap. We live on a large lake and have many bird feeders. We finally got tired of replacing the feeders, that is when we got the trap. We caught 7 in one week! We drive them across the lake which has no houses and turned them loose. Have not had a problem since. They a such beautiful little creatures but fierce!

      • Pat S.

        December 13, 2018 at 8:23 PM

        Just wondering if those seven that you drove across the lake were not in fact one and the same who found their way back.. those buggers are pretty smart.

    • coottie rebel

      August 25, 2018 at 4:19 PM

      yes all are poor sugestions i for one like to use a four ten less damage to the meat than of a twelve gague

    • Steve Doherty

      February 8, 2019 at 9:56 AM

      I have been having problems with Raccoons for ten years. I have explained to my neighbor that keeps feeding them , that by leaving food out at night you are drawing these animals into our surroundings, and they have been damaging my home (mobile home) from underneath. Two years ago I had heard Raccoons fighting underneath the flooring , and climbing on top of the furnace vents. There were also Ferrel cats around my home as well. I had left my home in the summer and when i came back there was a very foul smell of something that had died under my home. I went looking for the location of the animal that was stinking, I found him. He had fought with a Cat and devoured it . so much so that after he ate the cat he tried to leave, but got stuck on the spot where he had come in , he was now to fat to get unstuck and died right there. These animals do not like cable wires, or electrical wires either. they will chew on them and become a potential fire hazard. This same Raccoon also chewed through the 140 volt electric wires to the Air conditioners thermostat, and during the summer a dead raccoon can get to stinking very badly. they are immensly destructive animals. And because I am not allowed by laws to relocate them, I choose to get rid of them. Permanently and humanely. thats the best solution for my and my home and those around me as well !!!!!

      • Anonymous

        May 4, 2019 at 8:22 AM

        A great narrative! Racoon lovers, please read!

  2. Vicki

    September 22, 2017 at 7:16 AM

    Shakeaway doesn’t work. I put it around my back fence and outbuilding they liked to hide under. It was like it wasn’t even there. Total waste of money.

  3. Anonymous

    March 7, 2018 at 6:01 AM

    Cayenne pepper !!!! Seriously…. they get it on their paws and then lick it. When they start to foam at the mouth, they rub their face with the paws and can cause blindness, damage to the nasal and oral tissues. This is downright inhumane and dangerous. Besides, you will get other animals with this such as cats, skunks, opossum, etc.
    There has to be a more environmentally friendly and animal safe method.

    • Virginia M Llorca

      July 19, 2018 at 11:36 PM

      Spending money and time replacing flowers they dig out of pots and flower beds is inhumane to me. I have been here 18 years and this is the worst ever. I must have a good rating on their yelp. Next year, if I remember, sweet potato vine and red grass. “Back away from those purple petunias.”

    • bob E

      July 24, 2018 at 12:13 PM

      Medicinal uses for cayenne pepper includes the eyes and nasal passages. Research before writting an opinion.

    • Slip

      July 29, 2018 at 4:20 PM

      The next time you see a coon chowing down on bluebird fledglings or eviscerating your neighbor’s cat, you tell me how inhumane a little non-lethal seasoning is. I have no qualms about pepper, trapping or shooting them.

      • Anonymous

        May 4, 2019 at 8:24 AM

        Agree totally!!!

      • Ghost

        May 19, 2019 at 6:37 AM

        The coons ate a hole in my back porch ceiling. I chase them away and they come right back. We live in the city and I can’t shoot them with my gun. So I’m thinking of other permanent solutions. Pepper and ammonia are a good start. I threw firecrackers at them and they didn’t even move!

    • Anonymous

      November 12, 2018 at 6:31 PM

      sounds like great fun..

    • James Allen jr.

      September 6, 2019 at 1:02 AM

      Actually I want to get rid of exactly those pests (how did you know?) and raccoons from my location… Perfect!!!!

  4. Larry D. Butler, Phd.

    April 5, 2018 at 5:58 PM

    Perhaps the methods are not “humane” because we’re not dealing with humans! These are predators for crying out loud! Very destructive predators! Go back to the city! You don’t belong out here with “country people” who are only trying to protect themselves and their livestock.

    • Anonymous

      July 19, 2018 at 7:41 PM

      I live in the city and we have raccoons all over. My friend had one come down the chimney and get in the refrigerator. It finally left by itself. They come to my yard to poop all over and the poop is dangerous if you don’t clean it up by 2 weeks. Cover yourself all over if you clean it up.

  5. chili_pepper

    April 9, 2018 at 12:11 AM

    In my last home, after a long period of trying natural remedy’s and having no success we called in a pro. They removed half a dozen skunks – which the company releases in the national forest; but the five raccoons were a different story. By law, here in the city/state, raccoons, if caught, must be put down.
    It seems to me, if I can find a way to deter it from my backyard that’s the best option. Otherwise…

  6. Sandy

    July 9, 2018 at 7:30 AM

    Problem is the cat fights raccoons. What will keep raccoons away but not be bad for the cat?

    • vinnie

      July 17, 2018 at 7:21 AM

      22 cal. long rifle & large black plastic bag

      • Slip

        July 29, 2018 at 4:24 PM

        Quick, humane and inexpensive. I usually a high-powered pellet rifle because it’s far quieter than any of my other rifles.

  7. T

    July 17, 2018 at 7:52 AM

    I put out a live trap the cage kind with a little can of cat food tuna or hot dog , it catches them then I take it at lest 7 miles down road to the Creek an let them go, skunks have gotten in it an for safety I have a long rope on the handle an I throw a big plastic trash bag over it an put it in my truck an haul off also when I get to the Creek I use the rope to open it, I am going to put hot wire around my chicken pen to see if that helps

  8. Sherry

    July 17, 2018 at 7:58 PM

    We keep our horse feed in a freezer that has a locking handle on the top. This has kept out the invading critters for over the last 30 years!

    • skip

      August 25, 2018 at 4:52 PM

      Great idea! You can find non working ones for free. Lots of secure storage space. Should keep mice out as well

  9. Cliff Stewart

    August 26, 2018 at 12:17 AM

    Raccoons, wild hogs, bear, and deer used to frequent my garden quite often until about ten years or so ago. Today….no problem….not a sign of any of them. What I did was I put a four x four post at all four sides of my garden and on those posts I attached pictures of hillary clinton and rosie o’donnell posing in two-piece bathing suits about four times too small. for them. BEST DETERRENT EFFER!!! The only problem was all my crops died off too. Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

    • RCK48

      May 28, 2019 at 6:08 PM

      With the rolls of fat on those two, you wouldn’t be able to see the swimsuits. Did you have wear a welders mask to from seeing the pictures?

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  11. Anonymous

    November 21, 2018 at 10:48 PM

    I used mothballs and was attacked by raccoons. They were not afraid. Are you liable now?

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  15. Le franks

    April 18, 2019 at 5:00 PM

    Ok I am not city or country but this year a family of 3 raccoons are invading our back yard. We have NO pets, food, flowers, grass, ect but we do have a pool which they are getting in???? Yard is fenced but in front we have an iron gate. Called animal services they won’t come for wild animals again????? So help please. This year we both diagnosed with cancer and for me I want to be outside without worry.

  16. George Mast

    May 7, 2019 at 8:00 PM

    A live trap, bated with peanut butter, or sardines in oil. Partially open the sardines put a string on them and circle your property leaving a scent trail. Those Raccoons will follow that scent and get into the live trap. Oh yeah, get a 25 gallon metal barrel cut out the end and fill it with water, and put the raccoon into the water while still in the live trap, and let him drink all the water he/she can. It is not your fault if he drinks to much and drowns. They love water so much the die drinking the wonderful water in the barrel . So you will save your chickens, and eggs, and pet cat, and or dog, and get ride of the pest, all at the same time.
    This is the best way, no guns, or staying up late to spot light the raccoons, no inconvenience, and the pest is finished with doing destruction. It works so nicely and quietly, and efficiently, and neighbors have now idea your helping them also. We even save the water after the last raccoon drank all he can, by putting it on the garden for the vegetables, or fruit plants. burry the raccoons in a plot of land you plan to garden in two seassons, they will produce wonderful potatoes, and tuber plants like carrots for you and your family. I love my solution, it was showen to me 60 years ago by a old farmer that had them eating 1/3 of his sweet corn in a larger patch. He grew corn on the raccoon carcasses.

    • Chief

      June 30, 2019 at 8:24 AM

      Dog proof traps. They catch the coon, protect the dogs and provide an easy target for dispatching. What to do with the deceased? Buzzards love them so drop them off at the nearest remote spot away from the highways. This provides a friendly environment to enjoy an easy meal. Gotta love them buzzards, or the other creatures that get there first. Problem solved!

  17. J. Gibson

    June 30, 2019 at 10:46 PM

    Racoons are a menace. They should be humanely and methodically destroyed before there is a epidemic of rabies and other diseases they carry. They would probably never be completely eradicated but aiming to reduce them to endangered species status would be helpful from a human health crisis point of view. Relocating them is just a lame and useless measure.

  18. Ron

    July 1, 2019 at 9:16 PM

    Houses in my neighborhood are about 12 inches apart, by using both walls they can scale the wall to the second floor deck. A long pole was not a viable solution so eventually I thought of hot water. It worked wonders, I mean really hot water, they didn’t attempt to climb the wall again for at least a year. When one did, I reapplied the remedy.

  19. Gemma midori

    April 28, 2021 at 11:32 PM

    Mothballs definitely do not work. I caught the raccoons batting them around like soccer balls while looking at me with a disgusting smirk.

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