How to Prevent Raccoons from Invading Your Home
Raccoons are known for their distinct masked appearance, nimble hands, and unparalleled curiosity. While they can be cute from a distance, they can also be a real nuisance when they decide to make your home their playground. These nocturnal creatures are known to rummage through garbage, make a mess, and can even cause structural damage. To keep raccoons at bay, you’ll need a combination of preventive measures and a bit of understanding about these critters. If the problem becomes too severe, you may need to contact a professional for raccoon control services.
Preventing Raccoons from Invading Your Home | Raccoon Control in NJ
1. Understand the Attraction:
Before you can effectively deter raccoons, you need to understand why they’re coming to your property in the first place. Raccoons are omnivores and are always on the lookout for food. If you leave trash or pet food outside, you’re essentially sending an open invitation. They’re also looking for shelter, especially during colder months or breeding seasons. Your attic, garage, and crawl spaces can look very inviting to a raccoon looking for a cozy den.
2. Secure Your Trash:
A primary draw for raccoons is easily accessible food. Ensure your garbage cans have tight-fitting lids. If raccoons persist, consider using bungee cords or weights to secure the lids. Additionally, using trash cans made of tough materials can prevent them from being chewed or broken into.
3. Do Not Leave Pet Food Outdoors:
Many homeowners unknowingly feed raccoons by leaving pet food outdoors. If you have outdoor pets, be sure to feed them during daylight hours and remove any uneaten food before dusk. Store pet food in airtight containers inside your home or a secured shed.
4. Seal Entry Points:
Raccoons have nimble fingers and can pry open loose vents, crawl spaces, or other openings. Walk around your home to identify any potential entry points. Pay close attention to areas like:
- Chimneys: Install a chimney cap.
- Vents: Ensure all vents (e.g., attic or crawl space vents) are covered with sturdy mesh wire.
- Openings under decks or porches: Use lattice or mesh wire to prevent access.
5. Remove Temptations:
If raccoons find your yard a fun place to hang out, they’re more likely to attempt to enter your home. Keep potential sources of entertainment and shelter to a minimum:
- Keep firewood stacked neatly and elevate it if possible.
- Trim tree branches that hang close to the roof, giving raccoons a potential bridge to your home.
- Remove potential nesting sites like brush piles or dense shrubbery.
6. Install Motion-Activated Lights or Sprinklers:
Raccoons are nocturnal and prefer to move in the shadows. Installing motion-activated lights can deter these nighttime visitors. Alternatively, motion-activated sprinklers can provide an unexpected surprise and discourage them from returning.
7. Use Repellents:
There are various repellents available, both natural and commercial. Some homeowners swear by homemade repellents like a mix of ammonia and garlic. Others prefer commercially available solutions. Apply these repellents near potential entry points or areas where raccoons frequent. However, always remember to read and follow label directions, and be cautious if you have pets or children around.
8. Do Not Trap Without Knowledge:
In many areas, trapping and relocating raccoons without a permit is illegal. Additionally, you may inadvertently separate a mother from her babies, leading to more problems. If you believe trapping is necessary, contact local professionals for raccoon control services.
9. Maintain a Clean Yard:
Raccoons will often be attracted to gardens with fresh fruits and vegetables. To reduce this attraction:
- Pick fruits and vegetables as soon as they ripen.
- Use fence or netting around gardens.
- Clean up fallen fruits or vegetables promptly.
10. Educate and Involve the Community:
Remember, your efforts may be in vain if your neighbors aren’t on the same page. If raccoons are a community issue, involve your neighbors in preventive measures. Educate them about the risks and the steps they can take to reduce raccoon attraction.
Raccoons, while fascinating and intelligent creatures, can be quite a hassle when they decide to move in. By understanding what attracts them and taking preventive measures, you can keep your home raccoon-free. Always remember, it’s easier to prevent an invasion than to deal with one after the fact. So be proactive, and you can enjoy watching raccoons from a distance, rather than dealing with them up close.
Looking for Professional Raccoon Control Services in New Jersey?
If you’re looking for the best raccoon control services in the NJ area, Wildlife Control Specialists, LLC is here to help! Since 2007, wildlife control has been our only business, and we are proud of our reputation as Wildlife Control Specialists. We’re a New Jersey-based, family-owned company committed to providing humane and environmentally responsible techniques for handling nuisance animal problems including: animal control and removal, animal damage repair and exclusion, and animal control prevention services, Our service area includes Morris County, Hunterdon County, Warren County, Somerset County, and parts of Mercer and Sussex County. With over a decade of experience we are highly trained certified Wildlife Control Professionals, and licensed by the state of New Jersey. We are industry leaders with state-of-the-art equipment, a six-truck fleet, and own 40’ articulating lift to get those places ladders just can’t reach. For more information, you can call us at (888) 758-6572 or explore our website
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