How to scare away raccoons? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-16-2011, 03:37 PM
 
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Now, I don't want to hurt the raccoons, I just don't want them near my apartment. They come up right to my sliding glass door, and I just want to be able to go into my yard without worrying about a rabies shot.

Banging on the door didn't work, opening my sliding glass door (but not screen door) didn't work, in fact these little creatures are pretty freakin' brave. Even shining a light at them didn't scare them away.

How can I deter them from my yard (which has nothing of interest in it)?

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#2 Old 05-16-2011, 04:06 PM
 
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Apparently squirrels don't like paprika. Maybe raccoons wouldn't like paprika either.
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#3 Old 05-16-2011, 04:16 PM
 
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Good luck with that.

When you find a workable solution, let me know!

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#4 Old 05-16-2011, 04:21 PM
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If they are willing to come right up to you, someone else in the area is probably feeding them which is going to make it harder to keep them away. If you're in an apartment complex you might want to talk to the manager there about putting up a notice prohibiting feeding the raccoons.

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#5 Old 05-16-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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A large dog is the only thing that will scare some of them I've seen that are too used to humans. But they are still not likely to bite you unprovoked. At least in my experience. I have never had one charge at me.
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#6 Old 05-16-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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My first thought was to spray them with water out of one of those little spray bottles. I don't know if that would make them angry or not though. Try these other suggestions first.

I googled, "how to deter racoons", and they mentioned motion activated flood lights. I know you said you already tried shining a light at them, but maybe it wasn't bright enough. Maybe brighter lights that turn on suddenly as soon as they get too close would work better.

Another suggestion was to cut up a large yellow onion and place the slices around your yard. It also said to try sprinkling cayenne pepper around the perimeter of your home. They should either be repelled by the smell or run away after they've licked it.

Let us know if any of this helps or if you find a different solution.

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#7 Old 05-16-2011, 07:32 PM
 
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Start talking to them about commitment... sheesh!
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#8 Old 05-16-2011, 09:02 PM
 
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"Dear raccoons, let me tell you a story. Once there was a dangerous monster who ravaged the land. That monster was so frightening that the very mention of his name made people scream in terror. With eyes black as night, wings that covered the sky and teeth the size of icebergs, people who met him never survived. Even many a valiant knight died in an attempt to defeat the monster. But then a wise wizard arrived and made the monster disappear with a spell. This spell transformed the monster into ... a human hand. And that hand IS THIS HAND RIGHT HERE! GAAAAARRHHHGGHHH"

*raccoons running away*

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#9 Old 05-17-2011, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post

A large dog is the only thing that will scare some of them I've seen that are too used to humans. But they are still not likely to bite you unprovoked. At least in my experience. I have never had one charge at me.

Agreed. Here, they sometimes venture into the dogs' yard, despite 300 pounds of dog. Then they scamper up a tree.

And scaring away healthy raccoons (if you could do it) would not keep away a rabid one.
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#10 Old 05-17-2011, 01:19 AM
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Raccoons are cute. I wish some would come visit me.

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#11 Old 05-17-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whisper View Post

If they are willing to come right up to you, someone else in the area is probably feeding them which is going to make it harder to keep them away. If you're in an apartment complex you might want to talk to the manager there about putting up a notice prohibiting feeding the raccoons.

I had this problem when I was living in Washington as a kid. They are definitely scavengers, and once they learn that people are a potential source of food... good luck getting rid of them. They would stop by our porch and, if we didn't have food for them (which we never did) they would proceed to shred anything they could find. Door mats, plastic trash cans, whatever, and, incidently, animals... Which brings me to my next warning.

Several people have suggested getting dogs. While this may work, it can also backfire. When I was about 10 years old I saw a 30 pound raccoon eviscerate a 150 pound dog in a matter of seconds. The dog went chasing after it, dove on top of it, the raccoon took a defensive position on its back while bicycling it's back feet, and a couple seconds later the dogs entrails were lying next to it. Raccoons are much, much tougher than they look.

The only thing I ever really had luck with was ammonia. Apparently it smells like urine to them and, being very clean animals by nature, they stay away from it. Unfortunately ammonia can be toxic to pets as well, so use caution. I can't really think of any other options at the moment though. I just found a website that says to put a radio out and leave it on a talk show channel because then they will think there are humans and avoid the area. I can't confirm whether or not this works though.

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#12 Old 05-17-2011, 07:41 AM
 
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I have heard that spreading cut human hair on the grass or perimeter outside scares cats and other animals away. Maybe try that. Save it from your, and other peoples haircuts and spread it outside.

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#13 Old 05-17-2011, 09:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whisper View Post

If they are willing to come right up to you, someone else in the area is probably feeding them which is going to make it harder to keep them away. If you're in an apartment complex you might want to talk to the manager there about putting up a notice prohibiting feeding the raccoons.

I'll ask her about it. I'm convinced that the person that used to live here before us fed them. I've also heard one of my neighbors trying to get rid of them too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoonerism View Post

My first thought was to spray them with water out of one of those little spray bottles. I don't know if that would make them angry or not though. Try these other suggestions first.

I googled, "how to deter racoons", and they mentioned motion activated flood lights. I know you said you already tried shining a light at them, but maybe it wasn't bright enough. Maybe brighter lights that turn on suddenly as soon as they get too close would work better.

Another suggestion was to cut up a large yellow onion and place the slices around your yard. It also said to try sprinkling cayenne pepper around the perimeter of your home. They should either be repelled by the smell or run away after they've licked it.

Let us know if any of this helps or if you find a different solution.

I read about the cayenne pepper, and since I have that, I might try it.

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Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

"Dear raccoons, let me tell you a story. Once there was a dangerous monster who ravaged the land. That monster was so frightening that the very mention of his name made people scream in terror. With eyes black as night, wings that covered the sky and teeth the size of icebergs, people who met him never survived. Even many a valiant knight died in an attempt to defeat the monster. But then a wise wizard arrived and made the monster disappear with a spell. This spell transformed the monster into ... a human hand. And that hand IS THIS HAND RIGHT HERE! GAAAAARRHHHGGHHH"

*raccoons running away*



Quote:
Originally Posted by mlp View Post

Agreed. Here, they sometimes venture into the dogs' yard, despite 300 pounds of dog. Then they scamper up a tree.

And scaring away healthy raccoons (if you could do it) would not keep away a rabid one.

I don't know if they are healthy or rabid, but I'm not taking my chances. I would like to be able to sit outside on my patio without worrying about having to get a rabies shot (not to mention, it would make my fiancé less worried about me).

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Originally Posted by Capstan View Post

Raccoons are cute. I wish some would come visit me.

Come take mine!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomad888 View Post

I had this problem when I was living in Washington as a kid. They are definitely scavengers, and once they learn that people are a potential source of food... good luck getting rid of them. They would stop by our porch and, if we didn't have food for them (which we never did) they would proceed to shred anything they could find. Door mats, plastic trash cans, whatever, and, incidently, animals... Which brings me to my next warning.

Several people have suggested getting dogs. While this may work, it can also backfire. When I was about 10 years old I saw a 30 pound raccoon eviscerate a 150 pound dog in a matter of seconds. The dog went chasing after it, dove on top of it, the raccoon took a defensive position on its back while bicycling it's back feet, and a couple seconds later the dogs entrails were lying next to it. Raccoons are much, much tougher than they look.

The only thing I ever really had luck with was ammonia. Apparently it smells like urine to them and, being very clean animals by nature, they stay away from it. Unfortunately ammonia can be toxic to pets as well, so use caution. I can't really think of any other options at the moment though. I just found a website that says to put a radio out and leave it on a talk show channel because then they will think there are humans and avoid the area. I can't confirm whether or not this works though.

I'll keep the ammonia tip in mind. We don't have pets, so that's one thing not to worry about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuicideBlonde View Post

I have heard that spreading cut human hair on the grass or perimeter outside scares cats and other animals away. Maybe try that. Save it from your, and other peoples haircuts and spread it outside.

Really? I've never heard that one. That's actually very interesting.

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#14 Old 05-17-2011, 09:29 AM
 
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I've heard cayenne pepper is good too, along the same lines as paprika. Folks in my parents' neck of the woods sometimes put bowls of ammonia out, and it seems to work well too.

It doesn't necessarily have to be that someone is feeding them/has fed them. Humans' garbage is a gold mine to raccoons, and those buggers get really brave. That said, I miss seeing them around some times.

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#15 Old 05-17-2011, 09:37 AM
 
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You would know if a raccoon was rabid. They would be out during the day and foaming at the mouth and such. Though it can take a while for those symptoms to manifest sometimes.

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#16 Old 05-17-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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I've heard cayenne pepper is good too, along the same lines as paprika. Folks in my parents' neck of the woods sometimes put bowls of ammonia out, and it seems to work well too.

It doesn't necessarily have to be that someone is feeding them/has fed them. Humans' garbage is a gold mine to raccoons, and those buggers get really brave. That said, I miss seeing them around some times.

Our garbage is in a dumpster. We're not allowed to have garbage cans outside at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post

You would know if a raccoon was rabid. They would be out during the day and foaming at the mouth and such. Though it can take a while for those symptoms to manifest sometimes.

They're out during the day, but they aren't foaming at the mouth.

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#17 Old 05-17-2011, 10:02 AM
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It's not unusual for raccoons to be out during the day, and to be extremely bold. They're bold animals. Nomad888 is right about their toughness, and how much damage they can do if cornered.

Don't do anything threatening towards them, and they won't attack you.

We've encroached on so much habitat, the least we can do is to be tolerant of the animals who are trying to survive despite our encroachment.
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#18 Old 05-17-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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I'm sorry if they frighten you. I made friends with mine. They got to the point that they would run over to my van as if they were going to jump in like dogs, if I got home late at night. That doesn't sound like an option for you though. The man next door did the cayenne pepper thing, which was useless, and he even got that carpet tack stripping they use when installing wall to wall carpet, with all those sharp tacks sticking up, which was cruel, but still useless.

I don't know what made them want to hang out on my boat though. I woke up at 2 one morning and found them on the upper deck, just sitting in the wicker furniture like little humans.

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#19 Old 05-17-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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Juggle near them. That worked for me last week, when a raccoon accidentally wandered into the tennis courts where my juggling club was meeting. The little fuzzy sucker kept looking over at us and tried to find a way out of the court, eventually climbing the fence to get out.

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#20 Old 05-17-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mlp View Post

It's not unusual for raccoons to be out during the day, and to be extremely bold. They're bold animals. Nomad888 is right about their toughness, and how much damage they can do if cornered.

Don't do anything threatening towards them, and they won't attack you.

We've encroached on so much habitat, the least we can do is to be tolerant of the animals who are trying to survive despite our encroachment.

I haven't done anything threatening towards them, but I'd still like to be able to sit out on my porch in peace.

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I'm sorry if they frighten you. I made friends with mine. They got to the point that they would run over to my van as if they were going to jump in like dogs, if I got home late at night. That doesn't sound like an option for you though. The man next door did the cayenne pepper thing, which was useless, and he even got that carpet tack stripping they use when installing wall to wall carpet, with all those sharp tacks sticking up, which was cruel, but still useless.

I don't know what made them want to hang out on my boat though. I woke up at 2 one morning and found them on the upper deck, just sitting in the wicker furniture like little humans.

Glad I haven't tried the cayenne pepper trick (more cayenne pepper for me! ). That actually sounds cute.

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Juggle near them. That worked for me last week, when a raccoon accidentally wandered into the tennis courts where my juggling club was meeting. The little fuzzy sucker kept looking over at us and tried to find a way out of the court, eventually climbing the fence to get out.

--Fromper

Hahaha, I'd try that, but probably end up hurting myself or breaking a window.

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#21 Old 05-17-2011, 12:23 PM
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I haven't done anything threatening towards them, but I'd still like to be able to sit out on my porch in peace.

I guess that's my point - you can. They're not going to attack you, unless one is rabid, and a rabid animal is a threat, whether the healthy animals are driven off or not.

Two years ago. one of the semi feral cats had kittens, and after they started wandering around (the mother kept them well hidden until then), I lured them into the basement every evening, to keep them safe. (I needed to catch the mom and all the kittens at once, which I eventually did, and they are all living with me and thriving.) On nights when one didn't show up, I would sit outside with a bowl of strong smelling food until everyone was accounted for. One night, a raccoon came up to eat the food, and growled at me when he realized I was there. I didn't make any motion which could be construed as threatening, and he went away. That's been my most *threatening* encounter with a raccoon, and I've been close to lots and lots of them, including capturing and seeking medical treatment for injured ones.
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#22 Old 05-17-2011, 03:57 PM
 
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If they don't go away when I bang on the sliding glass door, I highly doubt they're going to leave me alone while I'm standing/sitting still.

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#23 Old 05-17-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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They are not stupid. They are looking for food and banging on a door between you won't scare them. I have also been around a lot of them, have even caught a few trying to live trap dumped cats, and really they want nothing to do with people, only their garbage. If you don't corner one, 99.9% of the time they will beat it when a human gets too close. I would go out and prop the door open on the trap and the coons would not even move until I walked away.

Like most wild animals, they want nothing to do with us. Humans are untrustworthy.
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#24 Old 05-17-2011, 05:00 PM
 
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Several people have suggested getting dogs. While this may work, it can also backfire. When I was about 10 years old I saw a 30 pound raccoon eviscerate a 150 pound dog in a matter of seconds. The dog went chasing after it, dove on top of it, the raccoon took a defensive position on its back while bicycling it's back feet, and a couple seconds later the dogs entrails were lying next to it. Raccoons are much, much tougher than they look.

I once saw one nearly drown a 140 pound dog. They are tough. I wasn't suggesting getting a dog just for scaring them. That's a poor reason to adopt a dog. I'm just saying if given a choice, racoons will almost always run from a large dog (or in my case several large dogs.)
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#25 Old 05-17-2011, 07:02 PM
 
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I'm just saying if given a choice, racoons will almost always run from a large dog (or in my case several large dogs.)


Very true. I'm sure they'd much rather run away than fight something bigger. Just have to make sure the dog(s) doesn't actually catch them

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#26 Old 05-17-2011, 09:37 PM
 
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Very true. I'm sure they'd much rather run away than fight something bigger. Just have to make sure the dog(s) doesn't actually catch them

So if you get a greyhound, make sure s/he stays leashed on walks. Those suckers can catch anything slower than a cheetah.

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#27 Old 05-17-2011, 09:42 PM
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You need to build a scareraccoon, which is like a scarecrow, only scarier.

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#28 Old 05-17-2011, 10:23 PM
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Look on the bright side - at least you have raccoons, not honey badgers. WARNING: may be NSFW. Also, for the squeamish - listen to the narration, but don't watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg
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#29 Old 05-17-2011, 10:37 PM
 
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Threaten to make them get a job if they keep mooching off your hard earned leftovers. That'll learn 'em.

Tam! RUGH!
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