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Defending Your Property Against Raccoon Intrusions: Prevention and Deterrence

two racoons on a tree

If you own small farm animals such as chickens, it is important to protect your property against raccoons. Despite their small size, raccoons are predators and frequently prey on farm animals such as chickens and ducks. Because of this, it is quite common for raccoons to invade animal enclosures and break into coops to attack poultry and other livestock.


Why Do Raccoons Infiltrate Properties?

As mentioned above, raccoons often infiltrate farms and other properties to prey on poultry and livestock. Raccoons are omnivore and will also climb fences and trees in search of bird eggs, fruits, seeds, and even pet food left outside. Another reason why raccoons are likely to enter a property is to escape bigger predators that cannot cross fences or climb walls and trees.


Raccoons: Ingenious Predators and Expert Climbers

Are you trying to defend your property from raccoon intrusions? To do so with success, it is important to first get a good understanding of their characteristics and behaviours.


  1. Raccoons are excellent climbers – Raccoons can easily make their way up most types of fences, including chain link fences and wooden ones. Those fences are quite common in residential areas and offer very little deterrence to raccoons.


  1. Raccoons can easily wriggle their bodies through tight spots – This allows them to easily slip under or through fences. Being very ingenious, they can also easily identify weak spots in fences. If you fence has a gap, it is very likely to serve as a convenient entry point for resourceful raccoons. Once they are through, they can easily climb their way up and into the property.


  1. Raccoons have dexterous front paws – With strong, long, and dexterous digits, their paws are surprisingly similar to human hands. Their paws are also tipped with very sharp claws. This allows them to easily hold on to climbable surfaces.


  1. Raccoons have good memory – Once they identify good food sources, they are likely to visit those places again thanks to their excellent memory.


  1. Raccoons are intelligent predators – Their intelligence allows them to find clever ways around the obstacles and traps that humans leave for them.


Actionable Steps to Deter Raccoons from Infiltrating Your Property

Here are some methods that you can use to defend your property against raccoon intrusions:


  1. Use an exclusion technique – If you’ve noticed raccoons entering your property through a specific entry point, mount a one-way exclusion door there. This will prevent the raccoons from accessing that spot again.


  1. Protect your garbage cans from raccoons – It is important to properly dispose of your garbage in a way that will not attract raccoons. Indeed, raccoons are attracted to leftover food and will often raid expose garbage cans, earning them the nickname of trash pandas.


If you have the space for it, it can be a good idea to store your garbage cans inside a shed or your garage. If not, you can use a raccoon-proof garbage can. These garbage cans are equipped with lids that can lock down tight, thus preventing small animals from routing through your trash. You can also create your own raccoon-proof garbage can by securing the lid with bungee cords, cement blocks or even large rocks.


  1. Make sure that there are no gaps in your fences – As mentioned above, raccoons are not only very smart and resourceful, but their flexible bodies also allow them to easily pass through weak spots in fences. It is therefore important that you frequently check your fences for loose boards and gaps and fix them in a timely manner.


  1. Use natural repellents against raccoons – These include vinegar, ammonia, cayenne pepper, peppermint essential oil, sonic devices, or coyote urine, which you can purchase at some hunting stores.


  1. Get rid of all potential raccoon food sources – Avoid leaving pet food and poultry seeds out in the open, especially overnight. You should also ensure to properly discard grubs and compost, as those also attract raccoons. If you have fruit trees, it is important to properly secure them to deter raccoons from climbing them to reach the fruits. It is also recommended to remove access to water sources such as pet water bowls and yard fountains.


  1. Eliminate areas on your property that can serve as hiding spots for raccoons – Since raccoons are also known to invade properties to escape from predators, it is important to get rid of spaces that can serve as shelters and hiding spots to them. These usually comprise of piles of debris. It is therefore recommended that you get rid of piles of rock, wood, and other debris.


  1. Upgrade your fences – As mentioned earlier, raccoons can easily climb chain link and wooden fences. Instead, consider using wire fencing. For enhanced protection against raccoons, you can also secure your fences with some electric wire. In addition, to prevent raccoons from slipping under your fences, consider burying them about 6 to 10 inches under the ground.


  1. Ask fencing professionals for advice – If you need some further advice on how to secure your fences and which materials to opt for, consider hiring the help of fencing experts.


  1. Seek the help of pest management professionals – Since setting out traps for wild animals is heavily regulated, it is best to hire professionals to handle this. Pest management professionals will provide humane traps designed specifically for raccoons. Once the raccoons are caught, they will then be taken away and released in an adequate habitat.


  1. Routinely trim your bushes and trees – Trees are essentially bridges for raccoons, allowing them easy access into your property. If you have tall bushes and trees, especially in close proximity to your house or farm buildings, it is important to trim them back. Ground-level bushes can often provide raccoons with easy hiding spots and should therefore be trimmed to allow for more open ground on your property.


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