Raccoon Repellents - Do They Work?
Many people find raccoons to be cute and cuddly animals. They do not think about all the things that these little creatures destroy. Raccoons cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damages per year, and that is just the destruction of property. There are also many health risks associated with living near or with raccoons. Needless to say, it is a great idea to get rid of these critters before they cause you a lot of unnecessary damage. There are a lot of raccoon repellents on the market today. Keep reading this article to find out if they are effective at repelling raccoons.
Why Are Raccoons Harmful?
They seem like peaceful creatures to many people, so the real question is what are they hurting? Raccoons cause many problems, but one of the most serious is the health risk that is related to raccoons cohabiting with humans. The main health risk is coming into contact with the disease and bacteria that raccoons have in their feces.
You might not even see a tiny particle of the droppings, but it can still carry dangerous diseases that can harm you and your family. Another important health risk to keep in mind is the risk of rabies for you, your children, and your pets.
Property damage is a big issue with raccoons, as they like to make a mess of things. One big problem is raccoons getting into your attic or garage and making a nest. Another common place for this is your chimney, which poses a fire hazard. If you have any small animals or livestock (fowl and chickens), raccoons will try to kill them for food. They also like to dig all around your yard and your garden to root around for food. As you can see, it is important to get these destructive animals off of your property.
Raccoons hate the scent of ammonia because it reminds them of the smell of urine. Urine contains high concentrations of ammonia in it. Raccoons do not like being around the smell of urine, because they enjoy staying away from anywhere that urine is present, as they do not really want to eat right by urine. There are several different ways to use this method. Some people like to put it in a sprayer and mist a perimeter around their yard. Some people like to just take some old clothes, rip them up for rags, put ammonia on them, and then throw them out in their yard to form a loose perimeter. One thing to keep in mind is that the scent and presence of ammonia fades away every day it sits in the elements, so you will have to do this fairly often for it to remain effective.
Generic Raccoon “Repellents”
Almost every single chemical deterrent that is on the market today as a “raccoon repellent” essentially comes down to one chemical, naphthalene. If you have heard of naphthalene, or if you have not, it is the compound guilty of giving mothballs their distinct aroma. Essentially, all of these generic deterrents are just mothballs with slight variations added or taken away from them. While they might look and smell potent, they do not work very well on raccoons, as they lose their strength over time.
An important thing to know about naphthalene is that it depends on an animal to smell it for it to keep raccoons away. This might be why mothballs and other raccoon repellents are so ineffective. Many people use them on their lawns, where the wind and other air particles carry the scent away so it is never concentrated. Used inside, naphthalene products are effective, but not when used anywhere that the scent can’t be concentrated.
Hot Pepper Liquid
Raccoons absolutely hate smelling peppers. This is one of the better repellents you can make at home if you are looking to not spend a bunch on store-bought repellent. All you have to do is mix water with any kind of hot pepper seasoning or sauce that you want. Once you have mixed this, you can put it in a spray bottle and spray a perimeter around your yard to try to keep the raccoons out. One of the problems with this mixture is that, like most other repellents, it loses its strength of smell quite quickly, so you would have to redo this process many times in order to keep it effective.
Do These Raccoon Repellents Work?
While some of these repellents will work in different scenarios, none of them are long term solutions that will consistently keep raccoons off of your property. Most of the time this is because the repellent will just simply lose its potency as it sits out in the weather. However, in the case of the naphthalene repellents, any time these products are sitting out in the open air, these repellents will lose a lot of their effect on raccoons. If you are going to use any kind of repellent, it is best to use it only where you for sure need it, such as around your garden, flowers, garage, etc.
How Can I Keep Raccoons Away?
One of the best ways to keep raccoons away is to get rid of the allure of your property. Raccoons love fruit trees, and if your yard has them, these are a big attractant. You do not have to get rid of the trees, just make sure to pick up any fruit that falls. You also should make sure that you don’t leave pet food sitting out, as this is an easy snack for raccoons.
The single best way to deter raccoons is to deny them access to your house and garage. This can easily be done by walking around your house and checking the roof of your house for any large gaps or holes. If you see any at all, you can use sealant or aluminum sheeting to patch these gaps. Once you have done these simple processes, it is much less likely a raccoon will feel the need to come onto your property.