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How To Get Rid of Raccoons

Raccoon climbing chimney

Raccoon climbing a chimney to get inside a home.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

If you want to know how to get rid of raccoons, I suggest you do NOT do what we did!

Our backyard is absolutely lovely.  It’s spacious, half of it is wooded and, at the back, it abuts a small creek.  We have a shed with a woodpile next to it, a garden area, a lot of green lawn and even enough room to have a swing set with a slide for the kids to play on.  We have a dog, so we keep the dog food outside for him.  In short, it’s an idyllic backyard . . . for us and apparently for raccoons.

It didn’t occur to us we’d have to figure out how to get rid of raccoons when we moved in, but now it’s something I think about all the time.  I worry about our dog outside at night; I worry about my children when they’re outside playing.  What if there is a rabid raccoon?  I worry about my house.  What if they decide to claw a hole and get in?  What if they build a raccoon nest in my attic?

Raccoons are opportunistic and will eat almost anything.  So, our backyard provides a literal smorgasbord for the family of raccoons that live in the woods out behind our house, and I’m afraid they’ll start seeing my home as their home.  The woodpile apparently houses little rodents, which raccoons eat.  Our dog has a big bowl of dog food, which raccoons eat.  Our garden vegetables are just ripening, which raccoons eat.  The birds are nesting and laying their eggs, which raccoons eat.  The creek out back provides a perfect water source for them, and lets them wash their food, as they like to do.

We’ve seen them clawing and tearing at our storage shed, and it’s just a matter of time before they get in.  I dread the day they decide to tear into our home and have babies in our attic.  The holes they make are a pain to repair, but we have to get them repaired or they’ll just let other animals in, like squirrels, chipmunks, mice, rats or snakes.

So, if you want to know how to get rid of raccoons, call a professional to have them removed off of your property and out of your home, and then don’t provide them free board and lodging like we did.

Of course, there is a little bit of entertainment value.  I caught the family of raccoons out back one night, playing on the swing set.  They had climbed to the very top, were jumping up to move the swings, and one of them even slid down the slide.  They had a great time and the kids and I laughed watching them.  They’re really cute, from a distance, but a real nuisance to your home and property.

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