Q:

How do you control raccoons?

A:

Quick Answer

Raccoons can be controlled by trapping and releasing them, setting up secure barriers, and driving them away using lighting or noise. Raccoons are considered a protected species in some states, so hunting or poisoning them is, in many cases, strictly regulated or even illegal.

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Full Answer

One of the most common and effective methods for controlling raccoons is prevention. Raccoons seek food and shelter from human habitations, so cutting them off from either discourages them from becoming pests. Sheet metal or 16-gauge mesh offer good ways for building owners to block off raccoon entryways. Trees should be cut down if they are closer than 6 to 8 feet to a building. As for food, it is recommended that compost heaps, refuse piles, and garbage bags be securely covered. Bird feeders should be removed. If possible, trash should be kept indoors until it is picked up by sanitation.

Trapping and removal is one way to control raccoons once they have become pests. It is highly recommended that traps be set up only by professional animal control experts, as raccoons can be difficult to handle once trapped and often bear disease.

Another way to control pest raccoons is by installing bright lights and noise makers, such as a loud radio, in or near the structure they are infesting. This frightens the animals away. However, raccoons that are caring for young may be more difficult to frighten, due to their protective instincts.

Shooting, poisoning, and repellents are discouraged, due to legal issues and lack of effectiveness. There are no federally approved raccoon poisons, and animals other than raccoons may accidentally consume them. Shooting raccoons is often very difficult due to their nocturnal nature and can spread disease. Chemical repellents often prove ineffective.

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