How to get rid of Raccoons?

winsorw(8)October 14, 2008


What would be a permanent method to get rid of raccoons? I know some people (like my neighbours) love them. My neighbour said he let them live in his yard permanently. I can't convince him that they are carrier for round worm. They destroyed my yard, especially now they are fatting themselves up. Is there a law in the king county not to kill them? If not, what would be a good poison to use?


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Your best bet is a big dog.......a 'coonhound is a good choice :-)) Seriously, there are no poisons you can use that will not also be a risk to or available to pets or other, more desireable wildlife, not to mention the possibility (however remote) of kids getting into it. Even if the posion is restricted to areas like garbage cans, dead poisoned raccoons can be consumed by dog or cats which then become poisoned themselves. Repellants have little affect but noises or sudden movement may scare them off (at least temporarily) - try motion detecting water sprays/sprinklers or lights. Trapping (safe or hav-a-hart traps ONLY in King County) could work but then you need to relocate the critters.

Your neighbors need some education - raccoons are wild animals with the potential to become quite vicious if cornered or provoked. They are destructive and are carriers of a number of diseases including rabies. They can also kill or seriously injure domesticated pets of all kinds. They are considered vermin......a larger, furrier and somewhat more visually appealing form of rats, but with the same undesireable attributes.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 5:38PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I have to have an electric fence around my pond because they won't leave it alone. They trash the plants in their efforts to get to the fish.

I had no luck with motion lights, ultrasonic noisemakers, repellants etc.

Trapping and relocating only solves the problem temporarily, new ones will move in to the empty territory. Released ones will fight with the ones already in the territory you release them in. Less cruel to euthanize but that may not be legal.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 12:53PM
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novita(SWB.C. z8)

We have had no luck either. We also have a dog, but since raccoons are nocturnal, we have to keep the dog inside at night or he would be rushing out madly barking at 3 am,(waking us and the neighbors) so the raccoons are free to do what they want all night, like eating almost all our grapes. My husband used to trap and relocate, but it occurred to me that you might trap the mother but still leave babies behind.
I agree that you need to educate the neighbors - these pesky critters should not be encouraged!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 9:08PM
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Thank you all for sharing, at least I don't feel that I'm the only one who is desperate:-)
My neighbour isn't someone I can talk to. Last month I was working in the garden and I saw one raccoons on the tree (I didn't think it was in his property because we really don't have a clear border). I ran into the house, brought a small BB gun and shot it from a long distance, didn't aim or anything, just wanted to scare it. My neighbour heard, came to find me, and accused me of endangering the poor animal....I tried to reason with him but he said he would call the police because I was shooting into his property. That's when he told me the raccoons stay in his property.
Sorry, I'm telling the story out of frustration.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 10:27PM
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I am truly sorry for your frustrations.Raccoons should not be on your property and if your neighbor is so rude I would not try to explain anything to him.Just tell him to get his pets out of your property because you are just about to get a real gun and then you will have to take care of his "pets" that he refuses to keep on his property and feed them properly.I know its easier said than done, but that's all you can do.The only way to kill them is to get a live trap , but you will have to transport them out into the wilderness and therefore you will relocate them hopefully permanently.
Check the law in your community and see if anyone can help you out.You may want to approach other neighbors about your concern and see if they have any ideas.
The raccoons in our area ripped the house roof of our friends and moved into the attic few years ago for the winter time and only when they had babies our friends realized who shared their house with them.They did so much damage they had to replace the roof and many leaks as they got rain inside the house.Not nice situation so you have to deal with it.
Most likely your neighbor was trying to scare you by telling him he would call the police.The police does not look after raccoons and you can tell him you already called the police to let them know that he is keeping wild animals on his property illegally.
I do feel for you and I wish you lots of luck.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 1:57AM
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Yes, I would suggest talking to your other, friendlier neighbors and if they are bothered as much as you are then perhaps it is time to call your county animal control department to make a complaint. They are the ones responsible for ridding residential areas of unwanted and dangerous animal pests.

Where it I live, for example, it only takes three calls to the animal control about an animal nuisance (in this case I am thinking of barking dogs) to cause the owner to be required to get rid of the dog if the problem can't be solved any other way. I can't imagine that you would be forced to live with this kind of nuisance especially when it puts other living things in danger for their lives.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 9:11AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Unlike Norway and roof rats, and Eastern gray squirrels (all non-native here on the west coast) these are a native animal that is able to live among us after we move in and change the landscape. Like the aforementioned rodents they do this partly by making use of our plantings and other installations. As much as possible plantings, structures and other attractions (like pet food dishes) need to be set up or operated in such a way as to make them unsuitable for unwanted guests.

Sometimes comparatively simple measures produce lasting relief. My uncle got the coons to leave his grapes alone by installing low voltage electric lines on his arbor.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 12:08PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

DH swapped out the wire and plastic posts on our FiShock Fence (fifty bucks/Petco) with copper tubing and bamboo and it looks much more attractive. Works like a charm to keep Rocky out of the fish pond. Unfortunately, I have container ponds and other smaller ponds that are unprotected.

I think we would all be amazed to know how many hundred raccoons there are prowling around at night.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 12:35PM
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Thank you very much for all new comments. They are very useful, I will try some of the suggestions and hope that my situation will change.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 9:42PM
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I don't know how it works on 'coons but CatStop works on cats. My DM used 3 and set them up in a triangle to keep cats out of her yard and away from her bird feeder. They worked!

Otherwise..........use the hotwire.

BTW, I agree with your neighbor about the BB gun. It would only end up injuring the animal enough to lead to an infection or constant pain.
If the 'coons are being fed and know they're welcomed in your neighbor's yard, they're not likely to be run off by you.

Here is a link that might be useful: CatStop

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 10:33PM
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Add me to the list of happy Fi-Shock Electric Fence owners to keep the raccoons out. I too had incessant nightly battles with them over my pond until I put the fence up. Since then...not a single problem. The other methods mentioned didn't work one bit.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 10:47PM
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Raccoons may be native here, but their natural predators are gone.

I'm hoping the cougar sighted in our Meadowdale neighborhood will help him(her)self to quite a few.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 1:26AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

They trashed my newest container ponds the night before last. There are no fish, snails, frogs or anything in there for them to eat. Only an inch of water with bog plants in shallow bowls. They tore them apart. Ripped the plants up and tossed them. Looks like a hurricane hit. I get so frustrated. I can't really hotwire my entire yard and I can't fit all of my container ponds in the greenhouse. These are hardy plants that don't need to be in there.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 12:21PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Looking for food underneath the plants. When nuisance animals are present you have to exclude them from the target items. Maybe you will even have to put up a secure wire cage for your water plant dishes. As mentioned, trapping and killing works until replacement animals come in from elsewhere. Actively breeding species constantly generate new individuals in need of a place to live. As others die new ones take their place.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 3:41PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

DH made chicken wire covers for some of my liner ponds. I guess I'll have to have him do so for the bowls but it really ruins the look.....

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 6:00PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

As does having them torn apart. Just be sure the enclosures are secure, something the coons can't knock over or lift up. Determined animals can be pretty effective.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 10:41PM
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I have a friend who traps them in a cage and drives them out to the woods in a location away from homes and gardens. You might try the animal shelter about using one of their cages.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 12:03PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

As mentioned by buyorsell trapping and relocating assumes dropping the animals in a new location will have no adverse effects, that there are no other raccoons or other animals of particular significance already on the relocation site.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 12:33PM
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laurell(8 - Washington)

My boyfriend's mother in Lake Forest Park had such a hard time with raccoons. They would trash her pond almost every night, even after they had emptied it of goldfish and koi, they would knock stones into it and chew on a plastic frog that she kept on the side. She eventually got so fed up that she tore it out and put in a rock fountain with stones surrounding it so the raccoons couldn't destroy it anymore.

Before that, she wanted us to sit inside her house with a .22 and shoot the raccoons with subsonic rounds through open windows at night. It was that bad.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 4:32PM
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We have a problem in my neighborhood. 1 dog has been killed and several have been badly slashed by raccoons. They chased my dog all the way into the house through the dog door. They have eaten all my grapes for the last two years. I have shot them with BBs and they bounce right off of them. They ate all of my neighbors tomatoes.

Last year there was a huge problem in Olympia. Several pets were killed and the police did take action against people who tried to protect their homes, pets and gardens. I don't know how they managed this year.

I find them cute in the forest, but I hate them in town. Even the neighbors who consider themselves to be lovers of all animals changed their minds when it was their dog that was killed.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 1:49AM
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I requested and received a permit from Oregon's wild life service. The permit states that raccoons can't be transferred once trapped. Spreading disease seems to be the reason. I had permission to trap 4 animals, but subsequently trapped twelve raccoons, two foxes, a skunk, and a possum. Be careful what you wish for. The skunk was the biggest problem. I was told to kill the animals (shoot them), and bury the bodies on BLM land. Instead, I gave them all a "vacation" out in the country. The raccoon problem went away for about six months, but they're back, and we're starting to trap again.

About the skunk: a local exterminator got it out of the trap and disposed of it using diesel starter fluid, a large rag, and 5-gallon bucket with a tight lid...... Seems premium starting fluid contains 50% ether, which puts the animal humanely to sleep by placing a rag soaked with it over the Have a Heart Cage. Then, the animal is placed in a sealed 5 gallon bucket with lots more ether. After this quiet execution, drive the animal to BLM land and bury.

I think this would work pretty well with raccoons too.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 5:53PM
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laurell(8 - Washington)

I know it's been mentioned, but I have seen raccoons in my yard ONCE. And that was when one of my malamute mixes chased 2 out of the yard. Haven't seen them since.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 11:36PM
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Hi, I'm a professional wildlife trapper.

If the raccoons are getting into a house, you can solve the problem permanently by removing the animals (be sure to check for young inside the house) and then sealing all entry holes into the house shut.

If they are outside, then your best bet is to eliminate whatever they are after - pet food, garbage, etc. Don't give them any reason to use your property!

There are no repellents or sound machines or anything that will work. And as many of you have discovered, not even a really tough dog will do the trick.

If you must trap the animals, relocate if legal in your state (in most states it's not), and if you euthanize the animal PLEASE do so humanely - I use a CO2 chamber, which is the most humane method I know of. You can read more at the below website.

Here is a link that might be useful: How To Get Rid of Raccoons

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 12:35AM
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janezee(Sunset 5, 8b, Whidbey WA)

Well, since the dogs in our area don't even have to get rabies vaccinations, I'm guessing that rabies isn't an issue here. I don't know where you live, but I'd get myself a live trap, and drop that trap in the pond or lake on a rope. Wait a half hour, and dispose of the contents. Of course, you could dispose of it in your yard, near where the others enter your property.
I love animals as much as the next person, but they've caused me lots of trouble in my home in the NE, too, and they killed my cat. One got into the cabin and bit my friend on the foot. He had to have the rabies shots. Not happy.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 12:33AM
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Recently, I saw a show titled "Raccoon Nation" on PBS. The show did not give any advice on how to get rid of them but was very interesting and informative.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 4:59PM
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a couple of homemade poison recipes are to mix Coke and fly bait. Fly bait is a powder you can get at any farm supply store. Raccoons like the sweet coke and the mixture of the two kills coons straight away.

another is peanut butter and cement powder. Never tried this one myself, but makes sense.

I have to guess that neither are harmful to dogs if they ate the raccoon after it was dead, but don't think it would be good if they got into the poison itself. Put it up high where they raccoon will find it, but dogs can't get into it.

The only problem with poison is either they crawl back into your attic and die, or a dead mother raccoon leaves the kits behind to die. Either way you have a stink in your house.

Put some bright lights and a couple of radios in the attic. LOTS of mothballs help also. My sister had raccoons in her barn and her boyfriend put a loud radio out there and the raccoons left.

Was at Rona today (Canadian version of Home Depot, for all of you in Yankee Land :) and they had solar powered high frequency transmitters that were supposed to get rid of coons. Does anyone know if high frequency works on raccoons the same as mice and rats, or does it just piss the neighbor's dog off??

Had one in my attic about three weeks ago and thought I'd got rid of it, but heard it up there again last night, so i got my hockey stick from beside the bed and banged on the ceiling a lot, turned up the stereo, and ran the exhaust fan in the bathroom for a couple of hours. I got a bag full of hair from the hairdresser the other day. Was going to throw it and maybe an old T-shirt up there hoping the human scent would drive them off.

Next step is get the 12 gauge shotgun out and probably blow a hole in the roof when I miss the damn raccoon!! Keep my fingers crossed.

Good luck to all

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 11:25PM
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Thank you, ag2469, for the inf. I like the first two formulas:-) Well, I don't have them in the attic so I should try them this summer.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 10:37PM
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Clock radio on talk station worked for our chicken coops with the volume loud enough that you could hear the voices from 20 feet away. Any louder & it was too annoying to us especially in the chick pen that was next to the bedroom.

When the kids were young they'd come in from doing chores with half a news story wanting to know the rest. If they went out in the evening they'd hear people talking about seeing aliens, so it was kind of funny. We often turned them off during the day when we were out back, but turned them on again when the coop was locked up for the night. More often than not we'd remember because we were so used to the talk radio voices. An occasional forgetting didn't seem to make a difference.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 11:07AM
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Dear ag2469

Your suggestions are so bizarre, I have to think you are joking, right? This is a 'tongue in cheek' kind of thing 'ehh'???

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 6:45PM
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srkaiser(8b PNW)

I think winsorw and I are neighbors! No! I am not the goofy neighbor refusing to get rid of the raccoons but *I* have a back door neighbor who loves the raccoons so much they FEED them! YEP! The raccoons actually wait around on their back deck PACING waiting until the dumb neighbor comes home to feed them cat food! INSANITY!!! My husband and I recently put in a pond with goldfish and are TERRIFIED those dang raccoons are gonna come feast! I DO have two dogs! And the pond IS deep. But it is a matter of time...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:08AM
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I second the recommendation to check out the film linked by winsorw six comments above, and also the advice from the trapper eight comments above.

Bottom line: with or without a crazy neighbor, they are visiting your yard on a nightly basis. And even if you can trap/kill your raccoons, they are prolific enough and their territories so closely-spaced that new ones will show up.

What you can do is stop them living on your property, and there are health reasons to do that:
The film is also good background on that, because it gives you a sense of what kinds of spaces raccoons can use.

It's not that much different from cockroaches in an apartment. First time you see the roaches, you want to kill them which is entertaining and makes you feel good but which is totally ineffective because more will turn up as long as they have a reason to. Eventually you learn how to deny them food and hiding places.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 6:05AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

TV news had a story about a local woman being chased and mauled by a group of raccoons, while she was walking her dog. As always in a science fiction movie, she fell down, enabling them to catch up to her and inflict injury.

She looked unperturbed during the interview, sitting on a couch with her apparently unhurt small dog, who they said fought back during the encounter.

Her limbs were all marked up. There was no mention of rabies that I picked up on.

She intends to keep walking in the same area.

There is also a problem on a nationwide level of coyotes attacking humans.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 10:11PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

The woman who was mauled by the raccoons will have to have rabies shots according to the news.
Not fun.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 11:40PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Ch 5: "Lee isn't out of the woods quite yet. She has three more rounds of rabies shots. On Monday, she had to get individual injections of antibiotics in each of the 16 puncture wounds. She said that hurt worse than the attack."

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 10:47AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

You do have to wonder if that was the problem. In recent years I've had pairs of them walk past me during daylight hours, the first time when I was standing in my yard and the second right after I had gotten into my car. The second time they came down the steps behind me after I had left a friend's small urban place and then walked up the middle of the sidewalk, like unleashed dogs.

City neighborhood, along a 2-lane street with a neighborhood center and playfield across the street, and not much cover anywhere.

I've seen coyotes in the open several times in my neighborhood over the years. One once popped noisily out the hedge just north of my house, appeared to look back at me through the window, without concern.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 1:42PM
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My name is David Quinn and I am a licensed nuisance wildlife control operator on Long Island, Nassau County, New York. The question is How to get rid of raccoons. If you are seeing raccoons on your property, they are there for either food, or shelter. So, if you are one of those people who likes to feed feral cats you are also feeding raccoons when you leave food out for the cats. You also must make sure that your garbage cans are secured, or the raccoons will be in them. If there are any compromises in the roof of your home, garage, or shed raccoons will find their way into them. Raccoons will also seek shelter under a deck, so it is important to have a skirt around your deck to prevent raccoons from getting under it. If your home, garage, shed, or deck is inhabited by raccoons you will have to contact a licensed trapper to get rid of them. In New York I would contact Nassau County Animal Control
or DQ Pest Control to get rid of the raccoons.
Once the raccoons have been removed, raccoon control will be dependent upon you not attracting them. So, you can't provide raccoons with food, or shelter if you want to get rid of raccoons.

Here is a link that might be useful: DQ Pest Control

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 12:50AM
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If raccoons have become a nuisance wildlife problem, you need to contact a professional raccoon trapper. The guys at Nasssau County Animal Control can solve your raccoon problem if you live in Nassau County, Long Island.

Here is a link that might be useful: Raccoon removal and control

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 10:24PM
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What I do is soak rat poison in with some cooked meat scraps. Coons arnt like rats theres only 3 or 4 in a given territory and if it gets rid of stray alley cats that S*** in all of my beds .." Oh Well sucks to be a cat" in times past we would be allowed to shoot them this is the second best method.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 8:24AM
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I myself had suffered from the invasion of these animals :) I read the tips on the internet and got rid of them. But in general I do not interfere, but the children .. In general that's like good advice how to eradicate raccoons - the link below:

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 9:17AM
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