Things You'll Need
Lamp with bright bulb
Raccoons are strong, and if there is any sort of access to the area under your house--even if they have to pry away a loose piece of wood or tear a hole through the lattice--they will get in. Once in, they make noise, create damage, nest and defecate. Raccoons may look cute, but they carry diseases, such as roundworm and rabies, and they quickly lose their fear of people. They can be vicious when cornered. If racoons have set up house in the space beneath your home, you want to evict them.
Check to see if there are any baby raccoons under your house. Mother raccoons often nest under a house because it is a safe and dry place. They generally give birth and raise their young from March through June. If you find a litter of baby raccoons in the space under your house, it is best to put off the eviction until they are young adults. Wait at least eight weeks. Chances are, they will leave on their own once they are grown.
Once you are certain there are no baby raccoons under the house, take steps to get rid of the adults. Eliminate what may be attracting them. Remove cat or dog food from the yard, and do not feed your pets outside. Secure your garbage cans by strapping the lids down with bungee cords.
Make the space uninhabitable. Place a bright light in the space under the house. Find a talk show on a portable radio, turn the volume up, and put it in the space. Leave the radio and the light on for 48 to 72 hours. Fill a few empty tin cans with rags that have been soaked in ammonia, and put these under the house, as well.
If these steps fail to encourage the raccoons to leave, trap and remove them. Use a Havahart or similar trap to catch the raccoons. Bait the trap. After a raccoon is inside, keep a cover over the trap to calm the animal. Wear heavy gloves when moving the cage once the animal is inside. Release in the woods.
Secure the space so no raccoons can take up residence again. Permanently close up any entry spaces they were using. Nail pieces of chicken wire over lattice to make it harder for raccoons to tear it apart.
Contact a local wildlife rescue group and ask if they can help. Talk with your neighbors before using a bright light or loud radio to flush out a raccoon. Make sure they know this is just a temporary measure.
Check the laws in your state before attempting to trap raccoons--it is illegal to relocate them in many states. Contact your humane society or animal control officer to learn the regulations in your state. Do not leave captured animals where children have access to them.
Cyn Reed has been writing since 1992 on a number of topics, including gardening, wine, food and animals. Her work has appeared in such publications as "Clifton" magazine, "Calliope" and the "Georgetown Review." She is currently working on a book about the oldest trees in the world. Reed has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Fine Arts in writing.