How to Get Rid of Raccoons in Your Yard

Raccoons are nocturnal animals distantly related to bears. Although most are only a little larger than a cat or small dog, some can reach up to 50 pounds, according to the AAAnimalControl website. Raccoons may look cute, but they are bold and can cause serious damage to your yard and home. Like any animal, they can also be carriers of disease. For these reasons, you should try to eradicate them from your yard as soon as you notice them hanging around.

Raccoons may pull at your heartstrings, but it's best to get rid of them.

Step 1

Secure your house. This means filling in or closing any pet doors or holes in the home's structure where a raccoon could slip in. Raccoons need only about four inches to gain access. They will hang around your yard if they can smell food and access it in your home.

Step 2

Bring in anything the raccoons could eat, such as pet food. Leaving food in a screened in porch is not sufficient, as the raccoons will tear through your screen to get the food.

Step 3

Put a bungee cord, wire, or lid latches on your garbage cans. For bungee cords and wire, thread the bungee or wire tightly over the lid and through the handles. Lid latches use simple lever mechanisms to hold the lid on the can base. Use metal garbage cans only, as raccoons may chew through or bend plastic cans to access food. Raccoons love to forage in garbage cans and dumpsters.

Step 4

Place general-purpose floodlights in your yard at night anywhere you have seen the raccoons, particularly near entrances to the yard and around your garbage cans. According to the Acme How To website, raccoons may shy from your yard if the area is bright, as raccoons are nocturnal. Alert your neighbors of your problem and let them know you'll be running the lights throughout the night.

Step 5

Place a portable radio set to a talk radio station near the area you've seen the raccoons. The Acme How To website says that the sound of human voices may act as a deterrent to raccoons. However, patrol the area as well. Raccoons may learn that the radio holds no real threat and start to ignore it if they never see people around.

Step 6

Contact your local police department or animal control office. Ask them about ordinances governing the trapping of wild animals. If you are fortunate, your jurisdiction may allow you to trap raccoons. However, only attempt this if you have had proper training and use solid wall or steel traps that are at least 12-by-12-by-32 inches. You probably will not be allowed to trap the raccoons yourself unless you have a license. If this is the case, call in an animal control professional.