Tried everything to rid our "in town " home and yard of raccoons

We've been in this house 5 years. we have live trapped about 20 raccoons . We've tried light , noise, ammonia, but the only thing that works is live trap- so far. Would like to be rid of these for good. This year we built a lanai and they ripped the screen from top to bottom and crawled to the tops of the beams and made my new white drapes filthy .i had to take them down, plus they mud stamp all around the pool. I would appreciate and help other homeowners have had success getting rid of these trash bandits! Thanks!
q tried everything to rid our in town home and yard of raccoons
  23 answers
  • Rkc17621683 Rkc17621683 on Sep 01, 2017
    Depending on what you are doing with the raccoons, after you have trapped them, you may actually be dealing with the same individuals. The best resource for wildlife management is your state fisheries and wildlife department. They are the experts at dealing with these problems and are more than happy to help. Good luck. Raccoons are especially destructive.

  • Robert Robert on Sep 01, 2017
    They must have nested there previously and by instinct return annually. You need to locate where the had/have their nest and clean it out. If the nest was in an atti, you will need to remove any signs of the nest, insulation especially. Then spray down the joists or area with a bleach solution to remove their scent.

  • FL FL on Sep 01, 2017
    Check out this site by Wil;dlife control experts and see if there are any solutions you have not yet tried. Good luck!

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Sep 01, 2017
    Have you considered getting a what's called a LGD - large guard dog? No, not a ferocious type, but one that guards your property from nocturnal animals? They are seen on lots of farms to protect farm animals from critters like what you are dealing with and would help your situation.

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    • DP DP on Sep 04, 2017
      a dog would go after a coon but that is taking a real chance the coon could have rabies which would be passed to the dog and then to the owner, this isn't really a good idea because of this.

  • Donna Conner Donna Conner on Sep 01, 2017
    fox urine works very well to repel. If they are living under your house , sprinkle a small amount on cotton balls and toss under there. A little goes a long way, it is very strong, but very effective. should be able to buy it at a feed and seed store.

  • Hope Hope on Sep 01, 2017
    Hi Muriel. My neighbors recently 'evicted' a family of raccoons that were living in the crawl space under their house. She told me they put lots of moth-balls under the house and the 'coons vacated willingly. Apparently, they HATE the smell. (who doesn't?!? LOL) Hope this helps. Good Luck!

  • Judy Judy on Sep 03, 2017
    My husband is a wildlife control operator. Go to and click your state. Coons are at all time high numbers and have multiple zoonotic diseases. Be careful when cleaning feces. They are cute but wild and ornery.

  • Ginny Ginny on Sep 04, 2017
    Call a pofessional exterminator. I had raccoons when I lived in Baltimore City (Maryland) before moving to a suburb of Baltimore. New homes, new roads, new anything makes them look for new areas. Remember that we are invading their territory, not the other way around.

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Sep 04, 2017
    The many farms/homesteads that have LGD's would disagree. You are going under the assumption that the coon would be caught by the dog. The fact is that the mere presence of a LGD patrolling the property would deter such critters.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Sep 04, 2017
    This trick works for deer, so it is worth a try on raccoons----- get human hair clippings from a barber shop or beauty salon and put them in panty hose and place it where the raccoons gather. Deer hate the smell of humans, so maybe this will work for you, (Good luck!)

  • Dorothy hill Dorothy hill on Sep 04, 2017
    Coons are a serious problem. I replaced wood trim were they entered above the porch. They destroyed it again. I covered it with heavy metal, they bent it and destroyed it. I caught them in a live trap, took them several miles away. I caught them again. (Hate to shoot them, they are kinda neat.)
    I called the Detroit Zoo. He told me if they were born there, they'll return. I said I'll catch them and take them to my old hometown when visiting my mom - Sixty-two miles away. He said they'd still return. To prove his point, he suggested painting it. I sprayed some white paint on it while in the trap. How can this critter know directions while in the trap, in the back of the van, 62miles away.
    Turned him lose in a wooded area near mom's. Not quite two weeks later, caught the same coon, (painted), again! I was amazed! Sadly, I killed it. Problem solved.

    They destroyed a drop ceiling and the drapes. Insulation was a mess! Had no choice. I also cut down 4 trees that were growing next to my old two story brick farm house so others can't climb to the upper level wood trim. (Didn't want to do that either!)

    Sad, but problem solved --- for now???

  • FL FL on Sep 04, 2017

  • Elaine Elaine on Sep 04, 2017
    I had lots around my house; in fact, unbeknowns to us, they found a tiny hole and gained access to our attic for one entire Winter. They liked to climb up our pergola and like you, could dirty up the curtains I had hanging there so I took them down.

    Once we found the evidence in the Spring, we had them humanely removed from the attic by a Wildlife removal company, the entire attic (dirty!) insulation removed and replaced to the tune of almost $8,000. Luckily, our insurance company paid for everything!! I have since moved but understand other neighbors on the same street continue to trap them then drive them much further afield!

    This was a subdivision very close to farmers' fields, country, etc. However, I know of friends who live in large cities and are plagued by them! We just have to live with Mother Nature, I guess. If you have dogs or cats, PLEASE don't let them out in hopes of chasing them away as raccoons can inflict awful damage to a pet. My husband's childhood pet (dog) was sadly blinded by a raccoon.

  • Raccoons are the worse!!!!! I have tried EVERYTHING! Including fishing line, not picking up after my dogs, The Scarecrow, Coyote Urine, even live trap - they were too smart to get into them. So you're doing pretty good. I tried the nice way in every way possible. We're in a subdivision in a small rural farming community and love the small town life. It's the way I was raised, except I lived in the country...but we never had raccoons!

    Do you take them far enough away? I was told you have to take them at least 200 miles away. My Great Dane got by me one day and they took her down. We tried "pet safe" traps that "only raccoons could get their front paws in. We now have a 3 legged cat. Yep she got her front paw in it and by the time we got her out from all her writhing, it had to be amputated.

    Now I LOVE ALL animals and this may sound harsh (our pets are part of our family) but there comes a time when a line must be drawn. The only good raccoon is a dead one. After 4 separate visits taking our Dane, 5 large Koi, that they didn't even eat, just left out of the water and the incident with our cat ....nice time is over. My sons now shoot them. Since they started doing this, I guess the word's out, haven't had any more visits.

    I don't condone this, but we were at our wits end. Had researched and researched, heck I even bought coyote urine! Something had to give. I still my Great Dane everyday.

    I wish all the luck with this major problem. I wish I had answer for you. Hopefully saved you a few bucks letting you know the things I bought didn't work. Be sure to drive them far enough away. They travel over 100 miles at night!

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    • I feel for you! 65!! Time to make a jacket! J/K LOL They are the worst. They have returned and are so bold now. Even come during the day! My son and his Am Staff were getting ready to run to the store. She was sitting waiting to get in the car, he reached for the door handle - as he did a raccoon jumped out of the tree missed him and landed on her. Her skin is loose so she was able to grab it with her mouth and toss it. Darn thing ran back, jumped her again, this time my son got a kick in. It came running back again! The whole time my son was yelling for my other son. Coon jumped his dog again, she threw if off with her mouth and was finally able to head toward the house as his brother came out with pellet gun. The coon climbed back up in the tree, my son shot at it, it came down after him. He didn't have time to grab any of their bigger guns or ammo. He hit it with the butt and ran in the house where our dog and his brother were finally in safely. Now the dog nor my son new the raccoon was in the tree, it attacked for no reason. These things are huge. Not like the scrawny ones you see in the zoo, must weigh 40 - 45 lbs.

      Good to know about the ammonia. I had a case waiting for them. I sprayed the part of the fence they climb to enter the backyard with WD-40, heard they didn't like that. Also all around that area is covered in Bloodmeal, supposed to not like that either. So far they haven't been around since last winter. Read in the paper the people downtown were feeding them in the allies. That's fine with me. Keep them all downtown!

      Guns are still waiting, other precautions are just in case were sleeping! LOL GRRR

  • Muriel D Boulanger Brown Muriel D Boulanger Brown on Sep 05, 2017
    Thank you ! My husband is definitely considering shooting.

  • Leslie Leslie on Sep 08, 2017
    I have that exact same trap in your picture, it was my Great Grandpa's. It still works & gets used when necessary. Anyway, with a barn, chicken coops & a greenhouse. Raccoons are my enemy. Why do people think they're cute & cuddly? They eat garbage & anything else they can get to. They leave a path of destruction wherever they go. I digress, so here's how we solved this problem.
    * DON'T waste your time relocating. It DOESN'T work! *

    #1 Use trap as seen in your picture to catch a racoon.
    Set the trap every evening, check it a few times during the night.
    If you catch one, DON'T wait until morning. It won't be there, they are ninjas!
    #2 Shoot it & make sure it is dead.
    I know it sounds cruel. I am last person who would intentionally hurt an animal. But when they kill your chickens & eat the eggs you wanted for breakfast...
    #3 Golden Malrin
    Starbar® GOLDEN MALRIN® Fly Bait is a fly bait formula that attracts & kills flies. Intended for use in barns, etc. It can sometimes be hard to find, just Google it. It also can be used for skunks, raccoons & any other critters that need to vacate the premises. This stuff WORKS!!! Usually we find the dead raccoon within 10-15 feet from the "killer cocktail"
    This stuff is highly toxic & very potent. Be careful if you have pets, or other animals you don't want to die.
    Here is a link with more info and most importantly the recipe.'s-raiding-your-garden/msg35366/?PHPSESSID=d8d7765531292539143af23f9481fb2c#msg35366
    This WILL get rid of your uninvited guests.Good luck

  • Sharon Sharon on Sep 09, 2017
    If there was no food source and/or habitat for them, they wouldn't be there. In most cases this means pet food left out, and holes they can climb into.

  • Shani Black Shani Black on Sep 09, 2017
    Rent a dog

  • Shani Black Shani Black on Sep 09, 2017
    coons will make a hole you may have to use rat wall they climb

  • Dfm Dfm on Sep 09, 2017
    if you trap and release take the coon across a few rivers. Or relocate to stew pot. Or BBQ pit.
    Yup had to drown a few as well. I was living about 5 blocks from the city center...and everyone thought it was oh so cool to feed them. Don't. Set out trash when you hear the garbage man. You can check with the city conservation officer about getting a live trap as a rental or loaner with deposit.

  • Ebbjdl Ebbjdl on Sep 09, 2017
    Call your local Animal Control, and let them know the problem your having. When they they have it trapped, they take it far away to some wooded area, and let them loose. Try putting Vaseline on all your drain pipes, about 3 ft. Start at the bottom. If you have trees over your roof or near the roof, they can get on it from the tree. They like to scratch the shingles off the roof and try to get in. Spray your trash cans with ammonia . You MUST cover all trash cans, and tie them down with a bungee cord. Plus a brick on top, and spray the top also. They are strong and hell bent on tearing up the garbage, any where there's food. They also have a spray you can buy at a garden center or Homedepot or Lowe's. Good Luck!

  • Sharon Sharon on Sep 09, 2017
    Have you tried the liquid fence around your property line? Here is the recipe, and I would add a couple tbsp of cayenne pepper to the recipe. You need to make sure its a continuous line of the liquid fence or they will use that as a gate to your property. And I would even spray any tree trunks up a couple feet to discourage them.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Dec 07, 2020

    Be sure you do not have any food or pet food outside which will make them determined to come again and again- I would call Animal Control although they usually won't remove them unless they are rabid. As long as they can smell any food from trash cans, etc they will come around