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How experts say to get rid of raccoons

Raccoon on our deck this spring.
Raccoon on our deck this spring.
Photo by Ryan Ripp

I am done with raccoons.

I know, I know. I live in a mountain forest, and they were here first. But the masked bandits are getting on my last nerve.

They scratch up my newly painted deck. They prowl around at night like furry burglars. They carry diseases I’d rather not have my family infected with. They serve as scouts for bears.

And now, they have twice-damaged my sweet little mountain greenhouse and vegetable plants that I have painstakingly nurtured for months. (I have just now spent an hour making repairs, again. Oh how I love thee, duct tape.)

So, what’s a mountain dweller to do? After all, in a forest, there will always be raccoons. Here are two tricks a few of the experts I consulted with gave:

1. Put a battery-operated radio in the areas where you want the raccoons to stay away from. At dusk, turn the radio to on to a talk radio station that broadcasts all night.

If this does not seem to thwart your masked visitors, turn the volume up loudly, and leave the radio on day and night.

This idea makes me laugh, and I’m pretty sure the radio is going to keep us up at night and slowly become a form of self-torture. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try it.

2. Several sources tell me that ammonia, a chemical found in urine, is a smell that raccoons really hate. Supposedly, they smell the urine and think a much larger predator has marked the area. So, soak some old rags in ammonia and place them around where you do not want raccoons.

You’re going to have to resoak and replace those rags at least every few days to be effective.

I don’t even clean my own house with ammonia because I don’t like the chemical. I’m not liking the idea of putting this out around our deck and backyard. But hey, never say never. This is war.

Three Useless Raccoon Facts

  • Raccoons can range an area of up to 250 acres as their home habitat.
  • Raccoons live in nature for about 5 years or less.
  • Newborn raccoons have no mask and no rings on their tail yet.

Read more about raccoons here.

Do you have a suggestion for getting raccoons to stay away? Please share below!


  • Ryan 5 years ago

    I'm done with them too!

  • Leslie 5 years ago

    What a pain. My friend who lives in Charlestown, Mass., has them living under her bedroom! She's tried everything.

  • Susan 5 years ago

    We have a squirrely squirrel who steals bird food from our feeder. When I see him I open the back sliding door and slam it. He scurries away but is likely to be back in about 30 seconds.

  • Lu 5 years ago

    Fox urine powder -- bought at a local bird store -- seems to keep them away from the area where you spread it. Also, I've heard lots of smelly talcum powder can be effective. But they're too cute for me to chase them off!

  • sue 5 years ago

    They are "half heaven---half heartach"!!!They can really be pests,but can also be great fun---we had one for a pet( my dad
    used to hunt them and came upon a baby left alone)so we adopted
    it and it was the sweetest pet we ever had(that includes dozens of dogs), in fact our little dog used to romp and play with the raccoon---I have pictures to prove it! BUT---they have a habit
    of getting into things they shouldn't---that's a fact! It would
    collect our ear rings,etc. and hide them up in the the curtain rods---never for us to find until we did "spring cleaning". They
    also loved to rummage around in our garage as well as the neighbors and be very destructive! Good luck!!!!!!

  • Carol 5 years ago

    You've been probably driving them crazy since you moved in. They have been trying all the tricks to get rid of pesky people in their woods. Sounds like they might be finally making some headway. :)

  • Kathy 5 years ago

    HA! Carol, you are so right. Thanks for commenting, everyone. Lu, I will have to check out the powder.

  • Herman 5 years ago

    There always seems to be some kind of pest trying our patience.

  • Michelle 5 years ago

    I like coons. We have a family living in the sewer system on our bloock. I always get a thrill when I see them at night. Coons have to eat too. :)

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