This nocturnal animal is a frequent guest at many homes and buildings. You'll find them searching through garbage cans or dumpsters looking for food. But of greater concern is that this animal may literally tear into an attic and nest there leaving droppings and making quite a bit of noise. In other instances, they may climb down into a chimney and nest near the damper.

This large animal, known for its distinctive "masked" face and beautiful fur, may grow to between 24" and 48" in length and weigh between 12 lbs. and 25 lbs..  A litter of raccoons may contain between three and six young.


Raccoon have opposable thumbs giving them greater dexterity compared to other pest animals and making them more formidable to deal with.  Control is dependent on the situation. Exclusion is very practical in many cases. For chimneys, chimney caps are available to prevent raccoons from entering there. Garbage cans with secured lids will discourage continued attacks on those items. Also, pruning back of trees from the structure may remove access to an attic and allow for repairs.  

The first thing to try is a repellent.  Critter Ridder is a natural product that can be used for the production of organic food.    This product contains a variety of different pepper related products that work by both taste and touch.   Critter Ridder can be used to keep raccoons away from selected areas around a property.

Another option is DeTour Rodent Repellent. It is a contact irritant. When a Rodent or small animal comes in contact with the product they will make sure to find ways to get away from the area.

Apply the DeTour Repellent on the openings and entry points where the small animals enter the buildings/attics. Another great idea is to place some plates with peanuts at a few different spots in the attic then apply the DeTour on the edge of the plate. The rodent / small animal will be attracted to the peanuts and while trying to eat them they come in contact with the Detour. This will get them to run out of the structure. 

If a repellent fails, to eliminate a raccoon problem, it is necessary to remove the troublesome animals using a live trap. We recommend Havahart TM traps which are very effective. Two sizes are available. The Havahart #1079 will capture average size raccoons. The larger Havahart #1081 is intended for large raccoons. These traps will capture the raccoon alive.  If transported at least ten miles away, the animal will generally not find its way back. Traps may be re-used as needed. Canned fish or cat food are excellent baits for the trap.   However, if cats or other pets are present in the same area, you can substitute slices of apple as a bait instead.

Note that many state and local governments regulate trapping of wild/nuisance animals - you may want to check with local authorities first.  

The Bug Clinic takes pride in providing free advice.  However, we do have a full line of products available. Please browse our store to see what we offer.  If there is an item you don't see or you need more information about this topic or anything else that is pest control related, please contact us for additional information:

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