Top 4 Causes for Raccoons Roaming Around Your Backyard

Raccoon in woods

There are a number of furry little critters that you might expect to see roaming about in your yard that are basically harmless. For example, squirrels and bunnies are likely to make a regular appearance around your home, causing you no concern whatsoever. But there is a certain little furry visitor that may give you pause. If you’ve seen a raccoon wandering around your backyard, you are no doubt looking for a way to make sure it doesn’t make its way back in. Raccoons are notorious for wreaking havoc, so keeping them out of your yard is essential. Narrowing down the reasons why a raccoon may have roamed into your space is the best way to figure out how to keep them out.

1. Searching for Food

The main draw for raccoons coming into your yard is a yummy looking snack. Of course, to a raccoon, this can be very different from what we humans might think of as appetizing. Raccoons will feast on everything from fruits and nuts, to worms and insects, to garbage in your trash cans. If you have an abundance of any of these things in your backyard, it’s time to do some cleaning. If you have trees that shed fruits and nuts, keep the areas underneath as cleaned up as possible. Be sure that you keep your entire yard free of leaf piles and other debris that may allow insects and worms to pile up. You should also keep your garbage cans covered so that raccoons can’t gain easy access. The less likely they are to find something to snack on, the less likely they are to make themselves at home in your yard.

2. Looking for Shelter

Another reason raccoons may be wandering into your yard is to hunt for shelter. This is especially true of female raccoons that are looking for a place to raise their young. You may be completely unaware of the different ways your home can provide shelter to a determined raccoon, but it’s important to take note and make entry as difficult as possible. Pet doors are a quick way for a raccoon to enter your home, which is the last thing you want. Keep these doors locked at night whenever possible. Raccoons may become aggressive and bite if cornered, and they are known to spread disease. Keeping them out of your main living space is imperative. Other areas of your home where they may find shelter are chimneys, attics, and the space underneath your house or porch. If these areas are not covered currently, it’s time to get it done. Install mesh hardware cloth, boards, or metal flashing at all entry points to deter raccoons and other animals from making their way inside.

3. Darkness

Raccoons do not enjoy being out and about in the bright sunshine, as they are mainly nocturnal creatures. When they are on the hunt for food and shelter, they prefer to do so in the dark of night. If your home isn’t lit up at night then you are doing nothing to deter raccoons from entering your property. Unfortunately, a lone porch light might not be enough to deter a raccoon on a mission. The best way to keep them away is to install motion-activated flood lights. If they are hit with a bright light the minute they step onto your property, there is a good chance they will think they are about to encounter a human and head for the hills.

4. Easy Access

An unfortunate fact of the matter is that your every day fence probably isn’t enough to keep raccoons out of your yard. They have the ability to either dig their way under or climb over most fences, so your fence is doing little to protect you from the threat of a raccoon invasion. If you are dealing with particularly persistent raccoons, the only way to truly deter them may be through an electric fence. Of course, this can present a danger to all critters that may enter your yard, and can be particularly dangerous if you have pets or children in your home. The best way to take this approach is to set the fence to be active only during dusk and dawn, which is the most typical time for raccoons to be out on the prowl.

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