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How to Get Rid of Raccoons Humanely

Getting rid of raccoons takes an integrated approach; applying several control methods at once will give you better success at eliminating raccoons and keeping them away. Below, Havahart® provides step-by-step instructions to help you get rid of raccoons, as well as other useful trapping and repelling information.

man holding trash

1 Remove Food and Water

Raccoons invade your yard or home in search of food. Make your yard less inviting and your raccoon control plan more successful by eliminating any potential food sources that might attract them.

  • Remove trash and secure garbage bins.
  • Clean up fallen berries, nuts, fruits, birdseed, etc.
  • Clean up any leftover food, drinks or pet food.

2 Identify Areas of Damage

Knowing where your raccoon is spending most of its time and pinpointing the damage will help you target your control method.

Popular raccoon activities include:

  • invading your attic
  • eating your crops
  • stealing fish from your pond
  • living underneath your porch
  • raiding your trash cans
  • attacking your bird feed

3 Choose Your Right Control Method

Once you've identified where your raccoons are frequenting, you will be able to choose a control method. It's important to note that the more layers of defense you have against raccoons, the better your chances are at getting rid of them and keeping them off your property.

Live Raccoon Trap

raccoon trap

Use a live trap to manually remove a raccoon living inside your home or on your property. A large or extra-large-sized trap is best for raccoons. Animal traps are easy to use:

  • Wearing gloves, properly position your trap.
  • Bait your trap so that the raccoon must fully enter the trap and step on the trigger plate.
  • Set your trap and check it frequently. Don't allow a raccoon to remain inside the cage for an extended period of time.

For more information, read How to Trap Raccoons »

Shop Raccoon Traps »

Raccoon Repellents

Animal repellents

Use a repellent to keep raccoons out of frequented areas or to keep them off of objects and surfaces.

Raccoons are persistent, so it may take several weeks before they'll associate a repellent with your protected areas and surfaces.

For more information, read How to Repel Raccoons »

Shop Raccoon Repellents »

Electronic Repellents

Use an electronic repellent to frighten raccoons and condition them to stay out of any area. Electronic water sprinklers are chemical-free and can be used to protect:

Electronic repellents
  • vegetable gardens
  • plants
  • mulch beds
  • pathways
  • flowerbeds
  • pool areas
  • yards/lawns
  • structures
  • koi ponds
  • entryways
  • garbage cans
  • trees

Electronics are low-maintenance and great alternatives to traditional liquid and granular repellents.

For more information, read Why Electronics »

Shop Electronic Repellents » fencing


This may not be the most visually appealing option; however, using an electric fence to prevent raccoons can be a highly effective control method. Because of their intelligence and the dexterity of their paws, raccoons can climb over, dig under and even unlatch traditional gates or fences.

TIP: Maintain by trimming surrounding grass and weeds, and test the fence periodically.

Expert Tips

  • Employing multiple raccoon control products will provide the most effective defense.
  • Periodically wash your trash bins to minimize raccoon any smells that attract raccoons.
  • Leaving food and water around can attract wildlife. Be sure to keep areas around your house clean and spotless.
  • Before operating a live trap, get to know your local trapping and relocating laws.

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