How To Keep Raccoons From Eating Your Pet Food And Rummaging Through Your Garbage
One of the biggest areas of conflict between people and raccoons comes when these adaptable animals start looking for food in and around people's properties. The distinctive markings on the face of a raccoon does make it look like a cute burglar, but it can actually be a frustrating and annoying nemesis when garbage is regularly being ripped open in the search for food, or pet food is being stolen. Preventing this from happening can usually be achieved by being careful and practical when it comes to the storage of both garbage and pet food, and also when it comes to putting these out for the pets and the garbage collectors respectively.
Ensuring Your Pet Food Is Just Feeding Your Pets
Finding a nice bowl of pet food on the back porch of a house is a real gift for raccoons, especially as this will usually happen in the evening when they have just woken up and are ready for the night ahead. The first and most important step is to ensure that you feed your pets either indoors or where they can be supervised outdoors, and then to pick up the bowl when they are done, otherwise the scent can still attract raccoons.
The other issue is the storage of pet food, and especially with larger pets the sacks of food can often be too large to be kept in a kitchen cupboard. In this case consider storing the food in a barrel that can be closed securely, or placing the food in a shed or outhouse that can be secured where raccoons will not be able to get easy access to the food. When it comes to pet food, raccoons are usually opportunistic and will look for easy access to any type of food that is available,
Keeping Raccoons Away From Your Garbage
A challenge for many home owners when they are dealing with their garbage
is that often space can be at a premium, and putting the garbage bags outside is easier than having them cluttering up the kitchen. The problem is that raccoons and other animals are able to smell the waste food in the garbage, and will then tear open the bags to try and get to the food, making a big mess in the process. Raccoons are also quite clever animals meaning they will sometimes be able to push over garbage cans and remove loose lids from garbage cans in order to get to the trash.
When it comes to finding a solution that will prevent raccoons from getting to your garbage, it is usually about trying to stop the raccoons from being able to smell the food, and to secure the garbage so it is not accessible to them. Minimizing any food waste and putting any excess food into a compost bin as opposed to the garbage is one way to help reduce the attraction that garbage holds for raccoons. It is also wise to place the garbage within a secure trash can which can be fastened shut if it is being stored outside, or to place the bags in a secure outhouse such as a shed or garage where the raccoons will not be able to get to it.
A significant problem is on garbage collection day, as most people will put their garbage out early to be collected, giving raccoons easy access to the food waste within. Some neighborhoods that have a big raccoon problem will sometimes use a collection point where the garbage is collected from that is closed off to prevent raccoons getting in, but if this isn't possible, then putting the garbage out in a secure can will help prevent the bags from being ripped open and having trash scattered across the street.
Using Repellents To Discourage Raccoons From Visiting Your Property
One of the most debated aspects of dealing with pest animals is whether or not repellents really work. The fact is that the temptation of food that is easily available can often encourage raccoons to get past the discomfort they feel from repellents, so the best option is to combine the use of repellents with the securing of pet food and garbage. While there are plenty of commercial repellents available, it is also possible to create a hot pepper repellent which can be sprayed around the entry points to a garden or yard. Another good option is a motion activated light, which will immediately leave the raccoon feeling vulnerable and it will most likely flee.