As removal is an absolute last resort, prevention is a key strategy in driving coexistence between humans and raccoons. Individuals must keep in mind that there are a number of ways to reduce the likelihood of negative interactions between humans and
wildlife in Davis County.
Raccoon problems may be alleviated by making the habitat, or the area surrounding the site, less favorable to raccoons. Because raccoons have fairly large territories, a neighborhood or community-wide effort may be more successful than isolated control
measures in urban areas. Removing potential sources of food, water, and shelter is the first step in eliminating the problem. This includes removing pet food and water during the night and keeping the yard cleaned up and wood piles stacked neatly.
Garbage cans should be tied down to a solid structure so they cannot be overturned, and lids should be tight fitting, tied, or weighted down to deny access to garbage.
Excluding raccoons may be the most successful strategy to prevent or eliminate damage to buildings, poultry yards, and gardens. Damage to shingles may be prevented by denying access to the roof. The removal of tree limbs overhanging the roof will deny access.
- Access to chimneys may be denied by covering the chimney opening with a heavy metal screen or with a sheet metal cap.
- Damage in poultry yards can usually be reduced by excluding the raccoons from poultry at night. This may be done by moving the poultry into buildings at night, tightly closing all doors and windows, and sealing any openings larger than 3 inches in
- Woven wire fencing alone may not be sufficient to keep raccoons out of gardens or poultry pens. Raccoons will climb, tear a hole, or burrow under most fencing, particularly if ripe corn or melons are available in the garden. If a fence is already
present, the addition of a single wire about 8 inches from the fence and 8 inches above the ground, electrified with a charger, will provide an effective deterrent.
- When no other fences are present, two electrified wires, one 6 inches and the other 12 inches above the ground, mounted on insulated stakes or poles will accomplish the same result. A single strand 6-8 inches above the ground may be sufficient, but two wires will provide added insurance. The fence needs to be activated only at night.
There are no chemical repellents registered for controlling or repelling raccoons, although a variety of materials have been tested. Research suggests that mothballs (napthalene) or PDB crystals (paradichlorobenzene) may be effective at repelling mammals from enclosed spaces, such as chimneys, attics, wall spaces, or crawl spaces. Use of these chemicals may encourage raccoons to leave the area so that other exclusion techniques can be implemented.
The use of scare tactics or devices, such as propane cannons, pyrotechnics (fireworks), scarecrows, lights, or dogs, are not effective or practical in controlling raccoons - particularly in urban areas. Raccoons usually figure out that scare tactics pose no physical threat, and ignore them.