This post is really for urban consumers who have a problem with raccoons getting into your garbage at night or worse getting into your attic and setting up home. When this happens they can really make a mess and they are dangerous as well due to the infections they can cause through their scat. We won’t go into that here, there are other posts on raccoon scat, instead we are going to focus on why even the best poison for raccoons is not really the long term answer. There are good practical reasons for not poisoning raccoons and not because we are interested in protecting animal life. There is nothing more than we would like to be able to permanently get rid of these raccoons, but this really does not do the job.
Here is Why Even the Best Poison for Raccoons Does not Work
First of all there are many families of raccoons in your immediate neighborhood, which may seem surprising to many people. They can smell a vacant den and in fact will move from den to den based on food sources and were they feel the safest. They will will and do move in to a vacated den almost as soon as you get rid of one family of raccoons. Poisoning raccoons is not the answer , since you cannot get them all and will be forever plagued with these pests unless you take another approach.
Secondly if the raccoon were to be poisoned and die in your attic, you have an even worse problem than before since the raccoon’s body will rot in your attic and really smell the place up.
Thirdly, if you were to capture them in a cage and take them miles away, other families are still going to move in and most cities have bylaws that say you cannot do this.
Fourth if you do kill them and someone sees you doing this they may report you to the animal control office of your city and you could be charged with animal cruelty.
Fifth, killing them in some manner is probably inhumane and although I would just as soon do away with them this way by poisoning these raccoons, you risk also poisoning local pets and now you are really in trouble.
So what is the answer if you agree with all of these reasons.
One Way Trap Doors instead of Poison for Raccoons
The permanent solution is to install heavy gauge wire mesh over all potential openings into your home. They will never get through this and this wire mesh will also keep birds and squirrels out of your home. Use strong wood screws to hold the mesh in place and use silicone to plug any holes you create so that water does not leak in.
If the raccoons are still in your attic, you need to install a trap door so they can get out. There are a couple of reasons for doing this. First of all you do not want the young or the adults dieing inside your attic and smelling up the place. Secondly they will try to get out and in the process could cause a lot of damage. Thirdly if the adults out and the young are still inside, the young pups have to be able to get out, other wise the adults will literally tear your roof apart to get to their babies.
Once you are sure they are out remove the one way trap door and install a permanent covering over the opening so they can never get in again.
This is by far the best solution. We had this problem 5 years ago and used the wire mesh approach. We have not had a problem with raccoons since, however I have seen tracks in the snow on our roof were they are looking for a place to get inside. Fortunately for us they cannot get in and are forced to move on somewhere else. Most of our neighbors have also employed this solution and are very happy.
Your comments about dealing with raccoons would be appreciated and we know our readers will also like to hear about your experience’s .