Although they are cute and friendly looking animals, raccoons can be a nuisance to have around your property for several reasons. First of all, they can cause damage to your property as they rummage through garbage and dig up your lawn in search of food.
More importantly, however, is the health hazards that raccoons can pose on humans and their pets such as transmitting rabies through scratches or bites. Another less common, but more dangerous health hazard, from raccoons is roundworm which is a parasite living inside raccoon intestines that release eggs into their feces. This parasite, if ingested by humans or their pets, can cause neurological impairment, organ damage and even death.
Considering that raccoons are very common visitors to most Toronto homes, it is important to know how you should maintain your property to deter these pests from visiting your home on a regular basis. If you do not deter raccoons from your property, they may eventually move into your attic at which point you will have to hire a pest control company who specializes in raccoon removal to get rid of them.
How to deter raccoons from your lawn
One of the areas in your home that raccoons are attracted to is the lawn to feed on produce in your garden, grubs and larvae. As they are searching for food on your lawn, they end up destroying parts of it by digging small holes. Here are some tips to make your lawn unattractive to raccoons:
- Raccoons have a great sense of smell; sprinkling diluted hot sauce over any produce in your garden will deter them from eating it
- Also use any other scents that may deter them from digging up your lawn by using substances like biodegradable soaps
- Raccoons get frightened easily; putting a motion sensor activated light in the area where they tend to be a problem should scare them off
How to deter raccoons from your garbage and compost
The biggest reason that raccoons are such a big problem in Toronto neighbourhoods is the easy access they have to food in garbages and compost bins. With their exceptional sense of smell and their ability to open lids, raccoons can easily find a food source and get into it. Once they do find a spot with easy access to food they will continue returning to that same spot regularly in hopes for another easy meal. Here are some tips to keep raccoons out of your garbage and compost:
- Keep your garbage and compost inside your home until the morning of garbage pick-up to eliminate any odours that raccoons may find attractive
- Install motion sensor lighting around your garbage bin and compost to frighten them
- Use garbage and compost bins with a locking lid, and for extra protection, put something heavy (10 lbs should do) on top of the lid
Preventative maintenance is key
By following the tips above you should be successful in deterring raccoons from becoming a common problem around your home. These are simple tasks and will help you avoid the headache and costly bill that can come with getting a raccoon infestation in your home.