Raccoons are mostly nocturnal animals, so they are seldom seen raiding gardens and garbage cans. According to “North American Wildlife”, published by The Readers Digest Association, Inc., raccoons will eat almost any food they can find. They often do their foraging at night when they are less likely to be seen.
Usually, the only evidence left behind is damaged plants, scattered garbage, and occasional droppings. Keeping trash cans in a storage building will help deter raccoons from choosing your yard or garden as a place to dine. If enclosing trash cans is not possible, sometimes fastening the lids with Bungie cords, and spraying cans and lids with a commercial repellent will prevent raccoons from getting into the trash.
According to “Gardening How-To”, published by The National Home Gardening Club, the article “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, written by Barbara Pleasant, says that corn and grapes are favorites of the raccoon, but raccoons often dine on other fruits as well. Knowing this, a gardener should focus on protecting these crops before they are raided.
Sprinkling blood meal amongst garden plants, scattering mothballs, and the use of commercial repellents is suggested by “Gardening How-To”. The same article suggests placing a strand of electric fencing wire around the garden a few inches off the ground to keep away raccoons. This is not a safe suggestion if children are present or are likely to come in contact with the wiring.
“”Gardening How-To” recommends the use of a barrier to protect vulnerable plants. It says that chicken wire, netting, or plastic enclosures all make great barriers to deter raccoons as well as many other destructive animals. A barrier is inexpensive and easy to make, often with materials that are on hand. Supplies or ready-made barriers can be purchased at most garden centers.
Raccoons can be captured using a baited live trap and transported to wooded areas away from residential neighborhoods. This is a safe and humane method of removing raccoons from your yard. Professionals can be hired to capture and relocate raccoons, but if you decide to trap them yourself, use extreme caution. Any animal that is trapped will bite out of fear.