Raccoon at TIERART

Furry Intruders – Animal-Friendly Removal of Raccoons 

FOUR PAWS provides tips on how to keep raccoons at bay 


With black masks over their eyes, raccoons look like comical little burglars. But, unfortunately, not everyone is enchanted by the cute little ones. Especially not when they sneak into gardens and garages at night to loudly plunder garbage cans.  

But a peaceful co-existence with the little mammals is possible if you follow some tips raccoons will stay away from your house and garden.

Raccoons are smart and confident

Raccoons are omnivores. They love fruit, vegetables and insects as well as leftovers or dog food. So compost heaps and garbage cans are tasty temptations for the native North American mammals. However, since the animals are nocturnal, foraging is often accompanied by unwanted noise. Besides, residents are annoyed by broken flower pots, torn garbage bags and looted trash cans.

Raccoons can easily open doors, drawers and garbage cans. It is also easier for them to rummage through compost heaps for food than to search the ground for insects or climb up a tree and pick cherries.

Raccoon at TIERART

Make your house burglar-proof!

Raccoons not only enjoy a quick meal but also a dry place to sleep. They are excellent climbers, gratefully accept attics, summer houses or garages as shelter and make themselves comfortable. Also, the wild lodgers are sociable and signalise their fellow species by their smell, where it is good to live.

When the raccoons have chosen your attic, you have to ask yourself how they got in. Most of the time they get to the roof via dense trees with overhanging branches or via rainwater downspouts and then into the house.

Branches can be cut quickly and easily and tree trunks and downspouts can be covered with smooth sheet metal sleeves. Never use barbed wire. On the one hand, the animals can injure themselves on the spikes, on the other hand the wire is more of a climbing aid for the raccoons than an effective barrier.

Avoiding temptations

Free dog or cat food is an open invitation for wild animals and not only raccoons! The potent smell of food is already very tempting, so it is better not to feed your pet outside.

Instead, you should place smells that are a deterrent to furry visitors: Simply place a much-used dog blanket near possible entrances and signal to raccoons to stay away.

Alternatively, you can also hang up bags of dog hair or lay out mothballs. Loud noises also drive away the little mammals effectively: raccoons have a distinct sense of smell and hearing. A radio kept running is also very effective to keep the critters away.


  • Always lock the shed doors
  • Garbage cans are best secured with a lock
  • Do not place garbage bags on the floor in front of the door 
  • Trim branches that protrude too close to house roofs
  • Cover tree trunks and rainwater down pipes with smooth sheet metal sleeves
  • Do not feed dogs and cats in the garden
  • Place a much used dog blanket at entrances
  • Hang up a bag of dog hair
  • Keep a radio running in your garage or a sheltered outdoor space

This guide was created in cooperation with Florian Eiserlo, biologist and site manager at TIERART Wild Animal Sanctuary.

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