We'd like to start by saying, we love raccoons. It can be a lot of fun to see a raccoon appear in the backyard. We get it. But, these fun animals can unintentionally present a threat to you and your family. Let's talk about this threat and take a look at a few ways you can prevent unwanted trouble with raccoons on your Los Angeles County property.
Why Are Raccoons Dangerous?
While the normal temperament of a raccoon is generally pretty docile, raccoons are primary carriers of rabies in the United States. If a raccoon is sick with rabies, it can appear even more docile than normal and then turn on you, your kids, or your pets in the blink of an eye. This can lead to serious harm and exposure to rabies.
Raccoons, like all furry animals, are carriers of fleas, ticks, and other parasites. When they come into your yard, they will scatter these parasites about. This can expose you, your kids, and your pets to pest-borne diseases. There are many diseases that are spread by ticks and fleas, some of which can lead to lifelong medical complications.
If a raccoon gets the idea that your home would be a nice place to live, it could find its way onto your roof and damage your home as it works its way inside. Raccoons have claws that can dig holes in shingles and damage the seals around roof penetrations. They can also use their body weight to damage roof-soffit intersections (RSI). Once inside, they soil attic spaces with their waste and urine.
Most of the time, raccoons are just a nuisance. They knock over trash receptacles and strew trash all around your yard. They eat or damage vegetables, fruits, berry bushes, and other plants. It can be a nightmare to deal with a raccoon problem, even without all the added concerns.
The Right Response
What should you do about raccoons on your Los Angeles County property? Our advice is to discourage them; don't give them a reason to stay in your yard, and make it more difficult for them to get into your home. There are many ways you can do this. Here are our top suggestions for keeping raccoons out of your yard:
- Keep trash in sealed containers and secure them so they cannot be knocked over. If necessary, keep your receptacles inside your garage or a storage shed. If trash cans must be kept outside, you may want to invest in animal-resistant, tamper-proof lids. This will provide better protection from dexterous raccoons.
- Move bird feeders to a location that is well away from your exterior walls. Birdseed is a delightful treat for raccoons.
- Apply fencing material to prevent raccoons from creating a den underneath the structures on your property. Chicken poultry wire fence works well.
- Use fencing material to protect any food sources such as garden vegetables, fruit trees, etc.
- Make sure doors are secured on your structures such as a barn or shed. Raccoons are clever animals with nimble fingers. They can break into these structures in the same way a burglar can.
- If you have a crawlspace under your home, seal any entry points and bolster any vulnerabilities that might allow a raccoon to create a den in your crawlspace.
- Address any conditions that lead to standing water on your property such as clogged gutters, breaks in your gutter system, leaking pipes, etc.
- Remove objects from your yard that act as containers for rainwater.
- Make your yard feel less like the wild. Remove unnecessary vegetation. Trim bushes and shrubs. Remove weeds from your landscaping.
- Refrain from feeding pets outside.
- If you have livestock, only put food out during mealtimes.
- Trim tree branches away from your roofline. Raccoons use branches to get onto your roof.
- If you have a chimney, make sure you have a cap on it. Raccoons may be able to get down into your home through the chimney.
- If your home has louvers, address any bent or missing louver fins. These could provide raccoons access or inspire raccoons to do more damage in order to get into your home. You may also consider installing a steel mesh to keep raccoons and other animals out.
What To Do About A Raccoon Break-In
If a raccoon gets into a structure on your property, it is best to have a licensed professional handle the task of humanely removing the animal. Improper trapping can lead to many undesirable consequences, not the least of which is a loss of money and time.
For assistance with this pest issue, contact HomeShield Pest Control. We provide industry-leading pest control for Los Angeles County residents. Our technicians have the training, experience, and equipment to do this job properly and offer professional wildlife control services for raccoons and other wild animals. Drop us a line on our contact page and tell us about your wildlife issue. We can help!