Food-conditioned and human habituated raccoons become bolder around humans and when this happens, conflict often ensues. Raccoons can cause significant damage to gardens, buildings, crops, and livestock in their search for food and denning sites. They can also carry a roundworm parasite that is potentially dangerous to humans and our pets through contact with raccoon feces. It is better to keep raccoons wild by preventing their access to food and shelter on your property.
- Keep all garbage securely stored until the day of collection.
- Ensure bins are tightly closed.
- Regularly wash all recycling items and clean the bins that contain garbage or recycling.
- Do not leave garbage in the back of a truck, even if it has a canopy.
- If you cannot store garbage securely, freeze smelly items and add to the bin only on the morning of collection.
Fruit trees and berry bushes
- Manage your fruit trees and berry bushes responsibly and pick all fruit as it ripens. Ensure windfalls do not accumulate below the trees or shrubs.
- Take birdfeeders down until winter. Birdfeeders can attract raccoons which can in turn attract larger predators. When birdfeeders are up, ensure fallen seed does not accumulate below the feeders.
Pets and Pet food
- Feed pets indoors, or if fed outdoors, take in any feed that is not immediately eaten. Store all food securely inside.
To prevent access to your home and outbuildings:
- Seal up any holes or potential entrances around the exterior of your house and other buildings. This is best done before March or after August to avoid separating family units that may already be inside.
- You may want to remove any potential den sites from your property, or distance them from your buildings. These include brush piles, hollowed logs and woodpiles.
- Encourage an unwanted raccoon to move out of your attic or chimney by placing a bright light or radio in or near the den site.
- If you discover an old raccoon den site on your property, exercise caution when cleaning up any feces left behind. Some raccoons carry a dangerous parasitic roundworm that can be transmitted to humans and our pets through contact with raccoon feces.