Raccoons tend to move around a lot, seeking out places that offer shelter and plentiful food sources and returning to them when another of their homes becomes unsafe or inaccessible. They are always on the lookout for a new home, but with mating season taking place in late winter, mother raccoons will be particularly keen to look for places to raise their young. Raccoon prevention in Oakville is important because if raccoons do take up residence on your property, they can cause extensive damage. Not only that, but raccoons can carry diseases such as rabies that could pose a health threat to your family, including pets.
Since raccoons are looking specifically for shelter and food, you may be able to prevent them from taking up residence by removing possible nesting sites and denying access to food sources.
Removing Nesting Sites
Raccoons are clever creatures that exploit any vulnerability they can find. Use a critical eye when checking your house for potential raccoon nesting sites. It may help to take a systematic approach, starting at the ground level and working your way up. Use 10-gauge hardware mesh to close off any open spaces underneath your house, such as in deck and porch areas. This needs to be buried at least 6 inches deep, or the raccoons will dig under it. You should also use a chimney cap or spark arrester to close off your chimney, as this is often a favorite nesting spot of raccoons. Block off or fortify any crevices or weak spots that you find in between.
It’s not only your home that may provide potential nesting places for raccoons but your yard as well. Raccoons anywhere on your property can cause problems, so clear away any wood piles no matter how far away from the house. Arbors, trellises, and overgrown tree limbs may allow raccoons to climb up onto your roof, so keep trees well trimmed and consider removing any decorative elements that may serve as a ladder.
Controlling Food Sources
It can be a challenge restricting raccoons’ access to potential food sources on your property. Raccoons are omnivores that can eat almost anything, plant or animal. They are intelligent enough to work at accessing a moderately guarded food source, but they are also clever enough to know when to give up and move on.
Try to find a trash can with a lid that closes securely and is too heavy for raccoons to tip over. A piece of wire or bungee cord may work to secure the lid if you cannot find one that fastens on its own. You may also be able to prevent raccoons from tipping the cans over by securing them to a post or putting them in a rack. Since raccoons are nocturnal, you may want to consider waiting to put the trash cans out for the garbage collector until morning instead of putting them out overnight.
You should take extra care to avoid confrontations between raccoons and house pets. Raccoons will not pick a fight with your dog, preferring to flee if possible. However, if they feel threatened, raccoons may lash out in self-defense, potentially injuring your dog in the process. You can prevent contact between the two by feeding your pets indoors whenever possible. If you feed your dog outside, bring the food dish in at night so that it will not draw raccoons near your home.
Bird feeders are another attractive food source for raccoons. You may be able to deter them with a special raccoon-resistant feeder. Hanging the feeder from a shepherd’s hook makes it inaccessible to raccoons. Otherwise, you can bring the feeder in at night and clean up any fallen seeds.
Raccoons are resourceful, so they may make a home on your property despite your best efforts. If you cannot prevent them, our raccoon prevention in Oakville specialists can help. Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control has helped homeowners for over 30 years. Find out more about our raccoon removal services.