Are Raccoons Afraid of Anything?Using fear to deter a raccoon is often ineffective because raccoons are intelligent and strong creatures. They do not have many natural predators in urban settings, and those predators they have in rural areas are also likely not found on your property, like coyotes and bobcats. Raccoons may also be aggressive when cornered, meaning that their natural fear response may be to attack, which you do not want. It is best to deal with these intruders in a humane and safe way, without risking your well-being.
Property DefendersMany people turn to two ways of protecting their property from raccoons: dogs and deterrent sprays. Large dogs can intimidate a raccoon, but that depends on the pet's demeanor. A gentle dog may make a raccoon cautious, but it will not scare it away. An overly aggressive dog may frighten a raccoon, but that fear may manifest into a violent attack. Garden centers and home improvement stores often sell deterrent sprays. Unfortunately, these sprays rarely, if ever, work very well. Raccoons may avoid an area for a few days, but they will return, especially if they have found food before.
Fear Versus PreventionEssentially, the great fear debate comes down to effectiveness. Is fear more effective than prevention? No. While you can use your dog, a broom, hose, or pots and pans, a raccoon is just as likely to attack as it is to flee. Using proven preventative tactics is the best way to limit raccoon access or interest in your property. Here are eight things you can do to restrict access or interest in your property:
- Prevent nesting sites through keeping up with yard work and regular roof/property inspections
- Install flood and motion sensor lighting
- Put up a well-built fence
- Pick up loose nuts and fruit from trees
- Protect bird feeders
- Don't leave pet food out
- Secure trash can lids
- Don't feed raccoons