The SmellRodents and other pests are primarily motivated by food. They have a strong sense of smell, just like a cat or a dog, which is evidenced when you open a can of fresh food for your pets. Barbeque grills produce strong smells from the meat and vegetables that are being cooked, which most animals can smell from far away. Raccoons in particular love the smell of fatty meats, which are typical of meats commonly cooked during a BBQ. They also come to the scent of fresh fruit, which is often consumed at BBQs alongside the meat. Fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, corn, strawberries, tomatoes, and pineapple are some of the varieties eaten outside during summer festivities.
The Food DroppingsEven after the smell of the food has dissipated, raccoons are aware if there are food droppings left behind. When people eat a meal outdoors, they often disregard food that falls from their plates in a way that they would not if that had happened indoors. As a result, pests see outdoor meals as an opportunity to come and scavenge for food later. While wildlife control in Madison can help with these critters who come into your yard in search of food, it is easy enough to pick up food droppings off the ground, just as you would with food that has been dropped inside the house. Remember that raccoons will eat almost anything, so veggie burgers and other foods that you might think an animal would not like, are still not safe.
The Grill ItselfIn addition to the smell and temptation of food released by a BBQ, raccoons may be attracted to the BBQ grill itself. Depending on the size of the grill, this can be a safe, snug, and warm place for a critter to nest or sleep. Make sure to cover your grill when it is not in use, especially if you are unable to take it inside or put it in the garage when you are not busy grilling.
How To Prevent Raccoons From EncroachingAside from covering your grill when not in use, there are several other ways to ensure that your BBQ is free from attracting these pests. Some things to consider include:
- Cleaning the BBQ as soon as possible after you grill, in order to prevent odors and food particles from lingering and continuing to attract pests long after the festivities
- Picking up food left behind after the meal, including things that are not edible to humans, such as watermelon rinds and
- Leaving scents outside that repel raccoons, such as peppermint, onion, garlic, hot pepper, and even Irish Spring soap