Where Are Raccoons Likely to Make a Den?Raccoons are excellent climbers, and in the wild, they often make dens up in trees. Therefore, they are likely to climb up the side of a house and make a den in the chimney or the attic. However, raccoons are opportunistic and aren't too picky about where to build a den as long as it offers sufficient shelter. They may also build a den in a crawlspace or underneath a deck if they can get to it. Other areas on your property where they might build a den include abandoned vehicles, barns, sheds, or brush piles.
How Do You Know if You Have Raccoons in Your Home?Raccoons are fairly large animals that tend to make a lot of noise when they take up residence in houses. They are most active at night, so you'll probably hear them banging around the ceilings or walls before you actually see them. Raccoons' paws are strong and dextrous, so if they are determined to get into your home and they can't find a way in, they can make one themselves. Therefore, you may notice damage such as torn soffits, vents, and gutters as the raccoons make a hole to get into your house. Another sign that raccoons are on your property is a "latrine" site. Raccoons choose a site where they all go to defecate. If you find a latrine site on your property, do not approach too closely. Contact with the feces can expose you to raccoon roundworm.
How Can You Deter Raccoons From Your Property?You may have heard of a lot of do-it-yourself raccoon deterrents using sound, lights, smells, and tastes. These deterrents may work for a short while but become less effective over time as the raccoons adapt to them. Raccoons build dens where food is most readily available, so the best way to keep them off your property is to restrict access to food. This can be challenging since raccoons can eat almost anything. Here are some things you can do to keep raccoons off your property:
- Have locking lids for trash cans and compost bins
- Bring in pet food dishes and bird feeders at night
- Pick any overripe produce out of the garden
- Gather fallen fruit and nuts from trees