5 Best DIY Raccoon Repellent Strategies (That Actually Work)

Raccoon Repellent DIY

Are you trying to permanently get rid of raccoons on your property? The homemade DIY raccoon repellent strategies in this overview are proven methods people have used to get the job done. Apply them to your own situation to avoid having to call removal services.

The best raccoon repellent strategy is to remove as many food sources as possible. Next, use smells raccoons dislike such as hot pepper, and spread them around trees and flower beds. Ammonia-soaked rags or mothballs can also deter a raccoon from coming near your property.

The animals are highly intelligent, so completely repelling a family of trash pandas can be a big challenge. That’s why it might be needed to experiment with a range of repellents. See what works best in your situation and adapt your strategy accordingly.



1. Never Feed A Raccoon

This might be the most obvious method, but the easiest way to repel a raccoon is to never feed them anything. An effective strategy to get rid of unwanted animals does not need to be complicated. The animal wants food, you provide access to it, so they will keep coming back. If you deny them of their food sources, they will eventually leave.

Active feeding is the number one reason raccoon bites tend to happen, which can be potentially lethal due to the risk of rabies virus.

Since raccoons are most active at night, you want to make sure to remove pet food from the backyard after dark. But also deny them any access to water — this is the part that most people forget about! Raccoons love water, they drink from it, swim in it, and raccoon kits will most definitely enjoy playing in that kiddie pool.


2. Keep The Trash Hidden

Don’t underestimate the intelligence of a ‘trash panda’. This strategy is an extension of the previous principle of never feeding wild animals. However, raccoons require a little more ingenuity. Those kitchen scraps smell so delicious, they will surely attract a whole family of the little buggers.

So what you want to do is to deny raccoons all access to your trash, especially the leftovers from last night’s dinner. Here are some effective methods to keep your edible trash out of the hands of a raccoon:

  • Double bag everything: Trash bags can break easily and leftovers can spill out. Double bagging your food waste is effective against accidental ‘bag failure’, but will also make it harder for animals to get to the good stuff.
  • Place garbage out of reach: Where possible, place trash cans in a garage or shed and make sure raccoons can’t get inside. This means blocking off large vents, patching up weak spots in roofs and walls, and remember that an adult raccoon can fit through a hole as small as four inches.
  • Put a lid lock on your bins: As an extra layer of protection, put simple lid locks on your bins to stop wildlife from opening them. They usually use magnetic locks, and also double as a way to stop nosy neighbors from throwing their trash into your garbage bins!
  • Use flood lights: Raccoons like to hide in the darkness of the night and avoid well-lit areas. Using floodlights above your garbage area can deter the animals from lingering around the trash. It also makes it a lot easier to spot them if they happen to be in the area.
  • Powder the area: Dusty paws are a raccoon’s worst nightmare. Sprinkle sand, baby powder, or other powdery substances around your garbage area to deter animals from coming near them. This is less effective when there’s a lot of wind.



3. Use Ammonia-Soaked Rags

There are scent-based granular raccoon repellents that contain a urine smell from animals that eat raccoons. These are effective, but not exactly a homemade DIY raccoon repellent. For that, you can take some ammonia and soak an old rag in it.

Take the wet, soaked rags and place them around areas of your yard where they are most likely to hang around.

Choose your vegetable patch, the grass around backyard trees, or any areas around possible raccoon dens on your property. If they smell the foul smell of the predator’s urine, they will gladly steer clear of the area. Repelling urine scents are an extremely effective way to get rid of unwanted wildlife on your property.


4. Sprinkle Hot Spices Around The House

We can exploit the fact that raccoon paws are extremely sensitive even more. Let’s take their dislike for dirty paws and add some spice to it. Literally, because spicy powder from your kitchen cabinet proves to be extremely effective against trash pandas. Havahart has a great DIY recipe mix involving hot sauce that helps stop raccoons:

  • 1 bottle of hot pepper sauce
  • 1 spice container of cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 teaspoon of dishwashing soap


Repelling a raccoon with hot pepper spices such as Cayenne, Curry, Chili, or Cinnamon powder will prove highly effective. Sprinkle any spice containing capsaicin, the main component in hot peppers, over the flower beds, around tree bases, and near den locations to keep raccoons away.

Spreading hot pepper spices will irritate the nasal cavities of a raccoon very rapidly. The hot spices will make sure they avoid those areas for a long time to come. So take advantage of this knowledge and use that spice rack to your advantage!


5. Use Mothballs

Another simple way to repel raccoons is to use the stinking odor of mothballs. This is a scent that trash pandas cannot stand, much like the aforementioned spicy pepper powder or ammonia.

Mothballs are particularly effective if you’ve got raccoons in your attic, in a crawl space, in your vents, or in another structure on your property.

Please be mindful of the fact that mothballs have some chemicals that might be harmful. You don’t want to have them lying around your property for too long. Definitely don’t place them directly on the floor, but put them in a little cardboard box on a plate. Make sure to keep the mothballs away from children and pets.