Raccoons are adaptable creatures that can make a home just about anywhere they can find safety, shelter, and food. So, the dark, quiet, warm area underneath your deck makes the perfect refuge.
So, how do you deal with a raccoon family that takes up residence underneath your deck?
Don’t take the DIY removal route
Don’t be tempted to take the DIY route and try to trap the raccoon. In Ontario, it’s illegal to kill, stress, or relocate raccoons one kilometre from your property.
If the raccoon has babies, you could find yourself face-to-face with an aggressive and potentially dangerous mother raccoon who is intent on protecting her offspring. Also, raccoons carry dangerous diseases, including rabies, as well as playing host to fleas, ticks, and other nasty parasites, which can also affect you and your pets.
Always ask a local firm of wildlife removal in Hamilton to deal with the raccoons for you.
Raccoons generally remain in underground dens for short periods. Baby raccoons are independent of their mother by the end of the summer, leaving the den to forage by themselves. Also, raccoon mothers often relocate their families to different den sites during the nesting season.
So, if you bide your time, the family may leave of their own accord. Once you’re certain that the raccoons have gone, you can seal off the access point to prevent them from returning in the future.
The raccoon family has chosen to make a den under your deck because it’s a safe, dark, quiet place. By disrupting this perfect environment, you can often harass the family into leaving.
- Start by setting up a bright light close to the den entrance, shining right into the den. An outdoor halogen spotlight should do the trick. Raccoons usually find the sound of human voices to be unnerving.
- Place a radio close to the den entrance, and tune it to a talk show station. Turn the volume up as loud as possible without causing annoyance to your neighbours.
- Although scent deterrents are not tremendously effective alone, they can work well when used in conjunction with light and sound. The smell of a predator, aggressive animal or male raccoon can be enough to frighten off a mother and her family.
Soak a rag in a raccoon deterrent product and put it into a plastic bag. Punch holes in the bag so that the smell can escape, and hang the bag outside the den entrance. Dirty kitty litter can work in the same way.
Employ the above tactics for three days and three nights. If you think the raccoons have gone, stuff some newspaper in the entrance hole to the den or tape a sheet of paper across the gap. Wait for a further three days and nights. If the paper is still intact, it’s likely that the animals have gone.
Raccoon-proofing your deck
Once the invaders have been evicted, you’ll want to keep them out in the future.
To be sure that raccoons and other wild animals can’t take shelter underneath your deck, dig a 12” x 12” ditch around the deck. Secure a length of ¼” mesh straight down along the bottom of the ditch for at least 12”. Bend the mesh outward away from the deck at an angle of 90 degrees, creating an ‘L’ shape.
Fill the trench, ensuring that your raccoon lodgers have gone first.
That barrier will prevent wildlife from digging its way underneath the decking. You will also need to seal any existing holes around the perimeter of the deck.
Although raccoons might look cute and cuddly, they are anything but! Raccoons can be extremely destructive and noisy, and they carry diseases and parasites that could affect your family and your pets.
If you discover a raccoon family living under your deck, we recommend that you contact a local firm of wildlife removal specialists to handle the problem for you. The experts are trained, licensed, and equipped to deal with problem raccoons and other wild animals that decide to make their home on your property.