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Raccoon Attraction: 5 BIG Scents That Bring Them to Your Yard

Do you know what makes your yard so attractive to raccoons?

More animals are visiting your yard than you may think! And the most commonly seen ones are raccoons.

We have previously talked about what plants can keep deer away from your yard (which you can read about here if you missed it), but there are just as many, if not more, people who are dealing with raccoons.

Let’s be honest, raccoons are actually pretty cute, both from a distance and up close, as many animals end up being. However, they are also some of the animals that can pass on a couple of harmful diseases to humans, not to mention the possibility of encountering a rabid one!

Like with other animals, all wild ones are better off not being on your property, and you are also safer by not having to interact with them. Unfortunately, when we turn our heads to these big mammals, the challenge is harder to tackle.

The raccoons are known to be opportunistic feeders, and this American native animal species has gotten used to living amongst people, and they make use of their amazing sense of smell to find food. Which is what generally brings them over to your garden, to begin with!

If you want to see what brings raccoons over to your yard and how you can make sure you make your garden as unappealing as possible to them, make sure you keep on reading.

Have you been dealing with animals invading your property and causing issues in your home and yard? If so, which animals did you have to fend off? Tell us your stories in the comments down below! 

Image By C. Hamilton From Shutterstock

Check your garbage.

One of the biggest attractors of animals is your garbage cans. Not only for raccoons, but several different pests, wills, and stray animals are going to come to your garbage as if it were an all-you-can-eat buffet.

What makes it so attractive to all these animals is the scent. And when you take into consideration that our focus mammal has an amazing sense of scent, you have a bigger problem on your hands.

The best way to make sure that they will not make your home and yard a target is to rule out your property as a place where they can find shelter and, more importantly, a place where they can find food. That is where your trash comes into play, and if you have found it ransacked by these animals before, it is time to put an end to it.

What professionals have found to be most effective is to use a tight-fitting lid that cannot be opened by them and will also lessen the smell. If it proves to not work in your case, you can also use bungee cords to close the cans.

Likewise, you should also make sure that you do not leave the trash out for too long and that any food scraps are carefully sealed so that they cannot be easily snuffed out.

Pet food area.

What makes raccoons so prone to invading people’s yards is generally based on what they like to eat. And their diet is generally influenced by the environment in which they have grown.

Thus, if you feed your pet outside or have a few guard animals, ensure your pet food area is not an attractive space for these pests.

Part of the raccoons’ staple diet in the wild includes things like corn and grains, so even if you feed your outdoor dogs and cats kibble, this abled-limbed mammal will see it as an invitation to supper.

To avoid making your pet’s dish a shared one and having them meet and dine with raccoons (which can pass on certain parasites to them and even rabies), you should not leave out any pet food overnight.

Likewise, you can also invest in raccoon-proof pet feeders if you cannot take the food away from your outdoor animals.

Image By Judith Lee From Shutterstock

You’ve got fruit trees on the property.

Raccoons are omnivorous animals, which means that they’re pretty much ready to eat anything that smells good to them and is easily accessible.

It may have sounded like a great idea to plant some fruit trees in your yard since they will provide shade and also some produce, but if you have a raccoon problem, it is a bad idea. And other types of crops and bushes are not safe either!

These mammals eat all types of fruits, acorns, corn, nuts, berries, and all types of grains, so if you have them planted, they may be a spot of interest. The likes of cherries, apples, oranges, plums, and even bananas have pungent scents, and they are extremely attractive to these animals.

We are not suggesting that you uproot your fruit trees or vegetable gardens, but when you know that the produce ripens, you may want to make sure the area has extra security and a strong fence.

That will deter the raccoons from coming again and again since they know they cannot access the food.

Do you own chickens?

Speaking of scents that attract raccoons to your yard, if you live on a farm or you are growing some of your own chickens, know that eggs are one of the scents that attract raccoons over!

Not only that, but they also feed on eggs, so it is definitely something that will get them to check out your chicken coops.

A good way to make sure that they are not interested is to use scents that deter them from coming to visit where the chickens live or lay eggs.

Scents that are known to not be pleasant to raccoons include the likes of spicy peppers, peppermint oils, ammonia, vinegar, and garlic.

Yet, keep in mind that if these work, they’re just a temporary solution, and you should make sure you strengthen the living quarters so that they cannot get in and that you clean out the coop more often so that the scent won’t be an attractor anymore.

Image By valleyboi63 From Shutterstock

Bird feeders are definitely attracting them.

Much like pet food, bird feeders are going to be a buffet for raccoons and even squirrels. The smell of the nuts and seeds is going to definitely attract their attention, and they will come at night to ransack and even break your feeder to get to the food.

Raccoons are nocturnal animals, which is why they come over under the cover of the dark to feed from different places in your yard.

Just placing them higher is not going to stop them if they have visited your yard once, as they are amazing climbers, and if they can open garbage cans, they can definitely work around a bird feeder.

The surefire way is to remove the feeder at night and then return it in the morning; however, that can also mean waking up early in order to get those early birds fed as well.

You can also look into getting a raccoon and squirrel-proof bird feeder so that they cannot get to the feed, but not all of them are reliable or easy to use.

You are offering them shelter.

While we have talked a lot about scents, there is another factor that makes your yard attractive to raccoons, and that is shelter.

Animals are definitely attracted to places where they can be safe, and if we are looking at female raccoons, then they will definitely be looking for places where they can raise their young without worrying about safety.

Even without knowing it, your garden, shed, porch, chimneys, home, and even attic may be a prime spot for raccoons to find shelter, and this is why they may be camping on your property even if you have removed all other attractive factors.

You should make sure that any of the entrance points in your home are closed overnight (like pet doors) and that you make entrance in the spots we have mentioned earlier unavailable. If you do not know where they may be, it is a good idea to contact a professional.

This is not because raccoons do not deserve shelter, but because when they are cornered, they get scared and aggressive. Being bitten by a raccoon, even if not rabid, can still give you a lot of diseases, and it is better to be safe than sorry.

Raccoons may be invading your yard, but they are not the only animals that can make a home out of your garden. Make sure you are not inviting mice into your yard and your home by checking out this article here on the matter!


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