How to Prevent Raccoons From Getting in Your Siding
Raccoons are one of the cuter critters that run around our yards and properties, looking like mischievous little bandits who are without a doubt, up to no good. These adorable yet troublesome creatures enjoy such bad habits like dumpster diving in trash bins, stealing whatever they can get their prehensile paws on, clawing, and burrowing, all in places to which they surely don’t have an invitation to.
Why Keep Raccoons Away?
Raccoons are highly intelligent animals who are unafraid of the hard work required to achieve whatever task they set their critter minds to. They’re excellent climbers and scurries, master mess-makers, and can easily tear up your yard and rip apart siding should their nighttime adventures call for it. Keeping raccoons away is not only essential in maintaining your house and property, but also protecting yourself and pets from rabies, as these creatures are the most common carrier for the disease.
How to Keep Raccoons Away from Your Siding
It may take several methods to keep raccoons from getting into your siding. Your overall goal should be to deter them from your property altogether. There are several ways you can do this:
Seal the Exterior of Your Home
Raccoons have the ability to scratch, peel, and claw their way into just about anything—including your siding. Should they find an opening, they’ll work on widening it and destroy your siding panels in the process. Make sure any exposed areas of your home is sealed. Check to see if you need to reapply caulking, fix a siding panel, or repair other broken or cracked siding pieces to prevent raccoons from getting inside. Remember, a trapped animal will do much more damage than a free animal.
It’s a good idea to trim your trees for multiple reasons. For one, it protects your roof from falling debris, but it also will prevent raccoons from having an easy access point to getting on your home. Once an easy-to-climb tree limb is removed, raccoons won’t have much interest in trespassing on your roof or trying to get in your home’s siding.
Plus, trimming your trees will ensure your roof is safe from falling limbs during storms and you’ll be able to minimize debris in your gutter system as well. Trees should be trimmed back to also help with their growth and to keep them healthy.
Keep Garbage Sealed and Stored
Food draws raccoons to your home and thus, to your siding, making the panels vulnerable and exposed to damage. A common source of food you may not think about is your garbage bins. Keep your garbage bins in your garage if possible, or another area that is sealed off and secure. Try to bag all of your trash tightly and securely to avoid it giving off a scent that will draw in animals.
If you keep pet food out in your garage or outside at all, it should be stored in a sealed, water-proofed container. Do not store any pet food in their original bags, even if it is a resealable one. Raccoons can claw through plastic with ease and will soon have a food source that will draw plenty of them to your home. This will greatly increase the chance of them finding their way into places they shouldn’t be, including your siding.
There are multiple types of sprays you can apply to your property that are designed to keep wildlife from climbing on your roofs, getting into your siding, and keeping them away from the exterior of your home. Most animal repellents give off a foul smell that is enough for common creatures to want to avoid. These repellents also have an equally foul taste that will keep animals away—all without harming them.
These repellents are humane and won’t hurt the raccoons, but it will strongly discourage them from gnawing and chewing your siding. Some repellents are made from capsaicin, the chemical that makes hot peppers spicy. It’s a natural substance so it’s safe to use on wildlife and it also won’t harm you, your pets, or children.
Call an Expert
Sometimes, no matter how many methods you try, raccoons will continue to be a nuisance and keep coming back to wreak havoc on your siding. Although you might be tempted to try traps—call an expert instead. Let wildlife and animal control professionals use safe, humane traps for raccoons and allow them to remove the animals off of your property.
Because raccoons are known carriers of rabies, it’s best to let trained experts take over when your own methods have failed. They’ll be able to analyze your home and property to see what is drawing the raccoons and remove the problem sources. But remember, if raccoons are a persistent issue for your home and you notice the siding is damaged, don’t wait to call the professionals. It’s best to tackle the issue of raccoons as soon as possible before they decide to make your property their permanent residence.