Plants that Keep Raccoons out of the Garden

file4781300045861Raccoons are often perceived as cute ,furry and friendly, with their little black masks and agile paws. The fact is that they are dangerous to humans and pets. Even when they’re healthy, they can be aggressive when confronted, especially if they have young ones nearby. They can kill pets and seriously injure humans. Raccoons carry parasites, vermin and viruses and are a major vector carrier for rabies, which is nearly always fatal without prompt treatment.

Raccoons are also a nuisance animal, particularly for homes that don’t have proper storage areas for garbage cans, and especially for homes that have fruit trees and gardens. Their chattering as they knock over garbage cans and forage through vegetable gardens can make a real mess and keep you up at night!

Once you’ve noticed a raccoon population in your yard, it’s time to take action. There are a number of ways to approach raccoon removal and raccoon trapping, but the first things to rule out are trapping them yourself or using poisons to control them. It’s always best to try non-invasive methods first.

As with deer, there are a number of plants that raccoons don’t like. For flower gardeners, roses are a good raccoon deterrent, and the thornier they are, the better. Hardy hybrids like the gorgeous Abe Lincoln rose have magnificent thorns and gorgeous blossoms. Plant them near your garbage cans to beautify your yard and repel raccoons.

For vegetable gardens, spiny vine vegetables like squash and cucumber will do the trick. Each plant will creep over a large area, protecting other plants like tomatoes, peas and beans. Raccoons will avoid foraging in those areas.

Scents can also repel raccoons. Plant garlic and onions, and their strong odor will warn them off. They take some time to grow, so if you’re in a hurry, smash a good number of cloves and onions with a hammer and leave them scattered throughout the garden.

All of these plants together will keep raccoons away from your treasured landscape and keep them from invading your home. However, if the problem is entrenched and they continue to come back, it’s better to enlist a professional wildlife removal service to handle the problem of raccoon trapping and raccoon removal.

Give us a call and we’ll come right out for a free consultation on how to eliminate nuisance raccoons!

Raccoons in Bradenton Chimney

Homeowner Calls For Help!

Baby Raccoon in Chimney
Baby Raccoon in Chimney

This morning we received a call from a homeowner in northwest Bradenton.  He was slightly panic stricken because he had been out of town for several weeks and came home to noises coming from his chimney. He was apprehensive about opening the flue himself as he wasn’t sure what was going to pop out.

Onsite Inspection Reveals The Problem

Upon inspection we could hear a slight noise coming from the chimney area but nothing that allowed us to determine what it was. We opened the flue and at first saw nothing.  We assumed that it was probably just chimney swifts and we had scared them and they flew out.  However, we could still hear faint scratching sounds. We investigated a little further and saw something tiny move. It was back down and behind the flue door. It turns out to be two juvenile raccoons. We saw momma up towards the top of the chimney but we spooked her and she left.

Glad To Fix The Problem

The homeowners were relieved and could not believe such a thing could happen.



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Raccoon Tore Open Orlando Roof

Raccoons Mean Business

Raccoons can do a lot of damage to a home.  An attic is a raccoon’s playground and just like a kid, they can be destructive at times.  They frequently tear apart the HVAC system, tear through wiring, and destroy the integrity of a home’s insulation by throwing insulation everywhere.

Most often a raccoon gets into an attic at a roof joint where the soffit is weakest and easiest to remove.  Their raiser sharp claws and ability to use their thumbs to grab things makes these weak points and other areas of concern very easy to get through without proper preventative work by a knowledgeable wildlife technician.  And as one Orlando customer learned the hard way, if the animal is not dealt with properly and all precautions taken, a much bigger problem may arise.

 Taking Action

I was called out to a home in Orlando that had been having an issue with raccoons getting into the attic over the last few months.  It’s never a good sign when someone knowingly allows any animal problem, especially a raccoon due to their immense strength and size in general, to go on for that long.  The longer a raccoon stays in your attic the greater the chance of damage occurring to the home.  Also, the longer the raccoon is in the attic the harder it is to evict them without using traps.

The raccoon feels comfortable and is more inclined to stay since they’ve already been there so long, especially if they’ve had babies during this period.  That was this customer’s issue.  He had tried getting rid of the raccoon several times by scaring it away with lights and noise in the attic, vinegar and ammonia sprayed in the attic, and finally by sealing the raccoon out once he saw it leave at night.  This was a big mistake.  He did a very good job sealing the entry point but completely neglected, simply out of not knowing to check, to completely assess the situation.

The Wildlife Expert Gets Involved

This is where our technicians are so important at Nuisance Wildlife Removal.  It turned out the raccoon he excluded from the attic was a mother raccoon with babies still trapped in the attic.  At this point, there’s usually not much that can keep them out.  Just like any mother with her babies in danger or cut off, this raccoon did everything to get them back.  It tore straight through the roof to get back in.

Now, not only does the customer have to worry about getting rid of the raccoon again, but will have to have some substantial roof repair done.  Another example of why a professional wildlife technician should always be called out to deal with nuisance animals.  Give Nuisance Wildlife Removal a call at 1-866-263-9453.

Raccoon Damage to Roof
Raccoon Damage

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Raccoon Staredown

Raccoon Spotted in Attic
Raccoon Spotted in Attic

Raccoon Looking Back Is Oh So Creepy

A raccoon staring you in your face in a dark attic is something you never quite get used to, no matter how many times it’s happened. There’s just something about being in a dark attic, nothing visible but what’s in front of the beam of light coming from your headlamp when, as you’re sweeping back and forth with your light, all of a sudden you shine on a couple large green raccoon eyes like a giant pair of headlights.

Raccoons In The Attic

Today was another instance of that.  A customer in Orlando had been hearing a loud noise in their attic at night and called us out to determine what it is.  I spotted a piece of soffit crushed upward in the roof joint, a pretty good sign of raccoon entrance.  So, having a pretty good idea of what I was dealing with I hopped in the attic with my predator scent, lights, and other things to confirm that it was indeed a raccoon keeping the customer up all night and to scare it off with the predator scent.  About halfway through the attic, up popped those headlights, raccoon eyes staring right at me.  It was tucked in a far corner towards the edge of the attic in the soffit.  I watched it for a minute or two, snapped some pictures, sprayed the predator scent in a fashion as to scare the raccoon out, but not make it feel trapped, and finished inspecting the rest of the attic that wasn’t immediately in the raccoon’s vicinity in order to not make it feel threatened.  We’ll be back in a couple of days to see if we scared it away or to set a raccoon trap.  An exclusion will be necessary next to prevent reentry.


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Baby Raccoons Ousted

Raccoons Love The Attic Places

Baby Raccoon
Baby Raccoon

There are a few reasons a raccoon wants to be in an attic.  The safety and cleanliness of the attic. Being a closed structure both keeps the elements and predators away.  Safety is always a prime concern for any animal and an attic is the perfect hideout from coyotes and other predators.

Raccoons also tend to stay close to their food source, so if abundant food is near an accessible attic it’s a natural place for the raccoons to live.  Another big reason raccoons like to enter an attic is to give birth and raise their young.  Again, it provides safety and an environment protected from the weather.

Raccoon Rescued From A Dreary Attic Again

Today we finished removing a mother raccoon and her babies from a customer’s attic in Orlando.  A few days ago we got a call from a customer complaining of a lot of noise in their attic at night.  I went in the attic and saw the tell-tale signs of raccoons:  feces, urine, and insulation thrown around.  As I made my way across the attic I started hearing a raccoon growling.  It was down in a wall and didn’t want me any closer, a good sign there are babies.

So, after letting the homeowner know what was going on I set a trap and left.  The next day we caught the mother. I went back into the attic to try to find the baby raccoons if there were any.  I found three at the top of the wall I heard the mother raccoon growling at me from.  I looked around and didn’t find any others or hear any whining anywhere.  Assuming we were done, I sealed up the exterior of the house to prevent another raccoon from getting in.  However, the next day we got a call for the same Orlando residence.  The customer was hearing a whining noise from the attic.  The customer walked me around the house to the area they thought it was coming from.  It seemed to be coming from the soffit.  I slid a piece out of the way and there was the last baby raccoon, holding onto the piece I had slid over.

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Raccoons Escaped

Raccoons Escaped

We were called out today to find out what was running around in a customer’s attic.  I pulled up to the house and immediately had suspicions of it being an issue with raccoons in the attic as I could see a large hole in the soffit at the roof joint.  I went through my usual routine of trying to find out how long the animal has been there, what the customer is hearing, when they hear it, and any other interesting details.

People have described what they’re hearing in a lot of colorful ways but this was probably my favorite.

The customer said, “every night it sounds like someone is bowling in my attic.”

I couldn’t help but laugh.  She went on to describe how it sounds like a really heavy ball rolling across the ceiling to the other end of a room or the house and slamming into something.  Then it would go another way, over and over.  It definitely sounded like she had raccoons in her attic.  I grabbed my camera, flashlights, and respirator as I prepared to check the attic out for damage and to confirm that it was raccoons she was hearing.  Sometimes they’re still in the attic when I go in but unless you corner them or get near their babies, they stay clear.

The Raccoon Search Begins

I popped open the attic access and instantly heard something scamper across the attic and out of the hole in the soffit I saw earlier.  I walked outside with my camera to try and find the animal and after a couple minutes spotted two juvenile raccoons behind the house fifteen feet or so into the tree line.  I walked a little closer to get clear of the brush and limbs to get some pictures.  One of them took off deeper into the wooded area.  The other stayed put, clung to a tree, as raccoons are great climbers.  I snapped a couple pictures and went back to finish the attic and exterior inspection.

Luckily, the raccoons hadn’t done any damage to the HVAC system or wiring in the attic.  You could definitely see where they had been “bowling” though.  Insulation was thrown everywhere as they ran back and forth, playing just like dogs do with one another.

Orlando Raccoon in attic found nesting in tree
Juvenile Raccoon in Tree 
Orlando Raccoon in attic found nesting in tree
Orlando Raccoon in attic found nesting in tree

Arcadia Racccoon Job

Raccoon Removal Project In Arcadia

Arcadia is known for being in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing more common in the middle of nowhere, FL than wild hogs!  Well, when our VP Christy Norris, asked me to head to Arcadia for the day, I figured she was going to say the word “hog”.  Thankfully it was just a family that was in need of raccoon removal.

Once I pulled up, the family was standing in front of their house pointing to the garage.  I could tell they looked very concerned and anxious to get rid of this problem. Raccoons are among the most common of the nuisance animals we are called to relocate from properties. Raccoons are also the most common animal in Florida to be carrying rabies.

Raccoons Were Hold Up In The Garage

The family had no knowledge of how the mother raccoon and her babies got into their garage, but they did know they wanted them out asap!  After carefully moving some stuff around in the garage, allowing space to work with the animals, I was able to box in the mother raccoon in the corner of the garage.  I was then safely able to gather the four small baby raccoons and place them in a secure cage together.  Once the mother was finally trapped, I also placed her in my truck for removal.  While talking to the family and explaining that the space was safe to return too, I noticed something in the tree beside their house.  Fifteen feet up in the tree was a large honeycomb nest which was occupied by some bees.  I pointed it out to the family and offered my service to remove that as well.  Once they agreed, I was able to rid them of a family of raccoons, and remove a large nest of bees that could be harmful to them while in their yard.

Not A Good For Bees And Raccoons

It ended up being the most productive one stop service call I’ve ever had while working here.  The raccoons had been relocated, the bees were removed as a threat to nearby humans, and the family was thrilled to go about their day.