Removing Raccoons Under Your Deck: A Guide

Eliminating raccoons under the deck or in your property in Canada can be a daunting task. Did you know that there are currently twenty times more raccoons living in urban areas than fifty years ago? Toronto, Canada, has particularly been hit the hardest as it attracts the highest number of raccoons both in Canada and globally. With their nocturnal nature and insatiable appetite, raccoons easily invade homes, wreaking havoc on garbage bins, crops, and gardens as they feed on nuts, fruits, eggs, seafood, frogs, insects, larvae, snails, and more. They also tip over trash cans and dig up yards, among other destructive activities.

If you are already grappling with raccoons inhabiting under your deck and are thinking of ways to eliminate them, doing so carefully is crucial to avoid any damage to the animals or your property, compliance with public regulations included. Your best bet would be to seek the services of a professional raccoon removal company in Guelph. However, in this article, we will explore the most effective ways to rid your property of raccoons.

Raccoons belong to the Procyon Lotor family, and they are intelligent and adaptable creatures with highly perceptive senses of touch, smell, and hearing. They typically inhabit decks, trees, sheds, chimneys, sewers, caves, backyards, abandoned homes, or vehicles, and could occupy up to twenty dens simultaneously to access regular water, food, and shelter. Besides residential areas, raccoons also live in freshwater and saltwater marshes, floodplain forests, hardwood swamps, and farmlands, among other regions. Raccoons have a life span of three to five years in the wild, although they can live up to twenty years when under captivity or safer habitats. In urban areas, raccoons stay approximately 0.1 square kilometers from each other.

The Canadian regions where raccoons reside the most include Toronto, Northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, Central Saskatchewan, Southern British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba, Southern Quebec, and the Maritime regions.

To get rid of raccoons under the deck naturally, one could use the following methods:

  • 1) Placing a light inside or at the entrance of the deck to scare away raccoons
  • 2) Playing talk-radio stations loudly using a radio at the deck's entrance

3) Waiting it out as raccoons usually leave the deck in a short time when their cubs become independent around summer. Raccoon mothers might also relocate their den while nesting, providing an opportunity to close up the hole to prevent further visits.

4) Soaking a used towel or rag in a mixture of ammonia or apple cider vinegar and water. Placing it in a plastic bag and hanging it in a strategic location at the entrance of the deck

However, it is crucial to combine the methods for maximum effectiveness. Additionally, the paper technique can confirm the raccoon has vacated the deck. Overall, protecting your property from raccoons requires a multi-faceted approach that considers the safety of both the animals and your property.

Thoroughly inspect the deck of your facility for any indications or potential entry points of a raccoon into your deck. Pay particular attention to any entrance under the deck with a hole that measures as small as 4 inches. Such space is large enough for a raccoon to slip in unnoticed. To prevent raccoons from entering your deck, block off the hole by placing a newspaper at the entrance or covering it with newspaper and sealing the edges with tape. If you choose to cover the entrance with newspaper, be sure to double the paper to increase its thickness.

Wait for signs of raccoon activity for one to three days by checking the entrance daily. If you notice any displacement or removal of the newspaper, it is most likely the main entrance of the raccoon. In contrast, if the newspaper is untouched, listen for sounds or visually inspect the deck for any activity to confirm where the raccoon is entering.

Once you have identified the main entrance of the raccoon, dig your structure 1 to 2 feet deep from the surface. Use a ¼ inch mesh to patch the hole with galvanized steel or wire mesh, and ensure that the mesh is long enough to bury for one to two feet and to cover the raccoon entrance. This will make it challenging for the raccoon to burrow under the mesh to gain access to the deck. Block off all other raccoon openings, but leave the primary entrance open without mesh.

Install a one-way door at the main entrance so that raccoons can exit without re-entering your deck. Check the deck for raccoon activity for two to three days and remove the one-way door. Use ¼ inch metal flashing or galvanized steel mesh to close all openings into the deck, taking care to ensure that no raccoons are left inside before sealing any entrance.

In Canada, wildlife removal is legally regulated to ensure the protection of the ecosystem. Therefore, it is illegal to kill animals, including raccoons, without proper authorization. It is also forbidden to cause any suffering to animals, and trap and transport animals for longer than 1 kilometre. Relocating raccoons could result in death or suffering since they do not tend to survive well outside their known territory.

While using a one-way door seems like an effective solution, it could be counterproductive for inexperienced individuals. Using the one-way door during nesting season, between January and September, could lead to separation between mothers and their young, which is likely to result in panic and abandonment for the mother. Thus, it is advisable to let the babies become old enough to come out of the deck before installing the one-way door. The best time to use the one-way door is between October and December.

However, knowing how to get rid of raccoons under the deck does not guarantee a 100% success rate with keeping a raccoon out. Seeking the guidance of professional wildlife removal companies for long-lasting solutions is always best. Do-it-yourself and home remedies solutions are often less effective and more expensive in the long run. Professional wildlife removal experts are familiar with the various season and what to do irrespective of the time of the year. If you seek a permanent solution with advisory services, speak with a wildlife removal expert today.

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