How to Make Homemade Raccoon Repellent

By: Contributors  | 
Portrait of a raccoon posing in a big tube.
Make use of homemade raccoon repellents to drive away raccoons from your home. You should also ensure you properly seal all openings in your house. Picture by Tambako the Jaguar / Getty Images

Raccoons are dexterous mammals that can open doors and windows and climb structures, meaning you can easily find yourself with a raccoon problem if you do not take precautions.

At night, the nocturnal animal hangs around gardens, garbage cans, dumpsters and bird feeders — all of which you can find in or near your home and can lead to damage with their destructive behavior.


If you find yourself dealing with the effects of an unwanted midnight visit, you can turn to a raccoon repellent to discourage them from dropping in.

What Damage Can Raccoons Cause?

Raccoons can cause extensive damage to your property. In a home, they might make their way into an attic by creating a hole on the roof. They can also open air ducts, break pipes and remove insulation. Once inside your home, they may leave behind droppings.

If you have a chicken coop, they can prove an even bigger nuisance. "They can be especially destructive on farms, where they feed heavily on crops and sometimes kill poultry by raiding chicken coops," according to the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.


Animal Repellents to Deter Raccoons

There are many household items that raccoons hate that can keep them out of your yard and home. Before you use them, though, close any openings to your house where raccoons might be getting in. These include vents, windows, loose siding and soffits.

You may also want to construct a "floppy-top" wire mesh fence or a wire mesh cover to keep raccoons out of a vegetable garden or ornamental pond [source: Fischer]. Once your outdoor space is ready, try one of these raccoon deterrents.


  • Ammonia: Put a bowl of ammonia in your fireplace to keep raccoons out of the chimney. (Install a cap on the chimney once the raccoons are gone.) Tie rags into balls and soak them in ammonia. Put these wherever the raccoons are living. Resoak the balls as necessary.
  • Spices: Sprinkle potent spices around your yard. Cinnamon, ground black pepper and ground dried hot pepper are some possibilities. These irritate raccoons' sense of smell, encouraging them to move to a more hospitable location [source: Fischer].
  • Peppers: Make a raccoon-repellent spray by boiling two quarts (about two liters) of water with a tablespoon of cayenne pepper, several hot peppers and an onion for 20 minutes. You can also add hot sauce. Strain the liquid and spray it around your house, yard, vegetable gardens, plants and trash cans. You'll need to reapply this spray every two to three days and after it rains [source: Fischer].
  • Sprinklers and lights: Repel raccoons with motion-activated sprinklers or lights [source: OWREN].
  • Sound: Try repelling raccoons with a loud radio, as long as your home is not in earshot of other neighbors.

Are Raccoons Afraid of Coyotes?

Some suggest using coyote urine to keep raccoons away and protect your home. The reasoning is that using a spray bottle to cover areas with the strong scent of the urine would keep these nighttime critters away because raccoons would try to avoid their predators.

However, a recent study found that raccoons did not seem troubled by the presence of coyotes and other animals like deer. On the contrary, researchers at North Carolina State University found raccoons and coyote foraging side by side.

"Raccoons do not seem to be vigilant toward coyotes when caught on camera, and their activity patterns overlap, all of which indicates that coyotes are not depredating racoons, meaning they're not eating said," said Chris Moorman, a professor at the university's Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources.


Other Ways to Prevent Raccoons From Damaging Your Property

Repellents may not be very effective if you do not cover all your bases. Here are a few tips to secure your home and rid yourself of raccoons.

  • Close entry points. Keep raccoons away by closing any openings to attics or other areas of your home.
  • Properly secure your garbage cans. Raccoons can open garbage bins, so make sure you seal them tightly with something like bungee cord. You can also choose to put your trash out in the morning instead of at night.
  • Cut off food sources. Foods like vegetables and fruits attract raccoons. Make sure you cut them off from food sources, such as fallen fruit in your yard.
  • Pest control. You can also enlist the help of pest control, especially one that uses a humane trap, to get rid of raccoons.