How to Deter Raccoons Without Mind Control

If you’re a homeowner living in Toronto, or anywhere else in the GTA, you know dealing with raccoons is an infuriating part of city life.

These masked bandits are extremely smart and crafty. They’ve been able to adapt to our urban habitat and use it to their advantage. When we’re in bed, our mischievous neighbors are up late loitering on rooftops, green bins, and lawns all over the city. Every morning is waking up to open green bins and garbage smeared all over your front lawn.

You’ve tried everything to stop these four-legged home invaders from getting into your stuff — cayenne pepper, motion-detection lights, loud music, and even prayer – but they keep coming back. It seems that the only way to get rid of these critters is through mind control, but we all know that’s impossible (for now…).

Fortunately, we’ve compiled five tips to keep these local trash pandas away from your home.

1. Don’t let Raccoons Grub on your Grubs

To raccoons, your lawn is an attractive green buffet full of tasty grubs. Raccoons are likely to appear after a rain shower when grubs and larvae surface. If they find out you have grubs, they’ll set up their construction zone and dig for their next meal, leaving your lawn in ruins.

How do you know if you have grubs?

To find out if you have grubs, we suggest peeling back a square-foot of sod and digging down two inches. If you discover that you have 10 or more beige-colored grubs, you indeed have a problem. To fix this, you need nematodes; a natural parasite that enters grubs and kills them.

The only downside to treating your lawn with nematodes is that it could take weeks or months to get rid of grubs.

In the meantime, here are four ways to keep raccoons off your lawn:

  • Sprinkle and water pure soap flakes throughout your lawn.
  • Mix bone meal into your gardening soil.
  • Spray diluted hot sauce over fruits and vegetables. Make sure you wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them.
  • Add lights to areas where raccoons are a problem.

2. No Food, No Trouble

If these trash pandas know you got food (and by food, we mean garbage), they will relentlessly raid your garbage bins every night.

Raccoons are dexterous and intelligent; they can tip over your bins, or even remove tightly sealed lids to get what they want, so make their job as hard as possible.

Here are six ways to stop raccoons from turning your garbage into a 5-course meal:

  1. Always store garbage in a garage, basement, or wildlife-resistant bin until the morning of pick up; avoid putting out garbage the night before.
  2. Sprinkle strong repellents such as ammonia in and around your green bins.
  3. Hang a string of Christmas lights around your green bins and install lights around your garbage storage area.
  4. Always clean up after barbecuing— raccoons love grease drippings.
  5. Keep your green bins clean. Wash your bins to remove lingering odors and residue that might attract raccoons.
  6. Keep pet food indoors.

3. The first step in prevention is protection

Are you obliviously subletting your house to raccoons?

These four-legged home invaders can take advantage of uncapped chimneys, loose shingles, and openings in attics or roofs. Raccoons are strong enough to rip off shingles and chew holes into buildings, so it’s important to close off any access points they may use to get into your home.

If your Spidey senses are pointing to an entry point you think raccoons have used, sprinkle flour in front of the entrance overnight and check for footprints in the morning.

If you find out you have raccoons living in your home, encourage them to leave on their own by making your home anti-raccoon. We suggest, hanging ammonia-soaked rags, playing loud music, and keeping the area lit brightly to evict the home invaders.

Having said that, the first step in raccoon prevention is home protection. Here are seven ways to make your home impenetrable to wildlife pests:

  • Secure openings to prevent re-entry
  • Use galvanized metal sheets to block all holes
  • Cap your chimney
  • Manage overhanging tree branches
  • Cover open air vents with heavy, rustproof screening
  • Remove TV towers that are not in use
  • Sprinkle odor repellents such as ammonia or bleach to deter raccoons from searching for new openings

4. If all else fails, Terminix Canada offers humane and safe raccoon removal services

Raccoons are an inevitable part of city life. These animals are our neighbors, whose intelligence and cleverness can get them into trouble. As homeowners, we have a right to protect our property from these four-legged home invaders, but we also have a moral and legal obligation not to harm them.


Terminix Canada specializes in safe and humane raccoon removal for your home or business. Our environmentally-friendly approach leaves no ecological footprint, and ensures no stress or harm is done to raccoons.

To learn more about our wildlife services, contact us for a consultation today!