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7 Techniques to Keep Raccoons from Nesting in Your Home

Raccoon Nesting Habits: Understanding their Behavior and Home

Raccoons are known for their cute appearance and playful antics, but they are also nocturnal creatures that have a solitary nature. These animals are quite interesting in their nesting habits, and this article aims to educate readers on the different aspects of raccoon nesting behavior.

Nocturnal Behavior: Why Raccoons are Active at Night

Raccoons are primarily active at night, and they can be seen wandering around the streets and alleys in search of food. This is because they are nocturnal animals, which means they are adapted to living in low-light conditions.

Raccoons have excellent night vision, and their hearing and sense of smell are also quite acute. Raccoons are known for their lazy and opportunistic behavior.

They like to scavenge for food and often rely on other animals to provide it. This habit of depending on others makes them well-suited to urban environments, where they can easily find food in dumpsters and garbage cans.

Solitary Nature: Why Raccoons Prefer to Live Alone

Raccoons are generally solitary animals, preferring to live on their own instead of in packs. This is especially true during the winter months when they spend most of their time in their dens.

During this time, raccoons will often seek out warm, dry, and secure areas to rest and avoid the cold weather. Den Types: Different Types of Dens Raccoons Use

Raccoons utilize different types of dens to shelter during the winter.

These include tree cavities, burrows, and human dwellings. Tree cavities and burrows are natural den types that raccoons also use to hibernate.

Tree cavities are especially common in forested areas, while burrows are more prevalent in rural environments. Human dwellings offer raccoons a more stable and secure place to live, and they are often attracted to attics, crawlspaces, and chimneys.

If these areas are not secured, raccoons can cause significant damage to homes while looking for shelter. How Do Raccoons Make Their Nests?

Raccoons are opportunistic animals that will use whatever resources are available to create their nests. Insulation is a vital component of raccoon nests, especially in colder climates.

They often use leaves, grass, and other materials to insulate their dens and keep them warm. Natural den types like rock crevices, fallen trees, and natural cavities are often ideal for raccoons as they provide natural insulation and protection from the elements.

Raccoons will also dig shallow burrows in soft soil that serve as their dens. In urban areas, raccoons will often take advantage of any structures they can find, including roofs, attics, and chimneys.


In conclusion, raccoons are nocturnal, solitary animals that rely on their environment for survival. They have different types of dens that they use, ranging from natural dens to human dwellings.

Their opportunistic behavior allows them to find shelter where they can, and their insulation requirements make them skilled nest builders. Understanding raccoon nesting habits and behavior can aid in the prevention of unwanted encounters with these curious creatures and keep both humans and raccoons safe.

Where Do Raccoons Nest? A Closer Look at Their Nesting Sites

Raccoons are interesting creatures, with unique nesting habits that continue to fascinate researchers and enthusiasts.

These mammals have adapted to various environments, from rural to urban areas, making use of all kinds of shelters they can find. Knowing where raccoons typically nest is crucial to minimize unwanted encounters with them and keep both humans and raccoons safe.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the different raccoon nesting sites. Abandoned Burrows: A Popular Ground Nesting Site for Male Raccoons

Burrows have been used by raccoons for centuries, and they remain an integral part of this mammal’s nesting habits.

Burrows are typically shallow, with an entrance made slightly larger than the raccoon’s body size. Male raccoons tend to prefer abandoned burrows, which are often located near waterways or forests.

These burrows can also be found in rocky crevices or under natural structures. Natural Dens: Female Raccoons Nesting and Raising Young

Natural dens are quite common and serve as the primary nesting site for female raccoons raising their young.

These dens are typically located in hollowed-out trees, caves, and rock crevices. The female raccoons usually build their nests out of grass, twigs, and other lightweight materials, which they collect and bring to the den.

Trees as Shelters: Raccoons Love to Climb

Raccoons are known for their agile climbing ability, and it is not surprising that they would utilize trees as shelters. Tree hollows provide natural insulation from the elements, and many species of raccoons use them for resting and sleeping.

Tree hollows are especially prevalent in areas with forests or woodlands. Urban and Suburban Environments: Common Nest Sites

With increased urbanization, raccoons have had to adapt to suburban and urban environments, resulting in changes in their nesting habits.

Urban environments provide a wealth of habitats that raccoons can use to make their nests. Raccoons often nest in sheds, attics, chimneys, and porch spaces.

Raccoons Nest in Your Home: Understanding Their Adaptation

Raccoons have adapted to different environments, including urban and suburban areas, making use of homes and other structures as nesting sites. Attics are the ideal nesting sites for raccoons in urban and suburban areas.

This is because attics provide warmth, insulation, and safety from predators. Walls and basements also provide ideal nesting sites during breeding seasons, which usually occur between December and February.

How to Keep Raccoons Away from Your Property

Preventing raccoons from nesting in your home starts with understanding their nesting habits and adapting your home environment accordingly. Habitat modification can make your property less appealing to raccoons.

This involves removing food sources such as garbage, bird feeders, and pet food from outside the home. Also, by eliminating water sources such as fountains and birdbaths that can attract raccoons.

Additional measures can include exclusion techniques such as sealing holes and gaps, using scare tactics, and using ultrasonic devices.


Raccoons have adapted to various environments and utilize different nesting sites ranging from tree hollows to attics in urban and suburban areas. Protecting your property from raccoons starts with understanding their nesting habits and making your environment less attractive to them using various measures.

Understanding the nesting habits of raccoons allows humans and raccoons to coexist peacefully. Scare Tactics for Raccoons: Keeping these Curious Creatures at Bay

Raccoons are curious creatures that are often drawn to human habitation in search of food, water, and shelter.

While raccoons can be beneficial, in some cases, they can become a nuisance and cause serious damage to properties. Using scare tactics can be an effective way of keeping raccoons at bay.

In this article, we will explore various scare tactics that can help prevent raccoons from taking up residence on your property. Sensitivity to Sounds and Sensations: Radio and Changing Sounds

Raccoons are particularly sensitive to sounds and sensations.

Playing loud music via a radio has been known to deter raccoons as it creates an unpleasant and unfamiliar environment. Changing the sound played on the radio ensures that the raccoons don’t become habituated to the sound.

The addition of ultrasonic devices can also be an effective way to deter raccoons. These devices emit high-pitched sounds that are irritating to raccoons but are barely audible to humans.

Motion-Activated Sprinkler System: Water Spray and Startle

Motion-activated sprinkler systems are another way of keeping raccoons at bay. These sprinklers use infrared sensors to detect movement, and when a raccoon crosses its path, it triggers a sudden burst of water.

This unexpected burst startles the raccoon and makes it uncomfortable to stay in the area. Using a sprinkler system in combination with changing sounds and ultrasonic devices ensures that raccoons do not become habituated to the same deterrents.

Importance of Changing up the Sound and Location: Avoiding Habituation

It’s essential to change the type of sound and location of scare tactics to avoid raccoons from getting used to and habituating to the sounds. Raccoons are intelligent animals and will become accustomed to long-term sounds and specific locations.

Rotating several scare tactics is effective in keeping these curious creatures at bay. Habitat Modification: Making Your Property Unattractive to Raccoons

Changing the habitat present in your yard and around your property can also make it less attractive to raccoons.

Eliminating Access to Resources: Food, Water, and Shelter

Eliminating access to resources is critical in keeping raccoons from taking up residence on the property. This involves storing garbage in bear-proof cans or securing them with bungee cords.

If possible, placing garbage cans inside a secure shed or garage, only bringing them outside for pick-up, then returning immediately indoors. Pet Food and Water Sources: Outdoor and Picking Up at Night

Pet food and water sources should always be kept indoors.

If this is not possible, place them outside only during mealtimes and remove them immediately once the animal finishes. Also, make sure to clean up any spills or messes in the area after meals.

Stacking Lumber Piles Neatly and Off the Ground: Brush Piles, Lumber, and Neat Stack

Lumber piles, brush piles, or other materials on the ground can provide homes and hiding spaces for raccoons. Stacking them neatly off the ground can deter these inquisitive creatures from take up residence and making homes.

Lawn Maintenance: Mowing and Trimming Bushes

Keeping the lawn well-maintained, mowed, and trimmed, can limit raccoon hiding spots and make them more visible. Garbage Cans and Lids: Seal Garbage, Bungee Cords, Bear-Proof Cans

Garbage cans should be sealed at all times and secured with bungee cords or locked away in a bear-proof container.

The lid should always be secured tightly on garbage cans, and it should be made sure that the garbage cans are odor-free.


In conclusion, raccoons can be pesky animals; however, with the implementation of adequate scare tactics and habitat modification, they are easily deterred. Using a combination of scare tactics such as ultrasonic devices, radios, sprinklers, and changing these methods regularly, can ensure that raccoons do not become habituated to such tactics.

Furthermore, habitat modification, eliminating access to resources, keeping a clean and maintained yard, and securing garbage, will help make sure that raccoons don’t become a nuisance. Keeping raccoons away from our homes and properties is essential for our safety and the well-being of these curious animals.

Exclusion Techniques: Preventing Raccoons from Nesting in Your Home

Raccoons have become familiar urban wildlife, and the encroachment of their natural habitats has led to their seeking shelter in our homes. Raccoons are skilled opportunists, making it critical that exclusion techniques are utilized to keep them out.

In this article, we will discuss different techniques used in excluding raccoons from entering homes and how to deal with raccoons that are already nesting on your property. Importance of Physical Barriers: Subterranean Fence and Netting

Physical barriers such as fencing and netting are the most effective ways to keep raccoons out of your yard and home.

Subterranean fences are the best line of defense, as raccoons can dig tunnels and get under fences. These fences are buried a few feet deep and extend above ground level to deter raccoons from digging under.

Raccoons are skilled climbers, which is why installing netting is necessary to keep them out of trees. Nylon bird netting is an excellent barrier to keep raccoons out of trees and off rooftops.

The netting should be secured around the trunk and the leading edges of the roofline, thus providing a 360-degree obstruction. Raccoon’s Ability to Turn Latches and Open Simple Locks: Doorknobs, Latches and Locks

Raccoons are nocturnal and inquisitive, and they are excellent at turning latches and doorknobs to open simple locks to enter a home.

It’s critical that homeowners invest in latches that raccoons are unable to operate, or install knob covers and deadbolts that raccoons cannot turn. How to Deter Raccoons from Nesting in Your Home: Trimming Trees, Installing of Spark Arrestors, Nylon Nets

Raccoons are attracted to homes that provide shelter and food.

Therefore, to avoid them from seeking shelter in your home, it is essential to take measures such as trimming trees that are near the home, clearing away fallen leaves and debris from gutters, and installing spark arrestors in chimneys to prevent raccoons from gaining access to the roof. Additionally, nylon nets should be installed over vulnerable areas like attic vents to keep raccoons from entering the home.

What to Do if a Raccoon is Nesting in Your House

Waiting and Observing the Adult Raccoon: Nighttime Food Run and Temporary Exclusion

If raccoons have already made their way inside your home, it’s vital to observe their habits before attempting to exclude them. Observing raccoons is critical as it’s necessary to know when they are active in the home.

Watching their food habits to catch them when they emerge in search of food, and then use temporary exclusion techniques to prevent their return. Placing a temporary barrier or board over the entry point and monitoring whether or not raccoons are displaced will indicate if the exclusion was successful.

Mother Raccoon with Kits: Wait for Them to Vacate and Seal the Hole

If a mother raccoon has nested in your home with young kits, it’s essential to allow the kits to mature and vacate with the mother before sealing the entry holes. The mother raccoon will likely relocate her kits if they feel threatened.

After the kits are gone, seal the entryway. Raccoon Breeding Season: January to March, April to May

During raccoon breeding season, which generally occurs between January and March and again from April to May, it’s essential to avoid interfering with mothers and their young.

Waiting until the breeding season is over before sealing entryways.


Keeping raccoons away from our homes is an essential part of co-existing peacefully with wildlife. Physical barriers such as subterranean fences, netting, and proper lock mechanisms prevent raccoons from entering the property, while nylon nets and chimney caps prevent them from establishing nests in vulnerable areas.

Homeowners should be observant of raccoon activity and their breeding habits. If raccoons are already nesting, exclusion techniques should be implemented, always keeping in mind that during breeding season and young kits, a humane approach is of the essence.

In conclusion, understanding raccoon nesting habits and knowing effective techniques for keeping raccoons from taking up residence on our properties is critical. Raccoons are unique and inquisitive creatures that have adapted to different environments, from rural to urban areas.


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