Best Raccoon Repellents & Traps – A Humane Approach

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

Raccoons are often portrayed as garbage bin scavengers that assault rural and urban areas at night. But, believe it or not, you’ll eventually need to use the best raccoon traps and repellents if you want to make sure that they don’t get inside your home.

Though the garbage bin is usually their first target, raccoons have a tendency to claw their way into garages, homes, cars, and even the attic if there’s an opening. Once they know there’s food around they’ll try to get at it every day. Here are some things that’ll prevent that from happening to you.

7 Best Raccoon Repellents & Traps for a Safe Backyard

Sometimes, the best raccoon deterrent can be a simple but reliable cat scat mat. This six pack features plastic spikes, positioned close together, and can cover a bit over 9ft of terrain.

The spikes are not sharp so that they won’t harm your pets or the pests. And, since this is specifically designed for cats, raccoons won’t be able to navigate the spikes by any means.

Each spike strip mat is 19.25”x5.5”. This should allow you enough freedom of placement as you obviously don’t have to put them all in one place. You can put a couple of strips near your bins, and a couple of strips on your deck.

You should note that the spike placement is tight enough to keep squirrels away too. Given the plastic makeup, it won’t even stain or damage anything. You can even put them on your car to keep rodents away.

  • Humane raccoon deterrent
  • 6-pack
  • Non-staining plastic build
  • Smooth scratch-free base
  • It may affect your cat or dog as well

The Havahart 1045 has been designed with two goals in mind - to trap annoying rodents and release them into the wild. As a trap, the Havahart is big enough to also catch opossums. And I really like how very small rodents are ignored.

This is one issue, common in humane cage traps, that Havahart fixed by calibrating the triggers perfectly. What does this mean? It means that very small rodents won’t activate the trap and waste a ton of cage space, while your neighborhood raccoon gets to cause more damage to your yard.

What I like even more is that the trap features two spring-loaded doors. This makes placing the trap a lot easier and makes hiding it even more convenient. The cage is rust-resistant and sturdy enough to handle anxious large rodents.

Even better, the wire mesh is tight enough that a raccoon can move around freely inside the cage but without catching its paws anywhere. It’s a humane solution for those that love all animals, but it doesn’t come too cheap.

  • Human cage trap
  • 2 entrance doors
  • Well-calibrated triggers
  • Won’t go off for very small rodents
  • Galvanized steel
  • Expensive for a single trap

The best way to describe this raccoon repellents is don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. If there’s one thing that raccoons really hate it is potent spices, particularly chili and peppers. So, why this particular bag of chili flakes? It’s spicy enough to keep raccoons at bay and it’s really cheap.

You can get this repellent in a 5lbs bag, which is really good value. On top of that, you won’t need much prep work either. The flakes come already crushed in an almost paste like texture. The freshness is well-preserved which only helps improve the potency of the repellent.

All you have to do is to add some water to the chili flakes, blend it all really well, and then use a sprayer to secure your yard. You can use this mixture on anything from grass to decorative plants without worries.

However, you don’t want to use it on your porch or deck since it will stain. If you want to do that, it’s best to sprinkle the chili flakes directly on the ground. That way, they won’t stain. But, remember that a light wind can blow them away.

That said, this is one of the best raccoon repellents you can get in bulk packaging. And, if your problem goes away, feel free to use the rest in your favorite dishes. It’s a win-win either way.

  • Natural repellent
  • Doesn’t affect plants
  • Easy to mix or use as is
  • Very affordable
  • Bags retain freshness
  • Can stain some surfaces

The Safer 5929 Critter Ridder is a very potent animal repellent. It doesn’t just take care of rodents, but can also keep your yard free of stray cats, dogs, chipmunks, squirrels, and skunks. It’s an all-purpose repellent, made from natural ingredients.

I like my repellents to last a while and the Safer 5929 Critter Ridder meets this requirement. The residual control effect can last for up to 30 days, depending on the weather. Although it comes in granulated form, the Critter Ridder doesn’t absorb water too well, hence the one-month maximum residual control.

The good news is that raccoons have good memory. They only need to get face to face with these granules a couple of times before they’ll think twice about coming back. The list of ingredients includes piperine, black pepper oil, and capsaicin.

The granules are small so you can disperse them with a lawn spreader, if you have one, or by hand. Be sure to wear gloves if you choose the latter.

Although the scent is very powerful to rodents, old dogs, cats, or kids, may not be as tuned in to it. Be sure to hide the granules well enough to keep them out of reach of your own pets and kids.

  • One month residual control
  • All-purpose repellent
  • Contains many spicy extracts
  • Powerful taste and scent
  • Not the best moisture-wicking granules

The Havahart 1079 is another impressive raccoon trap. It is slightly pricey, but given the quality materials and the very large opening, it is worth using if you want to catch and release raccoons in the wild.

The dimensions of the cage are 31.98” x 10.6” x 12.14”. It is quite massive and can comfortably hold a raccoon inside until you get back home to check on the trap. The solid metal door won’t budge and the spring trigger is not overly sensitive.

I like the extra smoothness on the inside of the cage which helps protect the animal from harm. The fact that there’s only one door makes this trap more secure, since there are fewer things that could malfunction.

Another good thing is the external trigger rod. This positioning means that the animal can’t damage it or trigger it from the inside in order to escape.

The rust and corrosion resistance is good, but that’s to be expected from a galvanized mesh. The only real issue with this trap is likely its size. Once you’re done using the trap, you won’t be able to disassemble it easily. This means that you’ll likely have to store it somewhere as is.

  • Great weather resistance
  • Single large entrance
  • High catch rate
  • Humane cage trap
  • Smooth interior
  • Potentially hard to store

You what else raccoons hate besides spicy food? They can’t stand minty food. If you want to repel raccoons but you don’t want to anger your pets and are reluctant about spraying the yard with something that could harm your kids, this could be the solution.

The Rodent Sherriff Pest Control Spray has been designed with an ultra-dose of peppermint oil. It’s very potent, yet also very pleasant for humans and most household pets, but not so much for raccoons and other small rodents.

One spray bottle contains 8oz of this powerful formula. That should be enough for roughly 1,000 sprays. In order to get the most out of this spray you’ll have to use it around doors, on your deck, inside the garage, and maybe even on plants.

But, you shouldn’t spray it directly on the ground as it would get absorbed easily and lose its potency. This means that it’s much more useful indoors than outdoors.

  • Affordable
  • A little goes a long way
  • Safe for pets and kids
  • Pleasant scent for humans
  • Natural formula
  • More of an indoor repellent

If you want to try your luck at catching two raccoons at the same time, then there’s nothing better than this Duke Heavy Duty Cage Trap. It’s a very big trap, wide enough for two animals to enter it simultaneously and long enough so that they won’t go crazy once the door shuts.

The gravity door shuts quickly but doesn’t make too much noise. If the coons are nibbling away at the bait, they may not even notice the door’s been shut unless they turn around.

What I really like is how sturdy the trap is. Even with two trapped animals banging against the walls, there’s little chance the cage will tip over. And, even then, the door should remain shut anyway.

The bait hole is large enough to let you get a few fingers through, but nowhere near wide enough to let a raccoon out. However, very small cats may be able to squeeze through due to their unique anatomy. And, that’s actually a good thing, just in case your pet decides to go for a midnight snack in the cage.

There’s nothing inside the cage that could catch a paw or hurt an animal otherwise. Also, the Duke trap has smooth edges on the inside to keep the animal safe.

  • Can catch two big coons simultaneously
  • Cats can escape the cage
  • Gravity quick-shut door
  • Smooth interior
  • Weather resistant
  • Expensive

Raccoon Repellents & Traps Usage Tips

Raccoons are always hungry, even when they’re not. This means that you don’t have to work extra hard at camouflaging traps or pay top dollar for camo traps. As long as you use some quality bait, you’ll have no problem luring coons inside a cage.

When using repellents, you have to make sure that you’re using something that’s not too annoying or too pleasing for your pets. Coons don’t have the same likes and dislikes as pets. For example, some pets like peppermint. Coons and other rodents don’t.

But, some dogs might actually like spicy food. This can be a problem when using chili flakes or pepper extracts to repel raccoons. So, your dog might get into a world of hurt if it decides to taste the flakes, granules, or lick a plant sprayed with spicy extracts.

Traps vs Repellents

Both methods will work. But, it comes down to the quality of the workmanship and the quality of the ingredients. Some raccoons are clever and may not step deep enough into a cage trap to step on the plate and trigger the door.

Other raccoons are stubborn and will do anything to avoid the barrier of repellent you’ve laid down around your property.

Avoid Sensitive Triggers

There are sensitive triggers and then there are too sensitive triggers. You want the trigger to activate the door as fast as possible once a raccoon comes in contact with it. But, raccoons are medium to large rodents. So, what you don’t want is a trigger that gets activated if the cage shakes or if a rat steps on it.

Not all raccoon traps are perfectly calibrated to discount smaller rodents. As such, I’ve chosen humane traps that shouldn’t react to smaller pests.

This is very important if you want to deal with your coons quickly. If you leave a trap overnight and it gets triggered by some tiny critter, your coon will roam the yard freely while some other less harmful rodent remains stuck inside the cage.

Catch a Coon Soon

While I do prefer humane ways of dealing with common household pests, I can’t say for certain that I would recommend traps over repellents or the other way around. As long as neither kills the pest and it does what it’s supposed to do, I’m down.

As you can see, your options are many but not endless. Not all traps for rodents are big enough to accommodate raccoons and not all repellents work as well. Make sure to pick the optimal solution for you.

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