How can I keep raccoons out of my yard?

Raccoons feed on ripening fruit at night. Raccoons are a nuisance mainly in rural and suburban areas. They generally live near a source of natural water, such as a stream, marsh or pond. Raccoons are very dextrous and inquisitive animals. They frequently turn over garbage cans in their search for food. They sometimes take up residence in attics, basements, barns or similar locations. Although these animals carry fleas and ticks, they are not considered a serious health threat. Raccoons can be dangerous if cornered. They can be carriers of rabies, so avoid all animals exhibiting odd behavior.

Keep garbage cans securely anchored in racks or immovable frames. Lids should be tightly secured to the can. Screen or seal openings into buildings. Consult your Department of Fish and Game regional office to find out about local raccoon control restrictions and regulations. Live traps baited with pieces of melon, prunes, honey-coated bread or smoked fish are usually effective in controlling raccoons. Attach traps to a tree, stake or fence post. If possible, push the trap back and forth in the ground until the soil covers the wire mesh on the bottom of the trap. Wait a few days before setting the trap; this allows the animal a chance to become accustomed to it. Transport the trapped animal to a wooded area at least several miles away.