Raccoons are intelligent and highly adaptable to living in developed areas near humans. It is common for Delta residents to observe raccoons in natural areas and/or on private property where food (pet food, fruit trees, gardens, garbage) and shelter are easily accessible. On occasion, staff receive complaints from residents about raccoon behaviour. Here are some best practices to deter raccoons on private property:
- For enclosed areas an open saucer of household ammonia (or an ammonia soaked rag in a perforated container) set to allow air currents and circulation is an effective raccoon deterrent. For outdoor spaces, ammonia soaked rags may be placed in a perforated container and/or in holes or crevices of structures.
- For open spaces motion sensors that set off light, noise or water may scare off raccoons.
- Ensure that food sources such as fruit trees, garbage, composts, ponds, and pet food are secure or managed so as to limit foraging opportunities for raccoons.
- Prevent denning behaviour by maintaining outbuildings, decks, staircases and roofs so that raccoons may not get inside such structures.
- Raccoons respond to aggressive, dominant behaviour. It is encouraged that should residents see a raccoon on their property that they scare them off by shouting, acting “big”, and/or swatting them with a broom.
Raccoons found damaging private property may be lawfully captured and humanely euthanized, at the discretion of the landowner. However, trap-and-release or trap-and-euthanize practices are not effective as such practices make the territory available for re-colonization by a new family of raccoons There are no sanctioned release sites for captured raccoons. Successful raccoon population management occurs when neighbourhoods diligently manage food and shelter and consistently maintain behaviours that demonstrate human dominance.
Learn more about raccoon management