A raccoon in a garden next to a house.

Raccoon removal is one of the most popular calls we get at Critter Ridder. Here in Central Texas, we are accustomed to finding raccoons in our attics, garages, trash, or decks; but there’s another place that homeowners are having trouble with these uninvited guests: their gardens.

Like most critters, raccoons make their way into your home or yard in search of food and water. It makes sense that they would be drawn to a garden, as it is an easily accessible source of food. Raccoons are rather opportunistic when it comes to their diets (this is why you’ll find them eating leftovers out of your garbage), but they do enjoy eating foods commonly found in backyard gardens such as berries, vegetables, corn, nuts, and the insects that dwell in the soil. Overall, raccoons are willing to eat almost anything that’s available, so it’s possible that they will be interested in any food growing in your garden.

Spotting signs of a raccoon in your garden isn’t too difficult. If you find holes dug up around your yard, that’s a common sign of a wildlife visitor. Many animals (like moles and armadillos) burrow in yards, but raccoons often dig holes in your garden or mulch in search of insects to eat. Another obvious sign of a raccoon is finding your garden plants and vegetables ripped up or pieces discarded on the ground. Unfortunately, raccoons are seeing your garden as a reliable source of sustenance, so they will keep returning as long as food is available. They also might graze on your birdfeeders, so it’s wise to note if those have been emptied at an alarming rate as well.

If you’ve determined that a raccoon is visiting your yard and doing damage, it’s likely that your first thought is how to get rid of it. It’s best to act sooner rather than later, because once raccoons have discovered your garden they are likely to be repeat visitors. There are some ways to deter raccoons (and other wildlife) from returning to your property for food.

  • If you have a fence around your entire yard, look for possible points of entry that may be allowing raccoons onto your property in the first place.
  • Place a fence or wire around your garden. Raccoons can be very crafty, so if you decide to block off entry points to your garden, make sure they are secure and sturdy.
  • Put lights in or around your garden. As they are nocturnal creatures, sometimes the light will scare them off.
  • Turn on a talk radio station on a stereo and place it in your garden at night. The noise will often scare away raccoons. However, keep the volume fairly quiet if you have neighbors so you don’t disturb them!

If you try all of the above and still have a persistent critter problem, you can call an animal removal company to have the raccoon humanely trapped and removed. Do not try to attack or harm the animal, as raccoons can get aggressive when they feel threatened. Your best bet is to call a professional who will know how to remove the animal safely and effectively.