How To Keep Raccoons from Climbing Downspouts? – 8 Tricks

how to keep raccoons from climbing downspouts

Raccoons are notorious for their climbing abilities, often causing trouble around homes by scaling downspouts to access roofs or attics. Preventing raccoons from climbing downspouts is crucial for protecting property and ensuring peace of mind for homeowners.

Can raccoons climb downspouts?

Yes, raccoons are skilled climbers and can indeed climb downspouts. Their agility and dexterity allow them to navigate various surfaces, including the smooth metal or plastic of downspouts. Additionally, raccoons are known to climb walls, fences, and PVC pipes, showcasing their adaptability and persistence in accessing desired areas.

How to keep raccoons from climbing downspouts?

To keep raccoons from climbing downspouts, install guards or physical barriers, apply slippery substances or repellents, and utilize motion-activated devices or electric deterrents. Regular maintenance and vigilance are also essential to prevent raccoon access.

Install Downspout Guards:

  • Invest in downspout guards designed specifically to prevent raccoons from climbing. These guards typically feature smooth surfaces or angled barriers that make it difficult for raccoons to gain traction.
  • Consider guards made of metal or PVC pipe sections, which are durable and effective in deterring raccoons.

Apply Slippery Substances:

  • Coat your downspouts with slippery substances such as petroleum jelly, cooking oil, or commercial raccoon repellents.
  • Ensure to reapply these substances regularly, especially after rainfall, to maintain their effectiveness.

Utilize Electric Deterrents:

  • Install electric wire deterrents around your downspouts to discourage raccoons from climbing. These wires deliver a mild electric shock when touched, teaching raccoons to avoid the area.
  • Follow safety guidelines and regulations when installing electric deterrents to prevent harm to both raccoons and other wildlife.

Create Physical Barriers:

  • Place physical barriers such as metal baffles or cones around the base of your downspouts to block raccoons’ access.
  • Ensure that these barriers are securely attached and extend far enough from the downspout to prevent raccoons from bypassing them.

Employ Motion-Activated Devices:

  • Install motion-activated devices, such as lights, sprinklers, or ultrasonic repellents, near your downspouts to startle raccoons and deter them from approaching.
  • Opt for devices specifically designed for outdoor use and adjust sensitivity settings to maximize effectiveness.

Install Pest Spikes:

  • Consider installing pest spikes, also known as bird or pigeon spikes, along the length of your downspouts. These spikes create an uncomfortable surface for raccoons to grip onto, effectively deterring them from climbing downspouts.
  • Ensure the spikes are securely attached and spaced closely enough to cover the entire surface of the downspout.

Use Raccoon Repellent Scents

  • Raccoons have sensitive noses and are repelled by certain strong odors. Utilize repellents such as ammonia-soaked rags, cayenne pepper, or predator urine around your downspouts to create an unpleasant environment that discourages raccoons from climbing.
  • Reapply these scents regularly, especially after rainfall, to maintain their effectiveness

Regular Maintenance:

  • Regularly inspect your downspouts for any signs of damage or weakness that could facilitate raccoon access.
  • Repair or replace damaged downspouts promptly to maintain their integrity and prevent raccoons from exploiting vulnerabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Keeping Raccoons from Climbing Downspouts:

Q1: Why do raccoons climb downspouts?

A: Raccoons are natural climbers and often use downspouts as a means to access rooftops, attics, or other elevated areas. They may be seeking shelter, food sources, or simply exploring their surroundings.

Q2: How do you stop raccoons from climbing downspouts?

A: There are several effective methods to deter raccoons from climbing downspouts. These include installing downspout guards, applying slippery substances, utilizing electric deterrents, creating physical barriers, employing motion-activated devices, and regular maintenance to prevent damage or weaknesses that facilitate raccoon access.

Q3: Can raccoons be trained to avoid downspouts?

A: While raccoons are intelligent animals, training them to avoid specific areas like downspouts may be challenging. However, consistent use of deterrents and barriers can condition raccoons to associate downspouts with unpleasant experiences, discouraging them from climbing in the future.

Q4: Is it safe to use electric deterrents around downspouts?

A: Electric deterrents can be effective in deterring raccoons, but they must be installed and used according to safety guidelines to prevent harm to both animals and humans. It’s essential to follow manufacturer instructions and ensure the devices are installed securely and out of reach of children and pets.

Q5: Are there any specific times of day when raccoons are more likely to climb downspouts?

A: Raccoons are primarily nocturnal animals, meaning they are most active during the night. Therefore, they may be more likely to climb downspouts in the evening or early morning hours when they are actively foraging for food or exploring their surroundings. However, raccoons can also be active during the daytime, especially in urban areas where they have adapted to human presence and activity patterns.


Preventing raccoons from climbing downspouts requires a combination of proactive measures and regular maintenance. By installing deterrents such as guards, applying slippery substances, utilizing electric deterrents, creating physical barriers, employing motion-activated devices, and using repellent scents, homeowners can effectively protect their property from raccoon intrusion. 

With these strategies in place, homeowners can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their downspouts are safeguarded against raccoon climbing attempts.

About Tanya Garg 82 Articles
I'm Tanya, the dedicated raccoon enthusiast behind My mission is to share my knowledge about raccoons through insightful blogs, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for these intelligent creatures. Join me on a journey to learn more about raccoons, their behavior, and the importance of ensuring their safe relocation when necessary. Let's together create a world where raccoons and humans coexist harmoniously and safely.