What To Do If You See A Raccoon in Your Yard? 7 Steps To Follow

racoon in yard

Spotting a raccoon in your yard can be intriguing, but knowing “what to do if you see a raccoon in your yard” is essential for a harmonious coexistence. Raccoons are common visitors to urban areas. While they may seem cute, it’s crucial to approach the situation with caution. 

In this guide, we’ll explore simple steps to ensure both your safety and the raccoon’s well-being.

What To Do If You See A Raccoon in Your Yard

Spotting a raccoon in your yard can be concerning due to potential property damage, scavenging behavior, and the risk of disease transmission. Raccoons may pose a threat to smaller pets, emphasizing the need for caution.

If you find a raccoon in your yard, follow these steps to ensure a safe and respectful interaction:

Observe from a Distance (Click Pictures from a Distance):

Keep a safe distance when observing raccoons. Use binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens to take pictures without getting too close. Avoid direct contact to prevent potential risks.

Do Not Disturb If It’s Sleeping:

If the raccoon is sleeping, avoid disturbing it. Raccoons are nocturnal, and daytime rest is normal. Interrupting their sleep may cause stress or defensive behavior.

Wait for It to Move Away Naturally:

Allow the raccoon to move away naturally. Raccoons are generally cautious animals, and they will likely leave once they feel the environment is safe.

Keep Pets Indoors:

To ensure the safety of your pets, especially smaller animals, keep them indoors or in a secure enclosure. Raccoons may pose a threat to smaller pets including cats and dogs, and minimizing direct interaction helps prevent potential conflicts or injuries.

Clear Droppings After It Has Gone:

Once the raccoon has left, use caution to clean up any droppings it may have left behind. Wear gloves, use a shovel, and dispose of the waste properly to minimize health risks.

Call Wildlife Assistance If It’s Not Going:

If the raccoon lingers in your yard, especially if it appears injured or disoriented, consider calling local wildlife assistance or animal control for professional guidance and assistance.

Secure Entry Points to Ensure They Don’t Come Back Often:

Inspect and secure potential entry points into your home, sheds, or other structures. Blocking access helps prevent raccoons from becoming frequent visitors and seeking shelter on your property.

What attracts raccoons to your yard?

Several factors can attract raccoons to your yard. Here’s a list of common attractants:

  • Unsecured Garbage: Raccoons are attracted to easily accessible food sources, and unsecured garbage cans provide a ready supply of potential meals.
  • Pet Food Left Outdoors: Leftover pet food, whether in bowls or scattered on the ground, can attract raccoons seeking an easy meal.
  • Bird Feeders: Bird feeders stocked with seeds are appealing to raccoons, as they are skilled climbers and can access the feeders for a quick snack.
  • Fallen Fruits: Raccoons are opportunistic foragers and are drawn to fallen fruits in yards, especially during the fruit-bearing season.
  • Water Sources: Standing water or open water features may attract raccoons, as they often seek water for drinking or foraging for aquatic food.
  • Shelter Opportunities: Yards with easily accessible crawl spaces, sheds, or structures may attract raccoons seeking shelter, particularly during nesting season.
  • Warmth and Safety: Raccoons are attracted to areas that offer warmth, safety, and potential nesting sites, such as attics, chimneys, or tree hollows.

How to get rid of raccoons in the yard?

If you’re dealing with raccoons very often in your yard and want to deter them, here’s a list of effective measures:

  • Remove Attractants: Eliminate potential food sources such as unsecured garbage cans, fallen fruits, and pet food left outdoors.
  • Secure Garbage Containers: Use raccoon-resistant garbage cans with tight-fitting lids to prevent access to food waste.
  • Seal Entry Points: Inspect and seal any potential entry points into your home, sheds, or other structures to prevent raccoons from seeking shelter indoors.
  • Install Motion-Activated Lights: Motion-activated lights can startle raccoons, making your yard less appealing. Install them in areas where raccoons are frequenting.
  • Use Sprinklers: Motion-activated sprinklers can deter raccoons with sudden bursts of water, discouraging them from staying in your yard.
  • Employ Natural Deterrents: Scatter strong-smelling substances like cayenne pepper, garlic, or ammonia around the yard as raccoons dislike these odors.
  • Fence Your Property: Install a sturdy fence around your yard, preferably with an overhang or electric wire on top, to deter raccoons from climbing over.
  • Trim Trees and Branches: Trim branches that provide easy access to roofs or structures, limiting the raccoons’ ability to enter your property.
  • Use Commercial Repellents: Commercial raccoon repellents, available in stores, can be applied to specific areas to discourage their presence.
  • Consult Professional Services: If raccoon infestations persist, consider seeking professional wildlife removal services for humane and effective solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Raccoons in Your Yard:

Q1: Should you feed raccoons in your yard?

A: Feeding raccoons in your yard is generally discouraged. It can lead to habituation, altered behaviors, and increased dependency on human-provided food, which may disrupt their natural instincts and interactions.

Q2: What should you do if you find raccoon holes in your yard?

A: If you discover raccoon holes in your yard, consider securing potential food sources and sealing entry points into structures. Raccoons may dig for insects or create dens, and preventive measures can discourage their presence.

Q3: What should be done if there’s a dead raccoon in your yard?

A: Contact local animal control or wildlife authorities to handle the removal of a dead raccoon. Avoid direct contact, as there may be health risks associated with handling deceased wildlife.

Q4: Is it bad to have raccoons in your yard?

A: While raccoons play a role in ecosystems, having them in your yard can lead to property damage and potential health risks. It’s advisable to take measures to discourage their presence and minimize interactions.

Q5: What should you do about raccoon poop in your yard?

A: Raccoon feces may carry diseases. Use caution, wear gloves, and follow proper disposal methods. Consider cleaning the area thoroughly or seeking professional assistance if needed to minimize health risks.

Q6: How do I know if I have raccoons in my yard?

A: Signs of raccoon activity may include visible damage inside your garage, evidence of them searching for food, and sounds in your attic. Raccoons are nocturnal, so homeowners often discover signs in the morning, such as droppings or tracks. Be cautious and avoid approaching them directly.


Encountering a raccoon in your yard can be an exciting wildlife moment, but it’s essential to approach it with responsibility. By understanding raccoon behavior and taking proactive steps, you can foster a harmonious coexistence. Whether observing from a distance or addressing potential attractants, the key is to balance appreciation for wildlife with a commitment to maintaining a secure and comfortable living environment.

About Tanya Garg 82 Articles
I'm Tanya, the dedicated raccoon enthusiast behind racoonpet.com. 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.