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Raccoons are known for their intelligence and adaptability, which makes them a challenge for homeowners trying to protect their property. I have observed that raccoons are capable of various methods to infiltrate areas that interest them, like gardens or trash bins. One particular behavior that raises concerns is their ability to dig under fences. This behavior poses a real threat to the safety of our backyard environments, as raccoons search for food or a place to nest.

Raccoons dig under a wooden fence at night

My experiences tell me that raccoons tend to dig only when other options are unavailable. Their strong and nimble hands are adept at breaking apart materials when they cannot dig. To prevent these clever creatures from burrowing under fences, homeowners take measures such as burying the bottom of the fence underground or adding fortifications to discourage digging and climbing. Despite these efforts, it’s impressive how persistent raccoons can be at overcoming obstacles. Engaging their curiosity and problem-solving skills is part of raccoons’ survival, making them both fascinating and formidable creatures.

💥 Quick Answer

Raccoons can and will dig under fences when necessary, using their strong front paws to move dirt and create tunnels. Homeowners need to implement preventative strategies such as deep fence foundations or physical barriers to deter digging.

Do Raccoons Dig Under Fences?

Raccoons have behaviors affecting homeowners, particularly their ability to dig and create burrows. I will discuss these traits to understand potential impacts on properties.

Habitat and Denning Preferences

Raccoons favor areas that provide shelter and safety, like hollow trees, attics, and brush piles. They may choose to settle in man-made structures, such as chimneys or under decks, if natural options are sparse or too exposed.

Feeding Habits

These opportunistic omnivores enjoy a diet rich in fruits, berries, grains, and insects. Raccoons have a particular tendency to forage in trash bins, which they can pry open with their nimble paws, and they are known to pilfer pet food left outdoors.

Destructive Activities and Areas of Concern

Regularly, raccoons disturb lawns and gardens while searching for food. Their digging actions, focused on hunting for grubs and earthworms, can damage grass, sod, and the roots of plants.

Signs of Raccoon Presence

Indications of raccoon visits include small holes in the yard, torn garbage bags, and scattered compost. Droppings, noise, and overturned plant pots can also suggest raccoon activity.

Common Misconceptions and Myths

It’s often thought raccoons will not invade well-kept properties; however, raccoons are adaptable and may be drawn to any available food sources, regardless of yard tidiness. Another misconception is that they only live in rural areas, but raccoons are commonly found in urban settings as well.

💥 Quick Answer

Raccoons are capable of digging under fences. To minimize this, invest in fencing that extends underground and ensure lids on trash bins are secure.

Prevention and Control of Raccoon Intrusion

In my experience, preventing raccoon intrusion involves a strategic approach to deter, secure, and professionally manage the wildlife around your property. Here’s how I tackle each aspect.

Effective Deterrents and Repellents

I’ve found that installing certain deterrents can significantly reduce raccoon visits. An effective strategy involves manipulating both the landscape and potential food sources.
Deterrents:

  • Buried Fences: I bury the bottom 6-10 inches of my fences to prevent raccoons from digging under.
  • Fence Caps: Installing caps or angled barricades atop fences can prevent raccoons from gaining the upper hand.
  • Trash Can Security: Securing garbage cans with locking lids and straps is vital in removing the raccoon buffet option.

Securing Your Property

I ensure my property is less inviting by removing or securing common raccoon attractants and access points.
Actions to Secure:

  • Decks and Sheds: I install sturdy wire mesh around the base of decks and sheds.
  • Compost Piles: I use enclosed bins to prevent access to compost.
  • Habitat Alteration: A tidy garden without overripe fruit or accessible pet food deters raccoon activity.

Professional Wildlife Control

Professional intervention can be invaluable. I rely on licensed professionals for humane trapping and relocation, particularly for persistent raccoon problems.
Expert Assistance:

  • Raccoon Removal: A certified wildlife control expert can trap raccoons following local regulations.
  • Property Assessment: Professionals can identify and recommend ways to raccoon-proof my property.
  • Ongoing Prevention: They provide support to ensure deterrents remain effective over time.
💥 Quick Answer

Raccoons are highly adaptable and can dig under fences, causing damage to lawns and gardens. Employing legal and safe removal strategies is essential to deal with these nocturnal creatures.

Legal and Safe Removal Strategies

Raccoons, with their dextrous paws, can burrow under fences, potentially leading to unwanted garden visits and disturbances under decks. My expertise in wildlife control emphasizes the importance of legal and humane strategies to tackle such issues.

Understanding Local Wildlife Laws

💥 Always Check Local Regulations

Before any action is taken to remove raccoons, it’s crucial I verify local wildlife protection laws. Such laws often dictate the permitted methods of raccoon removal and relocation, and whether I may need a license or professional assistance. Violating these laws can result in fines or legal repercussions.

Humane Trapping and Relocation

This is my experience with trapping:

  • Use approved humane traps: I choose traps designed to capture raccoons without causing injury. Baiting with foods like fish or fruits increases success rates.
  • Check traps regularly: To prevent distress, I check my traps at least once a day.

I coordinate with local animal control services where required, ensuring trapped raccoons are relocated to suitable habitats far from residential areas.

Addressing the Problem of Reoccurrence

💥 Preventive Measures

After handling the immediate raccoon issue, I take steps to prevent future occurrences:

  • Installing fencing deterrents: I dig a trench around the perimeter and install wire mesh angled outward and below the soil surface to discourage digging.
  • Securing garbage bins: Locking lids and heavy weights prevent raccoons from accessing trash.
  • Remove food sources: I ensure that garden produce and pet food are secured at night to not attract night creatures.

By taking a multi-faceted approach, I minimize the chance of raccoons re-entering my property and prevent future disturbances.

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