To keep raccoons from digging up plants, we need to consider a lot of things. While they can sometimes look quite cute and harmless, raccoons in the wild can also become bothersome when they invade our spaces.

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Hence, keeping racoons out of garden spaces is a necessity for many garden enthusiasts. So, in this article, our garden experts will be exploring different ways to repel raccoons and prevent raccoons from eating garden plants and vegetables, to help you out!

How To Keep Raccoons From Digging up Plants

When you suspect that there is a raccoon digging in garden areas, this can be easily remedied by a few homemade solutions. We will be listing some methods that can discourage raccoons, as well as a few things that can act as a raccoon deterrent for gardens.

From there, you can see which one can work for you and your garden, so you can stop raccoons from digging up garden.

– Put Up Physical Barriers

You can fence up your areas, especially those that you suspect are points of entry for the raccoons. There are also several other barriers that you can consider to discourage raccoons from invading your garden.

Bird nets, squirrel baffles, and chicken wire can work well as raccoon repellents. However, you may need to move them every few days so that they do not grow into your lawn.

In addition, electric fences are great alternatives to physical raccoon barriers. Enclosing your property with a stretch of electric fencing should be adequate to deter raccoons from visiting your garden. So, when purchasing and installing electric fences, you can use a single wire approach or a double wire approach.

– Use Odors as Repellents

Raccoons have very sensitive noses that can detect scents from distances away. So, raccoons are attracted to edible scents and are repelled by scents that they consider offensive or indicative of danger. Here are a few ideas you can use to drive that unwanted visitor away:

– Spices

Garlic, onion, and chili are some of the odors that raccoons do not like. The strong scent of these spices usually discourages raccoons from scavenging around your garden to look for food.

– Herbs

Strong scents like peppermint have been known to repel raccoons from digging up gardens. You can either plant peppermint around the perimeter of your garden or you can use peppermint sprays that are safe for plants and soils.

– Coffee

Coffee has been shown to keep raccoons away from visiting human settlements. So, you can sprinkle coffee grounds into the soil.

sprinkle coffee grounds into the soil

Ensure that, when you throw coffee grounds into the soil, the surrounding plants can tolerate the acidity of the coffee grounds.

– Animal Scents

Raccoons can be deterred by the smell of their natural predators. Coyote and wolf urine have been shown to be effective raccoon deterrents, so keep an eye out for these predators if they are native to your area.

– Ammonia

Ammonia has been reported to be an effective raccoon repellent too. You can use rags soaked in ammonia and place them in areas where you suspect raccoons enter or dig. You can also use ropes soaked in ammonia as a peripheral odor repellent, although you need to use this with caution if you have pets.

– Vinegar

Some have used apple cider vinegar successfully to discourage raccoon activities. To do that yourself, simply place jars of vinegar near suspected points of entry or activity.

– Create Homemade Raccoon Repellents

You can use the previous items as ingredients for your homemade raccoon repellent. First, add your items of choice to a gallon of water mixed with the contents of a bottle of hot sauce. Add a teaspoon of mild dishwashing soap, and shake vigorously.

Spray your homemade raccoon repellent around garbage bins, around the perimeter of your area, and at any possible points of entry and activity.

Remember to always use repellent scents with caution when you have domesticated animals or pets on your property.

– Use Epsom Salts

Epsom salts can also be used to deter raccoons from invading your gardens or digging up your plants.

sprinkle Epsom salts all around your garden

You can sprinkle Epsom salts all-around your garden, which also act as a wonderful fertilizer for your soil and plants.

– Secure or Remove Sources of Food and Water

Raccoons love to visit areas where they know there is a regular supply of food and water. As they are omnivorous and not picky about food, they can spend hours scavenging your garbage bins, pet food containers, and other possible storage areas for food.

You can reduce this possibility by making sure your garbage bins are securely locked. So, you should first regularly spray your garbage bins with bleach and water to remove food odors.

Then, if you have pets and you feed them outside, bring their dishes inside the moment they finish eating and drinking. What’s more, bird feeders must be placed in areas that are inaccessible to raccoons. As much as possible, remove all access to food and water in the garden.

Don’t forget that raccoons dig up lawns that house plenty of grubs, which are one of their favorite food. Thus, you should also ensure that your lawn is free from grubs by occasionally applying chemicals that can kill the grubs. Perform this activity safely to prevent any accidental harm to your plants or animals.

– Use Motion-detecting Devices

Gadgets that are motion-activated with sensors are extremely effective as raccoon repellents because raccoons are extremely sensitive to lights and sounds. When they forage at night, their senses are heightened due to their natural wariness of predators and unknown dangers. Therefore, using gadgets that set off loud noises, bright lights or unexpected water can work incredibly well to scare off raccoons.

Some devices come in the form of motion-activated lawn sprinklers, floodlights, noise generators, and supersonic sound generators. Many devices have at least one or more of these features to keep raccoons out of flower pots, vegetable beds, and other sources of food and water. You may want to select and install the ones that you feel are the most suitable for your needs.

– Place Live Traps With Baits

Some aggressive raccoons can be harder to scare, so you may need to set live traps to catch raccoons in your garden. Use any kind of food as bait as raccoons are omnivorous, although we do advise you to use the most enticing ones, as they tend to have strong scents.

Then, you can select traps with a double-door design because raccoons are smart creatures that can easily figure out ways to escape their traps. Also, place the traps in a shaded or secluded area where they are most likely to hide.

Once you have trapped the raccoon, release it into the wild at least three miles away from your property. Finally, you may have to check local and state laws first to make sure you are not breaking any of them by trapping the animal and setting it free in a possibly protected area.



– What Types of Animals are Raccoons and What are Some of Their Characteristics?

Raccoons are mostly wild animals that sometimes co-exist with humans when their natural habitats are adjacent to human habitations. Raccoons are resourceful animals, excellent swimmers, agile climbers, quick jumpers, and fast runners.

Raccoons, contrary to popular belief, do not hibernate in the winter months. Instead, they will live in dens for prolonged periods when the weather is inhospitable. What’s more, raccoons are omnivorous nocturnal creatures that enjoy anything that they consider edible. Grubs, crayfish, amphibians, and bird eggs add to their diets aside from nuts, fruits, vegetables, and root crops.

Raccoons are attracted to areas where food and water are easy to source, so gardens are some of their favorite food haunts. Since they feed at night, most homeowners fail to scare them away or even catch them. The only clue to their damage is the freshly dug earth and the tiny paw prints in the soil.

– Why Do Raccoons Dig Up My Yard in the First Place?

Raccoons are excellent foragers of food that consist mainly of grubs, insects, roots, vegetables, fruits, and other types of edible matter. Since raccoons are very motivated by food, they will often go around to look for anything they can eat. This includes uprooting plants, digging up the soil, and opening containers such as garbage bins and pails.

Why Do Raccoons Dig Up My Yard in the First Place

Raccoons are nocturnal creatures and will visit human residences to forage in secret. Raccoons love visiting sources of food, especially when they notice that certain areas or containers are constantly being replenished with anything that is edible. This can include garden beds, compost bins, garbage containers, and even pet bowls.

As a result of these inquisitive yet bold creatures, many human homes and gardens have become unwitting victims of raccoon visits. If you notice that your garden and your yard areas have holes dug up in the morning, it is highly likely that the culprit was a raccoon.


When you suspect you have severely destructive raccoon activities in your yard, you can easily deter and repel those mischievous miscreants quite easily. Let’s go over all the tips and techniques we have discussed in repelling raccoons from our properties:

  • Securing and removing sources of food and water in the garden is a great way to start the process of stopping raccoons from digging up plants
  • Physical barriers, such as bird nets, squirrel baffles, and chicken wire, as well as motion-activated devices that set off water, light, and noise can keep raccoons from digging into the soil of your plants and crops,
  • Scents of spices, such as garlic, onion, and chili are a great way to keep raccoons away from your property, and peppermint has been shown to be quite efficient in discouraging their activities
  • Throwing coffee grounds and epsom salts on the lawn can help keep raccoons away, along with the strong scents of vinegar and ammonia
  • Live baits and electric fences are ideal for aggressive raccoons that resist other forms of deterrents and repellents

While there is no fool-proof guarantee that raccoons will stop trying to enter your property, a combination of all the techniques can lead to better results.

We encourage you to always use these techniques with caution, especially when you have pets on your property, and we also hope that our tips lead you to more fruitful gardening experiences!

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