How to prevent Raccoons from Digging up Lawn

As homeowners, we spend a great deal of time and effort in making our yards look good. A seemingly straightforward task, taking proper care of the lawn, is an ongoing battle with Mother Nature.

Nothing is more frustrating, therefore, than to return home after a long week’s work only to find that raccoons dug up parts of your lawn. On that note, how to prevent raccoons from digging up lawns is the question in many homeowners’ minds.

While the previously mentioned scenario is a common one, it does not have to be the reality. Raccoons are increasingly becoming bolder in their quest for food, and it is not uncommon to find them digging holes in the lawn at night. Often, they will look for sources of grubs and worms as a primary food source.

How to Prevent Raccoons from Digging up Lawn

Luckily, there are several ways that you can employ to keep them out of your lawn. This article will look at a few techniques and methods to ensure they do not return for more.

1. Proper Waste Disposal

To begin with, it is essential to note that raccoons are scavengers. They will look for any food source, and hence, the first line of defense is to undertake a good garbage disposal program.

Do not leave out food residue and scraps in your backyard. Ensure that waste products such as eggshells, bones, vegetables, and fruits are disposed of properly.

2. Motion-Sensing Lights

Another way to keep them away is by setting up motion-sensing lights in the yard. These can be placed, for instance, at the corners of your house or along pathways and fence lines. Such devices detect movement and switch on automatically.

If you take care to switch it off before leaving home, then you have a good chance of keeping these animals out of your lawn at night.

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3. Ultrasonic Animal Repellant  

An ultrasonic animal repellant is also a great solution to this problem. These devices emit ultrasonic waves that are not audible to humans but irritate raccoons and other critters.

An important note of caution with these devices is installing them appropriately so they can an effect on animals.

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4. Netting

While this is a slightly more expensive option, it can still be a beneficial one. Install netting around the edges of your lawn and seal any holes or gaps in the yard with steel wire staples.

Raccoons don’t like going through such tight spaces, so they will not try to burrow under them.

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5. Installing a Motion-activated Sprinkler

Raccoons don’t like getting wet, and hence, setting up a motion-activated sprinkler on your lawn will act as an effective deterrent.

As soon as the animal triggers it, this device will activate itself and spray water in all directions on lawn. This is not only annoying for raccoons but is also very stressful for them, and hence they will avoid such areas altogether.

6. Using Predator Urine (coyote or wolf)

This is an excellent method to keep raccoons out of your yard. The scent of predators will make them leave the area.

Putting some coyote urine on places such as fence posts or trees can be highly effective in preventing these animals from returning.

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How to Stop Raccoons from Pulling Up Sod

Raccoons also tend to pull up sod, pebbles, and stones in their quest for food. However, you can easily stop them from doing so by scattering mothballs around the lawns and garden beds.

Pick a location that is easy to reach but off-limits to pets or children. Once again, this will act as an effective way of keeping raccoons away from your lawn and garden bed.

Other methods include:

  • Using Pure Soap Flakes: Pure soap flakes help reduce the population of worms and grubs, which are the primary foods of raccoons. Scatter some pure soap flakes in the lawn and garden bed, which will help control these pests to a great extent. You can also use a grub killer or nematodes to accomplish the same effect.
  • Using Protective Netting: This is a very commonly used solution for protecting your garden from raccoons. However, make sure that the netting fits snugly around the edges and does not have any holes or gaps in it. This will ensure that they cannot reach across and pull up sod or dig through the soil.
  • Using Special Repellents: Another great way to keep raccoons away from your property is by using certain repellents. These can be purchased online easily, but you need to verify if these are legal in your state before using them. Common examples of such repellents include predator urine (coyotes or wolves), vinegar mixed with water, human hair, and cayenne pepper. If you have the time and patience, you can also make your repellents at home.

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How to Stop Skunks from Digging up Lawn

Skunks are nightly predators who dig up lawns and gardens, searching for worms, grubs, and other insects.

If you don’t want them to eat your prized plants or ruin the grass by digging holes everywhere, then some simple tricks can help keep these animals away from your property.

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1. Trapping

Although live trapping is frowned upon by many, it is a convenient solution. There are different types of traps available online and in stores that you can use to capture the animal.

You can release them far away from your property or contact an expert to come and relocate them into their natural habitat in the wild.

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2. Predator Urine

This is an age-old trick used by many to keep these animals away from the area.

The smell of coyotes or wolves can actually make them leave for good, and hence putting some predator urine on places such as fence posts or trees can be highly effective in preventing them from returning.

3. Using Deterrent Smells

The smell of citrus, mothballs, ammonia, and peppermint oil can also drive skunks away from your property.

You can spread some mothballs around the lawns and garden beds to ward them off, or you can spray some citrus or peppermint oil on places such as flower beds, fencing, and even trees.

4. Commercial Repellants

Several commercial repellants are available, which can be very effective in keeping these animals away from your property.

While they are a little expensive, they do not require any special effort on the user’s part and hence make for an excellent investment.

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How to Stop Raccoons from Digging in the Lawn (FAQs)

Why are raccoons tearing up my lawn?

Raccoons are not intentionally tearing up your lawn. They are searching for something to eat, like worms and grubs in the soil. You can find all of these, along with several other insects, in your lawn or garden beds.

Do coffee grounds keep raccoons away?

The smell of coffee grounds can actually repel many pests, including raccoons. Sprinkling the lawn with coffee grounds is one quick way to keep the animals at bay.

Does vinegar keep raccoons away?

Vinegar is another natural smell that can keep raccoons away from your property. They usually avoid it and will stay away from places where it’s been used.

What food is poisonous to raccoons?

While you would want to keep raccoons away from your property, you should not harm them in any way by attempting to poison or kill them.

However, nuts such as macadamia and raisins or plants such as onions or garlic are poisonous to raccoons.

Understanding how to prevent raccoons from digging up lawns is an essential part of maintaining a lush, beautiful property.

The simple solutions mentioned above make for effective ways of preventing these animals from digging up your lawn. Note that they will not harm the animals, but will only keep them away from your property.

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