Since raccoons are primarily nocturnal by nature, you may not see them in your yard during the day, but you will definitely be able to see the damage left behind on your property. Loose small mounds of dirt or patches of sod pulled up are good indicators. While raccoons will eat almost anything, a plentiful supply of soil insects will attract them into your yard. With more homes being built and raccoons, and for that matter, skunks and other small critters being displaced from their natural home environment, we are seeing more issues with these animals finding their way into residential neighborhoods in search of food and into homes for shelter.
As the cooler months loom ahead, raccoons will need to put weight on for the coming winter months ahead so they are looking for a good meal of earthworms, grubs or other soil insects. Check around the yard for signs of digging and around your home for scratch or gnaw marks.
Raccoons or other woodland critters digging up your yard could mean you have a grub or other larval insect issue just below the surface of your lawn.
Eliminating a raccoon’s food source is the first step. The recent steady rain has favored grub development. Have your yard inspected for lawn insect issues. Grubs feed on grass roots and organic matter. An indicator you may have a grub issue is to watch for bird or animal activity such as raccoons or skunks foraging on your yard.
While it may be impossible to prevent all large animals from tearing into your lawn, there are preventative measures you can take to discourage raccoons, skunks and other critters from wreaking havoc on your yard.
- Aerating the yard will make it a bit more difficult for raccoons to lift and roll away patches of your lawn. As an added bonus, the aeration will help keep your lawn healthy
- Try sprinkling cayenne pepper as a temporary fix to discourage foraging.
- If you are still seeing evidence of raccoon activity in the yard, try placing chicken wire over areas of your lawn until the situation is under control
- Keep trash cans securely closed with tight fitting lids.
- Yard treatment for grubs and other larval stage insects is recommended early Spring when adult beetles are emerging and early Fall when larvae are actively feeding on southern lawns.
Remember if you suspect an issue with raccoons or other woodland animals coming into your yard, have the perimeter of your home checked for possible entry points to keep raccoons from trying to enter your home or attic space. Also, be sure to secure the areas around your deck to keep them from making your home their winter home and you definitely don’t want them to start a family.
To discourage larger animals like raccoons, skunks and other pests from coming into your yard, there are options you can try on your own, however if you have continual issues, a pest professional may be needed. Call or contact Bio-Tech Pest Control at 281-296-6022.