Raccoons are a clan animal. They live in groups of several adult individuals, as well as juveniles, and are very dedicated and dependent upon family ties for survival, protection and nurturing. For this reason we strongly discourage live trapping and relocating of raccoons. Studies done by the Humane Society of the United States have shown that more than 90% of relocated raccoons die within a short time in alien territory that is habitat to other resident raccoon clans. Many of them die on roads in their desperate attempts to get back to the safety of their own clan. Many others are killed by the resident raccoon clans protecting their territory.
If you have a raccoon that is alone and disoriented in your yard and has eye or nasal discharge this raccoon may have the distemper virus and needs immediate help. Please review our Emergency Care information.
The following information can be used to humanely evacuate or deter raccoons from inhabiting chimneys, attics, garages, overhangs, porches/decks, etc.:
Place a radio turned to a talk radio station with the volume as loud as practical, as close to the inhabited site as you can get it. The radio should be left on day and night for at least 48-72 hours. This will encourage the mother raccoon to move her family and will send a message that this is not a safe habitat for her family. In addition to the radio, place a few tin cans with ammonia soaked rags inside and around the inhabited area. The mother should move her cubs within 72 hours to a new nest site that has been prepared. After they vacate the area you must cap the chimney, or repair the entrance site to prevent another situation. PLEASE make sure ALL cubs have been retrieved before closing the hole. It is also important to remove all nesting material as it may be a fire hazard if located in an unsafe area.
Other ways to prevent any nuisance animals from visiting your yard include making sure there is not a food source accessible to them. Make sure domestic pet food and/or bird seed is stored in a secure metal container with a lockable lid. Garbage needs to also be stored in the same manner as scavengers will view this as a possible food source.
Freshly laid grass sod can also attract raccoons as there may be worms or grubs underneath it. If raccoons are damaging sod it is an indicator of the presence of grubs that need to be addressed. With the grubs taken care of, the raccoons should no longer be attracted to your sod.
Animal Humane Society's Golden Valley location provides care for all wild animals except skunks. We will provide phone advice for skunk situations. Please bring your wild animal directly to the Golden Valley location. If you need further advice or assistance you may call the Wildlife Exam at (763) 489-2223.