Typically, raccoons will be found near sources of water, such as lakes or streams, or they can be found in wooded areas. This is why an encounter with a raccoon during a camp out is quite common. They are generally not known to harm people, but they can frequently carry rabies.
When camping, the most serious problem with raccoons is that they will often come into a campsite looking for food; of course, shiny things are also attractive, such as jewelry, aluminum cans, aluminum foil, car keys, and anything else that draws their attention. It is not unusual for them to pick up certain items that might result in them cutting themselves or even choking. Additionally, raccoons that are cornered have been known to seriously injure or even kill dogs, especially young ones. It is important to take some precautions and eliminate things that could attract raccoons if you want to protect yourself, as well as your pets when you are in the outdoors. Fortunately, it is possible to learn how to keep raccoons away. Here are some simple ways to keep raccoons away the next time you are camping out.
Make sure that items that attract raccoons, such as food, scraps and trash are all eliminated prior to using a raccoon repellent. It is important to make sure that all trash is placed in a container with a tight lid in order to eliminate odors that could attract raccoons. The lid should also be secured to the container using a bungee cord or a piece of rope, this will add an extra measure of protection. Raccoons are extremely skilled with their paws and can easily open simple lids. Additionally, eliminate all food waste from your campsite. Your food supply can be placed in sealed containers and kept in your vehicle.
You can use a commercial cat or dog repellent in order to repel raccoons. These common home pest control products are often sold at pet stores, but they are just as effective in repelling raccoons. Simply sprinkle some of the repellent around your campsite's perimeter and you will create an effective barrier to keep out raccoons. This procedure should be repeated every two days.
Another effective repellent is cayenne pepper which will naturally repel raccoons. Raccoons have a very keen sense of smell, so they hate the smell of cayenne pepper. Again, simply sprinkle the cayenne pepper around your campsite's perimeter to form a barrier. This process should be repeated every two days or after it rains in order to keep your campsite protected.
You can easily make your own pepper-based repellent at home. This homemade repellent should be sprayed around your campsite's perimeter in order to repel raccoons. It is important to reapply the repellent on a daily basis.
Some people choose to make use of a mechanical repellent. The majority of raccoons will be repelled by simple motion-activated mechanical repellents. With mechanical repellents, when motion is detected, they will spray water in order to repel raccoons and prevent them from coming into the immediate area around the device. You can place a machine of this type near a trash can or just about any other location in your campsite where you think raccoons might be likely to be attracted.
Every night before heading off to bed, be sure to clean up any personal items. Jewelry, cameras, flatware, just about anything that glitters or is metal or shiny will attract raccoons. These items are best left in your closed vehicle or tent.
Make sure that all of the toiletries you use are unscented. Some scents can attract raccoons, as well as other animals. Use an unscented deodorant and a mild toothpaste when camping out. All toiletries should be placed in a container with a tight seal when you are finished using them. Do not wash or brush your teeth at your campsite. Something as simple as spilled toothpaste could attract raccoons.
Loud noises such as clapping can also scare raccoons away. However, never try to touch a raccoon.
It is important to keep in mind that raccoons often carry rabies. If they are rabid, they will be more aggressive, as well as more dangerous and if one ends up biting you it could be serious. You should never approach a raccoon or get too near to one, especially if it looks sick. Call the park ranger or park owner and let them handle the problem.
Overall, camping can certainly be relaxing and fun; however, a run in with a raccoon can quickly ruin your trip. Raccoons and other wildlife are frequently attracted by people and can smell food, perfumes, toiletries and other things you have around your campsite. In order to avoid a disappointing camping trip, be sure that you are properly prepared before you head out and take necessary precautions. When you learn how to deter raccoons and keep them out of our campsite, you will be able to reduce the likelihood of a raccoon ruining your camping experience.