Why Do Raccoons Keep Coming Back?

Why Do Raccoons Keep Coming Back? featured image

Have you ever wondered why raccoons keep coming back? Well, it turns out raccoons are quite clever and resourceful creatures! Raccoons are small mammals with a mask-like pattern on their face and a fluffy striped tail. They are known for their mischievous nature and their ability to adapt to different environments.

One of the main reasons raccoons keep coming back is because they are excellent at finding food. They have a great sense of smell and can sniff out delicious treats from miles away. Raccoons are known to eat a variety of things like fruits, nuts, insects, and even garbage! They are also skilled climbers, which helps them reach food in tall trees or on top of buildings.

Raccoons are also very curious animals. They love exploring new places and investigating anything that catches their attention. This curiosity often leads them to return to places where they have found food before or where they feel safe. They have a good memory and can remember where they found a tasty meal or a cozy spot to rest.

In conclusion, raccoons keep coming back because they are smart, resourceful, and have a great sense of smell. Their love for food and their curious nature makes them persistent visitors in our neighborhoods.

Understanding Raccoon Behavior

Hey there! So, you’re wondering why those sneaky raccoons keep coming back, huh? Well, let’s dive into their behavior to get a better understanding of what makes them tick.

Related Article:Why Do Raccoons Bark?

Nocturnal Nature

First things first, raccoons are nocturnal creatures. That means they are most active during the night. While you and I are cozy in our beds, these little bandits are out and about, searching for food and exploring their surroundings. So, don’t be surprised if you spot them skulking around your yard when the moon is high in the sky.

Adaptability to Urban Environments

Raccoons are incredibly adaptable critters. They’ve learned to thrive in various environments, including urban areas. They can easily navigate through neighborhoods, parks, and even city streets. Their ability to adapt to human-made structures and landscapes makes them quite comfortable in our concrete jungles.

Related Article: “What Do Raccoons Steal”

Omnivorous Diet

Now, let’s talk about their diet. Raccoons are opportunistic eaters and will feast on just about anything. From fruits, nuts, and insects to small mammals, birds, and eggs, they’ll devour whatever they can get their paws on. This diverse diet helps them find food sources in both natural habitats and human settlements.

Social Structure and Communication

Raccoons are social animals, living in small family groups called “nurseries.” These groups usually consist of a mother raccoon and her kits. They communicate with each other through a range of vocalizations, body language, and scent marking. This social structure and communication play a role in their return to familiar territories.

Attraction Factors for Raccoons

Shelter and Nesting Sites

Raccoons are known for their adaptability, and they can make themselves at home in a variety of environments. They are excellent climbers and can easily find shelter in tree hollows and dens. However, they have also become quite skilled at taking advantage of human structures. Attics, chimneys, and crawl spaces provide cozy nesting spots for raccoons, especially during the breeding season. These areas offer protection from predators and the elements, making them highly desirable to raccoons.

Garbage Cans and Dumpsters

Another reason raccoons keep coming back is the abundance of food sources they find around human settlements. Garbage cans and dumpsters are like all-you-can-eat buffets for raccoons. They have no qualms about rummaging through trash bags in search of leftovers and discarded food. The scent of garbage can be irresistible to these opportunistic creatures, causing them to keep returning to the same area.

Access to Food Sources

Raccoons have a diverse diet and can find food in both natural and human-made environments. They are skilled foragers and can consume a wide range of foods, including fruits, nuts, insects, small mammals, and even bird eggs. When it comes to human-made food sources, raccoons have learned to exploit them efficiently.

Natural Food Sources

In natural environments, raccoons can find plenty of food sources. Forests, fields, and water bodies provide them with a variety of options. Fruits from trees, nuts from the ground, and small animals like frogs and crayfish are all on the menu for raccoons. These natural food sources are part of their diet, but they may still venture closer to human settlements for additional resources.

Related Article:Why Do Raccoons Chase You?

Human Waste and Leftovers

Humans generate a significant amount of waste, and raccoons are more than willing to take advantage of it. They have a keen sense of smell and can easily locate food scraps and leftovers discarded by humans. Whether it’s a half-eaten sandwich, a discarded pizza slice, or even an unattended picnic basket, raccoons will happily feast on these human delicacies.

Bird Feeders and Pet Food

Bird feeders and pet food can be magnets for raccoons. The seeds and grains in bird feeders are an easy and convenient food source for these clever creatures. Additionally, outdoor pet food left unattended can also attract raccoons. They are known to raid pet food bowls, especially at night when they are most active.

To prevent raccoons from coming back, it’s essential to address these attraction factors. In the next section, we will discuss strategies to prevent raccoon infestations and minimize their presence around your property.

Strategies to Prevent Raccoon Infestations

Securing Potential Entry Points

Raccoons are highly skilled at finding their way into various structures, including attics, chimneys, and crawl spaces. To prevent them from returning, it’s important to secure potential entry points in your home. Here are a few strategies you can use:

1. Repairing Damaged Structures

Inspect your home for any damaged areas that raccoons could use as entry points. This could include broken vents, loose shingles, or gaps in the siding. Make necessary repairs to seal off these potential entryways.

2. Installing Chimney Caps and Vent Covers

Chimneys and vents are common access points for raccoons. Install chimney caps and vent covers to block their entry while still allowing proper airflow. These barriers will keep raccoons out while also preventing other critters from entering your home.

3. Reinforcing Weak Areas

Raccoons are known for their strength and dexterity, so it’s important to reinforce weak areas that they could exploit. This could involve adding sturdy mesh or hardware cloth to areas where raccoons may try to pry their way in.

Proper Garbage Management

Raccoons are attracted to garbage like kids to candy. To deter them from rummaging through your trash, follow these helpful tips:

1. Using Raccoon-Proof Trash Cans

Invest in raccoon-proof trash cans that have secure lids and locking mechanisms. These cans are designed to keep raccoons out, preventing them from accessing the delicious goodies inside.

Related Article:Why Do Raccoons Carry Rabies

2. Double-Bagging Trash

Double-bagging your trash can provide an extra layer of protection against raccoon intrusion. The strong scent of garbage can be irresistible to raccoons, so it’s important to minimize the odor as much as possible.

3. Scheduling Trash Pickups Strategically

Try to schedule your trash pickups as close to the pickup time as possible. Leaving your trash out overnight can attract raccoons and other nocturnal creatures. By minimizing the time your trash sits outside, you reduce the chances of raccoons taking an interest.

Eliminating Attractive Food Sources

Raccoons are opportunistic eaters and will gladly indulge in whatever food sources are available. Here’s how you can eliminate these temptations:

1. Removing Bird Feeders at Night

Bird feeders are like all-you-can-eat buffets for raccoons. To discourage them from coming back, remove bird feeders at night when raccoons are most active. This will reduce the likelihood of attracting these masked bandits to your yard.

2. Storing Pet Food Indoors

If you have outdoor pets, avoid leaving their food outside overnight. Raccoons have a keen sense of smell and will happily help themselves to any unattended pet food. Store the food indoors to keep raccoons from making repeat visits.

3. Composting Carefully

Composting is a great way to reduce waste, but it can also attract raccoons. Avoid composting meat, fish, or other strong-smelling items that might lure raccoons. Opt for composting materials that are less likely to pique their interest, such as fruit and vegetable scraps.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to dealing with raccoons. By following these strategies, you can make your home less appealing to these clever critters and reduce the likelihood of them coming back for a repeat visit.

Safe and Humane Raccoon Removal

Understanding Local Regulations

Before taking any action to remove raccoons from your property, it’s essential to understand the local regulations regarding wildlife removal. Some areas have specific guidelines and restrictions on trapping and relocating raccoons. Check with your local wildlife agency or animal control for information on the legal and humane methods for raccoon removal in your area.

Related Article:Why Do Raccoons Climb Trees

Seeking Professional Help

If you’re dealing with a persistent raccoon problem or are unsure about how to handle the situation, it’s best to seek professional help. Wildlife removal experts have experience and knowledge in dealing with raccoon infestations. They can safely and humanely trap and relocate raccoons, ensuring the well-being of both the animals and your property.

DIY Prevention Techniques

If you prefer to handle raccoon removal on your own, there are several preventive measures you can take to deter them from returning to your property. These techniques are safe and humane, aiming to make your property less attractive to raccoons.

1. Motion-Activated Sprinklers: Raccoons dislike water and are startled by sudden sprays. Install motion-activated sprinklers in areas where raccoons frequent, such as near garbage cans or nesting sites. When the raccoon triggers the sensor, it will be sprayed with a burst of water, encouraging it to leave.

2. Ultrasonic Repellents: Ultrasonic devices emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant to raccoons. Place these devices near entry points or areas where raccoons have been spotted. The sound will deter raccoons without causing harm.

3. Bright Lights and Loud Noises: Raccoons prefer dark and quiet areas, so making your property bright and noisy can discourage them from coming back. Install motion-activated lights and use noise-making devices, such as wind chimes or radios, to create an unwelcome environment for raccoons.

Remember, when using DIY prevention techniques, it’s crucial to combine them with other strategies such as securing potential entry points and eliminating attractive food sources. Taking a comprehensive approach will increase the effectiveness of your raccoon prevention efforts.

Overall, whether you decide to seek professional help or take a DIY approach, the key is to address the root causes that attract raccoons to your property. By implementing preventive measures and making your property less appealing to raccoons, you can reduce the likelihood of them coming back.


Why do raccoons keep coming back?

Raccoons are known for their strong homing instincts and ability to remember locations. They may keep coming back to a particular area if they have found a reliable food source or shelter, or if they have established a territory. Additionally, raccoons are highly adaptable and opportunistic creatures, so they may keep returning to an area where they have previously found success.

Related Article:Why Do Raccoons Bite Humans?

How can I prevent raccoons from coming back to my property?

To prevent raccoons from returning to your property, it is important to eliminate any attractants that may be drawing them in. This includes securing trash cans with tight-fitting lids, removing outdoor food sources such as bird feeders, and sealing off any potential entry points to your home or sheds. Additionally, installing motion-activated lights or sprinklers can deter raccoons from approaching your property.

What should I do if raccoons keep coming back despite preventive measures?

If raccoons continue to return to your property despite your efforts to prevent them, it may be necessary to seek professional help. Contacting a licensed wildlife removal service is recommended, as they have the expertise and tools to safely and humanely handle raccoon removal. They can also provide advice on additional preventive measures specific to your situation.


Raccoons are persistent creatures that often keep coming back due to their nocturnal nature, adaptability to urban environments, omnivorous diet, and social structure. They are attracted to certain factors, such as shelter and nesting sites, as well as easily accessible food sources. To prevent raccoon infestations, it is important to secure potential entry points, manage garbage properly, and eliminate attractive food sources. In cases where raccoon removal is necessary, it is essential to understand local regulations and seek professional help or use DIY prevention techniques.

In conclusion, coexisting with wildlife requires proactive measures to deter raccoons and ensure the safety and well-being of both humans and animals. By understanding raccoon behavior and implementing preventive strategies, we can create a harmonious environment that respects the natural instincts and habitats of these fascinating creatures.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *