Young members of the raccoon family playing, establishing pecking order, and grooming one another.

What Scent Will Keep Raccoons Away?

Raccoons are intelligent and resourceful creatures, so keeping them away from your property takes work. They’re attracted to food, so keeping your trash cans and other potential feeding spots secured can help. However, you may want to use scent deterrents for additional protection.

Scent repellent for raccoons emits a smell or odor that these pests find unpleasant. They may be natural or synthetic and can vary in strength and effectiveness. A few examples are ammonia, garlic, cayenne pepper, and vinegar. 

While there is no guarantee that any scent will successfully keep them away, several odors have been suggested as potential repellents. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and effective options.

Key Pest Points:

• Raccoons can be deterred with strong-smelling products, such as ammonia, mothballs, and vinegar.

• Predator urine has also been used as an effective deterrent for raccoons since the animal’s instinct is to stay away from areas occupied by predators.

• Using a combination of different repellents may be more effective than just one product.


Ammonia has a strong smell that raccoons find unpleasant. It is also thought to remind them of the smell of urine from their natural predators. For best results, mix 2/3 cup of water with 1/3 part ammonia and spray it around the perimeter of your property.

Getting ammonia will be a cost-effective option, but it is also the most potent odor and can be unpleasant for people. It is important to note that ammonia needs to be reapplied after heavy rain or when the smell fades. Soaking cotton balls or rags in ammonia and placing them in areas frequented by raccoons may also help repel them since the scent will last longer.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural repellent that keeps raccoons away due to its strong acidic smell. You can use straight vinegar or combine it with other strong-smelling ingredients, such as garlic and pepper.

The best way to use vinegar is to soak a cloth and place them near their dens. This will help the scent last longer, but you’ll need to replace it when the smell fades. Also, spraying apple cider vinegar around your property will help repel them.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is an effective essential oil that can help repel raccoons. The strong scent of peppermint is believed to be unpleasant for them and will bother their olfactory receptors. To use this method, mix several drops of peppermint oil with water then pour it in a spray bottle and apply it around your yard.

Purchasing good quality peppermint oil is essential since lower quality oils can be ineffective and even harmful to the environment. Also, make sure to reapply after heavy rain or when the scent starts to fade.

It is important to note that while scents can help deter raccoons, they should be used in combination with other methods, such as proper garbage storage and exclusion. This will help make your property less inviting and keep them away.

Close up of a female raccoon resting on the railing of a wooden deck against a green background.


Mothballs have a strong, pungent odor that raccoons find unpleasant. It is important to note that mothballs are toxic and can harm humans and animals if ingested. Therefore, it is crucial to use them carefully and only place them in areas where they cannot be easily accessed or eaten.

The best way to use mothballs is to place them in mesh bags and hang them from trees or near the raccoon’s den. This will help ensure that animals or humans do not accidentally ingest them.


Pepper, both in its powdered form and as a liquid spray, can be used to deter raccoons. The pungent odor and taste of the pepper will make any area unpleasant for them to visit. Pepper can also be combined with other repellents to create a stronger effect.

Combining a gallon of water with a bottle of hot sauce and cayenne pepper can create a powerful repellent that will keep raccoons away. This mixture should be sprayed around the perimeter of your property to help deter them from entering.

Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is an effective natural repellent that can repel raccoons. It has a bitter taste and smell that the animals find unappealing. To use this method, sprinkle Epsom salt around your garden or in areas commonly visited by raccoons.

This method is considered safe for humans and animals if used correctly, so it is an excellent option for those looking for a natural way to repel raccoons.

Overall, there are several smells raccoons hate that will help prevent these creatures from visiting your property. The best way to repel them is by combining scents and other exclusion techniques, such as proper garbage storage and fencing. Taking these precautions can help keep raccoons away so that you and your family can enjoy a peaceful and raccoon-free environment.

Alternative Methods for Deterring Raccoons

If you are looking for an alternative method to traditional repellents, other methods can be used to stop raccoons from invading your home. Some of these include:

Installing motion-activated lights: Motion-activated lights can help scare off raccoons and other pests from your property at night. It is important to note that raccoons are nocturnal animals, so having lights around can help make your property less inviting after dark.

Using predator decoys: Predator decoys such as owls, coyotes, and foxes can be used to deter raccoons from entering your yard. These life-like figures will give the impression that predators are lurking nearby and can help keep the animals away.

Trapping Methods:Trapping a raccoon is an effective way to remove and relocate raccoons from your property. This method should only be used by experienced trappers as improper methods can lead to injury or death of the animal. Safety should always be a priority when handling raccoons since there is always the potential of a raccoon biting. You should also learn the local trapping laws before attempting to do it yourself.

Raccoon peeking out of a dumpster.

Installing ultrasonic sound machines: Ultrasonic sound machines emit high-frequency noises that raccoons find particularly unpleasant. These devices can be activated when movement is detected, which will help scare off any intruders.

Fencings and barriers: Installing fencing and other barriers around your yard can help keep raccoons away. The fence should be at least six feet high and be buried 12 inches into the ground to ensure they cannot dig under it. You can also use mesh or electric wire to further discourage them from entering your property.

Using raccoon eviction fluid: Raccoon eviction fluid is a commercial product that uses the scent of male raccoons to repel females and their young. This can help discourage them from nesting on your property and help keep them away.

These are just a few of the alternative methods you can use to keep raccoons away. Taking the necessary precautions and using one or more of these techniques can help protect your yard from unwanted visitors.

Why Do You Need to Keep Raccoons Out?

Raccoons are not only annoying, but they can also be dangerous and destructive. Left unchecked, raccoons can cause significant damage to your property and even put you and your family at risk. Since they are very intelligent animals, they can quickly learn to access food sources and take advantage of any weaknesses in your defenses.

Here are some of the reasons why it is vital to keep raccoons out of your property:

• During raccoon mating season, they can be aggressive and dangerous. They may become protective of their territory and attack humans or pets if they feel threatened.

• Raccoons are known to spread various diseases, including rabies, salmonella or E. Coli, fungi, and parasites that can cause harm to humans. This can be dangerous to you, your family, and any pets you may have.

• They are very destructive animals and can cause a large amount of damage to your property. They can tear up insulation, gnaw on electrical wiring, rip apart screens, and even destroy outdoor furniture or garden plants.

• Their droppings can also contaminate your food sources, water supply, and other areas of your home, leading to serious health risks.

Hibernating raccoons can also be a nuisance, as they may decide to take up residence in your attic or other areas of your home. This can make it challenging to get them out and cause significant damage to your home.

Ultimately, taking the necessary steps to deter raccoons from your property and keep them away for good is essential. Using some of the methods listed above can help protect your family and property from these pests.

Frightened raccoon sits on a shed of a roof in broad daylight


What Are Raccoons Afraid Of?

Raccoons are afraid of loud noises, bright lights, and unfamiliar scents. These deterrents can help keep them away from your property or any areas where they may be unwanted.

What Home Remedy Keeps Raccoons Away?

Home remedies that can be used to keep raccoons away include sprinkling Epsom salt around your garden, creating a deterrent spray with pepper, and using motion-activated lights. These methods can help make your property less appealing to raccoons.

What Food Is Poisonous to Raccoons?

Raccoons are omnivores and eat almost anything, but some foods can poison them. These include chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts, and raisins. It is important to ensure these items are kept out of reach of raccoons.

What Can You Spray to Get Rid of Raccoons?

You can create a homemade spray to eliminate raccoons by combining pepper, hot sauce, and water in a spray bottle. You can then use the mixture to spray around your property or any areas where you have seen raccoons.


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