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Raccoons are some of the peskiest creatures around. They’re excellent climbers and love to dig in trash and planter boxes.
Keeping raccoons away from your home can be a full-time job!
You can take a number of precautions from eliminating food sources to removing climbing structures.
Today we will take a look at how to keep raccoons from climbing downspouts.
Even if you remove all other things that raccoons love to climb, it’s hard to remove downspouts. You’ve installed them for a reason!
Let’s see how you can keep raccoons away from your downspouts.
How to Keep Raccoons from Climbing Downspouts
If you’re looking to keep raccoons away from your downspouts, there are a number of actions you can take that could help to protect against the little rascals climbing your spouts.
Clear obstructions away from downspouts
Since you know that raccoons are excellent climbers, it’s best to make their job as difficult as possible.
Raccoons will climb trees, fences, downspouts, and basically anything that they can grip.
To keep raccoons away from downspouts, remove structures that raccoons can use to reach the downspout.
Look around your yard and make a mental note of any object that is in close proximity to the downspout.
Remember, raccoons are great jumpers, too!
Clear away any structure that is 10 feet or closer to your downspout.
Is there a tree with branches near the downspout?
What about the roof of a nearby barn?
Is there a pile of bricks that you’ve been meaning to use in a project for forever?
Does a doghouse sit near any of your downspouts?
Asking yourself questions such as these can help you determine which objects raccoons may be using to access your downspouts.
Eliminate outdoor food sources
The easiest way to keep raccoons away from your downspouts is to stop them from coming into your yard in the first place!
While this may be harder than it seems, there are a few things that you can do to convince raccoons that your yard is not somewhere that they want to be.
Eliminating raccoons’ food sources is the easiest thing that you can do.
Raccoons eat basically anything. While they are not predatory creatures and are unlikely to harm your pets, they do enjoy pet food!
To keep raccoons out of your yard, keep pet food inside. Only feed outdoor pets during daylight hours, and make sure to bring any leftover food inside.
This includes crumbs and food that spills out of the container.
If you are accustomed to tossing food scraps out the door, stop! Food scraps are a feast for raccoons and other pests.
Instead, place them in a sealed trash container. Or, take up composting!
Clean up your trash
As we discussed, racoons eat nearly anything. This includes trash! While you may be used to sitting your trash outside in bags, keeping it in sealed containers will do wonders for keeping racoons away from your home.
Wait to take trash outside during daylight hours. Do not allow it to sit in your yard overnight.
If possible, keep it in a sealed bin that racoons will not be able to reach.
What if these methods don’t work?
If you’ve tried all of the above methods for ridding your yard of raccoons, it is time to address the actual downspout itself.
Luckily, there are several steps you can take to deter raccoons from climbing downspouts even if they find their way into your yard.
Install metal sheeting
If you have spare sheets of metal in your workshop, use them!
Make sure that the metal is slick so that raccoons will not be able to climb it.
Simply place it around the base of the downspout, or the area where raccoons are most likely to begin climbing.
Even the most stubborn of raccoons will not be able to get a good grip on the metal, and they will be unable to ascend the downspout.
Install metal spikes
Don’t worry, installing metal spikes has a much less ominous function than it may seem!
But using spikes to deter raccoons may be a potential option for you.
The goal is to deter raccoons from reaching the downspout, not to injure them.
By placing metal spikes around the base of the downspout, racoons will be unable to reach the downspout. This effectively blocks them from climbing it.
Also, place spikes in one inch intervals intermittently along the length of the downspout. Make sure spikes are at least 2 inches long.
Doing so will ensure that racoons cannot climb the downspout without poking their sensitive extremities and underbelly.
Be sure to angle spikes slightly toward the ground. If spikes are angled upwards, racoons can climb over them with little consequence.
Again, these are not intended to harm racoons. Spikes merely deter racoons from climbing.
However, please note that metal spikes can potentially harm pets or young children.
Only install them if it is safe to do so for all members of your family. Please take precautions to protect anyone who may wander onto your property.
DIY note: You can use nails, sharp fence, or any prickly object if you’re in a pinch. You do not have to break the bank!
One potential option may be the Homarden Cat Repellent Outdoor Scat Mat (6.5 ft) – Deterrent Scat Mats for Cats and Dogs – Indoor/Outdoor Deterrent Devices – Includes 8 Garden Staples (View at Amazon).
Other methods to deter raccoons
If the above methods do not fulfill your needs, here are some other tricks to get rid of raccoons.
- Downspout funnels
While these are less effective than spikes, they also eliminate the danger to pets or children. You can install a downspout funnel above the base of the downspout.
Make sure that it is placed high enough so that raccoons cannot jump over it. It needs to be large enough that an adult raccoon cannot reach over it, too.
Install funnels that are at least 3 ft in circumference for best results. Ensure that the funnel is out of reach of other climbing assists as well.
This includes trees, vines, tables, and landscaping.
- Chemical pest control
Chemical pest control is even less effective than downspout funnels, and it’s harmful to the environment.
People report varying levels of success with chemical pest control.
For best results, reapply the chemical frequently, especially after it rains.
You should always consult a pest control industry professional before using any intervention or prevention measure to ensure its safety and appropriateness for your situation.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com