How to Get a Raccoon Out of Your Garage?

Finding a raccoon in your garage can be quite the surprise. These clever critters are notorious for sneaking into homes in search of food and shelter. While they’re cute from a distance, having one in your garage is a different story.

I’ve dealt with my fair share of raccoon invasions, and I know how frustrating it can be. The good news is, there are effective ways to safely and humanely remove them. In this article, I’ll guide you through simple steps to reclaim your space and prevent future visits from these furry intruders.

Understanding Raccoon Behavior

Why Raccoons Enter Garages

Raccoons often enter garages searching for food and shelter. Garages offer protection from predators and weather, making them ideal nesting areas. The smell of garbage, pet food, and stored items like birdseed can attract raccoons. Once inside, these intelligent creatures explore potential food sources and nesting spots.

Signs of a Raccoon in Your Garage

Noticeable signs can indicate a raccoon’s presence. Look for overturned garbage cans, scattered debris, or bite marks on food containers. Hearing unusual noises, such as scratching or thumping, especially at night, suggests raccoons might be present. Check for droppings, footprints, and damaged insulation for more evidence of raccoon activity.

Preparing to Remove the Raccoon

Safety Measures

Safety comes first when dealing with a raccoon in your garage. These animals can carry diseases like rabies and leptospirosis. Wear thick gloves and long sleeves to protect your skin from bites and scratches. Ensure pets and children stay away from the area until the raccoon is safely removed. If you spot signs of aggression or illness, contact a professional wildlife removal service immediately to avoid direct confrontation.

Tools and Supplies Needed

Gather the right tools and supplies to facilitate the raccoon removal process. You’ll need a long pole or broom to gently guide the raccoon out without getting too close. A bright flashlight will help you locate the animal, especially in dark corners. Keep a raccoon repellent spray handy to deter the creature from re-entering. Set up a humane live trap as a precaution if the raccoon remains elusive. Place boards or furniture strategically to block potential hiding spots and direct the animal towards the exit.

Step-by-Step Guide to Remove a Raccoon

Secure the Area

Ensure the garage is secure before attempting to remove the raccoon. Close all potential exit points except one to guide the raccoon towards it. If needed, use plywood or other barriers to block openings. Ensure pets and children are not present to avoid any risk of injury or disease.

Use Humane Traps

Set a live trap in the garage to capture the raccoon. Place the trap along the raccoon’s known path, usually near food sources or nesting areas. Bait the trap with foods raccoons favor, like marshmallows or canned tuna. Check the trap frequently to ensure the raccoon isn’t left inside for too long once caught.

Alternative Removal Techniques

For a more natural approach, use bright lights and loud noises to encourage the raccoon to leave. Place a flashlight and a portable radio in the garage, focusing light and sound near the raccoon’s hiding spot. If this doesn’t work, sprinkle ammonia-soaked rags around the area as raccoons dislike its strong odor. If all methods fail, contact wildlife control for assistance.

Preventing Future Intrusions

Securing Access Points

Seal entry points to stop raccoons from entering your garage. Inspect all walls, doors, and windows for gaps, holes, or weak spots. Use durable materials like metal mesh, caulk, or plywood to seal any openings. If vents are present, cover them with raccoon-proof grates. Check the garage door’s bottom seal regularly and replace it if there are any signs of wear. Utilize weather stripping around doors and windows to eliminate small gaps.

Making Your Garage Unattractive to Raccoons

Declutter and organize to reduce hiding spots for raccoons. Store garbage in sturdy, sealed containers to prevent raccoons from accessing food. Clean spills and remove food residues promptly. Remove any pet food, birdseed, or other edibles that might attract raccoons. Use strong-smelling deterrents like ammonia or commercially available raccoon repellents around the perimeter.

Maintain outdoor lighting around the garage to deter nocturnal visits from raccoons. Install motion-activated lights to startle any approaching raccoons. Consider using ultrasonic devices designed to repel raccoons with high-frequency sounds. Trim tree branches and vegetation near the garage to eliminate easy access routes for raccoons. Keep garage doors closed when not in use to further prevent entry.


Dealing with a raccoon in your garage can be a challenging experience, but with the right approach, you can handle it safely and effectively. By understanding raccoon behavior and taking preventative measures, you can keep your garage raccoon-free. Remember to secure access points, declutter, and use deterrents to make your space less inviting.

Don’t forget to maintain outdoor lighting and keep vegetation trimmed. These steps will help ensure that raccoons don’t find your garage appealing. With a bit of effort and vigilance, you can protect your garage from these clever intruders.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if there’s a raccoon in my garage?

Signs of a raccoon in your garage include overturned garbage cans, unusual noises, and visible raccoon tracks. Look for signs of droppings and nesting materials like leaves and twigs.

What should I do if I find a raccoon in my garage?

If you find a raccoon in your garage, stay calm and give it a clear path to exit. Use gentle methods like opening doors and windows to encourage it to leave on its own.

How can I prevent raccoons from entering my garage?

To prevent raccoons from entering, secure access points by sealing entryways with durable materials. Keep your garage doors closed and use deterrents like ammonia or commercial repellents.

What materials should I use to seal entry points?

Use strong, durable materials like metal mesh or heavy-duty hardware cloth to seal any gaps, cracks, or entry points to prevent raccoons from getting in.

Are there any deterrents that can keep raccoons away?

Yes, there are several deterrents you can use, such as motion-activated lights, ultrasonic devices, and repellents like ammonia. Keeping the garage well-lit and clutter-free also helps.

How important is garage cleanliness in deterring raccoons?

Keeping your garage clean and decluttered is crucial. Proper food storage and removing potential nesting materials will make your garage less attractive to raccoons.

Can trimming vegetation around the garage help prevent raccoon entry?

Yes, trimming back vegetation around your garage reduces cover and makes it less appealing for raccoons to approach and find entry points.

Is it necessary to get professional help for raccoon removal?

While many raccoon issues can be resolved with DIY methods, professional help is advisable if the raccoon is aggressive or you cannot safely remove it on your own.

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