Camping is a wonderful pastime that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age or gender. But it is hard to enjoy your campfire with family and friends when pesky raccoons are impeding on the fun. Although raccoons are in their own “territory” so-to-speak, they are not safe to have looming around. Not only will they cause a terrible mess and a long list of destruction, they can pose several health and safety risks.
Raccoons are known carriers of several infectious diseases and parasites, and may even attack if ill, provoked, or frightened. Needless to say, if you are planning a camping trip, be sure you know how to fend off nuisance raccoons, safely and humanely. Continue reading to learn some important tips that will help.
Modify the Environment
Be prepared to make certain changes to your campsite surroundings to ensure raccoons are not attracted to the area. Raccoons will be attracted by food, mostly. You can take the necessary precautions to secure trashcan lids, set up motion detection lighting, protect food reserves, eliminate standing water pools, and securing windows and doors to cabins or tents. Also try to eliminate potential hiding spots for raccoons. If they do not feel like they can go about their business unseen, they are likely to avoid the area altogether.
Use a Homemade Repellent
You can use a simple combination of water and household spices or extracts to create a non-toxic raccoon repellent that is safe for everyone, as well as the environment. Raccoons hate certain scents and sensations, making ingredients like menthol, peppermint, spearmint, cayenne pepper, and eucalyptus, the perfect active ingredient in a safe raccoon repellent. Transfer the solution into a plastic spray bottle so you can spray the perimeter of your campsite. Be careful if you are bringing pets since some of these ingredients (i.e. cayenne pepper) can be bothersome to their eyes, nose, and throat.
Secure Your Pets
If you are planning to take your pets with you, be sure to also plan for their safety. Set up a secure play area for them, as well as, a secured place for them to sleep at night. You do not want your dogs or cats wandering around the woods while you sleep because their curiosity can lead them directly to a wild raccoon. Dogs who like to sniff are more at risk of being attacked because a raccoon may feel threatened. Most importantly, if you are bringing your pets to the great outdoors for a camping trip, be sure they are fully-vaccinated.
Protect the Food
Not only do you need to make the proper preparations to safely and securely store your food, you need to plan for a way to monitor it throughout your camping trip. This does not mean you need to set up supervised shifts throughout the night; it simply means that you need to have a plan for locking up the food while you and your camping companions are occupied or sleeping.