How Do I Stop Racoons From Tearing Up My Lawn in Vancouver
It’s an all-too-common frustration among Vancouver homeowners: waking up one day to find that your beautiful lawn or fresh sod has been destroyed by racoons. Raccoons don’t care how delicate your grass is or how much effort you’ve put into your landscaping. Once they realize your yard is a source of food, especially those delectable grubs, they’ll sneak in at night to dig for their feast.
In this blog post, we discuss how to protect your yard from getting destroyed by raccoons, and how to keep these pests away for good.
First, Determine If They’re Raccoon Holes
Different pests call for different control methods, so it’s important to identify exactly what kind of animal has dug up your lawn. The surest sign of a raccoon invasion is, of course, catching these critters in the act. You may have seen them firsthand or captured conclusive evidence with an outdoor camera.
If not, you can identify these pests by looking at the destruction they’ve left behind. Raccoon holes look like the animals have peeled back, flipped over, or rolled up sections of the turf. These holes are relatively shallow – not tunnels or ditches. Raccoons are also messy with their holes, digging irregular shapes as opposed to the precise, circular holes that skunks make.
5 Ways to Stop Raccoons From Digging Up Your Lawn
Protect your sod with netting
As a short-term solution, turf netting can physically shield your new sod. Also called protective mesh or tree netting, this is a tough mesh material that you can stretch out over your lawn and affix to the ground using pegs.
You’ll want to keep this mesh on in the first three weeks of your sod. This is the most delicate period because as you regularly water your new grass, grubs and worms will thrive in the moist ground, which in turn will attract raccoons.
By the third week, the sod will ideally have anchored its roots, and as you reduce your watering, the grubs will diminish and the raccoons may move on. It’s no guarantee, however, that these pests will finally leave your yard alone. If they still find worms in your turf, three weeks of netting may not be enough to keep raccoons away.
Get rid of grubs
A more long-term strategy against raccoons is to eliminate the grubs and worms they dig for. The European Chafer Beetle in particular is a huge problem in Metro Vancouver right now and has become pest enemy number one throughout the lower mainland.
Some homeowners sprinkle their yards with microorganisms called nematodes, which can kill grubs and worms but are harmless to humans and plants. Other households opt for chemical insecticides, but this method requires much caution. Store-bought insecticides are toxic to humans and pets, and may even poison some garden plants.
Install motion-activated lights
Raccoons are nocturnal animals and can be scared away when a light comes on. Thus, some homeowners put up porch lights that activate with motion sensors, in hopes of startling away raccoons and other animals as they enter the property.
But do motion-sensor lights work against raccoons? At first, yes. The first few times a raccoon gets a surprise spotlight, it will naturally run for cover in the dark. Ideally, it’s spooked enough to never return to your property. However, if it does make several more attempts at your yard, it will soon understand that the light is harmless, making this method ineffective in the long run.
Install a motion-activated sprinkler
Also called a scarecrow sprinkler, this device sprays water when its sensors detect movement on your lawn. The mild blast of water can drive away raccoons, skunks, and squirrels that visit your property, but take note: raccoons may eventually adapt to the spray. Homeowners who have tried this method found that the raccoons eventually seemed to enjoy the water jet, as if it was merely a cooling mist for them!
Overall, a motion-activated sprinkler may deter raccoons at first, but only until they get used to it.
In British Columbia, you can legally trap a raccoon if it has been wrecking your property, even if you don’t have a trapping permit. However, there are specific rules to ensure that the trap and animal removal are humane, so consult with the wildlife department before setting up any traps.
In addition, it’s illegal to kill raccoons in residential BC. You’ll need to relocate these animals back to the wild, which means there’s a chance they’ll return to your property. If trapping is your preferred raccoon control method, you may need other strategies to keep these animals from coming back.
Another thing to remember if you’re considering raccoon traps: these traps are a risk for pets, too. This may not be the safest pest control method if you have a dog that loves running around your yard, or if your neighbour’s cat keeps wandering over the fence.
Call the professionals
The safest, most efficient way to stop raccoons from tearing up your yard is to enlist a professional pest management company. An established raccoon management team should have reliable methods for capturing and removing raccoons from your property. A good pest control company can also help get rid of the lawn grubs that the racoons are attracted to.
At All Green Pest Control, we go the extra mile by providing a repair and protection plan to keep your lawn look beautiful. We serve the entire Metro Vancouver area, including Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Delta, Surrey, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, New Westminster and surrounding lower mainland cities.
Contact us for a free quote. Call All Green Pest Control at (604) 990-0100 today.