Raccoons, as with other critters, look for a safe place and a consistent food supply. As such, they may break into your home and make a den in your attic. They are not only a nuisance, but can also damage your home and create health risks. Depending on their weight, they may even break your gutters and downspouts while climbing to your roof.
Here are a few ways how you can keep raccoons off your downspouts.
Trim Back Nearby Trees
If raccoons can get onto your gutters and downspouts, it’s likely because there are overhanging tree branches. Raccoons will climb the trees and use the branches to reach your gutters. To keep your property free of raccoons, make sure that the tree limbs are at least three feet away from the roof and keep shrubbery from growing near downspouts. You should also cover chimneys, vents or other openings along the walls or roof with metal mesh or fencing to eliminate the raccoons’ access points.
Grease Your Downspouts
Raccoons have to hug your downspouts to climb them. For this reason, consider applying automotive grease or similar non-food grease to a 24-inch section of your downspout to cause them to slide downwards. For effectiveness, make sure the grease is applied to a high point on the downspout. This also prevents you from accidentally putting your hand on a greased downspout.
Eliminate Food Sources
One of the things that attract raccoons to your property is food. If you have pets, you may tend to leave food and water outdoors for them. At night, however, be sure to bring them inside your home. Raccoons are nocturnal animals; come night, the smell of these items may attract them to your yard. Additionally, if you have a garden or fruit trees, you may want to block their access and pick up fallen fruits.
Install Pest Guards
Many pest guards are designed to wrap around downspouts and trees. Some of these systems use nails, spikes or wires to poke raccoons should they try to climb over them. Pest guards can be spaced on the gutter spouts at one-inch intervals, which makes the surface impossible to climb. Keep in mind that the ideal pest guards create sharp points that protrude off of the surface by at least two inches. This prevents raccoons from using their legs to climb over the rough surface.
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