Will Vinegar Keep Raccoons Away? (How to Use It Correctly)

Raccoons don’t face major threats to their survival. This means that they can live almost everywhere, from the United States to Canada and parts of Latin America. They are bold and handy critters that can be entertaining to watch. But they aren’t the safest animals to tolerate on your property.

Raccoons are nocturnal and opportunistic eaters. This means that they perform their banditry acts at night, eating whatever they come across. They are also dexterous scavengers who rummage through waste bins and dine on pet food left outdoors at night. Once they venture into your home, raccoons will make their dens in the attic, crawl spaces and even in the chimney.

But the worst part is that raccoons spread disease-causing viruses and bacteria. After bats, raccoons are the second biggest carriers of rabies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They also spread roundworms, salmonella, leptospirosis, and tularemia. That is why you must be proactive about keeping raccoons away from your property in the first place.

So, will vinegar keep raccoons away? Here’s a complete guide on how to use vinegar correctly to repel raccoons.

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How to Identify Raccoons

Well adapted to living among people, raccoons are solitary creatures who love to stick to themselves. They occasionally spend time together in dens (especially during winter) but split off from the group when it’s time to forage for food and breed.

A male raccoon typically stays with a female for about one month before breeding and then departs after she has given birth. The female stays with her babies until they are about one year old, when they can forage for food and water and make dens for themselves.

These omnivores are pretty easy to identify. You can recognize them by their bushy ringed tails. They also have visible bandit-like mask markings around their eyes, making them look like your typical bank robbers.

Raccoons are mischievous and curious. They cause more damage than just rummaging through your garbage cans. They take up residence in secure and secluded places like sheds, under porches, and other outbuildings where they cause structural damage.

Besides, raccoons are notorious fighters, equipped with back and front paws plus sharp teeth. If they feel cornered or threatened, raccoons can inflict significant harm to adults, children, and pets. Hence, removing them from your property as quickly and effectively as possible is a good idea.

Will Vinegar Keep Raccoons Away?

While many people marvel at the intelligence of these little creatures, not everyone wants to have them in their yard. Fortunately, raccoons have an incredibly strong sense of smell which they use when foraging for food. You can use this trait against them by using scents that irritate them. An excellent example of such smells is vinegar.

Vinegar is a magical cleaner with a sour taste and a pungent odor that raccoons dislike. But it’s not just raccoons that are irritated by the pungent smell of vinegar. If your beautiful yard is under siege, you can use this natural deterrent to repel wild invaders such as squirrels and deer.

The best thing about using vinegar to keep raccoons away is that besides being effective, the cleaner may already be in your pantry! On top of that, vinegar is a cheap way to keep raccoons away so you won’t be breaking the bank!

That said, it’s important to note that there are no scientific studies on the efficacy of vinegar against raccoons. Yet, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that it has worked for many homeowners. Below we’ll give you tried and tested tips on how to use vinegar correctly to repel raccoons.

Which Type of Vinegar Is Best for Keeping Raccoons Away?

As you probably already know, there are two main types of vinegar available on the market – white vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Despite the two products being made of fermented alcohol, they possess significant differences in appearance, taste, and smell.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has a dark brown color and is often murky. On the other hand, white vinegar is typically white and clear. And although white vinegar also works well, ACV seems to provide better results at keeping raccoons away.

ACV possesses a strong flavor and aroma of ripe apples, making it more effective than white vinegar, which has a cleaner taste and smell. You can use ACV to keep raccoons away and repel other nuisance invaders in your garden or lawn.

How to Use Vinegar to Repel Raccoons Correctly?

If raccoons are causing havoc in your garden, shed, yard, or under your deck, there are multiple ways to use vinegar to repel them.

The most popular method involves soaking rags in vinegar as follows:

  • Soak a rag or cloth in undiluted apple cider vinegar

  • Put the rag in an aerated container and place it in areas you’ve noticed raccoon activities or den

  • Raccoons have a high sense of smell. The pungent vinegar scent will ensure they don’t stay on your porch or garden for long.

  • The second method of using vinegar to keep raccoons away involves spraying the solution directly on your flowers, plants, or hard surfaces like decks.

  • Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a garden sprayer. For instance, you can mix 2 ounces of apple cider vinegar with 2 gallons of water.

  • Alternatively, you can mix 5 ounces of ACV with 5 gallons of water, depending on the size of your yard.

  • Spray the solution directly on your plants, crops, or hard surfaces to repel raccoons.

  • When using apple cider vinegar spray, you want first to do a spot test on a plant or hard surface out of sight. Generally, apple cider vinegar spray will not damage plants or surfaces, but it’s essential to ensure that there will be no issues with the treatment.

Alternative Natural Solutions for Keeping Raccoons Away

Peppermint essential oils: Peppermint has a sharp and sweetish smell comparable to menthol. Raccoons hate this smell, making peppermint oil a great raccoon deterrent. You can spray the oil in raccoon dens or any place you suspect raccoon activities.

Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper is a natural and effective raccoon repellent. Raccoons despise the strong smell and spicy flavor of cayenne pepper. Prepare a solution by mixing cayenne pepper with one tablespoon of dish soap and spray in areas of raccoon activity.

Ammonia: Ammonia has a very pungent and unpleasant odor that not only irritates but also disorients raccoons’ sense of smell. This makes it an even more effective raccoon deterrent than vinegar.

Coyote Urine: Coyotes are skilled predators who often hunt and eat raccoons. The smell of coyote urine instinctively sends a message to raccoons that a predator has already claimed your property. Luckily, coyote urine is easily accessible and effectively scares raccoons away.

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