Awwww. That raccoon is so cute. Look at how he rips the grocery bag apart and scatters the food everywhere, and how clever he was in removing the lids off the trash cans and spreading the contents across the campground.
If you’ve had any of these raccoon escapades happen at your home or in your campsite, you know how hard it is to get the critters to move to other foraging grounds once they discover that source of food. Shushing them away with a broom is only temporary, and unless you like staying up all night shushing every 15 minutes, you may soon become discouraged.
The best and most effective method of ridding raccoons is to not allow your campsite to attract them in the first place. The way to do that is to eliminate all food sources (and smells) from your campsite.
- Bring pet food bowls inside at night and clean up all spills around them (and anywhere else that food may have fallen to the ground).
- If you can’t hang the birdfeeder somewhere out of reach of raccoons, bring it inside.
- Clean your barbecue after using or before you retire for the night.
- If you keep a trash can outside, make sure the lid fits tight, or bungee it closed.
If you continue to be bothered by raccoons, remember that they are searching for food, and after several tries they are not coming up with a meal, they will wander off to more promising campsites. Therefore, it may be worth your while to be overly aggressive for two or three nights to discourage them, and once they stop showing up you can relax your aggression. Try the following actions:
- Physically run them off your campsite, but don’t get too close or corner them (they will fight with very nasty claws if they feel threatened).
- Put a motion detector light in your campsite. However, this will not be popular with your neighbors, so inform them what you are doing and that it is only for a couple nights. They may be amenable if they are being bothered by raccoons also.
- Sprinkle cayenne pepper, commercial repellant granules, or use a liquid spray in the areas where raccooons have found food previously. Sometimes they work, sometimes not.
- Electronic repellents, which administer a mild electric shock, will condition wildlife to stay away also.
If none of these efforts do the job (because the critters have become too comfortable with raiding campsites), your only recourse may be to accept their presence as part of the camping experience.
You can find Bob Difley’s RVing ebooks on Amazon Kindle.