How do I stop Raccoons?

Have you ever stepped outside in the morning and found your bird feeder laying on the ground, perhaps with a squirrel sitting there eating the spilled seed? Or maybe the feeder is still hanging, but the lid is broken or the perches are missing? Well, rarely is that squirrel to blame for this sort of mischief. Squirrels may chew on feeders (characterized by the dual lines left behind from the two front teeth gnawing), but rarely do they have the strength or dexterity required to actually lift large feeders or to pull them apart. Rather, this is more likely the work of the overnight shift, the Raccoons (Procyon lotor).

You have to admire the abilities of Raccoons sometimes. They have adapted incredibly well to our lifestyles, will eat just about anything that is edible and have incredible adaptations. Raccoons are incredibly intelligent, are adapted for the day or night (but are primarily nocturnal), can climb exceptionally well and have incredibly dexterous and sensitive hands and fingers. They are designed to be a problem for just about any bird feeder out there.

Many people don’t think or realize Raccoons are in their yards until the feeders end up damaged and on the ground. Damage can occur any time of year, but peaks in late spring as this is the time of year when raccoon assaults on feeders become more frequent and severe. This is largely due to the fact that most female raccoons will have babies who are getting bigger by the day and require more milk from mama. She must eat a lot more to keep up and your feeder is a pretty nice buffet for her. Most raccoons have a sweet tooth, so even fruit, jelly, or nectar feeders are at risk. Soon enough those babies will leave the den and will follow their moms to the feeders.

Please note that all of information provided on our website about our products is meant to be informative only. For more information regarding prices and shipping (within Canada only) please visit our store in Barrie (515 Bryne Drive, Barrie, ON), phone us (705) 726-7600 or send us an email [email protected].

Raccoon (Procyon lotor)Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

To Save your Feeders and Economize your Birdseed Budget, you Have Only 1 Option:

Use properly sized, metal Raccoon Baffles on tall poles: Raccoons cannot jump onto a pole rather they can stretch out and grab onto a pole if it’s close enough to a tree, fence, deck etc. So placing a pole 4’ from anything sturdy enough to support a Raccoon is fine. If you want to prevent Raccoons and squirrels the top of a pole baffle should be 5' above the ground to prevent jump-overs by squirrels, and the pole itself must be 11' from anything sturdy enough (tree, fence, house, etc.) from which a squirrel could leap and gain access. The pole must also be tall enough so that all feeders stay above the top of the baffle. Most standard shepherd's crooks are not tall enough to achieve both of these rules. WBU's Advanced Pole System is and is an effective way to keep them away from feeders. Only Raccoon baffles will prevent Raccoons from climbing up a pole or 4 x 4 posts. You will find baffles quickly pay for themselves in seed saved.

Our patented Advanced Pole System® (APS) is a revolutionary concept and the foundation for successfully attracting birds to your backyard. Comprised of interchangeable hardware pieces, the APS lets you select the setup that best suits the habitat in your own backyard and the birds you want to attract. To learn more about this product please visit the below links:

While a pole and Raccoon baffle is the most effective way from keeping Raccoons out of feeders you can also try:

1. Bring Feeders in Each Night: Since raccoons are primarily nocturnal, locking feeders in a secure garage or shed before it gets dark each night will deny them access. Of course, this is a bit tedious or may not fit your schedule, so may not work for everyone.

2. Locking 'em Down and Ration Food: WBU stocks several devices to help keep feeders from being knocked to the ground. Solution Clips fit over the end of shepherds hooks to stop raccoons from lifting feeders off the hook. Utility Chains easy-to-use devices to keep feeders hanging from tree limbs. We also have many feeders (suet, corn, fruit, etc.) which can be securely screwed to a tree or fence.

Once your feeders are secure, pay close attention to how much seed or suet your birds actually eat each day, then begin rationing out just enough food each morning so the feeders will all be empty before dark. If there is no food to be had at dusk, the raccoons usually lose interest.

NOTE: In the Province of Ontario, Raccoons can be trapped and relocated 1 kilometer from where you trapped them. They can easily travel that 1 kilometer distance back to your house. Moving your Raccoons also make room for more Racoons to enter the habitat, with one gone its neighbour will move in. So the most effective way to deal with Raccoons is to accept that they are a part of your yard and invest in a good pole system and baffle.

Hot Pepper Options

Hot Pepper Options: In certain circumstances where other methods aren't effective WBU Hot Pepper Products may be the best option. When feeders and food are place in certain trees, on decks or near windowsills, it may be difficult to keep squirrels, raccoons and chipmunks away. In these situations, suets, cylinders or stackables with hot pepper may be a good solution. Only use products where the hot pepper is bound tightly in the product such as our WBU Hot Pepper Products. Approximately 90% of Eastern Gray Squirrels and Red Squirrels do not eat WBU Hot Pepper Products. If offered Hot Pepper Items must be the ONLY thing in a feeder (you can't mix it) and it must be protected from the elements so the hot pepper (capsaicin) is not washed off. So while that may not be 100% squirrel proof, it can be another extremely useful tool in squirrel management. WBU Hot Pepper Products may not be as effective when it comes to Eastern Chipmunks as they have fur-lined cheek pouches and this fur seems to act as a barrier to the effectiveness of the products. While many raccoons do not enjoy the Hot Pepper falvour, they are always interested in an easy meal and may continue to eat Hot Pepper Products. We recommend using safflower, baffles, cages and Squirrel Buster Feeders as primary way of deterring squirrels, chipmunks and raccoons as these options on their own or in combination can deter all three critters.

Our WBU Hot Pepper Product line includes suet, stackables and cylinders:

Note: Items with hot pepper (capsaicin) cause a reaction in humans. If eyes, noses or lips are rubbed, then a reaction to hot pepper could range from mild to severe. Choose products where the hot pepper binds with the products (such as our WBU line of products) and make sure to take any necessary precautions when handling hot pepper foods and feeders where these products are used (including when it is time to refill and wash the feeder). Do not attempt to make hot pepper suet at home. Our WBU Hot Pepper No-melt Dough and our WBU Hot Pepper Cylinders have been specially formulated and tested to ensure it is safe for the birds. If you try making hot pepper deterrents at home it may not be safe for the birds or you!

WBU Hot Pepper No-melt DoughWBU Hot Pepper No-melt Dough: Tired of squirrels and chipmunks eating all your suet?  Hot Pepper No-melt Dough may be the perfect solution.  Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this no-melt dough cake will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away.  Hot Pepper No-melt Dough is available in a single cake and case of 12.

Ingredients: Corn, roasted peanuts, rendered beef suet, oats, pepper (red) and soy oil

No-melt Dough Cake Size: 11.75 Oz. (333 g)

WBU Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough CylinderWBU Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Cylinder: Our WBU Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Cylinder is the hot pepper version of our WBU Naturally Nuts™ No-Melt Suet Dough Cylinder in a cylinder form. Suet dough cylinders are a great way to attract a wide variety of perching birds including woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, etc. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this no-melt dough cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the Hot Pepper No-Melt Dough Cylinder in the WBU Suet Cylinder Feeder, WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Our Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Cylinder is an easy, long-lasting way to offer a high-energy, high-fat food to your birds. Offering suet at a backyard feeding station is a great way to attract a wide variety of insect-eating birds. Birds that eat suet will still find natural food sources such as insects, insect eggs and grubs to get a well-rounded diet.

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, corn, rendered beef suet, oats and pepper (red)

Cylinder Size: 2 lbs. (907 g)

WBU Hot Pepper Seed CylinderWBU Hot Pepper Seed Cylinder: Tree nuts, black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, peanuts and hot pepper. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the Hot Pepper No-Melt Dough Cylinder in the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, black oil sunflower, almonds, pecans, walnuts and pepper (red)

Cylinder Size: 2 lbs. (907g) and 4.5 lbs (2.04 kg)

 

WBU Hot Pepper Seed StackableWBU Hot Pepper Seed Stackable™: Our WBU Hot Pepper Seed Stackable is the stackable version of our WBU Hot Pepper Seed Cylinder. Tree nuts, black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, peanuts and hot pepper. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the Hot Pepper Stackable in the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, black oil sunflower, almonds, pecans, walnuts and pepper (red)

Cylinder Size: 8.6 Oz. (243 g).

 

WBU Hot Pepper No-melt Suet Dough StackableWBU Hot Pepper No-melt Suet Dough Stackable™: Our WBU Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Stackable is the hot pepper version of our WBU Naturally Nuts™ No-Melt Suet Dough in Stackable form. Suet dough Stackables are a great way to attract a wide variety of perching birds including woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, etc. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this no-melt dough cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the Hot Pepper No-Melt Dough Stackable in the WBU Suet Cylinder Feeder, WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Our Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Stackable is an easy, long-lasting way to offer a high-energy, high-fat food to your birds. Offering suet at a backyard feeding station is a great way to attract a wide variety of insect-eating birds. Birds that eat suet will still find natural food sources such as insects, insect eggs and grubs to get a well-rounded diet.

Stackable Size: 14.5 Oz. (411 g)

Jim's Birdacious® Hot Pepper Bark Butter® BitsJim's Birdacious® Hot Pepper Bark Butter® Bits: Jim's Birdacious® Bark Butter® Bits are now available in a Hot Pepper version! These bite-sized nuggets are made of rendered beef suet, peanut oil, roasted peanuts, corn, oats and calcium carbonate and are loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike allowing you to easily offer Bark Butter to attract a variety of birds, including many that do not normally visit feeders. They are particularly popular among birds during the nesting season when a Bark Butter® Bit can be carried by parent birds to feed to their young. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Bag Size: 3.5 lbs. (1.58 kg)