How to Keep Raccoons Off Your Roof: Effective Tips & Strategies

Last updated on March 31, 2024

Discover effective strategies to safeguard your roof from pesky raccoons and maintain a clean and damage-free home.

Raccoons are cute and cuddly creatures, but they can also be a nuisance when they decide to make your roof their personal playground. Not only can they cause damage to your shingles and gutters, but they can also create quite a racket at night.

If you’re tired of dealing with these furry critters on your roof, don’t worry – there are steps you can take to keep them away for good. In this article, we’ll explore some effective methods for keeping raccoons off your roof and protecting your home from their mischief.

Raccoon Identification

how to keep raccoons off your roof effective tips amp strategies

They have a stocky build, with grayish-brown fur and sharp claws that make them excellent climbers. Adult raccoons can weigh anywhere from 10 to 30 pounds, depending on their age and gender.

It’s important to be able to identify raccoons if you suspect they’re causing damage or infesting your roof. By knowing what they look like, you’ll be better equipped to take the necessary steps for keeping them away.

However, it’s worth noting that not all animals on your roof may necessarily be raccoons – other common culprits include squirrels, rats or mice.

Raccoon Behavior

They are nocturnal animals, which means they’re most active at night. Raccoons have a keen sense of smell and can detect food from far away, making them attracted to garbage cans and compost piles.

These critters are also excellent climbers with sharp claws that allow them to scale trees, walls, and even buildings with ease. Once on your roof or in your attic space, raccoons can cause significant damage by tearing up shingles or insulation material.

It’s important to understand raccoon behavior when trying to keep them off your roof because it helps you identify potential entry points into your home. By knowing how these creatures behave and what attracts them in the first place, you’ll be better equipped to prevent future infestations from occurring on your property.

Why Is It Dangerous To Have Raccoons On Your Roof?

For one, raccoons are known carriers of diseases such as rabies and leptospirosis that can be transmitted to humans through contact with their urine or feces. They have sharp claws that can damage shingles and gutters while climbing up or down the roof.

Moreover, raccoons are notorious for causing noise disturbances at night when they’re most active. Their loud chattering sounds coupled with their constant scratching noises on the roof can disrupt your sleep patterns leading to fatigue during the day.

Lastly, if left unchecked for an extended period of time, raccoon infestations could lead to structural damage in homes due to water leaks from damaged roofs caused by these animals’ activities.

Common Signs of Raccoon Infestation

If you hear strange noises coming from your roof or attic during the evening hours, it’s possible that raccoons have taken up residence in your home. Other signs of a raccoon infestation include claw marks on shingles and gutters, as well as droppings and urine stains around the perimeter of your property.

If you suspect that raccoons have invaded your space, it’s important to take action right away before they cause serious damage to your roof and other areas of your home. By identifying these common signs early on, you can prevent further infestations and protect yourself from potential health hazards associated with these wild animals.

Secure Garbage Bins

To keep raccoons away from your roof, it’s important to secure your garbage bins properly. Make sure that the lids fit tightly and cannot be easily opened by raccoons.

You can also use bungee cords or other fasteners to keep the lids in place.

If you have a compost bin, make sure it is securely covered as well. Raccoons love digging through compost piles in search of food scraps.

By securing your garbage and compost bins, you’ll not only deter raccoons from climbing onto your roof but also help prevent other wildlife from scavenging around your property.

Remove Food Sources

To keep them off your roof, it’s important to remove any potential food sources that might attract them in the first place. This means securing your garbage bins with tight-fitting lids or bungee cords, so raccoons can’t rummage through your trash for scraps of food.

It’s also a good idea to avoid leaving pet food outside overnight and cleaning up any spilled birdseed from around bird feeders. Raccoons are attracted to these types of foods and may see your roof as an easy target if they know there is a meal waiting for them.

Trim Overhanging Branches

Raccoons are excellent climbers and can easily access your roof via nearby trees or shrubs. By cutting back any branches that hang over your home, you’ll eliminate a common entry point for these critters.

When trimming branches, it’s important to use proper pruning techniques to avoid damaging the tree or causing it stress. Cut just outside the branch collar (the swollen area where a branch meets the trunk) and avoid leaving stubs or making flush cuts.

If you’re not comfortable with using pruning tools yourself, consider hiring a professional arborist who can safely trim back any problematic limbs while preserving the health of your trees.

Clean Up Roofing and Attic Clutter

If your roof or attic is cluttered with debris, old furniture, boxes of junk, or other items that raccoons could use as a den site, it’s time to clean up.

Start by removing any unnecessary items from your attic and disposing of them properly. This will not only eliminate potential hiding spots for raccoons but also free up space in your home.

Next, inspect the roofing area around the perimeter of your house for any debris such as leaves and branches that may have accumulated over time. These can create an ideal environment for raccoons looking to build their nests on top of roofs.

Install Roof Barriers

These barriers are made of durable materials such as metal or plastic and can be installed along the edge of your roofline, preventing raccoons from climbing up onto your rooftop. Roof barriers come in different shapes and sizes, so it’s important to choose one that fits the specific needs of your home.

When installing a barrier, make sure it extends at least 3 feet up from the edge of the roofline and slopes outward at a 45-degree angle. This will prevent raccoons from being able to climb over or around it.

While you can install these barriers yourself with some basic tools, if you’re not comfortable working on ladders or roofs, consider hiring a professional roofing contractor who has experience installing these types of deterrents.

Attach Anti-Raccoon Baffles

These devices are designed to prevent raccoons from climbing up poles or trees and onto your roof by creating a physical barrier that the animals cannot pass through.

Anti-raccoon baffles come in various shapes and sizes, but most are made of durable materials like metal or plastic. They can be attached directly onto the pole supporting bird feeders or other structures on which raccoons climb.

When installing an anti-raccoon baffle, make sure it is positioned high enough so that the animal cannot jump over it. The baffle should also have a smooth surface without any footholds for them to grip onto.

Use Metal Screens and Pest Guards

These barriers can be installed over vents, chimneys, and other openings that lead into your home’s attic or crawl space. They prevent raccoons from entering while still allowing air to flow freely.

When choosing metal screens or pest guards, it’s important to select a durable material that won’t rust or corrode over time. Stainless steel is an excellent choice because it is strong enough to withstand the elements and resistant to corrosion.

Installation of these barriers should be done by a professional roofer who has experience working with them. Improper installation can leave gaps where raccoons can still enter, defeating the purpose of having them in place.

Secure Chimneys and Vents

To prevent raccoons from entering your home through these openings, it’s important to secure them with a sturdy barrier. Installing a chimney cap or vent cover is an effective way to keep raccoons out while still allowing proper ventilation.

If you already have a chimney cap or vent cover in place, make sure it’s securely fastened and free of any damage that could allow access for the critters. If you notice any signs of damage or wear on your existing barriers, replace them as soon as possible.

Install Motion-Sensor Lights

One way to deter them from climbing onto your roof is by installing motion-sensor lights around the perimeter of your home. These lights will turn on when they detect movement, scaring off any raccoons that may be lurking in the shadows.

Make sure to position these lights strategically so that they cover all areas where raccoons might try to climb up onto your roof. This includes near trees or other structures that could provide a pathway for them.

Motion-sensor lights not only help keep raccoons away but also improve overall security around your property by alerting you of any potential intruders or suspicious activity outside of your home.

However, it’s important to note that while motion-sensor lights can be effective in deterring raccoons and other wildlife from entering certain areas, they should not be relied upon as the sole method for preventing infestations.

Use Raccoon Repellents and Animal-Safe Scent Repellents

There are several types of raccoon repellents available on the market, including chemical sprays and electronic devices that emit high-frequency sounds. However, it’s important to choose a product that is safe for both animals and humans.

One effective option is using animal-safe scent repellents such as predator urine or peppermint oil. These natural scents can deter raccoons from approaching your home without causing harm to them or other wildlife in the area.

Another option is motion-activated sprinklers that spray water when they detect movement on your roof. This not only scares away any unwanted visitors but also helps keep your lawn hydrated at the same time!

It’s important to note that while these methods can be effective in deterring raccoons from climbing onto your roof, they may not work for all situations or infestations. It’s always best to consult with a professional if you have concerns about dealing with an ongoing problem.

Make Some Noise

If you want to keep them off your roof, one effective strategy is to make some noise. This can be as simple as setting up a radio or leaving the TV on at night.

The sound will help deter raccoons from coming near your home and may even scare them away if they get too close.

Another option is to use motion-activated devices that emit loud noises when triggered by movement. These can include ultrasonic devices that emit high-pitched sounds or water sprinklers that turn on when an animal gets too close.

It’s important to note that while making noise can be effective in deterring raccoons, it’s not a foolproof solution and should be used in conjunction with other strategies for best results.

Set Up Traps

Traps can be an effective way to catch raccoons and relocate them away from your property. However, it’s important to note that trapping should only be done by experienced individuals who are familiar with local laws and regulations.

When setting up a trap, choose a location where you’ve seen the most activity or damage caused by the raccoon. Baiting is also crucial when using traps – use something sweet like marshmallows or peanut butter as bait.

Once caught in the trap, do not attempt to handle or release the animal yourself as they can become aggressive if frightened. Instead, contact a licensed wildlife removal professional who will safely remove and relocate them according to local laws.

Call a Professional

Wildlife removal experts have the knowledge, experience, and equipment necessary to safely remove raccoons from your property without causing harm or damage. They can also help identify potential entry points and provide recommendations for preventing future infestations.

When choosing a wildlife removal company, make sure they are licensed and insured. Look for reviews online or ask for referrals from friends or family members who have dealt with similar issues.

A reputable company will conduct an inspection of your property before providing an estimate so that you know exactly what services are needed.

Remember that dealing with wild animals can be dangerous if not handled properly – don’t take any unnecessary risks by attempting to remove them yourself.

Maintain Cleanliness and Prevent Future Infestations

This means keeping your yard free of debris and securing garbage bins with tight-fitting lids. You should also avoid leaving pet food outside overnight, as this can attract raccoons and other wildlife.

Trimming overhanging branches is another effective way to keep raccoons off your roof. Raccoons are excellent climbers, so removing any potential access points will make it more difficult for them to reach the rooftop.

Regularly cleaning up roofing and attic clutter is also essential in preventing future infestations. Raccoon droppings can carry harmful bacteria that pose a health risk to humans and pets alike.


Why are raccoons attracted to my roof?

Raccoons are attracted to roofs due to the shingles providing an ideal surface for scratching while searching for food or nesting materials, and overhanging tree branches enabling easy access.

What to do if a raccoon is on your roof?

If a raccoon is on your roof, inspect your attic for dark, tubular droppings and a pungent urine smell, and promptly remove the raccoon and clean the attic to prevent the spread of roundworm and protect your family’s health.

What do raccoons hate the most?

Raccoons hate the scent of hot pepper most, as it irritates their sense of smell and effectively keeps them off properties when combined with onion and water.

What preventative measures can I take to make my roof unappealing to raccoons?

To make your roof unappealing to raccoons, ensure regular maintenance, trimming of nearby trees, secure garbage containers, and installing a chimney cap.

How can I identify if raccoons are causing damage to my roof?

To identify if raccoons are causing damage to your roof, look for signs such as torn shingles, damaged vents, or holes in the roof.

Are there any specific materials or structures I can add to the roof that deter raccoons effectively?

One effective method to deter raccoons from your roof is by installing metal flashing or steel mesh around potential access points or vulnerable areas.