What To Do About Pesky Racoons Invading Your Houston, TX Yard


a raccoon hanging on a tree in a yard

Hearing crashing sounds in the night? Does tapping sound in your walls? What about chittering noises in the yard?

If you think or know that the above signs are present around your home, you may be facing a serious pest infestation from one of America’s most identifiable wildlife species: the notorious raccoon.

Raccoons are popular wildlife creatures that have been represented quite fondly in pop culture and media. Their mischievous expressions and ‘masked’ faces are a humorous expression of their burgling tactics, among other things. Raccoons are native to North America and are found in few other places on Earth. They are associated with the procyonid family and have sharp teeth and claws to break down tough foods.

Below are just a few common characteristics of raccoons in Houston backyards:

  • A black ‘mask’ of fur surrounds the eyes and upper face 

  • The most underfur is grey, with a long bushy tail similar to a squirrel 

  • Their tails are ringed black and grey, tapering to a conical point 

  • Long, white whiskers help raccoons sense vibrations in the air

  • A large set of eyes, nose, and ears for threat detection purposes 

  • Dexterous hands and feet are similar to humans.

Raccoons once preferred to live in the wild forests and fields of North America. Today, these mammals live extensively in suburban and urban areas of the United States. Raccoons love mooching food from unsuspecting home and business owners, taking a deep dive into dumpsters, trash cans, and compost piles all over the area.

Despite popular belief, raccoons are actually social animals that engage in certain behaviors according to gender and age. Female raccoons often share a common area and work together to raise young and interact. Male raccoons, on the other hand, prefer to sleep in their own spaces and are much less collaborative than their female counterparts.

Raccoons are very short-lived animals, often lasting between 2 or 4 years on average. Their short lifespans push them to reproduce quickly, rearing as many as two to five young every two months. Although these wildlife creatures may seem innocuous at first, their ability to wreak havoc throughout homes and businesses should not be underestimated.

How To Identify A Potential Raccoon Infestation

Raccoons are larger wildlife animals, making signs of their presence easier to spot than other pests. Raccoons are also nocturnal, meaning they are out during the night or evening hours, making them particularly hard to see. Even if you don’t see these animals in the flesh, there may be ways to identify the signs of their presence long before an infestation occurs.

Below are some common signs and symptoms of a potential raccoon infestation around your Houston yard or garden:

  1. Raccoons are always on the lookout for food, leading them to hunt around the easily accessible parts of your yard. If you own a compost pile, keep an eye out for someone or something rooting through or around your scraps. Raccoons may dig small holes to look for food or search through fresh rubbish to find something to eat. Trash bags and garbage cans may also show signs of tampering. Look for trash strewn about the yard, trashcan lids that are moved or kicked up, or even pushed over or on their sides. 

  2. Droppings are easy to identify that can quickly point out a raccoon infestation. Raccoon droppings (also called scat) appear in tube-like shapes with blunted tips, dark colorations, and an occasional mix of seeds and indigestible waste. If you do catch sight of raccoon waste on or around your property, do not engage or attempt to remove it in any way. These droppings can spread serious illnesses from person to person. Instead, reach out to the trained professionals at Modern Pest Control. 

  3. If the ground is particularly soft and muddy, you may be able to see raccoon tracks scuttling from your home to the backyard. Raccoon tracks are roughly 4 inches long and resemble tiny human footprints with identifiable toes. Handprints left by a raccoon look almost the same as a human hand, usually about the same size and shape as a child. If you catch sight of a raccoon track in or near your lawn, you can bet that local raccoons are looking to move in. 

  4. Raccoons engage in scratching behavior, leaving small areas of damage on tree trunks, wooden logs, and wooden pillars. 

Raccoons are one of the easier creatures to spot living in Houston backyards. The sooner you can catch these animals, the better. Failure to do so will allow dangerous raccoon vectors to wander at large around your home, business, or property.

Why Raccoons Are So Dangerous For Houston Homeowners

Raccoons are sneaky creatures that often fly under a homeowner's ‘danger’ radar. After all, they seem to be so cute and unassuming from afar. Unfortunately, pop culture representations and online videos do not capture the true nature of these wildlife creatures, which is to steal food, infiltrate homes, and find a safe place to rear their young.

Like any wild creature, raccoons can and will attack when threatened. These mammals have been known to scratch, bite, and puncture the skin to protect themselves. These physical injuries are already a serious affair, but the diseases spread by raccoons are perhaps even more serious. These mammals can create secondary infections from scratching healing wounds. They can also carry bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens around with them, sometimes in great supply. Raccoons have been historically linked with the following illnesses:

  • Rabies 

  • Canine distemper 

  • Raccoon parvoviral enteritis 

  • Infectious canine hepatitis 

  • Pseudorabies 

If these wildlife creatures contact your family, pets, or loved ones, they can leave behind a trail of destruction that is difficult to manage.

In addition to diseases, raccoons are also known to spread secondary pest infestations. They are a carrier species, meaning they transport smaller insects and parasites from place to place. Perhaps the most common types of secondary pests include fleas and ticks, both of which can spread hazardous illnesses from person to person. Ticks latch onto the skin to spread Lyme Disease and other long-term chronic illnesses. Fleas hop onto pets and people to feed their blood, causing itching, hair loss, and secondary infestations. The presence of just one raccoon can cause infestations and threats of all kinds, even fleas and ticks.

It is important to note that not every raccoon is technically dangerous. Although some vectors can carry serious illnesses, not all of them can. In addition, not all raccoons carry secondary pests such as fleas and ticks. In the end, it is important to be aware of the threats caused by this creature and what you can do to help prevent its spread.

Ways To Prevent Raccoons From Overtaking Your Yard

If given the opportunity, raccoons can and will overtake your yard in a big way. By feeding on your garbage and taking refuge inside your warm, underutilized attic, these mammals will establish long-term patterns of infestation that make normal living hard to achieve.

Whether or not you feel that pest infestations are a problem in your home or business, it would be a good idea to start with some general pest prevention tips. Below are just a couple of ways to help keep these wild animals out of your home and garden:

  1. The best place to start with raccoon prevention is with proper garbage storage. Inside the house, be sure to throw away all food waste and articles of trash. Store these inside a plastic-lined bin that is impossible to open without human mechanics. Go the extra mile by washing dirty dishes as soon as they appear. Removing food waste and stuck on spills prevents raccoons from sniffing out or infesting your home. 

  2. Raccoons require a large amount of stagnant water to survive. Start by checking your premises for signs of standing water or leaks. Any clogged drains or dripping pipes should be addressed by a qualified professional. Standing water pools can be mitigated with some desiccant bags or dehumidifiers. The same applies to stagnant water in and around the lawn. Remove as much as you can, and seek help when needed.

  3. Raccoons are more attracted to homes with a large amount of wilderness or wild space. If possible, trim your grass down to a manageable height. Trim back all greenery, bushes, or trees that could be creating shade. Leave room between individual bushes to allow more light to travel freely throughout the yard. If possible, trim any vegetation that is overgrown near the sides of the home. This will keep raccoons from coming to investigate places of comfort. 

  4. Birdbaths, fountains, ponds, and other sources of standing water could attract raccoons under certain circumstances. Although you may not be able to drain all of these water sources, be sure to freshen them up frequently and keep an eye out for any signs of raccoon activity or movement. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, immediately contact a professional pest control company in your area.

Although the above methods could help discourage raccoons from entering your yard, they may not always be enough to keep them out. If you think or know that raccoons are in or around the premises, reach out to Modern Pest Control for a plan of action.

Modern Pest Control Is Houston’s Best Raccoon Defender

Raccoons aren’t just a troublesome pest to find around your home or business. Instead, they are dangerous and even destructive creatures that can overtake your lawn, garden, and property. If these creatures settle down for long periods of time, you may be faced with cyclical infestations and ongoing pest breeding—failure to address a burgeoning raccoon problem and lead to illness, hospitalization, and severe property damage.

All these changes with help from the team behind Modern Pest Control. We have spent the better part of our business history finding solutions for clients all over the Houston area. There is no infestation too big or problem too small for our crew to address. Every one of our service treatments is wholly customized to meet your needs, with trapping, exclusion, and relocation services available at any time during our business hours. Get relief from raccoons fast in just a few simple visits.

Check out how Modern Pest Control could help you manage a growing raccoon problem around your property:

  1. We begin by completing a thorough inspection of the premises. This includes checking outbuildings, greenhouses, garages, and interior structures for signs or symptoms. We look for any telling signs of a raccoon presence and report to you our findings. We leave no stone unturned in the process! 

  2. Before we hop into treatment, we seek your opinion by completing a pretreatment visitation. This can be done over the phone or in person, allowing us to make a touchpoint connection with your needs and requirements. Once we know exactly what you expect, we can begin to roll out an effective raccoon prevention plan for your property.

  3. Once the raccoons have been treated, our team will keep a close eye on your property in case of recurring issues. If pests continue to return to your property, or if the signs and symptoms of their presence come back, our team will be there to re-treat the premises – at no extra cost to you!

Using the team at Modern Pest Control to remove potential raccoon invasions is one of the best and most cost-effective exclusion methods in Houston, TX. For more advice or assistance regarding raccoon control on your property, please don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Modern Pest Control. Our program operatives are standing by to make a meaningful difference in your home. 


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