Dealing with pesky racoons can be a serious headache. They might not have opposable thumbs, but it seems like they can get into anything. I’ve heard that sprinkling a little vinegar around can keep raccoons away, but does it actually work?
Does vinegar keep racoons away? Racoons hate the smell and taste of vinegar so it can be a great way to keep them away. Use a vinegar filled spray bottle to spray around your yard or campsite. You still need to keep track of food, but they will likely run away if it’s bothering them.
Spraying vinegar might keep racoons away for a while, but you need to take alternative steps to keep them out for good. Racoons are smart and once they learn how to find food they’ll be back for more. Keep reading for a few other ways to keep unwanted racoons away.
Using Vinegar to Keep Racoons Away
Racoons absolutely hate the caustic smell of vinegar. The acetic acid solution overwhelms their senses and makes it hard for them to sense their surroundings. Remember that racoons need a heightened sense of smell so they can rummage around at night.
All it takes is a little bit of vinegar in a spray bottle to keep them away from your trash or out of a campsite at night. They might still come after easy to get food, but they’ll leave fast if there’s nothing to snatch up fast.
Apple Cider Vinegar Works Best to Keep Out Racoons
I’m willing to bet that any type of vinegar will deter racoons, but apple cider vinegar is the age old favorite. It has one of the strongest smells and isn’t caustic enough to damage the environment.
Spraying apple cider vinegar around the base of your RV, and around the campsite is a surefire way to keep pesky critters away. You should also spray around trash cans and other food sources.
You can even spray some around your house and it help keep mice and other rodents away. No rodents means less food for racoons and other predators. You won’t have to deal with snakes either (oh boy do I hate snakes).
Ammonia Also Works
Ammonia is a colorless gas with a very pungent yet familiar odor. Liquid ammonia dissolved in water is found in many household cleaning products.
You know instantly when something has ammonia in it. It actually takes your breath away in high concentrations and it does the same thing to racoons and other animals. Ammonia will actually work better than vinegar if you can stand the smell.
I can remember stepping in to my friends cattle barn as a child. They had been gone for a few days and were paying me to feed/water them. The ammonia smell from the poop and urine made me cough to the point where I could barely stand.
After opening it up for a few hours to vent I could finally clean the stalls, but I can see why animals are so put off by the smell. I can’t imagine how bad it would be with a heightened sense of smell.
Here’s another quick tip! Spray window cleaner with ammonia on your counters/floors if you ever get ants in your house. It disorients them and makes it so they can’t navigate back into the house.
Racoons Will Still Be Attracted to Food
Spraying apple cider vinegar around is a great first step, but you still need to keep food away. A racoon will always go after an easy meal regardless of how off-putting it smells.
Clean up your grill, leftover food, dirty utensils and anything else that might attract racoons. Make sure your garbage can is locked and every food source is secure.
Campers should use a locking cooler, bear bag/vault, or keep food locked up in their car. Racoons have the brain capacity of a small child. If your 6 year old can figure out how to get into something so can a racoon.
Plus racoons have by far the best sensory processing capacity on the planet. It’s like a super sense devoted to touch. They can get an image of how an object works and what it looks like without even looking at it. It’s kind of weird to think about, but racoons can actually see with their hands.