A Sprinkle Of This Household Staple Will Keep Your Yard Free Of Raccoons

Unfortunately, it's probably not Marvel's Rocket Raccoon who's visiting your vegetable garden at night. Chances are you've got the regular mischievous variety of racoons that can cause untold damage to your property in no time flat. Maybe you haven't seen evidence of them visiting yet, but you know they're in the hood, and it's time to get your defenses in place to prepare for the inevitable. Luckily, deterring them is as simple as sprinkling a little Epsom salt around your property.

Raccoons are indeed adorable to watch, especially when they're traveling with their babies. But don't be fooled by this façade — these creatures have the equivalent of four working hands each, with the ambidexterity and intelligence to open simple locks with ease, strewing garbage from your property to several neighbors' houses around you in the blink of an eye. Before they leave, to add insult to injury, these pests will use your woodpile as a toilet to say farewell. That's just the tip of the iceberg as to the kind of havoc raccoons can wreak. 

How to use Epsom salt to deter raccoons

With this solution, you'll have yet another use for Epsom salt in your arsenal, which is always handy to have. Epsom salt is the compound named magnesium sulfate, made from combining magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. There's nothing too unusual about it, and luckily it's not a poison or anything harmful. But it's got one thing going for it that you'd probably never guess in a million years: It irritates the nasal passages of raccoons, per Pest Pointers. They can't stand the smell of it!

So how can you use this to your advantage? Simply sprinkle Epsom salts in a wide, even swath around the areas you've seen them or want to keep them away from. For example, sprinkle it around your vegetable garden, around your trash cans, around fruit trees, underneath and around porches and decks, and around pet food bowls. The only problem with this method is that it's going to mean purchasing Epsom salts in bulk. It's effective, but you will need to reapply it after you can't smell it anymore, and every time the rain washes it away. 

How to use cayenne pepper to deter raccoons

In much the same way that Epsom salt irritates their nasal cannula, hot peppers are believed to have a similar effect (via Nite Guard). Except in this case, it's not so much the smell, but rather the effects of ingesting the substance that teaches them the valuable lesson. This method is simple: You can sprinkle cayenne pepper generously all around the same places you would have put Epsom salt, especially around your vegetable garden.

Otherwise, you can make a spray repellent using cayenne pepper and hot sauce. Take a container of cayenne pepper and a bottle of hot sauce and mix them together. Stir them into a gallon of water and then strain into a spray bottle. Shake before spraying the perimeters of areas previously discussed, and re-apply it every two to three days. Take these tools and recipes with you the next time you go into battle with these critters.