7 Scents That Raccoons Hate And How To Use Them

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Raccoons are a common sight in North America and can be seen scavenging through garbage cans or raiding pet food bowls. Let’s find out the scents that raccoons hate and how to use them in our homes.

Raccoons are considered pests because they often damage property or spread diseases. There are several scents that raccoons hate, and using them can help keep these animals away.

Raccoons are scavengers and have a very strong sense of smell, making them excellent at finding food sources.

Certain smells can also deter them. Irritating smells like ammonia or pepper spray can make raccoons leave an area, while other smells like citrus or vanilla can mask the food odors that attract raccoons.

What is the need to keep raccoons out?

Raccoons are intelligent mammals. They’ve learned how to adapt to their environment, which is why they’re becoming more common in cities than in forests.

This also means that they’re becoming more difficult to get rid of. That’s why it’s important to know the scents that raccoons hate and use them as part of your raccoon control strategy.

Scents That Racoons Hate And How to Use Them

While they may seem like cute, harmless creatures, they can cause damage, especially when they get into people’s trash or gardens. 

7 Scents That Racoons Hate And How to Use Them

There are certain scents that raccoons hate, which can be used to deter them from entering your property. These include garlic, peppermint, and rosemary.

You can plant these plants near your home or yard to keep raccoons away. It is important to use scents that raccoons hate to keep them away.

Using these scents may help keep these pests away. One option is a fence around your property, keeping them from entering your yard.

You can try spraying the area with a scent that repels raccoons. The following scents are useful to eliminate these pests from your surroundings.

Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint oil is a popular choice for keeping raccoons away. You can use it in several ways, including diluted or straight, and it has a strong scent that raccoons don’t like.

Peppermint oil is a raccoon repellent, but you must often reapply to be effective. The strong smell will keep them away, but only if used consistently.

Small bottle of essential mint oil

Onion and Pepper

There are a few scents that raccoons hate, one of which is onion. Another is pepper. You can make a spray repellent using these ingredients, and it will help keep the raccoons away. However, you will need to reapply the repellent continuously to be effective.

The smell of onions and peppers is unappetizing to raccoons, but it also happens to be irritating. You can use these scents as a repellent to keep raccoons away from your property.


Garlic is a strong-smelling bulb that raccoons find irritating. The smell disrupts their ability to detect food’s smell, which makes it difficult for them to find food.

To repel raccoons, sprinkle crushed garlic cloves or garlic powder in areas where they are often seen, such as around garden plants or trash cans.

Garlic is a well-known repellent for raccoons. The garlic will keep them away, as will cayenne pepper.

If you want to make a garlic spray, you can make it with garlic powder, dish soap, and water. Mix the ingredients and spray the solution on areas where you want to keep raccoons away.

Peeled garlic with a pungent smell

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a hot pepper often used as a natural repellent for many pests, including raccoons. It can be bought in the form of a powder or a spray and effectively keeps these animals away.

Natural red cayenne pepper to control raccoons

Raccoons are naturally afraid of cayenne peppers, and if you spray it around your property, they will likely stay away. However, you must apply cayenne pepper spray several times to be most effective.


Vinegar is one of the most popular raccoon repellents. It is a scent that they do not like, and it also damps down their senses, making it more effective at night.

There are various ways to use vinegar as a repellent, including spraying it around the area you want to protect or adding it to your cleaning supplies.

The smell of vinegar is one that raccoons really cannot stand. You can use it in several ways to keep them away from your property.


Ammonia is a raccoon repellent that has a strong odor. This odor disorients raccoons and causes them to avoid the area. You can use ammonia in various ways, including spraying it around your property or adding it to the bait.

Coyote Urine

The most effective scent repellent for raccoons is coyote urine. Coyote is a natural predator of raccoons, and these animals fear their urine. 

Among the many scents that raccoons hate, predator urine is one of the most potent. Coyotes use their urine odor to mark their territory, and when raccoons smell it, they will stay away.

Looking for a natural way to keep raccoons away from your property, using coyote urine can be an effective solution.

What Do Raccoons Hate?

Raccoons are scared of large dogs and will avoid areas where they are present. Additionally, there are certain scents that raccoons hate and can be used to keep them away. These include ammonia, vinegar, citrus peels, and mothballs.

One popular method is to use scare tactics such as motion-activated sprinklers or loud noises. This will startle the raccoons and hopefully convince them to leave the area.

How do we keep raccoons away from using these scents?

These scents need to be effective in multiple locations around your house. You can keep raccoons away from your property by using these scents.

Certain smells deter raccoons, so it’s important to know what they are. You need to sprinkle them around the areas where you don’t want raccoons to go.

The perimeter of your property is an important location, so make sure to use them there. You could also use them around your garden, food source, or near your trash cans.

Racoon in the trash can

Raccoon’s sense of smell is incredible good

Raccoons have some of the most sensitive olfactory receptors in the animal kingdom. This gives them a heightened sense of smell, which they use to find food, navigate their environment, and interact with other raccoons.

Because their sense of smell is so good, you must use scents that they hate to keep them away.

What smells are raccoons attracted to?

Raccoons are attracted to various smells, but some smells are more appealing than others. They are particularly drawn to the smells of food, especially meat and fish. However, they are also attracted to the smells of fruits and vegetables, just not as much as meat or fish.

Raccoons are attracted to various smells, but the smell that deters them the most is a mixture of meat, fish, and sweet vegetables. You can find this smell in cat and dog food, so keeping these foods stored away will help keep raccoons away from your property.

What Problems Will Raccoons Bring to Your Property?

Raccoons are adaptable and widespread mammals in North America. They thrive near humans, as they have easy access to food and shelter.

Raccoons are particularly good at adapting to changes in their environment, so it is important to be proactive about raccoon prevention. One of the most important ways to deter raccoons is through smell.

Female raccoons looking for a place to give birth can be a real headache. They often enter places like houses, attics, decks, and chimneys, leaving feces everywhere. This is unsightly and smelly, but it can also lead to health problems.

Furthermore, raccoons will go through garbage cans searching for food, and tearing down garden shrubs. This can create quite a mess!

Final Thoughts

These methods will only work for a short amount of time, so it is important to keep using them to keep the raccoons away.

In conclusion, if you’re not going to take any action and hope that the smell will keep the raccoons away, they will get used to it and return. However, if you are proactive about it and use the right scents, you can deter them from coming near your home or property.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.