If you’re struggling with raccoons on your balcony, you’ll know how problematic that can be. Raccoons can be sweet and loveable, but also messy and destructive. So, you’re probably after some easy tips on how to get rid of raccoons on your balcony.
To get rid of raccoons on your balcony, don’t leave food or water out at night. Trim back trees and shrubs that are close to your balcony. Don’t store garbage on your balcony, or if you must, secure the garbage can lid with bungee cords.
Those simple tips to get rid of raccoons from your balcony should go a long way toward solving the problem. You can read more about these tips and others below.
Remove Pet Food Bowls
Raccoons are omnivores, which means that they’ll eat almost anything. Yes, they’ll even happily devour stale pet food.
So, if you tend to feed your pet on your balcony, avoid leaving the feeding bowl out there overnight. Otherwise, the raccoons will take it as an invitation to a feast. Once you’ve attracted them, they’ll be back again and again. So, make it a habit of taking all pet food bowls inside before nightfall.
Also, ensure you clean up any food that your pet has dropped during the day. Just picking up dropped food might not be enough. Instead, wash down surfaces with strong-smelling detergent to get rid of food smells.
If at all possible, the best way to avoid attracting raccoons is to feed your pet indoors. As you can see from this video, raccoons can be a problem even during the day:
Take in Bird Feeders
It’s great to have a bird feeder on your balcony, especially if it’s your only outdoor space. But, if left out overnight, that feeder will be a magnet to a hungry nocturnal raccoon.
Although it makes your life easier to leave bird feeders outside if there’s still food in them, that’s a sure-fire way to attract raccoons. As mentioned above, raccoons will eat almost anything. That includes bird food, whether it’s seed or nuts.
So take the feeder in at night. And don’t forget to clean up any fallen bird feed, as even small morsels will attract raccoons.
If You Eat Out on Your Balcony, Clean Up
If you spend any time on your balcony, you probably eat and drink out there too.
Human food is just as much an attraction to a hungry raccoon as pet and bird food. So, be sure to sweep up crumbs, and don’t leave leftovers or other food waste on your balcony overnight.
Also, if you have a grill on your balcony, you’ll need to make sure that you clean it thoroughly. It’ll smell of food long after you’ve stopped grilling. So, if you leave the grill on your balcony overnight without cleaning it, those raccoons will come calling.
If you can’t clean it before leaving it unattended, you should bring it inside.
Don’t Leave Water Out on Your Balcony Overnight
Any form of water left on your balcony will attract the neighborhood raccoons.
That means water in a birdbath, your pet’s water bowl, or even a glass of water that you’ve been drinking. If your balcony is large enough to fit a paddling pool on it, water left in that overnight will delight any raccoons in your area.
It’s a pain to empty the paddling pools and birdbaths and refill the next day. But, it’s necessary if you’re looking to get rid of raccoons from your balcony.
Secure Garbage Bins Left on Your Balcony
Ideally, you shouldn’t keep garbage on your balcony. Try to keep it indoors rather than leaving it out overnight. But, if it’s unavoidable, make sure you use sturdy garbage containers with heavy lids that you can secure.
You can use bungee cords to tie garbage can lids down, so even if the raccoons pull it over, the lid should stay on. Bungee cords are readily available and inexpensive, like this set of ten Stalwart 18’’ Bungee Cords. These are heavy-duty, so they should last a while in most climates.
Securing the garbage can lid is the best option. A common alternative suggestion is to put something heavy on top of the garbage bin. But, as you can see from this video, that won’t always prevent a raccoon raid:
Cut Trees and Shrubs Back Away From Your Balcony
Trees and large shrubs close to or overhanging your balcony make it easy for raccoons to get access. The same applies to ‘climbing’ plants that lead up to your balcony. Where you see a plant, raccoons see a ladder. That’s not to say cutting back will stop a determined raccoon from getting onto your balcony.
But, keeping shrubs and overhanging branches away from your balcony eliminates one means of access. The less easy you make it for raccoons, the more likely you’ll be able to keep your balcony raccoon-free.
Get Your Neighbors Onboard With the Above Steps
Even if you follow the above steps but your neighbors don’t, you may be fighting a losing battle.
This will be a particular problem if your balcony is next to that of someone who leaves any type of food out overnight. The raccoons will have no problem finding their way over to yours in search of more food or a place to rest.
You can see how easily a raccoon can move from one balcony to another in this video:
So, speak to your neighbors because it’ll take a collective effort to get rid of the raccoons in these circumstances.
Pest-Proof to Prevent Raccoons Climbing Up
Raccoons are accomplished climbers. They can even scale vertical walls. Don’t believe that? Then watch this video of a raccoon’s stunning ascent of a 25-story building:
After watching that, you might think efforts to deter raccoons from climbing up to your balcony are futile. No-one would blame you, but you can still take some raccoon-proof measures.
One method worth trying is to attach metal flashing to your balcony wall. Secure it to any section that might be a climbing route for a raccoon.
Metal flashing like this Amerimax Home Products 70512 Galvanized Flashing, is all you need. It’s the type used in all sorts of building applications. You could even use it to encircle any trees that the raccoons might be climbing up to access your balcony.
Although raccoons can grip brick and concrete, a smooth metal should be more of a problem for them.
Another option is to install spikes on the climbing access route. A good example is these Nixalite Wall-Mounted Bird Spikes, which are for use on vertical surfaces. You can attach such spikes to a wall or even a gutter down-pipe. Because raccoons are just as at home climbing those to get to your balcony.
Use Motion Detector Sprinklers
If your balcony is over your garden, try some strategically placed motion-detector sprinklers. It’s a humane way to deter raccoons.
As you’ll see from this video, it seems that raccoons don’t like being sprayed with water:
Something like this Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler is ideal. It has a day, night, or 24-hour setting, so you can even scare the raccoons off when you’re away from home.
In case you haven’t realized, getting rid of raccoons on your balcony involves constant effort on your part. The crucial thing is to avoid leaving food and water outside overnight. Even forgetting to bring in pet food leftovers on one night is likely to attract raccoons back to your balcony.
So, get into a routine of removing all food and water, pet, bird, and human, from your balcony before dark. And only store garbage outside overnight if you’ve raccoon-proofed your garbage containers.
With these steps and the others discussed above, you’ll again be able to enjoy a raccoon-free balcony.