Epsom Salt: Here’s How to Use It to Repel Raccoons


A spring raccon that lives in an Ohio suburb - looks like he's begging.

While these little bandits may be cute, they are also very destructive. While your family is sound asleep, rascal raccoon’s meander into your yard, dig through your garbage, invade your vegetable garden, and eat the dog’s food. So what can you do to get rid of them once and for all?

You can use Epsom salt to repel raccoons! Raccoons detest the scent of Epsom salt as it irritates their nasal cavities. You can use this to your advantage by spreading the Epsom salt throughout your yard in areas where you need to keep raccoons away and reapplying once the scent wears off.

Eager to keep those raccoons away once and for all and learn more about the benefits of Epsom salt? Keep reading! I’ll explain exactly what you need to do so get ready to take some notes and take care of that raccoon problem!

What Exactly Is Epsom Salt? 

Before we dig into the wonders of Epsom salt, let’s define it. What exactly is Epsom salt? What is it used for and why?

Epsom salt is a minuscule mineral that can be found in water, not on your french fries. Epsom salt is commonly used in baths to ease body aches and pains. It helps provide relief and soothes injuries and soreness.

Now that you know what Epsom salt is and what it is primarily used for, how does it apply in any way to raccoons? Let’s take a look.

How Can Epsom Salt Repel Raccoons? Does It Really Work?

To repel raccoons, sprinkle Epsom salt around your yard, especially in areas in which you see raccoons congregating. Be sure to spread it widely and evenly, paying attention especially to highly populated areas. 

This could be around your vegetable garden, underneath your fruit trees, near the garbage barrels, or underneath the porch and deck where raccoons tend to nest. 

The scent of Epsom salt, which is appealing to some people, is what repels the raccoons.

The smell irritates their nasal cavities and they find it rather repulsive. It does not appeal to them in the slightest. 

The first thing you will want to do is to purchase Epsom salt such as Epsoak’s Epsom Salt Magnesium Sulfate. This is a great product and is highly effective for the many ways in which Epsom salt can be used, such as repelling animals and relaxing one’s muscles in the bath.

One important thing to note is that you need to be mindful of reapplying the Epsom salt often. If it rains, then make sure you add fresh Epsom salt to your yard. When you no longer smell the scent, you will know a reapplication is needed.

Basically, hot pepper repels raccoons similar to the way that epsom salt does, as well!

What Are Some Other Effective Methods to Repel Raccoons?

beautiful fluffy raccoon, sitting in the hollow and looks out of it. in nature

While Epsom salt is a fantastic way to deter raccoons from coming onto your property, there are several other methods you can use to help you with this problem. Any of these will work, and you can even try more than one alongside the Epsom salt!

Let’s go over all of the different ways so you have a variety of options to choose from! 

Natural Oils That Smell Great to You But Not to Raccoons

The smell of natural oils is often very appealing. Many people even have essential oil diffusers in their homes which they use to spread aromatic fragrances around. 

While you may enjoy natural oils, raccoons do not, in much the same way they do not like the smell of Epsom salt. 

Peppermint oil is one of the easiest natural oils you can use to repel raccoons. Try to get your hands on the Might Mint Peppermint Oil Rodent Repellent Spray which is a quick and easy purchase online.

This spray contains natural peppermint oil that is a very effective way to rid yourself of raccoons and other similar pests.

Try it out, along with the Epsom salt, and see if it works for you! Or you can try hot peppers. More on that here.

Shine Bright Lights in The Raccoons’ Direction

This may sound like a strange recommendation, but shining bright lights in the raccoons’ direction is another excellent deterrent. It is a safe method that will not harm or hurt the raccoon. 

Take a look at Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Light on Amazon. It is a fantastic, affordable tool that will arrive straight to your doorstep and help you with deterring raccoons. 

The Nite Guard Solar Light is solar-powered and automatically turns on when it detects a raccoon scurrying across your yard. 

You do not have to stay up at night and manually shine the light when you see the raccoons in the distance, you simply let the product do the hard work for you.

Pretty great, right? We think so too!

Using Predator Urine to Repel Raccoons

Raccoon in the forest in the natural environment

All animals are terrified of predators who hunt them, and raccoons are prey for some big predators.

It is not likely that you are going to go out at night, hunt down a fox, bring it back to your home, and entice it to chase away those naughty raccoons.

Want to know an easier way?

Get your hands on some American Heritage Industries Red Fox Urine. It is exactly what it sounds like, bottled-up fox urine.

To use the predator urine, take it out to the spots you frequently see raccoons and pour it around that area. Once the raccoons smell the fox urine, you can be sure they will not want to come any closer!

Can I Use Coffee as a Natural Raccoons Repellant?

People often love the smell of coffee and because of the variety of different coffee flavors, there are a variety of fragrant smells as well.

Know anyone who doesn’t like the aromatic scent of coffee grounds? You guessed it, raccoons!

Like Epsom salt, the scent of coffee deters raccoons and will make them not want to explore the area where the coffee grounds are. 

So grab some coffee from your kitchen pantry and spread it around the ground where the raccoons congregate. Make sure you don’t use up all the coffee grounds though! How else are you going to drink a fresh hot cup tomorrow morning?

If you have other critters like skunks nearby, you can use coffee grounds to repel them as well. You can use the same methods we teach about repelling skunks with coffee grounds for raccoons.

Granules Are Another Excellent Raccoon Repellent

The product, Safe Critter Ridder Animal Repellent, is a very effective and well-used repellant that many people use to keep critters away. No wonder it’s so popular, what a fun name! 

Safe Critter Ridder Animal Repellent contains granules that are made from the oil of black pepper, piperine, and capsaicin, all of which are spices that repel raccoons because of their strong scent. 

Once you acquire the granules, all you need to do is spread them around outside by shaking the container and pouring them out.

Both the smell and the taste of the granules will repel raccoons as they do not like either. So why not give it a try?

Did You Know There Are Trash Bags That Repel Rodents?

It’s true! You might hear a noise in the middle of the night or see something moving around in your garbage can. No, it’s not an alien. It’s a raccoon! 

Raccoons are known to dig around people’s trash bins. Sometimes even when you close your garbage can lid securely, it is not enough to deter those determined raccoons.

This is when you should invest in Mint-X Mint Scented Rodent Repellent Trash Bags

The Mint-X Mint is a trash bag that emits a particular scent that is popularly known to repel many different types of rodents.

So why not start putting all of your trash in those unique trash bags to ward away those raccoons!

Other Easy Ways to Repel Raccoons

A pair of wild raccoons

We’ve covered how Epsom salt is a fantastic repellent and a few other products that you can also use that have a similar effect.

Now let’s quickly go over a few easy tactics you can implement to help you out with your raccoon repelling efforts.

Additionally, you can check out our guide on the best raccoon repellents here!

Keep That Pet Food Locked Up And Far Away

Your pets most likely enjoy wandering around and exploring the outside world. You probably have a bowl or two of food and treats for them from which to eat and drink when they are outside the house.

The unfortunate thing about leaving food outside is that not only do your dogs and cats like it, but so do raccoons!

They are known to feast on pet food and find it just as delicious as your pets do.

You can still keep the food out for your pet’s convenience, but at the end of the day grab those bowls of food and treats and place them inside your home. This simple method can work wonders in keeping away other critters!

Attics And Other Doors Should Be Closed And Locked Up

You may have heard this fact before and may not even believe it, but raccoons can indeed open doors and locks!

They have human-like palms that allow them to open small items and twist and turn door handles.

Because of this amazing feat, you must be conscious of always closing and locking all the doors that lead into your house.

This means attic doors, basement doors, and anything underneath or near your porch and deck.

These are popular areas for raccoons to hide because these cozy places make them feel at home and may even entice them to nest with their young.

Conclusion: Can I Use Epsom Salt to Repel Raccoons?

Here’s a quick recap on a number of different raccoon repellants! 

  • Epsom Salt
    • Epsom salt is an amazing product that can both help you rest your weary muscles after a long day at work, and get rid of your raccoon problem!
    • How do you use it? Just sprinkle it around outside near the areas raccoons frequent. Be sure to reapply after rainfall or after the scent wears off.
  • Natural Oils 
    • Get a hold of some peppermint essential oil or sprays and get to work applying it outside in populated areas! The scent will keep the raccoons away while you enjoy a sweet-smelling, raccoon-free yard!
  • Bright Lights
    • Bright lights are not only great for shining a spotlight on a performer, they are also great for shining spotlights on raccoons and other small animals.
    • You can use a solar-powered light system outside and the light will detect the raccoons scurrying around.
    • Once the light shines on them, they will run away. Stage freight maybe?
  • Coffee Grounds
    • The next time you make a fresh batch of coffee in the morning, take some of the coffee grounds outside and sprinkle them around the yard.
    • Let the scent ward away the raccoons and enjoy the scent yourself!
  • Granular Seeds 
    • Granular seeds are small and do not take up a lot of room.
    • Once you get a great critter repellent granular seed packet, you can take it and shake it around the areas where you see the raccoons.
    • Both the scent, the taste, and the oils used within the granule are effective raccoon repellents, just be sure to reapply after it rains or when you feel that the scent has worn off.
  • Aromatic Trash Bag
    • Using a trash bag that has a mint scent will easily deter raccoons or any other pests who may be bothering you.
    • Simply replace your old bags with the new and your garbage cans will be raccoon-free!

That’s it! Now go get rid of those raccoons!

If you’d like, you can check out our full list of scents that raccoons hate here.

References

University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources. Pests in Gardens and Landscapes. Raccoons. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74116.html

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Raccoons. https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/livingwith_wildlife/raccoons/index.html

Corey M. Huxoll, Terry A. Messmer and Mike Conover. 2010. Raccoons. Utah State University Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet.

Saunders, D. A. 1988. Raccoon. Adirondack Mammals. State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry. 216pp.

USDA Wildlife Services. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/nwrc/publications/living/raccoons.pdf

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