6 Ways to keep Raccoons off your Sod

6 Ways to keep Raccoons off your Sod
Greg Peker

Greg Peker

An Expert in Sodding, Gardening & Landscape.

Raccoons are native to Canada, particularly in Southern Canada, and are often seen in urban areas. Although these animals can be cute, they are still wild animals and can cause considerable destruction if underestimated. Our team of sodding experts regularly encounter Raccoons and have a deep understanding of the damage they can cause.

When laying sod, the moist soil underneath, coupled with high levels of moisture (new sod should be watered 2-3 times a day during the first weeks), can attract worms and grubs (a delicacy for Raccoons) to the top of the surface – directly under the sod.


The Raccoons show off their intelligence and quickness when foraging for food. With remarkable manual dexterity, they are able to roll up large chunks of sod to gain access to worms and grubs. Unfortunately, once they find a food source, they will keep returning, often bringing friends along.

Waking up to find your new sod rolled up can be a discouraging sight, especially when it happens more than once. For the last 16 years, we have been searching for the right solution to this raccoon problem. We looked at many options, including pepper spray and wildlife removal services, before deciding that the issue is complex, but not without a solution.

We must collaborate closely with our client to effectively resolve this issue. We should introduce a range of methods gradually in communities with a low Raccoon population. We should recommend a more comprehensive defense plan for areas with large trees (where Raccoons often reside) and a high Raccoon population, to be implemented on the day of new sod installation.

Dealing with Raccoons – 6 Ways to Keep Raccoons off Your Sod

  1. Installing a protective net on the sod for the first two to three weeks

    Taking care of the Raccoon problem requires a close cooperation

  2. Lighting up the area – 100-watt bulb for every 250 square feet (motion detectors are great).
  3. Using a Scarecrow Sprinkler.
  4. Distributing Moth Balls along the perimeter
  5. Sprinkling pure soap flakes and water thoroughly.
  6. Contacting Wildlife removal service (in extreme cases).

Installing Protective Net – The Best and Most Effective Method

Raccoon Netting

Protecting new sod from Raccoons is highly efficient with a Protective Net. This Protective Net should be available at your nearest do-it-yourself store and has a special structure that is difficult for Raccoons to walk on or dig in. Thick plastic and metal pegs should be used to secure the net to the ground, requiring more dexterity than Raccoons can manage. The Protective Net should remain on the grass until the first cut, which is usually after three weeks. The roots should have taken hold by now, reducing the need for watering.

We advise our clients to get us to install the Protective Net on the same day they lay the sod.

Lighting Up the Area

motion sensor lights to help with Raccoons

Raccoons are nightly creatures, and as such they prefer to stay away from the light.

Installing 100W light bulbs or garden lights activated with motion sensors is both economical (as the lights are not on all night long) and helpful.

Scarecrow Sprinkler

scarecrow sprinkler

This is a powerful, portable, motion-activated sprinkler. It does a great job of scaring Raccoons and other wildlife away. Keep an eye on the edges of your lawn – the jet stream may be too weak if placed too far away, and will not deter Raccoons from munching on the edges of your sod. We are glad to deliver and install the Scare-Crow sprinkler on the sod installation day. It is also usually available on Amazon and other hardware stores.

Distributing Moth-Balls along the perimeter

A strong unpleasant scent goes a long way in making your lawn less attractive in the eyes of Raccoons. Using mothballs is not a guarantee of success, so it is advisable to use them in combination with other methods. We usually carry a little stock of Moth Balls in our truck, as they are inexpensive, and are a great tool we are glad to employ in protecting our work.

Sprinkling Pure Soap Flakes and watering thoroughly

Pure soap flakes will help to reduce to worm and grub population and drive them below the soil surface. The further away they are from the surface – the less likely Raccoons are to sense their availability and go after them.

The problem is Raccoons, but it is not impossible to drive them away. The methods described above are designed to make your lawn less attractive and a much less accessible source of food. Raccoons will strive to find an easier source of food elsewhere, allowing your fresh sod to take root, and grow uninterrupted!

We are glad to inform our clients of Raccoon hazards and equip them with the tools they need to protect their freshly installed Sod. We are glad to install the protective net and bring the Scare Crow sprinkler with us, we can even drop a few moth balls where needed. The owner of the new lawn has the choice of using other methods such as lighting up the area or sprinkling soap flakes, but this is typically done only when a serious Raccoon attack occurs.

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