Will a Porch Light Keep Raccoons Away?

Will a Porch Light Keep Raccoons Away?

Raccoons, with their masked eyes and ringed tails, are known to be quite mischievous creatures. Often found rummaging through trash cans or causing a ruckus in residential areas, encountering raccoons can be both annoying and potentially dangerous. If you are wondering whether a simple porch light can help keep these nocturnal critters at bay, read on to find out!

The Nature of Raccoons

Raccoons are primarily active at night, seeking out food, shelter, and water. They are omnivorous, feeding on various items including fruits, vegetables, insects, small animals, and even garbage. Raccoons are intelligent creatures with excellent climbing and digging skills, allowing them to access areas that might seem secure.

Porch Lights and Raccoon Behavior

It is a common belief that raccoons are deterred by bright lights, especially when it comes to their search for food. Although raccoons are nocturnal, their affinity for darkness doesn’t necessarily mean that they avoid well-lit areas. The presence of light might make them more cautious due to increased visibility, but it is not an absolute deterrent.

However, there are a few ways in which porch lights may indirectly discourage raccoons:

    1. Reduced hiding spots: Adequate outdoor lighting can eliminate or reduce hiding spots around your porch, making it less attractive for raccoons to explore. Open areas with high visibility can be deterrents for these sneaky critters.
    1. Increased visibility: A well-lit porch allows you to see raccoons more easily. This can be advantageous as early detection may prevent them from causing damage or entering your home.
    1. Scaring other animals away: Porch lights may frighten smaller animals, such as rats or mice, which are common food sources for raccoons. By eliminating these food options, the raccoons may be less inclined to visit your property.

Additional Measures to Keep Raccoons Away

While porch lights can play a role in raccoon deterrent, it is crucial to implement other effective measures to keep them at bay:

    • Secure trash cans: Use locking lids or bungee cords to ensure raccoons cannot access your garbage.
    • Remove food sources: Avoid leaving pet food or bird feeders outside overnight, as these can attract raccoons.
    • Seal entry points: Inspect the exterior of your home for any potential entry points and seal them off to prevent raccoons from getting inside.
    • Install motion-activated lights: These can startle raccoons and deter them from coming near your property.
    • Consider deterrents: There are various commercial repellants available, such as motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices, that can help discourage raccoons from approaching your porch.


While a porch light alone may not keep raccoons away, it can indirectly contribute to deterring them. By increasing visibility and reducing hiding spots, you may discourage raccoons from exploring your porch and nearby areas. Remember to combine these efforts with securing trash cans, removing food sources, and implementing other raccoon deterrent methods to ensure a raccoon-free property.

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